2017 Race Plans

I’m back to running. After I DNS’ed Dewey Beach in September, I took some time off. I had to. I was heartbroken that my training had gone terribly and that I DNS’ed not one, not two, but three races this fall (Iron Girl, Dewey Beach Tri, and MCM 10k). It was time to reevaluate where running fit into my life. But now it’s time to lace up again. With the new year,  I set a couple of fitness goals:

  • Run 10 races
  • Run 500 miles
  • Complete Bikini Body Guide

Not entirely out there and not out there. I hate setting mileage goals but I’m numbers driven when it comes to fitness related goals so there they are.

As for races? Here are some I’m intrigued and the ones I’m actually registered for (3 of 10)

  1. Penguin Pace 5k – February 2017
  2. Valentines Day 5k – February 2017
  3. Cherry Blossom 10 miler – April 2017
  4. Shape Women’s Half OR Ocean City HalfMAYBE April 2017 (I’m trying to decide if i want to commit to a half marathon this spring…)
  5. JLA Volunteers on the Run 5k – May 2017
  6. Women’s Distance Festival – May 2017
  7. Zooma 10k – June 2017
  8. Maryland Duathlon – July 2017 (MAYBE? I haven’t decided if I’m up for a multisport event this year or if I want to focus on just running…)
  9. Baltimore Marathon Relay – October 2017
  10. 10k Across the Bay – November 2017
  11. Turkey Trot 10k – November 2017

So there – eleven races. I’m not sure if I’ll race all of them – BUT I think my biggest goal is to register for another half marathon.

I’ve wanted to get half number five under my belt for a while now. This spring, since I deferred my Cherry Blossom 10 miler last year and will be running it this year,  would be the perfect time for it.  The Shape Women’s Half was my first half back in 2010 and I’d love to get a do-over. I’m also looking at the Ocean City Half – but I need to look at registrations, race weekends, and Hubs and I’s schedule to see what’s realistic and what’s not.

Ten miler training kicks off at the end of January – next week to be exact. I’m kicking it off with the Zooma Run Love challenge – which is a fun kick start to the year.* Registration is closed for this, BUT you can sign up for Zooma Annapolis (10k or half marathon) and get 10% off with code HEIDI2017.

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What fitness or racing goals do YOU have for this year? 

{FTC Disclosure: I am an ambassador to Zooma and do receive free race entry to the Zooma race series. All thoughts here are my own and have not been influenced in any way.}

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Why I Run

Happy National Running Day Friends!

national running day

Every year, this day reminds me why I run. Why I lace up my sneakers on hot afternoons like Sunday when Little Man is napping. Or the evenings that I run after bedtime is over, or the weekends that I lace up early in the morning before the weekend starts when I leave hubs and Little Man snoozing peacefully in bed.

I run because it’s my outlet. When work is stressful, when Little Man tests my patience, when I feel like I just need to get out and be alone for 30 minutes…I go for a run to release all of that.

I run to be healthy. Listen, I know I need some strength training here, but running is how I choose to be active and I want to be an example of being healthy for Little Man.

I run to be competitive. I may not be podium-ing at every race, but we all have this competitive edge inside of us right? I run to be competitive.

I run to be social. I used to be a solo runner. But then I found a fantastic running buddy at work, and joined my local MRTT chapter. And found group runs. And mentored a 10k training group and realized running socially can be a lot of fun.

But mostly, more so than any of these reasons? I run for me. I run because I love the sport. For love of adrenaline, and finishing a tough course, and training, and early mornings and sunset runs. Ice baths, and cute running gear. All of these things. I run for all of these things but mostly just myself.

Why do you run? 

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Race Recap: Howard County Striders Women’s Distance Festival 5k

So here’s the thing about being a military spouse- active or reserve – you learn to adjust your schedule to your spouses. That was why I “deferred” the Cherry Blossom 10 this year.

Sometimes, I get bummed out when I miss out on fun races. Other times, you make due with what you’ve got, lean on your village and move forward. I stumbled upon the Howard County Strider’s Women’s Distance Festival 5k – an evening race – a few weeks ago and was pretty pumped to sign up. It was drill weekend, but I knew Hubs would be home in time.

Funny thing about evening races, I never know how to fuel for them. I don’t like to eat a whole lot before I run, otherwise I get crampy. But having run on not a lot of gas on Friday evening when it was really warm and I was neither fueled nor hydrated, I know the fine line between being over fueled (crampy and just sluggish) and not fueled enough (no further comparison needed. Like driving a car on empty).

Hubs got home and while I was going to meet up with a pal for a beverage after, she cancelled, so the boys followed me out there after a chick fil a dinner. It wasn’t the perfect dinner but it worked.  Just a simple grilled chicken sandwich about an hour before the race. It wasn’t heavy, had enough protein and carbs. I probably could have made a protein shake but sometimes they make my stomach…grumbly so I didn’t want to risk it. We’ll leave it at that.

They made it just in time to see the warm up that was held (is it bad that I rarely “warm up” in a traditional sense? i was great at it when I was mentoring with Fleet Feet but not really much since) and to see the start. It warms my heart when my boys are there cheering me on. Love them.

howard county striders womens distance festival 5k

Anyhow! The race.

Small race. Insanely well organized. Empty course (cars wise – there were runners, derp)- I guess that’s what happens when you take over a largely commercial/business park section of Columbia on a Saturday night. A touch hillier than I was anticipating but less so than Centennial Park.

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I felt pretty good – the first half mile was at a sub 10:00 pace, then we hit the gradual up hill. My splits were…way off.

The second mile was an out and back spur off the main loop – so a little downhill, a little uphill and a little more downhill and a little more uphill. It was…not entirely un-pleasant. Our neighborhood is mildly hilly so I’m mostly used to gentle hills.

Mile 2 – 3 was more gentle hills (nothing major) with a steady downhill down back onto Columbia Gateway.

I felt pretty solid at the finish – the last quarter mile or so was a solid (though short and not too steep) downhill, with the last .1 flat and a slight up to the finish.

womens distance running festival columbia md

Hubs and Little Man were waiting and cheering me – the crowd, though smaller, was certainly energetic despite the ominous skies that were rolling in by 7:30ish. Little man and I shared a cupcake (they were so good!) and then we headed out! All in all, a really fun race that I would totally do again next year – I believe it’s a part of the Women’s Distance series which includes the Baltimore Women’s 5k in June and the Annapolis Women’s Distance Festival in July

Time: 32:41
Pace: 10:38/mi

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2016 Races and Goals

I’ve been thinking a lot about races. Races I’ve done, races I’m planning for. You know… all the races.

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I love the idea of doing one race per month, 12 races in a year. But sometimes? That’s just not doable. because…life.

This year, my race calendar is pretty much planned out at this point. I’m not overdoing it by any means and the races I’ve picked aren’t marathons or even half marathons. But, I have 6-7 big(ish, for me) races which I think, given life and schedules, sets me up for success and keeps me motivated. I would LOVE to do 10 10k’s in 2016 but I’m not going to set myself up for failure – I’ve got 5 listed here but I’m not over planning the fall for life reasons (no. Baby Schmidt is NOT getting a sibling) – I’m still working on the whole working mom balance thing and I just don’t want to over commit right now.

Here are my 2016 races

Sole of the City 10k, April 16, 2016

Because I didn’t get to run the Cherry Blossom 10, I still wanted to feel like the running I have been doing (albeit half hearted training) was going towards something. 10ks are my favorite race distance as of late, so this was a nice happy race to sign up for!

 

Zooma 10k June 4, 2016

This is one of my favorite races – the course is so pretty, and even though it can be really hot, the community of women runners is something that you don’t get from a lot of other races. Prices go up March 12, so if you want to register, register soon – you can use code HEIDI16 for 10% off your registration! Register here!

Maryland Sprint Duathlon, July 16, 2016 

I loved this race so much last year – 2 mile run / 13 mile bike / 2 mile run – I’m excited to do it again this year, and I’m excited to train better for it.

Iron Girl Columbia, August 7, 2016

AKA my get in shape for my sisters wedding race. My sister is getting married the weekend following and initially, until they changed the date of Iron Girl, I wasn’t going to be able to do it. But then they moved it. THEN, I found out Hubs would be back from his AT the day before racking. So I couldn’t NOT sign up for it.

Dewey Beach Triathlon, September 17, 2016

I actually deferred this from last year – the race ended up being on the weekend of a good friend of mine’s bachelorette party. I couldn’t not help her celebrate her impending nuptials at the time, so I deferred and I’m all good to go for this year! I’ve heard great things about this race so I’m really excited for it!

Baltimore Running Festival – Marathon Relay, October 15, 2016

I’m trying to be more active in the local MRTT group – it’s tough though as a working mom, especially since I’m much more of an evening runner than a morning runner and the whole…working thing, but there are a few moms who expressed interest in a relay team for this race so I jumped on board. I need to actually set up the team, but I’ll get there 🙂

Annapolis Running Classic 10k OR 10k Across the Bay

I probably won’t do both, but I am scheduled to lead the training of the 10k across the bay group at fleet feet in Severna Park this fall. I didn’t get to run the ARC 10k last year because of the death of my grandmother (devastating) and I never got a chance to defer and since I was an ambassador, I’m not even sure how that would work.

I’d love to throw in a December race in there too, but there’s not really any around here that I’m pumped up about so I’m going to leave that open.

What 2016 races are YOU excited about? Any I should check out? 

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The Cherry Blossom 10 miler that Wasn’t

So I didn’t run the Cherry Blossom Ten miler.

DC cherry blossoms

I was okay with this. Hubs’s drill schedule changed about a week and a half out from the race and his drill was moved up a week. For those of you who haven’t run the cherry blossom 10 miler, it’s a fantastic race and I highly recommend it, but it’s an early race. I would have had to leave the house by 5:30 – latest. Before Hubs left mind you – to get to the race. I probably wouldn’t have gotten home much before 11a so even if we got a sitter for when hubs left around 6:30a, it would have been 5 hours so between $50-75 for a sitter – roughly the cost of the race.

I’m not about doubling race fees for baby sitters. I don’t roll that way.

So, knowing the transfer period ended, I took a shot in the dark and emailed the race director explaining the situation – no family, no babysitters (seriously, the likelihood of me finding a sitter on short notice for 6am on a sunday?! LOLOLOL) and a husband with National Guard duty that changed last minute.

Bless them, they made an exception. Relief!

Had I trained better, and actually gotten my long runs in,  I might have been more disappointed/pissed at the situation. But there was a lot of life over the past three months (we moved! bought a house! I changed jobs! we hosted family for Easter! And had Ethan’s 3rd birthday party at the house! ) so my training didn’t go as I had hoped and I was very much okay with this outcome (even more so when I saw the weather forecast – bravo to ALL the runners who ran on Sunday – especially in those conditions!)

So what did I do?

Registered for another race, duh.

I’ll be running the Sole of the City 10k in Baltimore next weekend. I’ve been solidly running 3.5 – 5 miles the past couple of months so I feel okay with this despite…a kind of…m’eh training for the 10 miler

It sets me up quite well for Zooma training though! And that race, I’m itching so hard for a PR – sub 1:00? I’ve got this. Next weekend will set a good baseline since I haven’t run 6.2 miles since the bridge run in November.

So how am I preparing?

Well, to date my longest run was just short of 5 miles so I’m not in awful shape as far as distance goes.

This past week I fit in ~10 miles. This upcoming week:

Monday: Run 3.3 (for my 33rd birthday which is technically on Tuesday but I have a busy day Tuesday so I know it won’t happen)
Tuesday: rest (or another 3.3 if i feel like it)
Wednesday: 3-4 (hills?!)
Thursday: rest
Friday: yoga? maybe?
Saturday: 10k!

Speaking of Zooma…

They added a 5k for Annapolis! How flipping awesome is that?! There’s less than 60 days until the race now, so register early before the fees go up! Keep in mind for Zooma Annapolis or ANY of the Zooma series races in Florida or Cape Code, you can use code HEIDI16 to get 10% off your registration fee. Come run/train with me! 

How do you handle race set backs? Did you run the Cherry Blossom 10 miler? How did it go for you? 

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Weekly Workouts: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

So last week was an okay week workout wise. As much as I want to get back to doing these “weekly workout” style posts once per week, it’s still aspirational. Also, there hasn’t been as much working out as I would like – we’re still getting settled and the weather has just…not been on my side.

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Last week’s workout run down…

The good: Three runs! Two treadmill, one outside! Huzzah! I also went to 1 yoga class.

The bad: Didn’t get my distance in on Saturday, but was still really excited just to be outside running with the family. Didn’t fit in ANY strength workouts. The yoga class I went to? Restorative which usually I love but for some reason left me feeling nauseous and unsettled – it was not as enjoyable or relaxing as I would have liked.

The ugly: There’s like 6 weeks to the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and I haven’t run more than 3 miles since June. Hmmm….I should probably step it up this weekend with a 5-er…or maybe 6?

This week’s plan

Monday: Run 3(ish) – since it’s nice-ish out today, I’m going to try to run with the Fleet Feet crowd over in Severna Park since it’s only a matter of weeks until I’ll be coaching them!
Tuesday: Strength workout. I have plans in the evening so I NEED to get up in the morning to work out.
Wednesday: Run – speed workout. It’s supposed to rain so this will probably be a treadmill run. Blergh.
Thursday: Strength. Hubs has class, so it needs to be a morning workout or an evening video.
Friday: We have a weekend in Baltimore for this family seminar thing we’re going to – so Friday will definitely be a rest day for me unless I can fit in a quickie workout in the morning on Friday.
Saturday/Sunday – I need to find time to fit in 5-6 miles somehow/at some point in time. Fingers crossed it’s not on a flipping treadmill.

February Miles: 15.65
2016 miles: 18/500
2016 workouts:  15/216

How are your workouts going? Do you set mini goals for yourself? 

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Run Love Challenge Virtual 5k Recap

So heres the problem with life sometimes. You make plans. You have ambitious goals. You plan everything out and then huge snow storms happen. And you buy a house. And you move. And you have to deal with closing out an old apartment 30 minutes away. (not all necessarily in that order, we moved right before the snow storm hit – lucky us!). Amidst all of this, I was signed up for the Zooma Run Love Challenge.

Unfortunately, all of that life, took a toll on all of my running goals.

Theres still a lot of life going on, but we’re mostly into a new routine. We’re still getting settled and there’s still not nearly enough hours in the day. But that’s just a factor of being busy working parents with an energetic 3 year old.

But. I finally finished the Zooma Run Love Challenge. Initially I had goals for a 10k but given that I haven’t yet been running outside this year, it was a treadmill run. So a 5k it was because ain’t nobody got time to run 6.2 miles on a treadmill. Time OR desire mind you.
run love challenge medal

This is the first week I think I’ll hit my scheduled runs for my Cherry blossom 10 miler training with one outside run and 2 treadmill runs. The good thing about the treadmill, and I hate to say this because I hate the treadmill as much as the next person, is that I can push my speed on it. I use intervals to get through my runs because i can’t just set a speed and run. I don’t have that kind of attention span.

How my training looked this week?

Monday – rest
Tuesday – treadmill run (2.5 miles) check
Wednesday – treadmill run (3.25) check
Thursday – unintentional rest (should have been strength but Junior League night and I did NOT get my butt out of bed this AM).
Friday – strength workout hopefully
Saturday – Run 4 miles
Sunday – strength

Run Love Challenge recap

  1. I loved the community. Seriously, the facebook group support was awesome. it was so nice to be amongst other people – some running their first 5k, others like myself using the virtual run to kick off training to other races.
  2. The medal and the swag was not too shabby either. We got a comfy sweatshirt, some Feetures socks (my favorite!!!) and a fantastic medal. That plus a training plan, a podcast, and a private facebook support group? #winning
  3. Tracking – well, here’s where i get a fail. 1. the race was supposed to be done on 2/14 – but it was like negative freeze my face off cold so I just…didn’t even leave the house. Despite finding my cold weather running gear amidst still yet to be unpacked boxes (i consider that a win!). So I didn’t get to use the Motigo tracking app. WHOOPS. That being said, I loved the cheers, and words of encouragement from the Zooma founder Brae Blackley, and for some cheers from friends and family.
  4. Total time? ~34:00; 3.1 miles. Treadmill. Ugh. All in all though? Not too bad. I’m pretty happy with it.

Would I do it again? Maybe. January is a shitty time of year for me to be motivated. There was a perfect storm of a lot of BIG deal life events going on, but it did keep me focused and when I did find the time to work out, I was working towards something which is always key for me.

Now that that’s done with the Run Love Challenge,  i’m moving into Cherry Blossom 10 miler training then into Zooma 10k training!

Want to run Zooma in June in Annapolis with me? Use code HEIDI16 for 10% off your registration. Fees increase on March 12 so register early to save $$ (who doesn’t like saving money on registration fees??) – register HERE.

Have you ever done a virtual race? Would you do one again?

 

FTC disclosure, I am a Zooma Ambassador, I did get a complimentary entry to the run love challenge but all thoughts here are my own. 

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2016 Intentions

Last year, I feel like I had a good year. Mostly.

I set my 2015 intentions and set off on my merry way for the year. Then I kind of forgot about them. My intentions this year are similar. Ish. I don’t necessarily think intentions should change drastically year to year because these are still the intentions I want to live my life by: take care of myself. be a good mom. be a good wife. be present in life. challenge myself. work hard. be passionate about my work and be an expert. It’s a lot but these are the intentions that I want to focus on every day. Last year, I just set those intentions.

I did not complete ANY of my 2015 goals….I think I need a better plan to you know follow through.

…I am not registered for a 2016 Half Ironman
…I did not bike a century ride. I would still like to do that but I’m not sure this is the year.
…No sub 2:15 half marathon…no half marathons actually.
…I did NINE races…so close to 12 but yet so far.

However, I also accomplished a number of OTHER things.

  • I did start a new job with a hefty salary increase. Working on the whole inbound marketing expert thing.
  • I did coach/mentor a 10k group. Not 25 people, but it was a great group.
  • I did place in my Age Group for the first time ever at the Hagerstown Duathlon.
  • I did rebrand my blog. But didn’t quite blog consistently. At all.

2016 Intentions (1)

This year, my goals/intentions are

  1. Run more. It makes me feel good, balanced and helps my weight loss goals. Why wouldn’t I? I don’t want to set a mileage goal, but I ran 340 miles in 2015 and I’d really like to hit 500 miles in 2016. That’s an average of 10 miles per week which I think is beyond doable. Considering I have the Zooma Run Love Challenge, Zooma 10k, the MD Sprint Duathlon, Dewey Beach Tri, Across the Bay 10k…among others. I think 500 miles is doable.
  2. Eat Cleaner. I have a sugar problem. This year? I want to kick it. Like really…really want to kick it. I can’t just have one cookie…i have 5. That’s an issue. So I’m giving up sugar (mostly).
  3. Be Present. I need to focus more on family when I’m home. Work when I’m at work. Myself when I have the time. It’ll help with my stress levels which will in turn help with other things.
  4. Write more. I love blogging and social media. I love this space and I hate when I neglect it. I invested a decent amount of time and energy into my rebrand and I need to reinvest to keep it going and to keep my mind sharp outside of work.
  5. Stress less. This goes hand in hand with my be present goal but I want to get back into meditation and more yoga…these are two things i know that keep me balanced so let’s stick to that. For sure.

What are your 2016 intentions or goals? Any big scary goals?

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Run Love Challenge

So you guys, BIG news.

I was recently accepted as a Zooma Ambassador (AGAIN!!!) for 2016! I’m beyond stoked to be included in an amazing group of women for what is by far, one of my favorite race series.

I’ll be running the Zooma Annapolis 10k (where I PR’ed in 2012 and hope to PR again!) in June and also, participating in their first ever Zooma virtual challenge this winter!

zooma run love

I’ve ceded my December goals- or at least my initial get fit during the holidays self-challenge. Coming down with a stomach bug didn’t help, nor did being in the midst of a couple of super stressful weeks at work. But, I can’t get myself down – just pick myself back up and start over right?

Anyhow, the Zooma Run Love Challenge starts in January and is a virtual race ending around Valentine’s Day with a 5k or 10k (your choice!). The challenge itself has pretty sweet swag (feetures socks – my favorites!, a swanky sweater, and a medal!)  Participants also get access to a private facebook group to connect with fellow participants, an a weekly newsletter, bonus podcast episodes AND a training plan – that’s a lot of perks for not a lot of cost! Want to join me? Sign up here!

What are your winter racing plans? How do you (if you’re a cold weather running weenie like me) keep yourself accountable during the cooler winter months (not that it’s been REMOTELY cold lately)?

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Race Recap: Across the Bay 10k

Homies, I ran my 2nd to last race of 2015 last weekend. I ran the Across the Bay 10k last year – and apparently, in order to complete the medals puzzle, I’ll be running it the next three years too. I digress, it’s a great local race. This year, there were some pros and cons but still – nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment of participating in one of the largest 10ks in the nation AND running across the bridge that terrifies so many to even DRIVE over.

Pros

  • Beautiful views. Seriously. Look at those views.
  • Not super expensive for a 10k (we got in early so discounted!)
  • A generally fun race

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Cons

Sat in traffic for an hour. I paid $10 to park and no one was checking passes so most parking lots were full (navy stadium was and I heard that AACC sold out as well). I missed my wave, I missed the wave I was going to target so I could meet up with JL. I was incredibly cranky about this and… to make matters worse, I almost missed the race entirely. As I walked over to the starting corrals they were rounding up people for the last wave.

annapolis traffic

SO MUCH TRAFFIC. 

The food was gross. By the time i finished (1030a) the bagels had spots of mold on them and they were fully out of bananas. I hadn’t eaten enough to account for an almost 2 hour difference from when i ate (in my car at 7:45a) to when I started (9:30a) to when I finished so I was hungry – I don’t like pretzels and the granola bar just wasn’t enough.

I lost my car. Because of the lack of parking, I had to park on the street, except I was in such a tizzy about almost missing the bus, that I ran and forgot to look at the cross streets. Cue walking around Admiral Heights for 20 minutes hitting my panic button until I heard my car.

SO MANY WALKERS. Not that walkers are bad, but when they’re walking 6- 7 people across on the bridge, it’s not like there’s a ton of room to run around them. Cue all of the frustrations. Thank you traffic – earlier waves = typically “speedier” runners – I’m a solid middle of the pack runner (most of the time) so getting stuck behind walkers in the later(est) wave was frustrating to me.

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{Please excuse the chub-rub and the massive pit stains.}

No Cheerleaders. Last year Hubs and Little Man met me at the finish – well. Kind of. They couldn’t find parking but they picked me up so i didn’t have be cramped on a school bus back over the bridge. This year, hubs had drill – which was a super bummer since we were going to run it together.

Will I run this race again next year? 

Likely. Not gonna lie.

How did I run?

It was a good race, I felt good. I had to stop a couple of times to get my legs stretched out. I didn’t PR as I had hoped but I did better than last year.

Time: 1:08:05
Pace:
10:58/mi
Overall place:
10172 of 21028
Gender place: 5820 of 13906
Age Group:
906 of 1870

Solidly middle of the pack. Bridge? I’ll see you next year!

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