Category Archives: Running Blog

25 Nov

Cross Country Mom

My daughter is in seventh grade this year, which means that she can finally participate in school athletics.    She went back and forth on the decision to run cross country but after a couple of days with the PE kids, she decided she would much rather participate in a sport.

I was reluctant to even encourage cross country because I didn’t  want to be one of those parents that forces their kids to participate in the sport that they like, but I was secretly overjoyed that she joined.   I enjoyed watching the meets, cheering her on (occasionally a little over enthusiastically) and buying her running gear (I may have gone overboard here as well). But my favorite part of her being on the XC team was the running we got to do together.  I sometimes got a little coachy with her but mostly we just chatted and had a good time.   We got a lot of quality time together and now that the season is over I miss our runs.

As for her actual XC season, it was amazing.  Our team was small and didn’t do great overall but all the girls improved week to week.  Every meet was a PR for my daughter.  I was impressed with her fitness gains from week to week, I wish it were that easy for me to improve my racing times :).  She already has her goals set for next season and we have plans to run over the summer together so that she is better prepared going into the first few races.  I have a feeling in a couple of years I may have a hard time keeping up with her… she has said her ultimate goal is to beat me in a 5K race, I am going to try to stay ahead of her as long as I can.

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22 May

Cinco on Cinco

Our fifth and final 5K of the spring was the Chuy’s Hot to Trot Cinco on Cinco which was on May fifth of course.  Lots of fives.  This is the third time we have participated in this race. I like it because it is fun, it has a good course, benefits a good cause and all the speedsters show up.  The last one may seem like a disadvantage but it really is good to have a lot of fast people running when you want to run a fast race.

Andrew and I had the goal of beating last weeks time.  We knew it would not be easy since Schlotzky’s is a flat course as well and it was a hot and humid day.  The first mile and a half are slightly uphill so  the first mile was not as speedy as I would have liked (7:04).  After the half way point of mile 2 the course gets flat to slightly downhill so we were able to maintain a good pace (7:04).    The last mile is ever so slightly downhill but the heat really made it hard to pick up the pace as much as I would have liked, at least we held on to almost the same pace as the first and second mile (7:07).  We of course sprinted it in but I honestly did not have much of a kick left because I was already at my max and was really struggling to catch my breath.

We were super happy to see our finishing time 22:19!  A new CR, 23 seconds faster than Schlotzky’s and only 19 seconds slower than my PR.  We grabbed a drink and waited for the kids to come in.  We were surprised when we saw Hannah coming in before the clock said 28..she ran a 27:45, a huge PR for her !!!  Timothy also fought the heat and came in at a great time.

After the race we had fun catching up with local runners, Elvis, the Chuy’s fish and the mariachi band :)  We also enjoyed the post race treats.  And of course we had Chuy’s for lunch.

I consider our Spring 5Ks a success.  It was fun to race side by side with my husband and see improvements in our speed.   I am so proud of the kids for pushing through and running some tough courses and warm weather this year.    We are already looking forward to our Fall 5Ks!

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13 May

The Best Bunz in Town

We decided to run with the best bunz in town at the  30th Schlotzsky’s Bun Run benefiting the Austin Sunshine Camps for our fourth 5K of the spring.  We ran this race last year and it is a pretty flat course with a fast field of runners (plenty of people to try to chase down).  I thought the combination of being 5 pounds lighter than our first 5K this season, doing speed work and the flat course boded well for what I have come to refer to as a CR or a couple’s record despite the humid conditions on race day.

Our race plan was to head out fast and try to stay as close to a 7 minute pace as possible.  Our first mile mile was a 6:58, our fastest mile so far in a race.  Mile two was tough, Andrew ran slightly in front of me so I could chase him for a bit.  We practiced that during  our intervals and it worked well for us, we slowed down a bit but not too much (7:10).  For the third mile we were both really winded but a third person latched on to us and I made it my goal not to let that guy pass us, even though I was pushing at my max we only ran a 7:25.  After hitting three miles, we high tailed it to the finish.  Andrew told me the man we were pacing with was kicking so we kicked too… Our sprint to the finish was at a 6:19 pace.  All three of us finished at the same time.  It was awesome.   Our finish time was 22:42, a 37 second CR.  We were very excited.

After running the kids in, enjoying our post race goodies and chatting with some local runner friends, we tried to check the results.  They weren’t posted because the race timers were having issues with their printers, etc.  Since I thought there was an off chance of getting an AG award we waited around.  It turned out that I was second in my AG, so I got a nice medal :).  I was glad we waited.

Despite the timing issues and the delays that caused we really enjoyed running our bunz off again at the Schlotzsky’s Bun Run.

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13 May

Master’s School 5K

I scoured the Run Tex Calendar for a our third 5K and  saw the Master’s School 5K in San Marcos.  This year was their first year putting on a 5K benefiting their school and I thought it would be nice to go out and show our support at a smaller race.

We woke up early and headed down to San Marcos to get there in time to pick up our packets and warm up.  It was really cool to see how excited all the volunteers and the children who attended the school were about the race.  The course was a nice out an back on a rural road with rolling hills.  Our first mile was pretty quick because it was slightly downhill and the wind was at our backs for most of it (7:08).  When we turned around and hit the headwind and a hill, we stunk our pace up with a 7:50 mile.  As we hit the 3rd mile and had the wind at our backs again I was really hoping we could make some time up but we didn’t have much left in our legs, we ran a 7:20.. the rest was an all out sprint, to bring our finish time to 23:19.  The exact same time as the ASH dash.  We were a bit disappointed about not improving our time but I was the 3rd Female in and Andrew won first in his age group, so not a complete loss.  The kids stayed together for most of the race and fought the wind and hills.  They requested a flat course for our next 5K.

The loot for this race was pretty awesome.  I received  a $25 Academy Gift Card and   Chick-fil-a  food.  Andrew recieved a nice certificate and also won some Chick-fil-A food.  Our numbers also got picked during the raffle.  I won a spibelt and smoothies, Andrew won a Chick-fil-a  cow with more Chick-fil-a food.  All the kids who ran the race received a medal, which I thought was a nice touch.  I was impressed by the organization of this little race, it was definitely worth the ride out.  I also want to say thanks to the photographers who took pics and made them available to the runners free of charge.

After the race we went to the outlets to do a little shopping and we stopped at Chick-fil-a on our way home  to cash in some of our free food coupons for lunch :)

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12 May

We Ran for Ice Cream, Again

On the top of everyone’s list of 5Ks to do again this year was the Blue Bell Fun run.  I love the fact that it benefits the Brenham high school athletic department but I think the real appeal is the FREE ice cream.  The difference this year would be that I would be running the 5K with my hubby instead of the 10K on my own.

After looking at the course map I realized that the monster hill at the end of the 10K course was now also at the end of the 5K course.  That coupled with warm, humid and windy conditions promised that this would be a tough 5K.  We started off at around the same pace as the last 5K (first mile 7:21), but the rolling hills and humidity quickly got to us and we slowed down (second mile  7:43).  We started the third mile and before we knew it we were climbing the hill, half way through I really want to slow down  but Andrew was chugging and there was a teenage girl who had latched on to us that I did not want her to beat me up the hill, so I kept pushing.  We finished that mile in 7:45, which I was very happy with considering that mile had over 100 ft in elevation gain.  After turning the corner we managed a good little sprint to the end.  This was my slowest 5K  in years (23:58)  but I worked hard for it and did not feel bad about the turtle pace.  After we finished, we grabbed a fruity ice cream bar and went to look for the kids and run them in.  They struggled with the heat and hills but pushed till they finished and enjoyed lots of frozen treats as a reward.  I was happy to see after checking the results  that I was 2nd in my AG!  Andrew and I were 62 and 63 overall out of 2160 runners which is pretty darned good.

After the run, ice cream and awards ceremony we drove around to look for wildflowers and enjoy the countryside and finished our visit to Brenham by walking downtown and having lunch at Must be Heaven Sandwich shop (just like last year).

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16 Jul

Missoula Marathon


Woke up at 3:30..well really I was awake at 2:30.  I can’t ever sleep soundly the night before a race and even though I felt pretty calm about this one I still couldn’t sleep. I wore my turtle socks for luck and lime green nail polish.

When I am feeling hardcore and have a do or die attitude towards a race I paint my nails a dark color but  I really just wanted to go with the flow with this marathon so I went with the mellow color.  Had my usual light snack and was ready to go.  My husband drove down town and I caught a bus to the start line.  I arrived early so there was no line and no wait.  After a short ride I arrived in Frenchtown where the race starts.  Sat around and talked to other runners.  There were a surprising amount of Texans.  The 3:40 pacer was even a Texan wearing a cowboy hat and all.  I planned on setting my own pace but staying pretty close to the 3:40 group as long as possible.

Texan-pacer in Montana :)

There was a cannon blast and we were off at 6 AM.  The temperature 55 at the start with clear skies, I was hoping for cooler weather but I will take 55 felt great.  It was a little cramped for the first mile but as the miles went on the crowd thinned out.

All the miles were marked with these special mile markers.

The first 10 miles felt really flat and we ran along a nice straight stretch of road.  Beautiful open fields with the mountains in the distance.  I was able to soak in all the beauty and stayed relaxed.

My average pace for the first 11 miles was 8:15.  I started to feel the incline a bit on mile 13 and the only then mile 14 was the hill that slowed my pace quite a bit.  The view at the top of the hill was breathtaking, flowing river in the valley and the mountains in the background.

We did get some relief going back down the hill on the other side but the descent was steeper so it didn’t last as long as the climb.  Then we were back to flat terrain with just a slight incline.

The route started to go through neighborhoods during this later section of the race which I did not enjoy as much.  Around mile 20 the 3:40 pacer caught up with me, I stayed with or close to him the next 2 miles but lost him at a water stop and never saw him again.  There were a lot of turns the last 4 miles and I just couldn’t get motivated to go fast.  I tried focusing on staying relaxed and my form but that only made me go slower at this point.  Obviously I need a different focus at the end of a marathon if I want to go fast.  I just was not in a do or die mindset for this race, I wanted to finish with a smile not a grimace so I told my self to keep the pace in the 9s and try to finish under 3:45.  When my garmin beeped at 26 miles, I found some speed for a finishing kick and was able to sprint out the last .35 at a 7:22 pace  with a smile on my face. My finishing time was 3:44:19 which is a PR of more than 15 minutes.



I was very happy with my time considering the fact that I didn’t feel like I pushed too hard and I finished with a smile on my face. Post race I enjoyed the popsicles, fruit, beer and massage provided by the race.

And then jumped into the Clark’s Fork River instead of going to the hotel and taking an ice bath..it was cold but it felt good.

Freezing in the river

Overall a great race experience.  I really enjoyed the scenery and was able to stay relaxed which was my goal.  Qualifying for Boston would have been great but I think if I would have focused on that instead of the experience I would not have enjoyed the race and I may have injured myself and not been able to enjoy the rest of my vacation.

I would recommend the Missoula marathon as a destination marathon.  The organization was great, everything from registration to the finish line went very smoothly. A beautiful course, not super easy but easy enough to get a good time.  The weather was good for a summer marathon 55 at the start and around 70 at the end.  The sun rises early and is very strong though so be prepared.  We have been enjoying Missoula and the surrounding areas while we’ve been here.  If you love nature and wildlife there is plenty to see and do.

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13 Apr

Angie’s Half Crazy Race Report

I’ve only had 2 races where I feel like I fell apart, they both  happened on warm, high humidity days. So when I awoke on race morning and the temperature said in the mid to high 60s with 90-100% (yes accuweather said 100%) humidity I wasn’t exactly thrilled.  But instead of adjusting my race plan and starting off a little slower I stuck with my goal pace (7:38).  I felt good for the first few miles and according to the race results when I passed the mid mark my average pace was exactly 7:38.  But my wheels came off very quickly after that.  My pace went from 7:30s to 8:30s.   I usually do have a really bad mile somewhere in the middle of a half marathon but can usually recover.  But I was never able to get my pace back up, in fact I started to go even slower.  Around mile 9 I threw my water bottle because my hand was cramping from holding it and I thought I would be able to run faster without it.  But having to stop at the water stations slowed me down even more and when the cold water hit my gut my stomach started cramping up.  My stomach was cramping the night before and into ther morning hours because of the  dinner I ate.   But up until this point in the race didn’t effect my running.   Everytime I tried to run fast the cramping got worse and forced me to walk a few seconds to lessen the pain.

People were passing left and right and I couldn’t even tap into my competitive nature and try to catch them or at least make them work to pass me.  My legs would not turnover and the cramps wouldn’t let up.  I think the last mile was the worst.  I was so upset by the end I just grabbed my medal and told my husband I was ready to go.

This makes bad race experience number 3 for me and this one stung the worse.  Not only did I not meet my goal of 1:40, I ran slower (5 minutes slower) than my PR which I did while having some pretty painful ITB issues.   Official time 1:48:31.  I trained hard for this one but kind of feel like I peaked a couple of weeks ago.  The weather and the stomach problems were definitely an factor but I was feeling a little overtrained the past couple of weeks and even with an easy training week did not feel as energized as I usually do before a big race.  My confidence was also down and doubted I could do it.  Much of running is a mental battle and I feel I lost that battle during this race.

I am ready to chill for a while.  My daughter and I will be doing a 5K in a couple of weeks and we have a family 5K planned as well.  No races for me though, at least not for a while.  I will be doing a fall marathon but after this race am doubting that I will be able to meet my goal of a BQ.

Now that I’ve told you how horrible I did let me just say a few words about the race.  The course was flat and had some nice tree lined stretches in the beginning and the end.  Crossing over the lake was also nice.  I do think the course was longer than it was supposed to be and not just because my watch said it was 13.3 miles and I couldn’t wait to stop running but because map my run said it was 13.22 miles long.  I loved all the schwag (tech T, socks, mug, medal, reusable bag). Great course support, plenty of water and gatorade to go around (at least when I ran by).  Cold rags and plenty of food at the finish..hot dogs, chips, cookies, soda, water, jamba juice which was nice.  Free massages too,  always a bonus.  I would do this race again and hope for better weather and hopefully not be  over-trained next time.

Here are some pictures of the race..Thanks to my wonderful husband for taking them.

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19 Feb

Before and After

Today on DailyMile people shared their before  running and after photos.  So many people had incredible transformations.  It was so motivational and inspiring. Some of them have lost over a 100 pounds and are now great runners.

It really made me think of all the changes I’ve made in my life over the past two years.  It is mind boggling to think that I couldn’t even run a mile back then.  The thought of running 10 miles seemed unfathomable, I thought nobody just goes out and runs 10 miles and yet that is what I am running tomorrow.  And some of my friends on DailyMile  run close to that almost every day of the week.

When I started losing weight I set out to lose 50 pounds and have now lost 65.  I never thought I would be back down to this weight.  I have finally learned how to eat.  Now I know if I am a little more careful and actually follow the lessons I have learned  I can lose even more and be at a peak running weight.

I was also infused with a new level of confidence today.  If I’ve come this far in 2 years surely I can achieve my goals for this year.  I just need to keep plugging away, work hard and be consistent.

Thanks and congrats to all my friends out there who have changed their lives and shared their stories, you’ve given me a big boost today.  For those of you just starting out stick with it.  Eat less, cut out the junk (most of the time)  and move.  Set goals, challenge yourself, you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish!

Here is the before and after pic I posted.  Hard to believe I was ever that woman.

before after

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31 Jan

Spring Half Marthon Training Plan

I was originally planning on running the Zooma Austin Half Marathon this year but found out about the Angie’s Half Crazy! Half marathon and decided to do that instead.  One of my twitter and Daily Mile pals recommended it and I thought it would be fun to run it and spend the weekend in Houston with the family.  The course is a loop and really flat so I am going to try for a PR which means running something close to a 1:40 half marathon which seems kind of crazy to me.  I have a hard time thinking I can run that fast but I did run a 1:43:32 at the 3M so I should be able to run something close to my goal with smart training and if the weather isn’t crazy hot.   I chose to go with the Hal Higdon  advanced  half marathon training program for training, I tweaked it a bit to allow for 2 non running days if I choose and went with mileage instead of time for the long runs because that works better for me.  Here it is:

3 - Google Docs

I will be started my training tomorrow.  I may add in a 5K or 10K in the schedule if anything catches my fancy.  After this race I plan on taking it easy the rest of the spring and the beginning of summer then I will start training for my fall marathon.  I am hoping by then I will be able to run a 3:40 and qualify for Boston.

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31 Jan

ITB issues

A couple of weeks after I ran the Rock and Roll San Antonio marathon my right ITB has been tight and painful.  The knee pain has made me walk home a couple of times from a run or cut a run short.  I keep thinking I have moved past it and then it comes back.  There are a few things that I have found that help relieve the pain,keep it and little looser and allow me to keep running.

First thing is the foam roller.  Using this before and after a run help the tightness from setting it too soon during the run and helps the pain afterwards.  Yoga, especially the pigeon pose and the winshield wiper.  When I do yoga 2 or 3 times a week the ITB pain/tightness is greatly decreased.  The Pro-Tec Iliotibial Band Compression Wrap has also helped me get through longer runs with less discomfort.  Usually the pain and tightness sets in around mile 3 or 4 but when I wear the strap and have been foam rolling I can get through 10-14 miles.  Some other things that help are avoiding hills (downhill really irritates it), replacing my shoes, keeping most runs short and running on even surfaces.

It was no surprise to me that after 3M race last weekend both my ITBs were painful because the race has a lot of downhill.  I was actually surprised that I made it through the race with just a little tightness and not much slowing down.  So this past week I have taken an easy rest week with just three runs 6-7 miles each and lots of rolling and stretching.  I am hoping to be back in business next week to start training for my next half marathon.

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