Running: It's actually more expensive than therapy
Running and traveling are two of my favorite things in life. Ever since I started getting more serious about running, I started to see places as opportunities for different running trails. These are my top three running trails that I definitely want to try someday.
I have at least four Central Park trails on my treadmill trails app. I've always wanted to visit New York City, so when I do that a run at Central Park is on the top of my to do list.
After seeing pictures from the Big Sur Marathons, I knew this place would earn a top spot on my running bucket list. The views are simply breathtaking, and I hope I can visit there one day.
Finally, a place on my list that I have actually been to. I may have hiked on some of these amazing trails, but never ran on any of them. You can bet on my next trip I will be incorporating some running. Some of these trails are listed as the toughest/most beautiful (take your pick) trails to run on in the world.
There are many more beautiful running trails I hope to see in person sometime. What are some of your bucket list running trails?
Saturday 1/20/18 was the Livestrong at the YMCA 5k in Port Orange, FL. Going into this race, I was pretty eager to prove to myself I could do better than last year. You see last year I made something I like to call a PW (personal worst) with a time of 23:42. I knew if I wanted to improve that, it meant conquering the dreaded Dunlawton Bridge not once but twice. I was so unprepared for it last year I almost had to walk it the second time up...almost. Last week I had some really good training sessions so I knew at least I could prevent a repeat performance.
Mile 1 6:26
I lined up in the front and had no trouble getting a quick start. The first mile had us going south on Halifax Drive for about half a mile then a turnaround. I like this route and felt like it went by pretty quickly. I saw my time after the watch beep and felt disappointed but at the same time I tried to save some energy for the bridge subconsciously.
Mile 2 7:00
After the first mile turn, we headed up towards the bridge and it sure was a daunting site. Finally, I started making my way up and it was difficult from the start. I slowed down way more than I wanted to. I certainly need to step up my hill workouts. That was a tough mile, and I knew it was far from over.
Mile 3 6:55
Mile 2 was so bad I knew I couldn't afford another mile in the 7 minute range. Mile 2 finished at the bottom of the bridge round 1 then we turned around to face it once more. I really tried to speed up but my legs just weren't' having it. Luckily there was no one following me closely or they would have definitely been able to pass me. I feel like this race was such a struggle haha.
Mile .10 6:08
I knew the finish line was in site but it was still so hard to finish this race. My legs were dying and I was so ready for it to be over. I at least gave it all I had after the 3 mile beep and I was really happy to get my medal and water and just be able to stop running.
Sure, my time was pretty rough but I did improve almost 2 in a half minutes from last year. I don't believe that it's from bad cardio but rather just lack of hill/bridge work. Now that I'm healthy I will start incorporating more of that into my workouts. I have a couple weeks off to get ready for the Daytona Beach Lap the Track 5k. Also, I view this race as a personal test and plan to do even better next year.
Our awards were these awesome tumblers that I can't wait to bring to work to show off. The long sleeve tech shirts and finisher medals have an excellent color scheme. The overall and masters winners also received gift certificates at a local running store. The swag at these races is different from year to year but always some of the best around.
Overall: 6th out of 222
1st Overall Female
Sunday 1/14/18 was the 3rd annual Sharkbite Half Marathon & 5k in New Smyrna, Beach FL (shark-bite capital of the world-fun fact). I love how big this race has gotten (over 2,000 participants) and it's always super competitive.There's a lot of community support and it's just a fun time. Last year I ran the 5k at 22:50 (decent time for me back in the day). I was determined to run much faster this year. I still have a nasty cold and haven't trained hard in a while but I still wanted to prove that I could run faster.
The only issue with this race is the parking. Parking in New Smyrna is tough anyway because there's not much of it. Now imagine adding 2,000 more people into the mix and as you can tell it can get pretty congested and understandably so. If you run this race, my advice is to get there earlier than you think you need to and expect to park a few blocks away. Also, take advantage of early packet pickup if you can because it will save you the stress of having to walk back to your car or finding a bag drop.
This was one cold morning! I heard someone on the starting line say it was 39 degrees which would not surprise me one bit. They lined up the 5k runners right after the half marathon went off at 7:30. It was so cool to see the mass wave of half marathoners start their race. There were so many of them! I was unable to get a spot close and had to dodge people for a few hundred feet or so.
Mile 1 6:22
After making my way past some people, I was able to settle into a pace of not too fast but not comfortable either. It was more of a feeling. I knew I had to push myself mentally for this race because if I didn't I would let myself slow down. I wanted to prove to myself that I could run faster even with feeling sick and my lack of training. I looked down at my watch after the mile 1 beep and was pleased with the pace.
Mile 2 6:47
I didn't really feel tired or anything here just kept coughing a bit. They added mile markers to the course this year which helped a bunch. Mile 2 was pretty uneventful, and I was pleasantly surprised at how I kept my pace.
Mile 3 6:52
I really worked hard to not fall behind here. The last mile is always my worst. I was familiar enough with the course to know about how much longer I had left. When I could feel myself holding back, I made sure to speed up and it really wasn't too hard to do.
Mile .10 6:08
I made the final turn and saw the finish line (which looked so far away). I tried to sprint at the end as much as I could. I need to work on going faster at the end. I love the finish line at the race it feels like you're finishing a huge marathon or something.
We were greeted at the finish line with these huge finisher medals and a pint glass to fill up with beer from a local brewery at the after party. Shout-out to them for having a root beer option because it was awesome! The shirts are super soft and a favorite of mine to wear to the gym. The awards were these awesome, specific wooden plaques. This race always has some of the best swag ever.
Sure, my time wasn't a PR or even close to one but considering all the factors (feeling sick and not training enough blah blah blah) I was satisfied with my results. I feel like I pushed through mental barriers and look forward to bringing this to races where I am at my best physically.
Overall 16th out of 770
Female 6th of 501
Female 30-34 1st out of 45
Last Sunday 1/7/18 was the Deleon Springs half marathon and 5k in the beautiful Deleon Springs, FL. I wasn't sure if I was able to race because I came down with a bad cold the day before (again). I keep getting sick this year for some reason. Anyway, I did some research and realized it's acceptable to run with a cold as long as the symptoms are above the neck (which they were). I wanted to run at 70% leaving enough in the tank to not hurt myself.
This was a really small race (64 in the 5k and I think even less in the half) so lining up near the front wasn't a problem. The sad part is that the conditions were perfect for PRs, and I felt like I could of had a good race if I was healthy.
Mile 1 6:34
Instead of my usual fast start, I held back quite a bit here and really felt like I was taking it easy without sacrificing too much time. I just tried to run a comfortable race.
Mile 2 6:42
The turnaround came pretty quickly. I definitely wasn't going all out or even close. The route was really scenic a nice change to "city running." One of my favorite parts of out and back races is getting encouragement from other participants. I feel like the running community is a tight-knit one that really comes together in a positive way.
Mile 3 6:53
The course was super flat which translates to being able to see the entire last mile. It felt like it lasted forever and I wasn't gaining on it somehow haha. I felt like I had enough energy to step up and go a little faster, but instead I chose to fall back and take it easy.
Mile .10 6:10
I gave a little sprint at the end knowing the end was near. I knew I would be over 21 minutes judging by how everything felt, but I was okay with that. I saw the clock creep to just over 21 minutes. While that is not the time I ever want considering all the factors going into this, I am happy with how I was able to hold back and not push myself into even more sickness.
One of the coolest things about this race was the "no shirt option" for registration. We were able to save $10 with this. Shirts are great don't get me wrong but I have no many of them I'd rather save some money. I think more races should provide such options for us. The plaques for this racing company are always so unique. Hopefully I can start to get healthy again and train hard for my upcoming races.
Overall 4th out of 64
1st Overall Female
2017 was a great year for running. I had so much fun competing and trying to improve my times. Here are some of the highlights from the year.
Goals going into the year:
At the end of 2016, I was averaging 23 minutes or so for a 5k. I knew 2017 had the potential to be a year for major running improvements.
Races completed in 2017:
26-yeah that seems like a crazy number. In 2017 I tried to race as much as possible while this year I will pick and choose my favorite races.
Revelations of 2017:
Realizing I prefer running on the treadmill to running outdoors
Goodness this is tough to pick just one! I would have to say overall the Hot Chocolate 5k in Tampa, FL.
Most embarrassing moment:
Falling flat on my face in the Paint the Towne 5k.
Biggest running accomplishment:
My 5k PR of 20:17 and finally starting this blog.
Running struggles of 2017:
A nagging groin injury last January forced me to take most of the winter off from serious training/competing.
Consistently run a 5k in the 19 minute range (eventually faster), never see 21 minutes on the race clock again, update my blog with a more diverse range of posts more often, average 40-50 miles a week, run more trail races. That's a lot so here comes a great running year!