Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon {Race Recap}

My first half marathon of the race season was on Saturday, October 30th. It was my first time running the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon, so it was a great way to end a very busy month of October for us.

The race started in Port Orange which is just over an hour away from east Orlando. The race wasn’t scheduled to start until 7:00am which meant my alarm was set for 4:00am. I carpooled over with some other running mamas from the area and we arrived around 6:15am, which was enough time to go to the potty, stretch, take some selfies, and head to the start line.

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Leading up to the race, I didn’t do a whole lot of mental preparation which is normal for me. I know I’ve logged the miles so I typically just go out there and run.  However, I was preparing for a hot and humid day, which was a bummer considering we had amazing weather the weekend before. I got the normal pre-race jitters, but nothing crazy, mostly because I had never been to the area so I wasn’t familiar with where the race started and ended. Thankfully, I was with a lot of other mamas who had ran the race before.

The race started and we were off. We planned to walk through the water stops to get water at every stop since it was so hot. I also brought a water bottle with Cocogo in case I needed something more than water. Our first three miles were solid — 9:54; 9:59; 10:10 — but once I saw mile 4 was 10:28, I was annoyed. Based on my own reaction, I knew today could be a good race day, so I kicked it into gear.

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Miles 5 through 9 were between 9:44 and 10:05 and I was feeling pretty good. The course took us down the Ponce Inlet until we were forced to turn around and run back up. We made a loop around the lighthouse around mile 6 or 7, which was pretty anticlimactic at the time, but looking back it was pretty cool. I should have brushed up on the history of the lighthouse before running the race and I may have appreciated it more.

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Around mile 10, I started to slow down a little bit. The sun was blazing down on my back and there was very little shade coming back up the inlet. It was hot and my feet hurt. I could tell my walks through the water stops were getting a little bit longer. Miles 10 and 11 were 10:17 and 10:32 and I just couldn’t help it. It’s always around this time that I start to think about my projected finish time. I knew it could be a personal record (PR) for me, but I couldn’t help to think about what was coming for me at mile 12… the bridge. I started to get anxious and short of breath (even more than I already was) so I forced myself to not think about it.

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After making my way back up the inlet, I turned the corner from the flat road and there it was…the bridge. I slowed down on the way up the bridge and even walked a little bit. I forced myself to not look at my watch. I knew if I started to think about my finish time then I would start to get anxious again and all I really cared about at that point was making it over the bridge, and then to the finish.

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Miles 12 and 13 were 10:31 and 10:25 and I was able to pick it up for the last .1 miles of the race. Thankfully, I saw Jaime who had already finished, she yelled at me that the finish was just around the corner so I busted it. I came in with a finish time of 2:13.19 which was my fastest half marathon yet.

I went back out to watch Heather and a few other moms finish before I made my way over to ring the PR bell and get my much-deserved beer(s).

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Despite the weather, it was a really good race and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome, especially considering the steep bridge at the end which slowed me way down. I wasn’t expecting a PR for this race, but I am happy with the progress I’ve been making and now looking forward to breaking it again next month at Space Coast where I know there are no bridges!

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Now, on to the next race and a new pair of shoes!

Training in the off season

I ended race season in March with my tenth half marathon in Sarasota. Since then, I have taken a much needed break from a rigorous running schedule, which has allowed me to try some new workouts and classes to stay in shape. I’ve been utilizing our YMCA membership a lot more and I have really enjoyed the wide variety of workouts.

H.I.I.T.

HIIT stands for high intensity interval training and I take the class at the Y before work. Depending on the day, it’s a good mix of cardio and strength training. It is indeed high intensity and very fast paced. The class is about 45 minutes and our instructor has been known to call certain exercises “30 seconds of pain”. On other days our 30 second “breaks” between exercises were actually 30 seconds of various types of planks. Ouch. After class, I feel like I got a really good workout and I am usually pretty sore the following days.

PiYo

PiYo is a mix of pilates and yoga and is done on the yoga mat, barefoot. In the past, I have felt that yoga wasn’t a good workout because it didn’t get my heart rate up, but once I started doing piyo, I felt very different. It is hard work!! The class is about 50 minutes of continuous movement and strength training. My heart rate definitely is up during the class and I love that she does a nice, yoga-like cool down with us. I really wish I could go to this class every week, but I’ll settle for a couple times a month.

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Spin

Spin or spinning is simply indoor cycling. If you want a class that definitely gets your heart rate up, spin it is! I have been to spin classes on and off since we moved to Florida. Thanks to my Little 500 days, I still have my padded shorts that come in handy for this class. If you’ve never done a class, I highly recommend it, but I also know that it’s not for everyone. I definitely go as often as possible.

Other

When there is no class to go to, I’ve been getting on the elliptical at the Y. It’s great because I can watch TV while I am working out, which seems silly, but it’s just a nice break from reality where I don’t have to focus on anything for 30 minutes. It’s even better when there is an episode of Friends on. Aside from cardio, I have also been doing a little bit of weight training… and by little, I mean very little. I would love to have a personal trainer to tell me exactly what to do since I just go in there and wing it. Over the next year or so, I would love to work on getting stronger, so we’ll see how it goes!

Race season is quickly approaching and our training schedule begins in a few short weeks, so my mileage is going to start increasing a lot! I’ve enjoyed mixing up my workouts this summer, but I am also ready to start racing again…if only it would get cooler here!

What are your favorite non-running workouts?

Sarasota First Watch Half Marathon {Race Recap}

Last month, we packed up the car and headed down to stay at Grammy’s house for the weekend. I was scheduled to run the Sarasota First Watch half marathon on Sunday so we decided it would be fun to make a weekend out of it. I registered for the race quite a while ago when they had their registration blitz, so I got a pretty good deal for the race. {Side note: people seem surprised when I say that I had to pay for a race… yes, people actually PAY to go out there and torture themselves. Running can be a very expensive hobby!}

We arrived in Sarasota on Friday night after LOTS of spring break and tourist traffic getting out of Orlando… not one of the best times to live in Central Florida, I tell ya. We made a quick stop at the mall so I could pick up my race bib, shirt, and packet. The packet was a little disappointing, as there was only First Watch coffee inside, no other swag. Bummer! The shirt was super cute though, so that made up for it a little bit.

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The race fell on the same day as Daylight Savings Time, so we lost an hour of sleep on Saturday night which made Sunday morning come even earlier! I was nervous about my phone changing times, my alarm going off, the kids sleeping okay at Grammy’s house, finding parking, and getting there in time, so I had a pretty restless night of sleep. I ended up getting up and out the door on time, but the traffic was worse than I expected. I had to do a little jog to get the start line and I wasn’t waiting in the corral long before the race started.

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I texted Greg when the race started to try to buy him some time before having to wake the kids up (thank to DST). The race took us down very close to Grammy’s house so they all came to see me just after the 5K marker. It was so good to see them and definitely gave me something to look forward to as I was crossing the monster bridge. I only stopped to chat for about a minute, then it was time to turn around and head back to the bridge.

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As I was going over the bridge for the second time, the sun was finally coming up (thanks DST). It sure was pretty, but it was already getting hot.

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By mile 6, I had run the bridge twice and was ready for the rest of the course, which was flat! We ran down by the water and all the way down to the Ringling Brothers museum. It was a pretty course and there were two parts that were down and back so I was able to people watch and saw several moms from the running group who made the trip down too.

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Going into the race, I didn’t have a time goal in mind and knowing that I was going to stop and talk to Greg and the kids, I wanted to go out and just have a fun run. The problem is, once I start the race and the miles keep going by, I think about my pace and time a lot. After the first couple of miles, I knew I wanted to keep each mile under 11 minutes. I also dropped intervals so this was my first race since my very first half marathon that I was running straight through. I stopped and walked through the water stops since I wasn’t wearing my Camelbak, but other than that, I was running.

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I ended up finishing in 2:18:32 and my Garmin clocked my total moving time at 2:17:29, which is my second best half marathon to date. Considering I ran that bridge twice and this was my first race dropping intervals, I was pretty excited. This was my second best race after my PR run at Space Coast in November.

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The after party was great. I wish it wasn’t so hot or I would have indulged in more of the yummy breakfast food that was provided by First Watch, but nothing but oranges sounded good to me. Except the cold beer, of course.

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Two other great things about this race: the huge bling and the free race photos.

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I have now completed 10 half marathons! Sarasota is definitely one of the best races I’ve run and I am already signed up for the 2017 race!

my weekend in photos

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after a road trip to sarasota on friday that took entirely too long, we headed straight to the beach on saturday morning to put our toes in the sand.

crosby loved feeling the sand on his feet.

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the weather kept getting better and better throughout the day, so we headed out on the canoe for a family ride.

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after nap, we took a boat ride. the water was so blue!

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fun with grammy!

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checking out the dolphins!

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sweet boy…. most of the time.

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jumping!

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crosby’s turn!

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these two were a little bit blonder and completely wiped out by the end of the day.

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after losing an hour of sleep, i got up for the sarasota half marathon today! greg, grammy, and the kids came down to see me just past the 5k marker, which was awesome!

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the rest of the race was good, but hot! more pictures to come.

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car naps and jake & the neverland pirates on the way home.

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after we got home, the kids gave their car a good wash and greg and i tried to get ready for the week.

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we had a full weekend of fun and we are all exhausted from it.

how was your weekend?

my {thanksgiving} weekend in photos

we played at daddy’s work on wednesday night while he was working to kick off our long weekend. the ice slide may be my favorite thing ever.

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thanksgiving day was full of playing, cooking, and eating. daddy fried the turkey and i made the sides, including homemade mashed potatoes and stuffing. crosby didn’t have one bite of thanksgiving dinner and greg and i ate leftovers all weekend.

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the kids went to their first movie on friday! we saw the good dinosaur which was cute.

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we took a couple bike rides this weekend and went to the park a few times. we are hoping for cooler weather soon!

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saturday night, i headed over to cocoa with some other moms to stay the night before the race this morning. we hit up the expo and carb loaded before heading to the hotel for the night.

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4:15am came very early, but it turned out to be my day. i had an amazing race and was beyond thrilled with my 2:14:09 finishing time. i will write up a full race recap this week because i definitely want to remember this one.

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we decorated the house this weekend, so we are ready for christmas! wyatt and kennedy came to play this afternoon, so we had to do a photo in front of the tree!

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we had a great thanksgiving and long weekend, but it sure went by quickly. how was your holiday weekend?

October Race Recaps

On top of all the craziness of October, I also ran three races. I have already shared about the Key West SoMo 10K, but I also ran the U Can Finish 5 Mile and 2 Mile Distance Dare and the 2nd annual Lake Nona 13.1.

We returned from Key West on Thursday and the U Can Finish race was on Sunday, October 18th at UCF. I ran this race three years ago when I was training for my first half marathon, but missed it the last two years. Two years ago I was about to give birth and last year it landed right on Kenley’s birthday so I opted out. The course was much better this year and we got to run through the football stadium for both the 2 mile and the 5 mile races. We also ran through the baseball field during the 5 mile run.

Heather and I came out for the 2 mile run all speedy and ended up running it under 20 minutes (19:14 to be exact with a 9:20 pace). We got a short break after the 2 mile race to go to the potty and came back out ready for the 5 mile race. We decided to go out for the 5 mile run without running intervals to see how we felt. We ended up running it in 52:15 with a 10:10 pace.

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Overall, it was a great race and it was so fun to run through campus, especially parts that I don’t get to see everyday. Orlando Track Shack does a great job with their races and this one was no exception. It worked out nicely that we ran 7 miles for this race since our half marathon was the next weekend. We ran a couple times during the week and were ready to tackle Lake Nona 13.1 the following Sunday.

I ran the inaugural Lake Nona 13.1 race last year with Kayla and it was a really great race. I had high hopes for the race this year and had a goal to go out and beat my Tomoka Half Marathon time and get a PR. We were hoping to stay with the 2:15 pacer, but we planned on running intervals, so we knew it probably wasn’t feasible to stay with her the whole time. Ideally, we wanted to see her towards the end of the race. The race started at 6am which made for a very dark race, but it ended up being hot that day, so the earlier start was much better.

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We started out the race faster than we probably should have but I was feeling good at the start. It didn’t last long though. The course changed slightly from last year, and not for the better. It wasn’t exciting last year, but we turned around at mile 8 so there was a good chunk of the race where we were passing other runners on the other side. This year, there was no turnaround point and we were taken through residential neighborhoods which made for SUCH a boring course. We ended up walking a good chunk of mile 7, going into mile 8. When we were coming out of the residential portion of the neighborhood, we were expecting to go left  to head back to the finish line, but instead we took a right…. AWAY from the finish line. What a total buzzkill. At this point though, we started to see some other runners coming back from the turnaround, which made it a little bit more exciting. We passed Heather’s husband and several other moms from the running group. The rest of the race was a lot of complaining and chugging along to the finish. They had ice cold, wet towels for us around mile 10 or so (I think), which was amazing considering it was way too hot for the end of October.

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Our final time was 2:24:29, which was about five minutes slower than my PR time of 2:20:13 and the time I was hoping to break. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed, but I knew it wasn’t going to happen very early on in the race. I just wasn’t feeling it and there was very little “race atmosphere”. But, my disappointment was short lived. This wasn’t my worst race and I finished my seventh half marathon, which is something to be proud of. The highlights of the race were all the mamas that were running and the fact that the proceeds of this race go to charity, and I’m all about a good cause. The weather really does play such a huge factor in races for me, so I am hoping my next races are a little cooler!

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Thanks to the Lake Nona Running Club for putting on this race! Next up, Space Coast!

my weekend in photos

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we tried out blaze on friday for lunch. so delicious and the name and smiley face was a nice touch. we’ll definitely be back!

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by the time i got home on friday, the kids had already gone swimming, taken a bath, and were in their pjs! daddy doesn’t mess around. that left us time to go for a walk around the block to check out the “spooky” decorations.

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friday night and saturday morning was dedicated to birthday party prep!

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saturday afternoon was birthday party time! i didn’t get nearly enough pictures, but i will share what i do have soon.

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sunday morning started at 4am with the lake nona half marathon! again, more pictures to come.

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greg and i headed down to the usa women’s soccer game against brazil at the citrus bowl in the afternoon. it was our first time there and our first time seeing a live soccer game. it was super fun and really exciting!

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afterwards, we headed downtown for dinner & drinks with friends before falling into bed at 9pm from pure exhaustion.

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we had a crazy, busy weekend, but it was so fun!
i can’t even believe october is almost over. how was your weekend?