Race Recap Catchup: 2017 Army Ten Miler

Now that it has been about a month… Might want to post a review of this year’s ATM race. Bottom line- it wasn’t the most pleasant race. But it WAS a great weekend for me.

Columbus Day weekend is our annivarsary weekend, so we decided to fuel up for the race (and celebrate our anniversary) at the Charleston , where we held our reception last year. It is our favorite restaurant (and place) in the mid Atlantic region and we have yet to find a place that compares. The food, the staff, the ambiance… it is all just perfect. I limited myself to just one glass of champagne and let my husband try out some of their new cocktails (I mean… SOMEONE had to drive down to DC). I didn’t take pictures of every course, but here are a few of the most delicious (and seasonal) ones:

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My husband had fois gras for one of his courses. Normally, the fois gras has a more sweet prepartion, with brioche and some sort of delicious fruit glaze or compote. But this time, the dish was savory, with black beans. I LOVED the taste of it.

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However, I have to say that mine was even better… This is the scallop “BLT,” with thick cut bacon strips and a fresh heirloom tomatoe. It was incredible! Their scallops are always perfect (we even had them in our wedding menu), but this was my favorite preparation that Charleston has done to date. Now…back to the race.

Packet Pickup:

As with the last couple races, I haven’t been in Maryland/DC to pick up the packets- I left that to my husband. The packet pickup takes place at the Armory near the RFK Stadium. Husband reported that packet pickup was smooth… DC traffic (which never really ceases) was the only bad part of packet pickup.

The Goods:

I forgot the shirt at the Maryland condo, but the shirt was the same as usual- long sleeve technical shirt. And with previous races, you receive a challenge coin at the end (rather than a medal).

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The Race:

Weather reports were not good for the race. Rain was expected and the humidy was really high. I made a call to just take it easy and enjoy the race, with an intent to keep my HR below 165 for the race. I didn’t want to hold my husband back (even on our anniversary), so we snapped a quick selfie and split after crossing the starting line.

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(Clearly we were still kind of asleep….)

I kept my pace pretty slow and even with the weather, I genuinely enjoyed this race! I’m usually pushing so hard that I don’t take the time to actually look around and enjoy the monuments… But I was able to this time and it made the race so much more enjoyable.

As mentioned before, the weather was terrible for this race. It was in the 70s with extremely high humidity. It started to rain a little during the beginning of the race, but it quickly passed (and added to the already terrible humidity). There were times when it felt like I was suffocating, not because I was exerting myself, but because the humidity was so terrible. There were water points every couple miles, which helped… but I feel like the volunteers should have spread the tables and waters out to every mile once the weather started to turn. After around 10:15 or 10:20am, I overheard another runners saying that the course was downgraded and would be a “fun run” without official times for runner on the shortened course. There were several heat injuries, seemingly a lot more than usual…

But… other than the weather, I really enjoyed the race and will run it again next year.

We were staying at a hotel in Crystal City, so we made a mad dash (walk/run) back to the hotel to shower and check out… Just in time! It was a pretty great weekend.

Garmin Results: 10.12 Miles, 1:50:09, Average Pace: 10:53 Average HR: 166

Actual Results: 10 Miles, 1:50:06, Average Pace: 11:00

 

 

 

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Thinking Out Loud Thursday

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Stuck. Not making progress. Producing the same results. These are the struggles that I’ve been going through the past few years. I train, run a race, average the same pace as the last race, start the cycle over again. I’ve been really frustrated over the past couple years with the inability to make any significant progress in my race times, my body composition and my overall health. I’m not necessarily UNHEALTHY but I’m definitely not where I would like to be. I want to have more muscle tone, run a sub 15-minute 2 mile, and be healthy enough to conceive. And honestly, the more I think about it… I think it is highly attributed to my diet.

Monday through Friday are my best nutritional days. I do meal preps on Sunday and eat healthy all throughout the week. But when the weekend comes around (or when my husband comes to visit), my diet goes to crap. I eat fast food (mainly pizza these days) and drink some alcohol from time to time, essentially destroying any progress that I made throughout the week. I have definitely seen that I cannot outrun a poor diet.

I want to focus on the next month or so on my diet. Eating clean, getting enough protein, and trying to avoid eating out. Fingers crossed that I might finally see some real progress!

 

Thinking Out Loud Button

I’m linking up with Running with Spoons to get a little glimpse of what’s on the blogging world’s mind… Head on over and see what everyone else is thinking about!

 

Race Recap Catchup: Charles Street 12

Onto my second belated race recap of the summer/fall season- the Charles Street 12. This was the third time that my husband and I participated in the race. It is the final race of the Baltimore B3 running series. There were some changes to this race that I wasn’t particularly fond of, but we can discuss that later.

Packet Pickup:

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend packet pickup since I’m now living in Missouri. My husband (who is still in Maryland) grabbed the packets for us from the local Charm City Run store. He said packet pickup was a breeze, which is usually the case for the Baltimore B3 races.

The Goods:

I really love the B3 premiums. They’re always great quality Under Armour items. This year I got an awesome hoodie.

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The Race:

This was my third year participating in this race and it is generally one of my favorite Baltimore races. The organizers changed the course this year and I didn’t really pay attention to any of the emails… I thought that I was seasoned, so I just needed to park at Power Plant and take the bus to Towson… Well, that was a terrible idea. This year, the race ended at the Under Armour factory, rather than the Power Plant. I realized this once my husband and I parked at the garage closest to Power Plant. It was eerily empty and I quickly pulled up the email and realized that we were in the WRONG PART OF TOWN! Luckily, we had enough time to spare to be able to get over to Under Armour. One of the things I really don’t like about this area is the parking… There are limited spots at the new finish line.

The race itself slightly differed from the previous courses, rerouted to conclude at Under Armour rather than Power Plant in the inner harbor. The reroute didn’t make the course more difficult (in my opinion), and there are still a lot of downhill portions to the route.

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I ended up doing pretty poorly at this race. My HR was really high even for the duration of the race, even when I tried to slow down to keep it down. This caused some mental issues because I wanted to keep my HR at a reasonable rate for this race.

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I was not really impressed with the post-race party at the Under Armour HQs. The lines for post race food and beverages were really long, to the point that my husband and I ended up just skipping that part and going home. It just didn’t seem as well organized as the past races. Overall, it was still a pretty good race and I would recommend it.

Garmin Results: 12.06 Miles, 1:57:15, Average Pace: 9:44 Average HR: 180

Actual Results: 12.00 Miles, 1:57:11, Average Pace: 9:46

 

Race Recap Catchup: Great Sedro-Woolley Footrace

Let me start this by apologizing for being almost 4 months late on posting these reviews… Life has been a little chaotic over the past few months. I recently moved to Kansas City, Missouri from Maryland, started to attend school, and have been trying to keep afloat on my thesis writing! And stuck inside all of that was a couple races… So let me focus on catching up the blog.

The Great Sedro-Woolley Footrace

The Great Sedro-Woolley Footrace (and yes, there is a hyphen in there… it’s legit, I promise!) is held every year on the 4th of July in Sedro-Woolley, Washington. It is a small town and this race is part of a festival called “Logger-Rodeo.” The race features a 5.17 mile race and a 2 mile fun run/walk. I chose to do the 2 mile fun run as a practice race for the Army Physical Fitness Test that I would be taking a couple weeks later. The race is only $25.00, regardless of what distance you run. This is the bare bones cost… if you want a t shirt, it will cost you another $10.00. I opted to forgo the shirt (I have plenty already!) and thing that the race is quite a steal.

Packet Pickup:

The packet pickup takes place the day of the race, in the parking lot of the local high school. Check in started at 07:30, and the volunteers made this a very smooth process. It is a relatively small race, so that is helpful.

The Goods:

As mentioned previously, you can choose to pay an extra $10 for a shirt. Otherwise, this is a small race without any medals (unless you’re an overall winner… then you MIGHT get one… I honestly cannot remember if the top 3 got a medal).

The Race:

The race course is not the most scenic, with the majority of the race taking place through the downtown area of the tiny town. However, if you run the 5.17 distance, the course will take you down by the river, which is a little more scenic. The best part of this race is how extremely FLAT it is. If you want a PR for these two random distances, THIS is the place to do it.

The race starts in the later part of the morning (09:30), so the weather was a little warmer than I would have preferred. However, it was still a quick, low-stress race.

My biggest complaint or concern about the race is the way that they time the race. There is not a timing mat. There is a person at the finish line collecting your chips and then running them back to the computer station to calculate your place and time. I ran hard through the finish line, but slowly handed my chip to the woman collecting them. Had I known that my “place in line” would be my place and final time, I would have continued running to the woman collecting the chips. I ended up missing the opportunity to place in my age group by 2 seconds! BUT, my husband ended up getting first place in his age ground, so I call this whole a thing a success!

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Good job, love!

Garmin Results: 2.00 Miles, 16:47 Average Pace: 8:24, Average HR: 140

Actual Results: 2.00 Miles, 16:29, Average Pace: 8:14

1/2 Sauer, 1/2 Kraut Half Marathon

Let me begin by saying this was one of the most fun half marathons that I have ever participated in. It is a small, but well-managed and beautiful race!

Race Communication: Unlike some races, the director did not inundate the runners with emails every week. I received an update with the pertinent race-day information the week of the race. The instructions for packet pickup and information for the day of the race were succinct and to the point. Informative without being annoying!

Packet Pickup: There were two options for packet pickup: the Saturday evening prior to the race or the morning before the race. I opted to pick up the packet the day of the race because I live about 1.5 hours away (and didn’t want to make the trip twice…). The packet pickup was very low key. Just a handful of volunteers handing out the packets. It was not an expo with vendors, but there was an opportunity to purchase shirts from previous races. The prizes for the age group were also out on display, which was a nice touch.

After packet pickup, runners can take a bus out to the race start. There is parking at the race start, but it is limited and the race organizers encourage runners to take the bus to the start.

As mentioned before, the race was a pretty small race (approximately 500 runners), with mix of half and full marathoners (mostly half-marathoners). There was German music to pump up the crowd and the race started off with a German count down!

The race takes places at Pennypack Park, north of Philadelphia. The course was absolutely gorgeous. There were warnings prior to race day about the heat being an issue, but the weather was actually pretty great at the start of the race. The first 5 miles or so run along a paved bike/run/walk route. As with most races, the start was a little crowded (even for a small race), but the crowd thinned out as the miles progressed.

There is a random “open grass” area of the route, which stretches across an open area marked with cones. It feels like a cross country race, but it was a nice change. Shortly after this portion, the race becomes a true trail race. There is a narrow, rutty path with rolling hills. The trail is VERY narrow, so runners will form a single-file line on the path. Although this is arguably the most challenging portion of the run, I enjoyed it the most. Unfortunately, this is also around the time when the weather started to warm up a bit.

After this portion, the race returns to the wider bike trail. Mentally, this is great because you know the race is over halfway and all you have to do is tackle the hills that you’ve already ran on the way out! I captured the elevation changes via my Garmin:

Elevation

As you can see, there were definitely some “rolling hills.” Running in the hilly neighborhood over the past few months definitely helped me to conquer the sometimes-steep upgrades. Normally, I would have selected to walk up the steepest portions, but I was determined to maintain a run pace throughout the race. And I did.

The race is a lollipop, out and around the trail portion, and back to the start. At the conclusion of the race, there are treats for the runners, to include pretzels, candy, banana bread, etc. (And water of course!). After grabbing some treats, I got on the bus and headed back to the after party.

Each runner is given two tickets to use for a brat/sauerkraut and a beer. There is an EXCELLENT selection of beer to choose from (not the normal Michelob Light).

Beer Selection

If you are still hungry or thirsty, you can also choose to purchase more food or drinks. As you relax and enjoy your post-race goodies, you have the opportunity to listen to performers play German music and there is also a costume/German garb contest.

I am pleasantly surprised at how I did given the hills, the heat, and some of the issues I’ve been having health-wise. I was able to finish in 02:10:30, making this a trail run PR by about 19 minutes (I got a 2:30 on my last trail half, and it was definitely less hilly than this one!)

I also have to mention the swag (don’t you always?). Runners receive a half-zip premium and a medal upon completion:

Pullover and medal

I will say that this is definitely the most fun that I’ve had at a race in a while. I loved it (even though it was tough) and recommend to everyone!

Training Recap for March 13-19, 2017

Another week in the books. Another week of training that is focused on keeping my heart rate at a reasonable level.  I took the time to read Hanson’s Marathon Method this week and tweaked my current running plan to resemble the “Beginner” plan in the book. The mileage is a little more than I am used to, but I think as long as I keep my easy runs easy (key word being EASY), then the mileage should be just fine. I jumped in about 3 weeks into the plan, since I already have a pretty solid HR base built over the past month. The next race on the agenda is the Hot Chocolate 15K in Philadelphia on April 1st. I ran the race last year, so I am hoping to make some improvements this year (and hoping the HR training will pay off)!

Here’s what my week looked like:

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Easy 4m on treadmill (1% incline) [11:15 min/mi avg pace, 151 bpm avg HR] + Jillian Michael’s Shape Up Front  (affiliate link)

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Easy 4 miles outdoors [11:37 min/mi avgpace, 159 bpm avg HR]. Looked like this:

Thursday HR and Pace

(HR in red, Pace in blue)

Friday: Intervals on the treadmill (2 mins @7.0mph, 2 mins @ 5.0mph) for 4 miles [10:39 min/mi avg pace, 165 bpm avg HR] + Legs/Back Lifting + 10 minutes on the StepMill

Saturday: Rest (and St. Patrick’s Day recovery…)

Sunday: Fitness Blender Total Body Workout + easy 5 miles [11:33 min/mi avg pace, 156 bpm avg HR]. Looked like this:

sunday run

Under Armour Kelly St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock 5K Recap

This will be my third year racing the Baltimore B3 Distance Series and I have made it a goal to try to improve on my races from last year. For those who are unfamiliar (and don’t want to click the link), the series consists of 3 races hosted by Charm City Run. The series kicks off with the St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock 5K, and is followed in April by the Sole of the City 10K and concludes with the Charles Street 12 Miler in September). The races, although packed, are always a good time. The series started this past weekend with the 5K.

Packet Pickup:

Since I was out of town during the day designated for pickup at our local Charm City Run, I had Husband pick up the packets for us. I made it a point to follow the directions entirely and sent him off with a signed permission slip to pick up the packets and my B3 registration information. He was able to get both packets without any issues. Perks of being married—having the same last name makes it easy to pick up packets!

The Goods:

There isn’t a medal for this run, but there is a gender-specific, Under Armour technical T-shirt. Unfortunately, it pretty much was exactly the same as last year’s shirt.

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But FORTUNATELY, we received our B3 premiums as well. I absolutely love mine and probably will now go purchase the regular UA version because it is so comfortable. I think that the female premium (blue) is definitely better than the male one (orange).

The Race:

The race starts at Charles Street and Mulberry Street in Baltimore. As much they tried, the race volunteers/ leaders could not avoid the massive convergence of the cross streets at the start. I wasn’t surprised though because it has happened for the past three years. I just accepted it and trudged along slowly… starting my watch just a little too early. I need to work on getting it started AS I’m going over the timing mat. Maybe next time.

Mile 1: The race starts out going down Charles Street. Charles Street will always be my favorite street in Baltimore because the Church where we got married and are current parishioners at is located on Charles! Sorry… back to the race! If you race this event, just prepared to spend the first mile (give or take) going downhill. Unfortunately, you likely won’t be able to really gain ground pacing-wise because you will be focused on dodging people and potholes. Other than the dodging, slowing, rapid lateral movements, and constant need to dodge holes, it is a great mile! Average Pace: 8:59; Average HR: 168

 Mile 2: The second mile is pretty unremarkable. You just run. Little downhill here, little uphill there, mostly flat. When I say up and downhill, I am talking in feet. Not tens of feet, just feet. So … it is flat. Not scenic, but flat. And by not scenic, I mean, there is literally nothing interesting to look at. You are running towards the turnaround point and turning around towards Mile 3. So just run and enjoy the race. At this point, my heart was elevated and my breathing touch labored. However, unlike most races, I felt GOOD. Really good. It was tough, but I could keep going. Average Pace: 8:44; Average HR: 189

 Mile 3: The last mile is probably the most “scenic” of the miles. During Mile 3, you’re kind of skirting the water (but not CLOSE). The mile winds into the Inner Harbor area and you pass a few shops and the aquarium. You’re past the turn around, and you’re in the inner harbor, so it mentally feels pretty good to know that you’re just moments away from the Power Plant Live! area and finish line. This last mile was pretty tough and my legs burned just a little. But like with Mile 2, I was working but feeling great. Average Pace: 8:36; Average HR: 191

Mile 3.1: The last little bit takes you past the shops and around the corner to the finish and Power Plant Live! I pushed pretty hard for this last little bit and was thrilled to see that I had a PR for the 5K distance! Average Pace: 8:45; Average HR: 194

This is what the route and my HR looked like:

5k elevation chart garming5k hr chart

Pretty thrilled about a new PR:

Kelly St Patrick Photo

(See. Lack of a filter makes a HUGE difference!)

Garmin Results: 3.12 Miles, 27:20, Average Pace: 8:46, Average HR: 183

Actual Results: 3.10 Miles, 27:14, Average Pace: 8:47

Overall, it is a pretty great race and I would recommend to anyone who loves flat, fast (but maybe a little boring) 5Ks.