Run Find Your Happy Pace

finding my happy pace in running and life

10k Trail Mardi Gras Run 4 Beads

Trails, trails, trails! ¬†I love trails ūüôā ¬†And if you have never been to Smithfield, Virginia or Windsor Castle park its a real treat.

If you’re looking for a small mid winter trail race this is a great one! Smithfield is a beautiful old-fashioned kind of town. The 10k course loops through the slightly hilly dirt packed trails of Windsor Castle Park. Most of the race is on the dirt trails with a small portion of paved trail. It was a cold one this year (27 degrees) for Virginia but the scenery of the trails and the trees blocking some of the wind made for a wonderful run. The 10 AM start also let is warm up from the chilly teens earlier in the morning. I was a little concerned about staying on course since the race has some crossing loops, but the volunteers were great about keeping you on the right track. There was one water table, which you pass twice due to the loops.

The run is timed the old-fashioned way with rip off tags you hand in at the end. Yes there are still such races! ¬†No timing mats or anything of that sort here. If your plan is to place and go out fast, you need to start at the front of the pack. Everyone’s time starts when the horn goes off.

This year there was also a 5k fun color run which started at 11 AM.  No one I know participated but they looked like they were having a good time.

Packet pick up was the day before (Friday). No type of expo or anything like a bigger race, which wasn’t expected.

Swag includes a t-shirt and a free beer/soda at the end of the race. If you wait around for the “party” after the 5k fun color run finishes up (at noon) You are given one ticket for one free beer / soda.

SWAG etc:

There is NO BLING at this race.  Other than the few plastic bead necklaces we got in our bag.  So if bling is your thing your out of luck.  Also NO FREE FOOD whatsoever unless you bring cash, no banana, bars nada.  There was a Barbecue truck and a Chik-Fil-A food truck with food for purchase. The t-shirt is nice and colorful, long-sleeved but it is cotton

The trails and scenery made up for the lack of swag for me.  There are hills, nothing steep, but rolling hills throughout the trails.  So much more interesting that a flat road.  Parking is literally right by the start line so no issues there.

Showers were available at the local YMCA if you finish the 10k and have time to head over there for a shower and a change of clothes before the noon party and awards. I guess that would all depend on how fast you finish.  We chose to skip that and head out to town for lunch.

Smithfield is lovely and has an lovely step back in time type of feel to it. Nice shops, restaurants and bakery are a short drive from the park.

Pre-race "Wear all the clothes" because its cold selfie!

Pre-race “Wear all the clothes” because its cold selfie!

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Weekend SHOUT OUT 6/13

Weekend SHOUT OUT!!  

Good Luck Everyone!

 

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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.

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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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Wicked 10k Race Recap 2013

Last Saturday I participated in my third Wicked 10k race here in Virginia Beach. ¬†The morning started out down right chilly with temps in the upper 30’s which is cold for this time of year in VA. ¬†I was a tad worried that I was not going to be warm enough in my bunny costume, but in the end decided to go with it anyway. ¬†I did however add a sweatshirt and gloves….brr.

This race is always an entertaining one. ¬†While some run the race for time tons of people go all out for the costume contest and this year was no exception. ¬†I am always amazed at some of the creativeness and just craziness of some runners. ¬†There was a¬†Scooby Doo crew¬†complete with Mystery Machine Van, the entire¬†Duck Dynasty¬†crew running in a canoe and a Tiki….yes a Tiki and yes she finished the entire race wearing it! ¬†Check out this awesome pics below..

PicMonkey Collage

For the first half of the race I Ran with my husband, something we never do because he is much faster than me.  He let me pace and we had a great time checking out the costumes and talking.  Problem is I paced a bit too slow.  By the halfway point we separated and both picked up the pace, at our own pace.  I was hoping to finish under last years time, but this day it was not meant to be.  I finished 1 min 15 sec slower than my previous year, but I still had a great time.

The after party had a live band,¬†The Delorean’s¬†80’s band (check them out here)¬†they were really fun to watch and listen to. ¬†They play all sorts of 80’s music. ¬†Everything from Billy Idol to Toto. ¬†They are a very talented group of musicians and both my husband (who is also an accomplished musician) and I enjoyed the show. ¬†People continued to dance and really get into their Halloween characters. ¬†A big hit was hilarious guy dressed as “Richard Simmons”. ¬†He and his side kick (a woman if full-out Jane Fonda brightly colored thong leotard and tight outfit) really got the crowd up on their feet and enjoying the music. ¬†I wish I had gotten a good picture of them ūüôĀ

J&A racing always does a great job.  Their races are always well run and the swag is always top-notch.  This year we got a long sleeve Halloween themed tech tee at packet pick up our finisher item (other than the awesome medal) was an insulated Wicked 10K coffee mug.  The only thing missing from the post race food was the usual delish bread bowl for our chili.  This year we just got chili in a cup, nevertheless it was much appreciated.  Thanks J&A!

 

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Don’t Hate Me Because My “Fit” is Different Than Yours

** First let me say I am not a trainer, nutritionist or a certified anything.

I have completed 9 half marathons, numerous ¬†5k’s to 10 milers. ¬†I also lift weights and I enjoy HIIT workouts. ¬†NONE of those things make me a bad person.

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If you “run” in online fitness circles than I am sure a lot of you have been hearing negative talk about running lately, especially distance running. ¬†I sure know I have.

Running is bad for you, running will make you / keep you FAT.

Running is the opposite of healthy?

What the???  

Although I have read numerous articles the thing that bothers me the most is the Runner Bashing!? ¬†Now first of all let me say I believe everyone has their idea of healthy and fit. ¬†And just like “un-fit” body types, in my opinion, there are also many “fit / healthy” types. ¬†I like to think I fall somewhere in between the runners and the builders. ¬†If you’re a fast-ass distance runner (not me btw) and that’s your passion than you’re not going to need / want a ton of muscle bulk. ¬†On the other hand if you’re a beast in the weight department and that’s your passion than distance running is probably not for you. ¬†Are either wrong…NO, NO, NO!!!

Let me explain.  As far as running goes for me

  • I love the way a good run makes me feel. ¬†A speedy short run to a long slow distance run
  • Sticking too and completing a multi-month training plan takes determination and persistence. ¬†That not only includes time, but sometimes that time is really, really early or cold, or hot, or humid (or all the aforementioned)
  • Crossing the finishing line of a half or full marathon is a high that people who have not done it cannot understand
  • To get to that finish line I must be diligent in fueling my body properly to get there
  • my heart is healthy as a horse. ¬†My doctor said “You must be a runner” when she listened to it
  • if I didn’t love it, I would stop doing it

Now on the other hand ¬†I also like….

  • Lifting weights. It makes me feel strong
  • HIIT training makes me sweat like a beast….and I like it
  • Watching my body change is very satisfying
  • Getting my body to physically change takes determination and persistence (hmm that sounds familiar)
  • To get change I must be diligent and fuel my body properly for the process (again…familiar?)

Do I personally want a more “fit” looking physic? ¬†You betcha, but what I consider “fit” may not be what you consider fit, and you know what…THAT”S OK!!

So I guess what I mean is that I think its time to step back and give each other a pat on the back because whether you run or lift or both:

  1. your ass is not sitting on the couch
  2. if you are running or lifting or whatever,  you are taking a lot more interest in your health than someone watching tv and downing a bag of Doritios
  3. who said one body type is the perfect body type?
  4. Can’t we just all get along ūüėČ
  5. And most of all “Are you finding your happy “Healthy” pace in life. ¬†If you answered yes, then your on the right path for YOU!!!!!!

Just as the world has many different colors, nationalities and faiths of people, so does the fitness world have many, many different types of “fit”. ¬†Is one better than the other? ¬†I don’t think so. ¬†If we were all meant to look and do and be the same, I am sure God would have made us that way.

Oh and did I mention I enjoy yoga? ¬†Yup I do. ¬†Hope that doesn’t make me crazy? ¬†And lets not even get started on my “unhealthy” love for cupcakes, lol.

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The Latest Virtual Cupcake Race! Firework Cupcake for July

Because you can never have too many Virtual Cupcakes right? ¬†It’s another awesome virtual race benefiting Team in Training (TNT) .

July Firework Cupcake

5k, 10k and Half Marathon 

Custom Diecast Cupcake medal, Patriotic Red, White and Blue.

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(medal will be based on this artwork and will be cupcake shaped)

Also there is a great Band from Running Happy in a red, white and blue chevron pattern, super cute!

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Click on this link to go to Running In Sanity’s Page for registration.

USA participants

$20 Race and Custom Medal

$25 Race, Custom Medal and Band From Running Happy

International Racers

$26 Race and Custom Medal

$31 Race, Custom Medal and band by Running Happy

Thanks once again for supporting Team in Training!

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Changing Things Up a Bit

I have officially started training for next years half marathon(s). ¬†I would say officially for Disney Princess, because that is my first one for 2013, but when I looked at the calendar I realized I have scheduled myself a half in Feb (Princess), March (Shamrock), April (Nike Women’s D.C.) and would really love to do one back home in CT in May. ¬†Oh my what am I thinking, lol. ¬†So I guess training will be continuous from now thru next spring. ¬†I will have to make sure to not over train. ¬†I really need to sit down and schedule things out ASAP.

Since my last half in Sept.¬†I have been consistently running at least a 10K long run. ¬†Scheduling a few 10k races was a good trick for me so I didn’t get lazy. ¬†But its time to up the long runs. ¬†Enter Surf n Santa 1o miler in early December. ¬†I did this race last year and it was a lot of fun. ¬†I’m looking forward to it and already planning the outfit. ¬†(is that wrong? ¬†I think not) ¬†So this weeks long run was a little over 7.

Goal #1 to finish Surf-n-Santa with a faster time than last year, always a good goal.

Goal #2:¬†A new Half Marathon PR. ¬†I would also love a new PR ¬†in a Half Marathon next year. ¬†Therefore I have committed to things like fartleks (lol, that name gets me every time) tempo runs and continued hill training. ¬† Even though there are not actual “hills” were I live there are bridges and overpasses. ¬†I am proud to say I have improved tremendously in the area of hills. ¬†In fact in my Marathon Relay last weekend my leg had not one but two and I covered them both with ease. ¬†That makes me a happy girl. ¬†I also just downloaded a treadmill rolling hill workout…I’ll let you know how that goes.

I seem to have plateaued as far as my half time and hoping adding these things will help. ¬†Don’t get me wrong I am thrilled at the time I have deducted since my very first half, but now its time for a new goal. ¬†I really thought I would PR at the Rock n Roll in September but Mother Nature put the Kai-bosh on that! (turd)¬†Way too hot. ¬†I was just happy to finish upright and with a better time that my first RnR . ¬† I am feeling pretty confident I can pull off a new PR next year as long as I stay injury free.

Enter Goals #3 and 4  Yoga and Foam Rolling.  I need to recommit myself to is my weekly yoga sessions and my post run rolling.  I have been really slacking in those areas.  I am terribly afraid of getting Plantar Faciitis again or the return of my IT band issue.  I have felt a slight twinge in both feet, scary.  My right foot (the one I have had it in) is 99% back to normal.  Which is great considering I suffered from the very end of Dec 2011 РJuly of this year with PF.  But the twinge makes me nervous, so a yogi I shall be.  And I will revisit my love/hate relationship with my foam roller.

So what are your goals for 2013? ¬†It’s not too early to start thinking about it. ¬†And they don’t have to be HUGE ones. ¬†But goals are good and I would love to support you with yours.

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Wicked 10K a Wicked Good Time

I ran in the Wicked 10K this past Saturday.  This was my second Wicked which is put on by J&A Racing in Virginia Beach.  First off kudos once again to J&A, they never disappoint.  Great races, delicious food and awesome swag.  Even with Sandy aka Frankenstorm on the way they managed to pull off a great race.  The after party (which is always kicka**) was moved last-minute from the beach to the Virginia Convention Center, where the race started.    Everyone was kept well-informed and the party went off without a hitch from the participants point of view.

As with most Halloween themed races costumes are encouraged. ¬†Of course I will wear a costume to run for any reason ūüėČ ¬†so fun. ¬†I was also happy to see one of the elite racers (in #2nd place when they passed me) was also dressed up. ¬†You don’t see that too much with the front-runners, so that was nice. ¬†I dressed as Minnie Mouse and my bestie dressed as Batgirl. ¬†I opted for a Minnie Hat with ears safety pinned on due to the wind and possible chance of rain. ¬†Thank you Target, the hat did the trick and was super cute!

I did not run this race planning to PR. I had just run “The Great Pumpkin Race 10k” a few weeks back and had PR’d. ¬†My bestie and I decided to run together and enjoy the views and costumes. ¬†We had not done that in a long time as she is usually a little faster than me. ¬†There were some pretty funny costumes…a KISS group in full makeup, a half-naked Zoro (hats off he could actually pull off that tiny costume) a few other Minnie’s and quite a few batgirls and superheros. ¬†There was also a “bit” of wind due to the outskirts of hurricane Sandy heading our way Saturday. ¬†The hardest part of the race was when we were running between the tall buildings down by the shore…complete wind tunnel. ¬†I asked the lady next to me to check and make sure I wasn’t going backwards. ¬†No I seriously did. ¬†It was so windy that my left ankle kept getting pushed into my right leg every time I picked it up! ¬†On a good note when the wind was at your back you were flying…almost litteraly. ¬†I wish it had been at my back a little more, I might have just PR’d after all. ¬†However I fought the wind and didn’t stop running…lets hear it for small victories! ¬†All in all I had a great race and time. ¬†Just over a minute slower than my PR….not too shabby. ¬†If you ever have a chance to run in a costume race I suggest you do it. ¬†It’s a Wicked good time!

I also had the pleasure of meeting up with and getting to know some members of our local Moms Run This Town (I missed the group shot, darn) ¬†I also got to meet the nice ladies from We Run Disney. ¬†If you will remember Pam of We Run Disney was the first 40+ Fit and Fabulous Woman I had featured a few weeks back. ¬†It was so nice to get to meet her in person! ¬†I recognised them by the picture of their shoes they posted on Facebook, lol. ¬†Who would have thought? ¬†And they were both also dressed as Minnie. ūüôā ¬†I ran into them in the finish chute right after running, which also meant my brain wasn’t at full function and I didn’t get a picture….duhh. ¬†Next time ladies.

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The “Almost” Perfect 10K…and the Case of the Disappearing Medal

I ran the Heart of Ghent 10k today in Norfolk, VA.  Now berfore I get into the ugly details about the dissappearing medal, here are a few pics and the highlights from the race.

The weather……..P E R F E C T especially after the dreadful weather of Rock n Roll VB in early September. ¬†The actual course was very nice and well organized. ¬†It was a small race only a little over 700 runners, not bad for an inaugural year of a race. ¬†I ran it with just my bestie. (well we saw each other at the start and the finish) I have to say I really enjoy a 10k, it was a great race distance coming off a half ¬†and preparing for another 10K in October and possible half in November. ¬† ¬†Francena McCorory’s (Gold Olympian) was there at the end of the race signing autographs and taking pictures. ¬†She was VERY nice and VERY generous. She even let me WEAR her gold medal for our picture! ¬†Awesome! ¬†So¬†even¬†though I¬†couln’t¬†take it home, darn, I got to wear something I probably will never wear again ¬†A GOLD OLYMPIC MEDAL!! ¬†So thanks Francena, you rock! ¬† ¬†Here are some pics from the day.

As a post-race treat we stopped for cupcakes ūüôā ¬†Now I usually only do that for a half marathon, but we made an exception in this case and here is why:

The problem was the medal. Or in this case…the lack thereof? ¬†You see there “was” suppose to be one. ¬†Now granted Half and Full Marathons definitely deserve a medal, no question. ¬†However I guess my problem isn’t the actual medal (okay maybe a little because I am a bit of a bling ho) ¬†but you see I am a bigger stickler for INTEGRITY and HONESTY. ¬†As most of you know I recently co-hosted a virtual race myself. ¬†We did everything to ensure everyone got what was stated, in full at the price stated to the best of our ability…no changes and no exceptions! ¬†Not because we wanted to be the best ever, but because that’s how you are suppose to do things …all things in life.

Today as I crossed the finish my bestie there waiting for me (yes she finished first, turd.) ¬†she says “Where do we get our medal?” ¬†Ummm yes where do we get our medal? ¬†Now I know medals are not everything, I have done races that didn’t have them and that’s fine too, I will run a race for charity. ¬†The difference here was¬†prior¬†to registering we asked if there would be medals. ¬†Publically on Facebook we were told YES…ALL (as in everyone) finishers would receive a medal.¬†¬†Not the top three, not just the elite¬†ALL. ¬†Now again that may not mean much to some but we are two military moms who try to choose our races carefully. ¬†With deployed spouses we not only pay for the race, but also must pay a babysitter in order to ¬†get to that starting line. ¬†So I hope you can understand our dismay when there were NO MEDALS to be found anywhere. ¬†When I got home I checked their Facebook page and lo and behold others were also questioning “What happened to the medals?”. ¬†Ok so it wasn’t just us.

So I threw my question into the ring too and asked about the medal, including the above reasons for my disappointment. ¬†Here is their reply: ¬†Heart of Ghent 10k Race¬†“After asking some local runners, we decided to provide the CHILDREN with finisher medals only because the adults were getting O’Connor, Moe’s, Ynot, live music, Gatorade and a shirt. Sorry if you were disappointed with our decision.”

OK I totally love that the kids got medals! ¬†Our Mini Pumpkin Milers will also be getting medals ūüôā ¬†Yes the food was great, shirt decent. (I did not see any Gatorade? ¬†Maybe that disappeared too?) ¬†I don’t drink but totally get the whole run for beer thing so that’s a non-issue. ¬†But if you state¬†ALL¬†finishers get a medal, you really shouldn’t change that after the fact without stating it publicly to¬†ALL¬†registered racers, not just the “locals” you polled.

So here are my questions to you guys…..Am I wrong? ¬† What do you think? ¬† And has this every happened to you?

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