Journey to a Healthier Me

Living life and getting healthy one step at a time.

West Rock Challenge Race Recap August 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Cyndi @ 2:57 pm
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Good Afternoon!

I hope you are all enjoying your Sunday.

The husband, Kena, and I woke up nice and early to get to the race this morning. The 9 miler started at 7:30 and the 5k started at 7:45.

I ate my usual race breakfast of peanut butter toast, and tried to find my lucky sports bra. What’s that you say? You don’t like to wear the same sports bra for every race? I guess I’m just weird. I found it only to realize that it was broken. Boo.

Undeterred I found a different bra and went to put on my contacts only to find out that one of them was ripped in half. How does that even happen?

Needless to say, I left the house feeling a little pessimistic about my race. I tried to get rid of the negative thoughts before I got to the finish line though. I believe that how well you run has a lot to do with where you are mentally.

We got to the start line with barely a minute to spare, and I didn’t have the time to worry about anything else. I knew we should have left a little earlier, but at least we made it in time.

Naturally, Kena was off like a rocket.

The race had a special category for Police Officers. We were running with teams from North Haven, Woodbridge, and a SWAT Team.

I told Kena not to run too fast because I didn’t want her to get a ticket. I’m not sure the cops got my sense of humor.

I was not too far behind her.

Why is it so hard to take good race photos? Have any tips?

The course was pretty challenging. There was a lot of hill climbing, and at one point we were actually running up rocks. Well, trying to run up rocks anyway. I didn’t want to twist an ankle. The weather was perfect for racing, slightly overcast, and about 65 degrees.

About half-way through I got to this flat section, and this is where I found the water station.

I tried to speed up a little here to make up for the slowing down I had to do to make it up the hills. Kena and I had talked the night before about how neither of us wanted to make a time goal because we had never done a trail run before.

She’s blurry because she runs so fast! She told me at the end that she matched her pace to the guy in the red shorts. He was one of the Woodbridge cops.

And then I brought up the rear. This picture makes it seem like I was all by myself, but there were definitely people in front of, and behind, me.

Here’s Kena making it to the finish line:

She came in 31st (out of 59) and finished in 29:12. I’m so proud of her. She rocked it just like I knew she would. She did really well on a challenging course.

I on the other hand took a tumble just after the two-mile mark. I fell, but I was determined to finish strong. I bounced right back up and took off running again. Except then I tripped again. I was able to catch myself that time, but I walked for about a minute to pull myself back together. Then I took off running again, and made sure to pick my feet up a little higher. My sister says it’s called lazy legs when you get to the end and aren’t picking your feet up quite as high anymore.

About a half-mile from the finish line there was this crazy steep hill that you had to climb. It was definitely a sadist who planned out the course, but Kena and I both loved the challenge. It only makes you stronger, right?

Here’s me finishing:

I finished in 50th place in 33:37. Not a bad time. In ideal conditions, meaning no rocks and roots jumping in my way, I can run a 5k in under 30 minutes so to only take an extra 4 minutes is a pretty sweet deal. I told Kena I’m catching up on here. Each race our times get a little closer together.

Here’s the damage:

Left leg.

Right leg.

I’m a little sore, but the husband says I’m hardcore now.

It’s not a race until you see blood. (Thank goodness that’s not true.)

They gave out a pretty sweet swag bag for this race too. I wasn’t even expecting a t-shirt but we got this:

I love that it’s a reusable shopping bag.

The Bear was really intrigued by all of my goodies.

There’s a moisture-wicking shirt, a nutri-grain bar, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a post-it pad, tea sampler, water bottle, coupons, pens, an anti-microbial telephone pad, 3 Gu packets, and a loaf of ciabatta bread.

Pretty random, huh?

I’m going to have some of the bread with dinner and then freeze the rest. And I’m excited about trying the Gu out on my next long-run. It’s the Jet Blackberry flavor. Have you ever tried it?

All in all I’d call the race a success. I definitely met my goal of finishing, and I feel like I finished strong.

We spent the rest of the morning at the beach with family. I love days off like this.

Sorry for the crazy long post. With the husband around I had someone to take pictures for me. (Thanks Husband!)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Blogland!

Question for you:

How are you doing?


Race Recap July 31, 2010

Filed under: Exercise,Race,Running — Cyndi @ 8:26 pm
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Hi Everyone!

I hope your weekend is off to a nice start. I usually don’t have weekends off, but I lucked out this time around. You won’t hear any complaints from me about that one.

So this morning Kena and I woke up at 5:45 to get ready for our race. We had to drive about 45 minutes to get to Westport, and we wanted to make sure we were able to register and stretch before the race started.

I have to say as soon as I woke up this morning I was a little nervous about how I was going to do. The dog slept in my room last night, since Kena was bunking on the couch, and I swear she woke me up every 15 minutes. It was nuts. Needless to say I woke up feeling a little stiff, and not very well rested.

We got to the Longshore Club Park about a half hour before starting time, which is what we were hoping for. I’d rather have extra time before the race starts than feel rushed to get to the starting line. It was actually kind of chilly down by the water, but the sun was shining, and overall it was a great day for a race. I couldn’t wait to start running so I could warm up.

As we registered and started stretching Kena and I started looking at the people joining us. We were surrounded by hardcore runners. Every single person there looked like they had raced before. I felt a little out of my element, but I tried not to let it get to me. Nobody there knew that I didn’t have as much experience as they did.

Do you ever get pre-race jitters? How do you handle them?

Once I started running I stopped worrying about the people around me, and just focused on myself. The Westport Road Runners, who put on the race, have a no headphones rule so I ran my first wireless race. It was definitely different, and it’s nice to get back to basics sometimes.

I saw Kena running in front of me for maybe the first half mile and then I didn’t see her again until the end. I told you she was fast.

Here are my stats:

Warning: If you’re looking for Speedy Gonzalez that’s not me. I’m focusing on distance rather than speed at this point. And heck I’m just grateful that I can run at all.

Total Distance: 4.62 miles (I was disappointed that it was less than the website said it was.)

Total Time: 48:08

Average Pace: 10:33

Mile 1: 10:37

Mile 2: 10:17

Mile 3: 10:58

Mile 4: 10:28

Mile 4-4.62: 6:50

I came in 127 out of 150. Kena rocked it at 42:13, and came in at 110.

Overall, I accomplished both of my goals, I finished, and I didn’t finish last. But I still think I could have done better. I know I have it in me to run faster than I did today. I think a part of it was that I was nervous because it was my longest race to date. I didn’t want to burn myself out too quickly, but I never really pushed myself either.

When we finished the race I let my husband know how we did and he responded, “did you get any free stuff?”

And when I couldn’t think of anything to say Kena replied, “we got free experiences.”

Which isn’t entirely true since we had to pay the entry fee, but it definitely was an experience.

Stay tuned for our next race on August 15th. I promise to have a camera by then so I can actually get some pictures of the course.

Here’s your reward for reading a post without any pictures:

This is the Bear I’m always talking about.

I’m off to pick the husband up from the airport. (I’m so excited it is not even funny.)

Until next time Blogland!


Wish Us Luck! July 30, 2010

Filed under: Exercise,Race,Running — Cyndi @ 10:25 pm
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Howdy Friends!

It’s that wonderful time of the evening where I entertain you with my blog shenanigans. My work day was a little crummy, but the festivities after definitely made up for it. I got to go bowling with some of my nearest and dearest. Spending time with friends always puts me in a better mood.

I took the day off from running today, since I have a race coming up tomorrow. The Westport Road Runners 4.7 miler.

I’m fortunate enough to have my cousin, Kena, running this one with me.

She’s a lot faster than I am, but that’s just incentive to get me moving faster.

I’m big on race day ritual. For every race that I have run I eat the same breakfast. I can’t leave the house without eating my whole wheat toast with peanut butter and drinking a cup of coffee. I usually try to wear at least one item of clothing from the race I did before too. I figure if I did well in my last race it makes sense to keep the good vibes going by not changing much.

I also like to have a goal in mind when it comes to my races. My first goal is to finish. I always want to cross the finish line, once that is accomplished I like to hope that I haven’t finished last. But I try to take every race as an opportunity to learn about what works for me as a competitor.

I want to be a good sport.

There is no use in being hard on myself if I can’t come in under a certain time, or within a certain part of my age group. The best I can do is use my performance as a way to evaluate my training and how to prepare better for next time. For example when I did the Red Dress Run on July 10th I was trying to come in under 30 minutes, but when I crossed that finish line the clock read 30:28. I was 29 seconds over my goal time. I was pretty bummed at first, but then I realized that it was not my last 5k. There will be others, and that gives me plenty of time to get faster.

Wish us luck for tomorrow. I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with a race recap, as well as our results. Sleep tight, Blogland!

Questions for you:

Do you have any race day rituals you complete before crossing the starting line?

Do you have a goal in mind when you sign up for a race? How do you decide what it will be?