Category Archives: Race Review

Blue Water Half Marathon

Today-Elliptical, bike, & strength

Today we are going way back to June 30th! That was the date of the Blue Water Half Marathon in Port Huron. It was the first long distance race in this town in a long time. The best cheerleaders were out on the course too. 😉

Robert, Melissa, and I headed to the race at a compromised hour of the morning. We may or may not have family members that like to show up to races at different time frames. I am just happy to have someone else drive & park. Both were easy!

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I wasn’t sure what I expected from this race other than to have fun. The weather is such a huge factor and with the late date in June I knew I would have to be flexible with slowing down. Race morning-it was perfect! Nice and cool and slightly overcast.

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I chased and chatted with a few other runners, but mostly ran alone. I was able to pick up my pace in the second half, and especially in the last 3 miles.

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I finished with a time of 1:57 and improved my time by 15 minutes from a few years back. I forgot how wonderful half marathons are and I would like to make 2014 the year of the half marathon.

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It was PR central for all three of us! Many other runners I know had their best times too. It was a fast course despite a lot of turns. The only drawback was a pretty rocky area in the last mile or so. I have heard they are working on some changes for next year!

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What do you think makes a good race?

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Cleveland Marathon Review-Part 1

Today-Rest

What a whirlwind weekend we had! It was an emotional one full of smiles, panic, laughter, and let’s face it pain. I finished in 4:22 and got a new PR by 9 minutes. My last PR was in Chicago last fall at 4:31.

The heat and sun really took a toll on me near the end of the race. I think I especially suffered because I trained in 30-40 degree weather through the winter & spring.  

Let’s begin with the day before the race. Kevin and I were traveling to Cleveland and I decided to confirm my registration and bib number through the website. I typed my name in and nothing came up. I tried a few more times and attempted to put in my maiden name just in case I made a mistake while registering. Still nothing. I figured there must be a problem with the website so I checked our bank statements to see what date I registered on. It wasn’t on there. I slowly realized a crazy stupid mistake I had made and panic hit me hard. I had not registered for a race that I spent 16 busting my ass for and talking about to anyone that would listen.

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Kevin calmed me down as usual, and made a plan to save my sorry butt. The race website said they were still selling some marathon spots at the expo. We decided to get to the expo and see if there were still spots left. The back-up plan was to sign up for the half marathon and still have a fun day. It was of utmost embarrassment when I had to explain to Robert, Kevin’s brother who also raced, what I had done. I’m pretty sure I heard 15 month old Eli chuckling in the background.

We made it to Robert and Carrie’s house and played cars & read books. Then we headed down to the expo and found the registration and packet pickup. Amazingly, there were marathon spots left! I was so relieved and could finally relax. The price had increased but I sucked it up.

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The race shirt is a cute short-sleeved tech shirt in white. The expo was well organized and packet pickup was really quick. The shopping was decent but  I didn’t need anything.

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Dinner was pizza and pasta and I was in bed by 9:30. I slept really well, and I wasn’t too nervous when my alarm went off at 4:00am. We were ready and out the door by 4:45. My wonderful husband Kevin drove us to the city and parked the car, while Robert and I made our way to the start area.

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The best thing about the Cleveland marathon was the bathroom situation. The race started just outside of the Brown’s football arena so all of the bathrooms in the stadium were available. This was 100% better than the typical porta potties with crazy long lines. Amazing! We were early to the race so there was time to relax, check out the start corrals, and find Kevin.

At 7:00 the race began!

26.2 miles of crazy

**I set this post to publish this morning! I finished the marathon in 4:22!

I realized today that I will be running 26.2 miles a month before my 26th birthday! Crazy and super cool timing, right? 26 just might be my new lucky number. At least for this year.

I had a great and really tough training season and I pushed myself to speeds and 20 mile runs that I didn’t know I was capable of.

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I loved sprinting around my neighborhood at 5am, and getting more into biking and swimming for cross training.

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I loved meeting new running friends and I enjoyed the comfort of running with family.

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I loved learning to run and dress for winter running, and using and abusing the treadmill.

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I loved how running & training kept me sane when life was stressful.

And now…words from Melissa

Cleveland spring marathon, it’s almost time.
Your motivation and dedication should be a crime.
Through snow, ice and rain you ran.
Checking off tempo and sprints on your plan.
Running circles in your neighborhood.
I don’t know how you did it, it’s amazing you could.
You are strong and ready for this race.
Just breathe and steady your pace.
I am so sad to miss this day
All your hard work will for sure pay
Smile, blog, run, gu and repeat.
You have 26.2 miles to go on those feet.
Love u Lo!!

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Here we go for 26.2 miles!!

The Color Run Review

Thursday-30 min bike ride

Friday-Rest

Kevin and I ran The Color Run this past weekend along with 15,000 other runners. I ran this race last year, and signed up to run with my friend Alli and her fiance. However, a lack of planning and a mass of people meant that we never found them! Kevin and I ran as a couple and still had a blast.

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We arrived pretty early for packet pickup the morning of the race. I was worried about parking and all the craziness of last year. The shirts are better looking this year and so is my husband! 🙂 Haha. Then we waited for the start!

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Kevin didn’t mind how goofy and wired I was before and after the race. A lot of dance moves were thrown out that morning that I didn’t even know I was capable of. And I didn’t mind Kevin kicking my butt during the 5k. He had me convinced that if we ran really fast we might find our friends. His plan was unsuccessful but fun.

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We finished full of color and with smiles on our faces. Kevin let me take him into the stage/color party area and go a little crazy dancing and throwing my yellow color in the air. This picture below is for you Melissa & summer 2012.

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We stayed the night before at a hotel, so getting back to shower and grab continental breakfast was perfect. A mini-vacay!

What fun races have you tried?

What is your favorite color!?

Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon Review

Wednesday-7 mi tempo

Thursday-45 min bike

Last weekend I completed my first triathlon. This indoor triathlon was put on by Lifetime Fitness in Shelby Township. Triathlons have always intimidated me, so this was a great chance to ease into the sport. It was a relaxed easy going race and everyone was really friendly. Plus the gym is amazing and I would love to be a member at some point! I also learned that they have a running group that heads out a few times a week. Score.

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We arrived about 40 minutes early and checked in at the member activity station. They handed us a bib, locker room key, and a hat. Next, we had a tour of the triathlon areas, and the locker room.

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In the locker room, Melissa and I set up our gear for the biking and running portions, and headed out to the pool. Basically, the transition station.

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A few minutes before our swim wave started we listened to some directions. 3 whistles with 1 minute left, and then a whistle to end the heat. We had 10 minutes to swim as many laps as we could. I felt relieved to know that the pool was pretty shallow and I had a lane to myself. I threw on my swim cap and was off. I swam 13 laps in 10 minutes. Not great, but better than my anticipated 10 laps and/or panic attack.

Post swim we had 10 minutes to change and get on our bikes. It definitely went quicker than I anticipated and I was tired already! I guess it didn’t help that I had run quite a few miles the day and week before. The picture must be blurry because of my crazy fast legs. Ha.

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We had 30 minutes to bike, and the spin room had loud music playing. I brought a water bottle and a sport drink. The above hat helped me look presentable after swimming. I biked 20.6 miles, despite a mess-up with my bike calculator. Melissa and Mitch rocked the bikes too.

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After 30 minutes our distance was recorded, and we took our jello-legs up to the treadmills. The running section was 20 minutes long and counted total miles. I started with an 8:30 pace and only made it below 8:00 minute miles for the last 5 minutes. I was tired! Melissa encouraged me to push it the last minute.  I ran a total of 2.35 miles at 0% incline.

I loved the indoor triathlon and I want to do a few more before I attempt a real outdoor triathlon. Swimming is still a challenge for me, especially maintaining even breathing. I tend to panic and then find myself exhausted and breathing heavily after 2 laps of free style. Must practice more!

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The best part of an indoor triathlon is that you don’t need any expensive gear. It is a great test of your overall endurance because you are performing 3 different sports. I love the challenge and I bet you would too!

Tell me about your triathlon experiences!

Snowshoes, Big Foot, and Yetis

Monday-4 mi (treadmill) + Swim class

Tuesday-Spin class

Brr! It has been a chilly week so far. My workouts have been indoors, and I have been enjoying it. I want to have a fun and relaxed workout week, because something big starts next week. Marathon training!! I have the schedule printed and ready to go.

I had a really great swim class this week! I have been enjoying all of the classes, but this was the first time that my freestyle started to feel comfortable. I am getting better! I practiced a little bit over the weekend in Traverse City too.

Let’s get to the Snowshoe race! We arrived in Traverse City late Friday, and woke up early to get to the race Saturday morning. We grabbed our packets just before the race and adjusted our snowshoes. There wasn’t any fresh snow, but the trails had enough to be able to complete the race.

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The course was different this year and it included wider sections of trail. This helped with congestion because there were so many people. I didn’t secure my snowshoes well enough and had to stop once during the race. I stayed with Melissa and we did interval running and walking. Kevin took off right away (his first time snowshoeing) and placed 3rd in his age group! Go Kev!

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After the race, we started to cool down quickly while munching on chilli and cookies at the post race party. This was an awesome race and snowshoeing is a kick-ass workout.

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We stayed the rest of the weekend in Traverse City and explored The Village at Grand Traverse Commons and the cute downtown! We had some great meals and cherry wine!

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Where was your last getaway?

Have you ever tried snowshoeing?

Poho Hot Cocoa 2013

Saturday, 8k race, 41:00

We had an absolute blast at the race again this year! Did you expect anything else? The race almost doubled the number of runners with 1300. We have had very mild weather the last few days, so the course was clear of snow and ice. And the weather on race day was a perfect 45 degrees and clear.

Packet pickup was all day on Friday and before the race on Saturday. I grabbed my packet, as well as Mitch and Melissa’s on Friday evening after work. The pickup was very well organized and quick. The only thing I was missing was my timing chip. I just went to the store early before the race and I got a timing chip along with a new bib.

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It was kind of crazy in the store on race morning, so I was really glad that I already had signed up and had my packet in hand. The shirts are adorable black half-zip long sleeves with the race logo. Love it!

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The race started on time and we were off! I was looking for a few people so I ended up starting near the end which is always a mistake. I was weaving around people for the first mile or so. I eventually came upon Melissa and Mitch and we exchanged some words… encouraging words of course. I kept moving because I had a goal of keeping an 8:15 pace the whole race. It was easy at the beginning, but I was working hard the last half to maintain. It was probably the hardest I have ever run a race, and I was super excited about my time.

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The course was great with beautiful views of the river and bridge. There was water just after mile 1 and then just before mile 4 on the way back. At the finish line I had Kevin, my mom, and my in-laws cheering.  It felt so great to finish and then cheer on Melissa, Mitch and the other runners.

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Next, we hit the huge tent with a live band, chocolate fondue, and hot cocoa! It was a chocolate lovers paradise. It was fun to catch up with some other runners that I have met from our Wednesday night running group.

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It was such an incredible race day. Thank you so much to Elite Feet for putting on such a cool event. I can’t wait for the years to come!

*Runners: If you want to keep up the running momentum, join us for a group run on Wednesday nights at 6:30pm starting at Elite Feet, PH!