Friday, April 5, 2013

April snow brings....????

So yesterday afternoon we had a freak snowstorm. I mean seriously, this thing came out of nowhere! The weather forecasters were predicting occasional rain, but instead we got about 6 inches of snow!

I took the opportunity to take a nice long walk in the snow with my husband and my dog, which turned out to be quite the cardio workout.

It looks like there's snow up to Nick's knees, but he's actually kneeling down about to tackle the dog...

 Today, Blacksburg is back to its normal springtime self, and the snow is melting everywhere! I wasn’t willing to let a little melting snow get in the way of my typical Friday lunchtime stadium workout, which in hindsight may not have been my smartest choice ever, but oh well, what’s done is done.

I decided to meet my friend Megan to run stadiums at lunch, despite the fact that we knew the stairs would be wet and treacherous. We decided to just take our time doing them instead of pushing our pace like we normally do. Megan even snapped some great photos so I’ll share them here!
Beautiful stadium and what's left of the's 60 degrees today. Blacksburg weather is bipolar!

sloshing through the half melted snow as we ran up the stairs

Enjoying the sun and the view!

We ended up with soaking wet shoes and shaking legs, but I’m definitely glad we decided to stick with our routine because I get to share my story with all of you!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

No Turning Back Now....

Well, April is here and if you all remember, the day of the race is April 28th! Yikes, it's coming sooooo fast! 26 days left! I'm starting to get a little nervous. Not nervous, like I'm going to bobble and fall off the beam, miss my dismount on bars, or step out of bounds on floor and let my team down. Nervous like, can I do this?

Can I run the whole 13.1 miles?

Will I be the lame one that has to stop?

Will I be the one who slows the group down or is running alone because I'm the "slow" one?

I ran 8 miles on this past Saturday. That is the furthest distance I have ever run consecutively!!! The first 4 miles were great. I was running around 9 mins 30 secs per mile, then my hips started to get sore and really tired from miles 4-6. My speed slowed down quite a bit, but then picked back up a bit for the last two miles. There are A LOT of hills around where I live and I think that's what starts to get to me after awhile. It's tough going up another hill at mile 6. My hip flexors and hamstrings have never been so tight in my life! I have definitely been stretching more. My adductors are even tight!! It's funny because in the past running used to loosen me up, but not so much now. I guess that's what happens when you have been running lots of miles. I think I'm just hoping that all this adrenaline and hype that people talk about sets in. I need a little boost every now and again when I'm running. Some songs definitely help that, but I'm not sure what will help at Mile 11!

I'm definitely a slow and steady runner and I'm ok with that. I've decided that my goal is to just run for my first half marathon. I'm not worried about my time or my speed, I just want to run the whole time and complete the race. By looking at the race course, it looks like pretty flat considering most of it is along the river. Nike has not posted a map that shows the elevation, however I'm figuring it's got to be easier than what I have been running!!

Have you run a Half Marathon?

What was your goal for your first one?

Did you find the adrenaline helped you make it through?

Were you able to run the whole time?

Monday, April 1, 2013

To Run or Not to Run?

Have you ever signed up for a race you know might not be “good”?

I’m currently having a really hard time deciding whether or not to sign up for a 5k that sounds really fun but has gotten quite a lot of iffy reviews. Here’s my dilemma…I really like the idea of this 5k foam fest that is going to be held in Richmond, but I have some reservations about it after reading quite a few reviews online…

The first race I ever ran was a disaster. It was called “Dirty Hog” and it was a 9 mile “mud race” held in North Carolina. The website was well designed and well run, giving us high hopes for the race. I trained HARD with a large group of women (about 25 of us!) for three months, expecting that the race would be what was advertised - a difficult mud run with lots of obstacles. 

The group from the Dirty Hog run, excuse the mud on the camera lens :-P

Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. The day of the race it was in the upper 80’s (unseasonably hot, and felt even hotter, as we had been training in 60’s-70s). The course was almost all hot sand with very few obstacles and even less mud. Additionally, there weren’t anywhere near enough water stations on the course, and I watched two of my very strong friends (one was a college athlete) suffer from heat exhaustion. To top it off, the course wasn’t well marked, and several of us got LOST for a few miles. This race was dangerous, poorly planned (many of my teammates didn’t even get the T-shirt they paid for!), and a bad experience in general. Luckily, I didn’t let it deter me from trying another “adventure” type race, and I completed a FANTASTIC and much more professionally run Tough Mudder later that year.

my lovely Tough Mudder team!

But back to my original point… Foam Fest 5k…

  • Website looks good (but I’ve been fooled before…anyone can make a professional looking website, but running an actual race is much more difficult)
  • They’ve had over a year to perfect their management, so things SHOULD run smoothly (this may be putting too much faith in people I don’t know…)
  • The obstacles look more fun than difficult, and it will be a great “starter” mud run for my mom and close friend, who are interested in getting into adventure type races
  • It’s close enough to do a day trip, and if it is well run it will be a blast!!


  • It’s expensive; $60 for the 5k, $5 for insurance and $5 for processing. Do I want to spend $70 for an experience that I feel has a 50/50 chance of being awful?
  • I know a 5k of this type won't be a challenge for me, as I've already run one Tough Mudder and will have completed my second by the time this race comes. However, difficulty isn't my goal with this race - I really just want to go out and have a great experience with my mom and my friend.
  • I've seen A LOT of negative reviews online
  • It’s my mom and friend’s first race of this type, and I don’t want to steer them wrong. Will this race turn them off from continuing to participate in races of this type? Is it a risk I’m willing to take?

I’m feeling really torn and nervous to sign up for something this expensive without having confidence that my money will be well spent - my last half marathon cost the same as this race! (I know it’s more expensive to put on because of the obstacles, but still!) Do the pros outweigh the cons? Will the risk be worth the potential reward? I’m just not sure!!

PLEASE help me decide!!