Tricked you with that title didn’t I? No, I did not have a baby. Just took a little time off from the blogging world, but I missed it of course! WARNING: this post is very long 🙂
Last time we spoke, I had just finished my very first marathon in November of last year. That was fun 🙂
After my marathon, things got crazy busy for a while. We bought our first HOUSE!
This was a really exciting step for us. We are living the in the small town that I grew up in here in North Carolina. My parents are really close by and Thomas’s family is only about an hour and a half, so we are loving the fact that we are surrounded by our close friends and family. Also, Dixie has a huge yard to run and play in (this was a must while house hunting). We had to build her a gigantic fence, but she’s the happiest coonhound in the world.
I am friends with a lot of you on Instagram and Facebook, so I won’t bore you with the details of everything I’ve done since last November, but I will give a few updates on my running…
After my marathon I was not super motivated to start training for another one. I decreased my mileage and focused on some shorter races throughout the spring.
I did one 5k in December and then took a break from races for a while. I started back up in March with 5k/10k dual age group victory at the St. Leo’s Shamrock Run.
It was a freezing cold morning but my dad and I decided to do both the 5k (where I won my age group with an energy conserving 24:03) and 10k immediately after, and I won my age group in 50:22. There were only about 10-15 girls in my age group for both races, but I was still pretty proud of myself! I knew I wanted to start focusing on faster, shorter distances at this point, and so I decided this was the year I was going to try the Ultimate Runner (DUN DUN DUNNNNNN).
The Ultimate Runner is a local race put on by the Twin City Track Club in Winston-Salem, NC. It’s actually 5 events, all run in heats back to back. There is a mile, 400, 800, 100 and 5k. It’s held on the last Saturday in June in the afternoon (hot hot hot) and it’s something I have wanted to compete in since I was in high school but for some reason was always afraid to. I actually wrote in my journal that I wanted to win this race someday when I was like 15 years old. I’ll get to this a little later on, I want to keep this in chronological order 🙂
Spring consisted of lots of celebrations (bachelorette parties, baby showers, weddings, and lots of fun time spent with friends. I will admit I kind of forgot about this blog completely. I forgot to renew my domain name and everything… but eventually got it all worked out and thought hmmm, I should start writing things down again (as I started thinking about doing another marathon).
Non running related life changing experience… I GOT TO SEE BEYONCE (best husband ever award for these tickets)
Okay back to running. I also got my first two “overall” trophies.. Something I thought I would honestly never be fast enough for. The first one came at the Hospice Hope 5k (3rd woman overall) in April where I ran a PR of 23:25. The second was at the Spring Folly 5k in May (3rd woman overall) where I ran 23:40. I know these are not amazingly fast 5k times, but I was excited.
My favorite race so far this year was the 5k on the Runway at PTI Airport in Greensboro in June. It is exactly what it sounds like… an out and back 5k on a mostly flat runway. It was HOT, but I wanted to take advantage of the flat course and try for a PR. I wanted to break 23 minutes so badly, but I ended up running it in 23:11, 2nd in my age group. It was a one of a kind race that I definitely want to do again!
After this race, it was crunch time for the Ultimate Runner at the end of June. I was doing lots of speed work, shorter distances, and keeping up with my strength training to keep myself from getting injured. I was feeling really determined and ready. The track will always be my favorite. It was what I was good at in high school and I love sprinting as fast as I can. The shorter the distance, the better. I was so excited to run a 400m and 100m race. I hadn’t done that competitively in almost 10 years!
We had a family beach trip scheduled in mid June, but I made sure to keep up with my runs in between the daily beers and TONS of junk food.
As part of the Ultimate Runner training, the track club had a “summer track series” where we could come out to the track once a week and run the 5 events with a timer, back to back, to get used to the competition and the flow of things for race day. We ran the events really close together, and this was honestly the best training for not only the Ultimate Runner, but for my 5k times also.
June 25th was the day of the race. It didn’t start until 4 pm, so I paced around the house the entire day, drinking gatorade and coconut water and driving my husband and dog insane. I would pack my bag, unpack it, repack it, stretch, walk around, foam roll, and then realize I’d only let 20 minutes pass. I was a nervous wreck. I never get like this for 5ks, but in high school I had these same feelings before each track meet. Finally it was time to head over to the track and check in. I had my husband, parents, and friends from my running club there to cheer me on and help settle my nerves.
I’m seriously getting all nauseous and nervous just talking about this. There were several heats for each event, so there was a lot of downtime. I was in heat 4, so I was able to watch several races before it was my turn. Heat 1 zoomed around the track in less than 5:00 for the mile. By the time it was my heat, I was trying to convince myself that I just wanted to do this FOR FUN, but really my competitive side was telling me otherwise. The top 5 women and top 15 men as well as age group winners received Ultimate Runner Mugs. I did NOT want to go home without that mug.
I ended up running a 6:16 mile, 1:06 400m, 2:52 800m, 14.5 100m, and 24:33 5k. That 5k was the hardest 5k I have ever run. I was so physically exhausted, but I just wanted it to be over with. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I won my age group, was 7th overall and was 2nd overall in the 400 and 100 among the women. I got my mug for winning my age group, and I can’t wait to do it again next year.
The Ultimate Runner was my only big goal race of this year. I’ve casually ran other races, including two 5ks in one 95 degree day a few weekends ago that about killed me, but I’ve been feeling really unsure about what is next. My long runs are now at about 7 miles, and I am planning on a half marathon in October (Bull City Race Fest in Durham, which I did last year).
Right now I’m just excited to get back into blogging, and my dad has also joined the blogging world! You guys know I bring him up a lot, and that’s because he has more running wisdom than anyone else I know. He is currently training for a fall marathon using Hanson’s Method and is tracking his progress on his blog, Running Plans Reviewed. He also talks about how he beat Carl Lewis in a race in high school (yes, THE Carl Lewis), how back in the day you had to wait weeks to get your race results in the MAIL and running shoes were only $19.99.
I’ve tried to keep up with a lot of the blogs I used to read daily, but it has mostly through social media and very inconsistent blog reading. Tell me the BIGGEST change or event that has happened to you so far this year. Can be running related, life related, anything!