Races

Wildwood Half Marathon Recap

Another Wild Half in the books! This is what was on my Facebook page this morning.

Wild half 2014

Last year was so sunny! It was beautiful, but hot. It was a tough run for me with the heat. This year my alarm went off at 4am to get up and ready for the drive to the race with Holly. Of course I had my usual pre race fuel.

ucan

Holly and I both swear by Ucan on race day, but she follows the directions and drinks it 30 minutes before the race starts. I drink it on the ride to the race with my protein bar and coffee. ūüėȬ† Ucan is a complex carbohydrate that stabilizes bloodsugar over time, providing a carbohydrate source to your body over a longer period of time. We have both been using it for more than a year and love it.

Wild Half

Holly and I have been running races together for years now – literally! We don’t live close to each other, so it is great when we can race together. We caught up on the hour plus ride and enjoyed the pre race excitement. Here we are in the chute – way behind where we should have started! Of course I think the beginning of the race leap frog game is one of the best parts of a race!

Me and Hol

The race itself was great. The crowd support and volunteer support for this race is probably the best of any race I have ever done. There are people cheering for you the whole way – and you know there are always times during a race when you really need that. The course itself is beautiful. You run on the boardwalk along the ocean, cross the inlet and two small bridges before you turn around and come back. I love out and back courses. I like knowing when I am halfway done and you are guaranteed to get a nice breeze at least one way!

Race views

This bridge was probably the steepest part of the course.

Bridge to Stone Harbor

It is one of those little bridges that opens for boats to pass under. The grate is not fun to run on, especially when it’s wet! But it’s always fun to add new things to your running experiences.

bridge grate

This race is run by CGI Racing. I run a few of their races every year and love their mile marker signs and finish line. You can see them really well. It’s a great feeling when you can see the finish line!

Finish line

It was a great race morning, especially since it was cloudy this year! I didn’t PR, but my time was better than I ran at this race last year.

Wildwood Half Time

 

A big thanks to my mom and dad for always taking such good care of my boys while I race. I couldn’t do it without them! And the boys love having special time with Nana and Popop while I race.

My mom and me

Yes, my team did have a game later in the day. It was an exciting game ending with a somewhat controversial goal scored against us for a 2-2 tie. Overall a great day!

Race Recap and Other Fun Things

Half marathon time

What an amazing weekend! The April Fools half lived up to all of my memories and expectations and I was able to come home with a new PR by 2 minutes. The day started super early, as usual, with a sleepy fun car ride with Tara, Dawn and Kim. We all have our own pre race checklist and they are all so different. Coffee, oatmeal, pb&j sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, Ucann. I guess it goes to show that you just have to know what works for you because we all ended up having a great race.

SOL running club

We met up with the rest of the girls and enjoyed the pre race craziness. It was a beautiful day! I love being part of a running club/community. We are so lucky to get to share something that we all love to do.

Atlantic city boardwalk

This course is really beautiful! You run the length of the Atlantic City boardwalk then through Ventnor, Margate and to the end of the peninsula in Longport – then back. I really like out and back courses. It’s nice to have a feel for how much further you are running and I always get a huge rush of energy when I hit the halfway point. Next year I hope more of our running friends can make this race. Yes, I know my Runkeeper time is off of my chip time a little bit. I don’t stop my gps until I am past the finish line.

April fools half medal

The boys had a great time at the local amusement park with Nana while I was running. I am so lucky that my parents have the boys sleep over the night before¬†a race. I get a great night’s sleep and the boys have fun with Nana and Popop. Thanks mom! They hit the jackpot in tickets on this game. They went home with shopping bags full of their prizes. :-)

Nana and boys

And of course there are rides.

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I got to meet them there for a little while before we had to go get ice cream.

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Saturday was soccer day. The little ones and my big guys. A perfect weekend.

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So, I am wondering, how old were your kids when they started their first sport?

Race Prep – Take 2

It’s like Christmas for me lately – 2 races in 2 weekends! Today was packet pick-up for the April Fools half marathon this weekend.

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The boys and I met Tara and her crew in Atlantic City to get our gear and have some fun.

Giant blender

It’s practically a rule that you have to pose with the giant blender when you are at Margaritaville. You can tell that the kids didn’t have any fun at all…

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Our version of carb loading for a half is watching the kids eat fries and nachos! We loved the fish tacos though.

Friends

Since it’s race weekend I think I will wear clothes that are as close to pajamas as possible. That’s a good excuse, right?

Selfie

One last run before Sunday.

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Tomorrow is soccer day! Soccer shots in the morning and our travel team has our first game in the afternoon. I am excited. I hope the boys have fun.

So, I am wondering, what are you up to this weekend?

Up Next…

Getting ready to race

It’s race season!!!!¬† Yay! You have no idea how happy this makes me. This weekend is my favorite race of all – the April Fool’s Half marathon in Atlantic City. This was my first half and is still my favorite. I mean, how can you beat running along the boardwalk with these views.

April fools half course

Plus, it’s close enough that a lot of my friends usually run it. This has been a tough training season, weather wise, so I will miss some of my usual running buddies at the race this year. :-( Here are me and my girls from last year.

Race buddies April Fools 2014

Here we are with our SOL Sisters.

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Time flies… I can’t wait to run it with Tara and Dawn this year. Here we are in 2013.

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It has been raining non stop here lately! I’m not sure we will ever get a full week of soccer practice in! Some of my boys came out despite the weather. I always remember having so much fun playing soccer in the rain. These boys loved it too.

Soccer in the rain

There was no convincing them that practice should end early, and that was fine with me. They were all smiles right up until the end.

My soccer guys

I’m hoping for a lazy morning tomorrow. We might as well get something out of spring break, right? Even our pets know the morning routine around our house. Everything is better after coffee and a protein bar.

White cat

So, I am wondering, what is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?

Easter and Hot Chocolate…15k

Cousins-1

Happy Easter! We hope you had as wonderful of a weekend as we did.

Easter morning

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We didn’t have the usual crowd this year – we missed you guys! – but we still had a great day. There were egg hunts, of course…

Cousins at Easter

And also Nerf wars and ball throwing clinics. These boys will steal your heart, they are so sweet.

Nerf boys

Of course we had Easter bread for breakfast. And after breakfast snack. And afternoon snack. ūüėČ

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Every year we make Easter bread with my mom the Saturday before Easter. It is a fun, all day tradition that we always look forward to and the bread is amazing. This year the boys took my place since I was at the race. They did a great job and I will be back to bread making next year!

Dane easter bread

Our breads have always been braided, but the boys had the idea to make theirs Easter themed. Dane made a bunny and Aidan made an egg. Kids really make everything even more fun.

Aidan easter bread

While the boys were baking, I was in Philadelphia with the girls from my running club for the Hot Chocolate 15k.

SOL Sisters

I can’t even tell you how much fun it is to race with these girls. We get up super early to drive to the race, then stand around freezing and excited waiting to start. We pretty much laugh the whole time. This race sold out with 15,000 runners, but did a really good job with their corrals. It was a crowded course though! We started in the 3rd or 4th corral and ended up playing leap frog right through to the finish line. I guess we should have moved up a corral or two. This was our view from the starting line.

Hot chocolate starting line

I did not like this course at all at the Philadelphia Rock and Roll half marathon, but I loved it yesterday! I knew where the slanted hills would be this time and did my best to avoid them. The weather was great. A little windy to start and warmer than we have been used to, but overall a great day to run. Here are some views from the course.

Philadelphia hot chocolate race

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You really never know what you will see at a race. This is a first for me! I guess he was going swimming in the river after the race.

Speedo guy

Boathouse row is so pretty on a sunny morning! Too bad on race day it usually coincides with a killer pitched hill leading straight up to the finish line. Definitely the hardest part of this course – but good scenery!

Boathouse row philly

I felt good the entire race, which is pretty amazing considering I am still battling this cold!

Hot chocolate medal

Since it was the day before Easter we collected our bling,

Medals

and our chocolate goodies and headed home to finish up Easter stuff.

Post race goodies

This is how tired I was the rest of the day, but it was so worth it.

Post race

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Hope you had a great Easter weekend!

Race Day Eve

Yay! I finally made it to my next race!

Lets do this

It feels like forever since I have been at a race with the girls from my running club. Tomorrow will be an exciting, early morning. The swag from this race is the best. Hopefully the race will be as good.

Swag

I am so glad the course is not the same as the Rock and Roll Half in Philly. Hopefully this one will be a little more flat. Either way it will be beautiful running along the river. Wish me luck – I am going to need it. I got hit with a pretty bad cold yesterday. :-(

Hot chocolate course-1

Race day is always crazy, so I’ll wish you Happy Easter now!

Easter eggs

Here is some of the chocolate the boys will be getting. I always forget how long it takes to make chocolate. Happy Easter!

Easter candy

A Picture Says A Thousand Words

 

Happy April Fool’s Day! We started the day off right with breakfast pranks.

April fools breakfast

The boys had a few of their own too… The weather was no joke today! Perfect for the egg hunt at Dane’s Easter party.

Dane egg hunt

And coaching soccer by the lake…

Coaching

And getting in my last¬†training run by the bay before the Hot Chocolate 15k this weekend. I hope the course is not on the roads that are hilly and slanted at the same time¬†like the Philly Love Run and the Philly Rock and Roll Half. Wish I thought of that before I signed up! The swag was so good I didn’t think about anything else! Plus, I wanted to do this race last year and it was the same day as¬†the April Fools Half.

Marina

Expo / packet pickup tomorrow. And soccer shots. And practice with my team. And finishing up Easter stuff. Just another day around here!

I won!

Look! I won the half price entry to the Perfect 10 race!

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That really made my day on Friday. Well, that and the fact that so many of us were available at the exact same time to grab a juice at Schwee Tea.

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My luck continued because today has been a pretty great day too. It started early with coaching Futsal – I finally got coach’s shirts in a ladies cut. ūüėČ

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Then on to Dane’s basketball game (he is on an¬†another great¬†team this season – wonderful coach and undefeated with one game to go) with Aidan and my parents and we ended the day at an ice festival!

It’s almost race season! The Central Park Half Marathon is tomorrow and that officially kicked off race season for me last year.

group park1

Sadly, I have another commitment this year (which will be fun, but I will miss Central Park), so I’ll be starting a little later. But I am getting excited! Especially since I basically missed all of my fall races. Good news! I am registered for the only race I ran last fall – the Perfect 10 Miler. This race is for women only and they really spoil you. :-)

A friend recently told me that she saw me on the video for the Wildwood Half Marathon from last year. It looks like their drone ran the race with us! I finally checked it out and sure enough I am at the very end of the video, post race. This video really makes you feel like you are there again.

 

Now if only it would get a little warmer outside…

So, I am wondering, what races will you run this year?

A Few Good Things About Cold Weather

Cold outside

Just in case you hadn’t noticed, it is really cold outside! Twelve degrees when I was driving home tonight! I’m not really a fan of any weather below 20 degrees because that is usually my lower limit for outside running. But I have discovered there are a few benefits to the cold weather.

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I ran on the treadmill again today. The amazing thing is that I hardly remember it at all! An hour and a half flew by as I streamed a movie on my iPad. Multitasking! Plus, my leg feels 100% fine on the treadmill, so it is probably a good idea to run here while it is so cold outside.

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Yesterday we made our weekly trek into Philly and had an unexpected cold weather perk there too. The parking kiosk was actually frozen and not working! Free parking! Hey, you have to look at the bright side sometimes.

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I have to toss in here that heated seats in the car are pretty awesome. They heat up really fast while you are waiting for the regular heat to kick in. I wish the boys had them in the back seat.

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Every morning our lemon tree reminds me of summer.¬†It’s not doing too badly inside. So here’s to looking at the bright side for now and looking ahead to¬†a fantastic summer.

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Registration for the Perfect 10 Miler race opens tonight. :-). Definitely worth staying up until midnight. Are you registering?

So, I am wondering, what are your favorite things about winter?

Choose Strength

she believed she could

For many of us January is a time to reflect on the past year, figure out what we liked about it and decide how we can change what we didn’t like about it. It’s the time to set our intentions for the year ahead. Runners are usually big believers in mantras and I am no exception. These key phrases help you keep your focus and motivation during races and tough training days. I believe they work equally as well in every day life.

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Last year my favorite running mantra was Never Regret A Run. This helped remind me on cold January mornings that I am literally always happy that I went out for a run. Can you see it on my bib from the Perfect 10 race? This ended up being an ironic bib choice I made months earlier since I ran this race with a stress fracture – and it is still one of my favorite races ever.

never regret bib

never regret a run

Perfect 10 Miler 10.26.14

Here¬†is another great mantra that we may forget from time to time. It’s not always an easy one to make, but strength is a choice.

strength is a choice

Whatever positive affirmation works for you, remind yourself each day that you are strong, you are worthy, you are powerful. It will make a big difference in your outlook.

Speaking of strong, powerful people, I caught up with Melissa and Eileen today and one of the cutest kids ever. There is never enough time when we get together. We leave texting each other all of the things we didn’t get to chat about.

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So, I am wondering, what is your mantra for 2015?

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