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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Gopher the Gold 10k Race Recap

  Another month, another race to add to my list! July was a tough one to plan. Lots going on this month, and for some reason, people just didn't want to schedule a whole lot of races, let alone 10Ks, in July! 
I chose this race for it's charity support and community feel...also it was the only Saturday I had free this month! The 9th annual Gopher the Gold was held in River Bends Park in Shelby Township, MI.  It had poured rain the day/night before, so I showed up not quite knowing what to expect. The drive was relatively fast and we pulled up to a parking lot full of cars and a lot of people. Registration and packet/shirt pickup was located in a park pavilion and took 2 minutes, cause there was no line for the 10k pickup. 
There was a DJ playing the best of the 90's (if you like cheesy 90's music like I do), and lots of people milling about getting ready to run. The race announcer kept saying that he hoped we were wearing our old running shoes today because the trail was muddy. I wasn't, but stayed optimistic. How bad could it be? I knew the first half of the race was paved, so that didn't worry me at all. But the 2nd half was mostly a dirt trail though the woods. That was the bad part, apparently. Everyone lined up to start and after the national anthem played over the loud speakers, we were off! 
Slow start. I didn't want to have a painful race like the last time. I had been running about 5 miles on average leading up to this so I wasn't too worried. Just decided to take my time on this one.
Not even a mile into the paved trail, there were puddles. First, small ones that you could pick your way through, then 6 inch deep ones that there was no possible way around. I wasn't thrilled about getting my feet wet, but I soldiered on. After the puddles were hills, then after the hills, there was a not so shady field. The only good thing about the sun, was that it made my feet feel dryer. By the time I got around the field, I realized that the course went back down those hills and through those puddles before I would even hit the dirt. I felt like I was doing alright this time and just had to channel my time working at summer camp to keep my spirits up. Puddle Jumping and Playing in mud. Yes. At about mile 4 my Nike app let me know I was actually making some pretty good time. I entered the wooded trail and hoped for the best. I had started to see some people from the 5k headed back toward me. I was really hoping that I didn't have to turn around and do it all again. The mud wasn't great. It was deep and wet and slippery. I have a habit of slipping and falling on wet things, so to avoid mess and injury I ended up walking on the edges of the mud where I could, holding on to trees and branches. Some people ran right by me, but I really stuck to my guns about taking it slow. I ran between the puddles, and when I finally got back on the concrete I took off.

A little while later, I hit the open field again. Passed a few people that got ahead of me through the mud and crossed the finish line. The last mile really wore me out, but I was no where near as exhausted as I was at the end of the last 10k I ran. It was hot and my feet were dirty and soggy, but it was easier. I'm pretty sure if it wasn't for the fact that I had to walk a lot more of it than I wanted, I would have gotten a better time. I officially finished at 1:07:54 which is about 4 minutes slower than the last. I finished 10th in my age group and 115th overall.

I really did enjoy the atmosphere of the race. The course wasn't my favorite, but maybe it was because I wasn't prepared for the hills and the sun beating down on me, as I'm used to running in residential areas. At the finish line, they had cold water and cold wet towels...which I grabbed with an enthusiastic "YES PLEASE!" and they had lots of food (Watermelon, bagels, bananas, powerade etc.) and also were giving out jars of Biscoff spread...which I had heard of, but had never tried, so we grabbed a couple of those before we left (for the record...YUM!).

This race seemed a lot more like a small community race with a lot of people (more people in the 5k [345] than the 10k [152]). The proceeds from the race went to the special Olympics, which is always a good cause! It was probably the most inexpensive race I've done this year and it was well worth it. I could see myself doing this again next year!

Speaking of doing another race....I have officially registered myself for the Crim Festival of Races that will be taking place on August 23rd and 24th in Flint, MI. These races are apparently kind of a big deal, so I'm quite excited to be a part of them. On the 23rd there will be a short 1 mile run on Friday night followed by a 10 mile race on Saturday morning. Although I'm excited, I'm a bit terrified. But I figured this would be good to add to my list so I can get my mileage up before I get to the Half Marathon I'm planning on running in October!  

Have you ever done something that was exciting but scary at the same time?
Will I see you at the Crim races?
What colors should I wear for my half marathon?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Let's hear it for the Dads!

Yes, I made my shirt! :)

   Instead of spending Father's Day with my Dad (who is about 550mi away..), I decided to run my first 10k! On Sunday, June 16th, I ran the Plymouth YMCA's Father's Day Run in Downtown Plymouth, MI.  
   My training leading up to this race wasn't stellar...I had been averaging about 3.5 miles every time I had gone out on a run...which was only twice during the week before. We've been having really awesome, cold, rainy weather so far this month and It wasn't making it easy. Plus I've been working A LOT, so I spent more mornings catching up on sleep, than running. So already, off to a great start.  The drive was just under an hour and we arrived at the race location without any issues. Everyone, it seemed was in a good mood and the weather was (thankfully) much warmer than all my other races had been! I got my number and stretched a bit and waited while the 5k started and figured out where the 10k start would be. Eventually people started to migrate up the road and we all gathered around a really big red balloon on the side of the street.  We had to wait a little longer to start than the planned 8:45 start, I think this was because we were going to be crossing the end of the 5k course. I wasn't a huge fan of the lack of organization at the start. People just stood around and waited in no particular order and the start was a race gun with no warning. But off we went!
All smiles at the start!

   It was nice to see so many people in groups and that knew each other from past races that they've run. Most people that I saw had a running buddy. My favorites were all the kids running with their dads. Kinda made me wish I got into running before my dad stopped. 
   The start was fine, no real issues with people bunching up or cutting me off. This crowd was really courteous and the course allowed for people to spread out over the full two lanes of every road.
The first few miles were quite easy and fun for me. Lots of people were out cheering everyone on. There was one house having an early BBQ and put some couches on their lawn for them to cheer from. Another, the front sidewalk was a meeting area for kids with loud banging instruments. Lots of people were out sitting on their porches and enjoying the morning. It was great to see the community out supporting the race!
Yellow is faster, Red is slower....

   I didn't stop for anything for the first 3 miles...that may have been a mistake. Once I finished the first 5k, I allowed myself to stop for some water, but it was difficult to start running again. At 4 miles I could feel my legs starting to resist, but I kept pushing. Nearing 5 miles, I was dying for a water stop and I had to walk a bit despite my mental protests. I knew I was almost done, but just couldn't keep up the pace.  I allowed myself to walk a few times.

   Going into this race, I knew I would probably walk a good portion of it, but since I ran more than half of it feeling pretty good, I started to hope I could do the whole thing without slowing down. I ended up with a race time of 1:03:52 and an average pace of 10:17, I took this one faster than I had anticipated. I also somehow ended up getting 6th in my age group...which I most certainly wasn't expecting! If I'm reading the results right, I got 284th not too bad for a big race! 
The finish line...just waiting for me...

   Finishing was probably the biggest goal I had for this one. My knee pain has finally started to go away and I'm running at least 5ks regularly. I was worried up until a few weeks ago that I couldn't do this kind of distance on the road. But I have a few times and I finished. I guess that, ultimately, is the goal in every race.
"Oh thank god I'm done!"

   The next race on my plate is "Gopher the Gold" 10k in Shelby Township, MI on July 20th. I'm slowly going to add more miles on to my daily runs to push myself to run the next one. The added challenge in that one, is that part of it is supposed to be a dirt trail, which I never run that should be an adventure. 

   I plan on running the 10 mile Crim race in Flint, MI on August 24th in the "run-up" to the international half marathon in Detroit in October...Eyes on the Prize!

How'd your first 10k go? Are you planning on running anything this distance or farther anytime soon??

Monday, May 13, 2013


Finally! The race that started it all! I had wanted to run this race for about a year now...I figured this year, I would go for it and actually run it. So the running started. 

Zumba Party!
The race was held on 5/11/13 at the Detroit Riverwalk. The temperatures had dropped considerably the day before, so again, time to run a race in the cold! We got there nice and early to pickup my Bib and shirt. The actual packet pickup times were held on Thursday and Friday, but I was unable to make it. -This was my only issue I had with the race. I had emailed and messaged on facebook well in advance and only got an answer to my question about pickup 3 days before the race. Asking if I could pickup the day of was a simple question, but I suppose since it's a such a big, national thing, that they were swamped with other emails. Everything worked out fine in the end, I suppose!- The pickup was simple and there was no line (they said there would be...). I got my shirt and sunglasses and went to purchase a bandanna (I couldn't find my white one). Then we wandered around and watched people start to throw color on each other. The MC took the stage and threw stuff in the crowd and held "chugging" competitions and a hula hoop competition with swag and color packets as prizes. It was entertaining to watch. :) There was also a zumba demo that was very instrumental in warming the shivering crowd up! 
When it was time to start (9:00a) everyone headed over to the starting line and they announced that if you had a later start time, that you were more than welcome to go earlier if you wanted. I was signed up for 9:40 so I was quite happy to hear this! I handed over my warm things and got ready for take off.
The MC was on a riser at the start throwing more free stuff and color packets into the crowd and told everyone that if they were going to walk, to stay on the right and if they were going to run, to stay to the left. They sent us off every 3 minutes or so to spread everyone out.  The course was really nice. Probably my favorite one so far. Down around some nice buildings (looked like UAW-GM owned) and up by the water front. The weekend fishermen were taking photos and videos of everyone! We looped around and when we got back to the start, had to climb a huge hill to be sprayed with green and slowly make our way back down for a final loop before the finish. I had already been hit with Purple powder, managed to avoid the yellow liquid, and then hit with Pink powder before the green. Then there was an orange powder station right before the finish. I only had a mildly unpleasant experience with the green liquid as it was sprayed right in my face. I was glad for the sunglasses at that point!  
Besides the course being really great, the people were generally awesome. as we passed the people coming back from the loop, lots of high fives were being given out, and people were generally friendly to each other. The only issue I had with people was the walkers not staying to the right and at one point, I had to weave around a line of girls holding hands. They took up the whole road. Not cool. The run itself was pretty good. Nice and relaxed and non competitive (it wasn't timed). My only issue, personally, was some pain I had while running. I had done something a few days before to my hip and because I started to favor my other leg, my knee started to hurt. I managed to run through it, but now I'm on a resting period, because I'm falling apart.
I made it across the finish line and my Nike app told me that I took about 29:10...but that it wasn't a true 5k. it was something like 2.64 miles. I don't know if this is accurate or if it had some GPS issues.
At the end, everyone joined in a big color throw, which was awesome, because you couldn't see a foot in front of your face and everyone was dancing. 

All in all I really enjoyed this race and would totally do it again. Just in warmer weather with less injuries. There is another taking place in Lansing in September, so I may or may not sign up for that!  We'll see!
Check out for more info and to see if there will be a race near you! It's really fun, I promise! (There is also "The Color Run", which I believe is the original one of these races. I can't say which is better because I've only done this one, but i'm sure either way you'll have a good time!)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Training Apps!

Seriously, I've been meaning to get to this post for months now! I'm just finishing up the second program, so I figured it'd be a good time to talk about it all!

APPS! Very handy little programs you can put on your phone to use anywhere you go for almost any possible thing you can think of! I love technology. The last time I owned an iphone I NEVER used it for exercise or health related issues, and I think I probably looked at the list of available apps in the health category maybe once.

This time around, I'm using this one to it's fullest potential (at least in my world). 
When I started my running routine back up, it was with the intent to run a 5K.  Now, I could go to the gym and run willy nilly on the treadmill, but what fun is that? Plus I never actually TRAINED for anything. So after hearing so much about the couch to 5K program, I decided to look for an app to help me out! Upon my search I came up with an app called "5K Runner".  Scrolling through, it looked vaugely possible.
Week one started quite easily, even for someone as out of shape as I was. Walk for 5 minutes, Run/Walk for 15, and cool down for 5. Every time the program wants you to run or walk, it makes a little chime noise and a voice tells you what to do. When you make it halfway through, it lets you know! Pretty awesome in my book. You can also run your ipod app while you run this program, so listening to your playlist is easy! This particular app is good because you can try a free version before you purchase it. That was part of my willingness to give it a shot!

5K runner takes you through 8 weeks with 3 workouts a week, and eventually you will be running about 3.1 miles like a pro!
I was nervous when all the walking went away, but honestly, it was fairly simple, and this program gets your mileage up quickly so I had run a 5K before I even finished it! It was at this point that I decided 10Ks were in my realm of physical I moved up! 

The day I finished 5K Runner, I moved on to the 10K runner app. This one is a bit different than the previous. You can't get a free trial of it, but it starts at the same level that 5k did.  If you had already done the 5K app or could already run 3.1 miles, then you just start from Week 9 and move on from there. It looks a little scary, but it's quite doable! I've had a lot more bad workouts on this one than I did doing the other, but really, it's not the app's fault. If I had trouble doing one workout and really honestly didn't think I could get through the next, I'd just repeat the previous one. Usually the second try, I'd be fine. I'm three workouts away from the end of this program. I've already run 7 miles during week 10 (intense run/walk pattern), So I know that even if I don't finish this before my first 10K, I'd be fine with a little walking...Heck, I might even run that particular workout during my first 10K, so I don't kill myself the first time out! 
There is also one that I can use to train for a half marathon (21K Runner)...but I'm unsure if I'm actually going to use that one or not in the coming months. I was thinking about finding another program, just for something different. 

I fully recommend these for beginner to intermediate runners, or anyone that wants to work toward a distance goal. These go at a really good pace. The only time I've ever had an issue with the app itself, was recently when I was about 35 minutes into a 40 minute run and I had a calendar alert go off on my phone. When I was about 45 minutes into my workout, I realized that the program had paused until I closed the event alerts. I had totally missed my 3 minute walk and it messed up the rest of the run. So THAT was fun. But everything else has been awesome!

Do you use any workout/health apps that I should know about?
If not, would you ever use one?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Martian Invasion!

This past Saturday, I took part in The Martian Invasion of the Races in Dearborn, MI. While I was incredibly temped to try the 10k (FINISHER MEDALS!), I went with the 5k. Since the last race was only 3 miles, I had yet to complete a full 5k. So I'm counting this as my first! 

Researching and reading about races online, I've always been interested in the expos that accompany them (Shopping? Free stuff? Yes please!). So I opted to pick up my bib the night before at the expo, despite the long drive during rush hour! 

When I got there, I pushed through the growing crowd to pick up my bib and my shirt. I liked that I could find my number online the morning of so that pickup went quickly. I really liked the bibs, but was slightly disappointed that the 5k runners had Orange. Not a good martian color if you ask me, and a little odd with my chosen outfit color of purple...but hey, not much I could do about it! 
I got my shirt and thankfully ordered the perfect size! They also gave us little martian races pins.  
I took some time and wandered around, making a bee line for the Bondi Bands booth. I had looked at their site before, but for some reason didn't place any orders. Among the giant pile of their "fashion" bands, I found my perfect piece of's sparkly and silver. The rest of the pile was slightly unimpressive, so I handed over my $8 and went on my merry way to the next booth.  I was interested in the fact that Mizuno was there, since I'm a big fan of their shoes now, but that's really all they brought with them. Shoes. I was looking to see if I could get some Mizuno gear...but the choices were extremely limited. It's possible it all went quickly in the first 3 hours, but I don't know. I looked at some shirts and some gloves at the other booths, but spent the most time looking at the race related gear. I almost bought a race glass, a car magnet, and various warm embroidered running fleeces, but felt that since I was only doing the 5k, I'd feel a little like a fraud wearing/using it. Maybe next year? I was slightly disappointed in the amount that was there, but honestly, it was probably decent for the size of this race.

Wake up time was 4:45am. I wanted to be there an hour before the race, just to make sure parking was all sorted out. I was on my own that day, so there was a little added stress. The trip took 45-50 minutes and while I got a little lost (because my WAZE app didn't recognize the exact address I entered and brought me BLOCKS in the wrong direction) I eventually got there and got parked. I was relieved I brought quarters with me because it was all metered parking, which they didn't specifically mention. But I found a space in a lot that was 3 blocks away from Ford Park. 
The weather was not as good as I had hoped for and I envisioned a repeat of the Lucky Dash from a month before, but it wasn't so bad. About 5-10 degrees warmer and no snow. Everyone was shivering at the start though.
The announcer was keeping people's spirits up and updating everyone on the start. 
The race began with an uphill climb away from the park, but we were assured that this was by far the biggest hill on the whole course. The 5k and the 10K started together and broke off about a half mile from the start. I was pretty grateful for this because it was quite crowded and it was difficult to pass people. Plus all the little kids weaving in and out of people made it difficult as well. The course went through a really nice neighborhood. It kept me distracted along with my 5k playlist. The best thing about this race was the guy dressed in a teddy bear full big mascot head teddy bear. I felt like Ted was running ahead of me. Good motivation! Wished I could take a picture, but my phone was tightly strapped to my arm. This race felt really difficult to me. My muscles were tight and I had a cramp in my stomach that didn't feel like leaving, but I won't allow myself to walk a 5k unless I'm about to collapse. So I kept pushing. Before long, I could see the park again and I pushed a bit harder. There was no clock at the finish, since it was chip timed, so I had no idea how I was doing. I crossed the finish, got my finishers pin, grabbed and bottle of water and a cookie, and attempted to look up my finish time. It was pointless, so I wandered back to my car.

Later in the day, the times were finally posted...My final time for this race was 29:17!!!! I was really hoping that I would do better than the last race. Cut a few minutes off my time from a shorter race! I'm pretty happy with it and if I can keep my 5k times under 30 minutes, I think I'll be good with that! I was also 18th in my age group and 116th for my gender. Overall I finished 291/1,118!

All in all I liked the expo, race, and course. I think it was well organized and fun. I especially enjoyed the martian mile markers around the course. Maybe next year I'll take on the half marathon course and get one of their shiny green Medals! :)

A short note about Boston... 
Terrible. Yesterday I ran 4.09 miles out of my workout with Boston in mind. I also wore my Lucky Dash shirt in support. I felt a strong sense of determination during this run, to keep going. I will not be deterred from running big races and no one else should let a few terrible horrible people keep them from reaching their goals. From my short time being in this community, I know other runners feel the same. Boston is a tough and amazing city and I know they will bounce back 200% from this. Just keep running.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Brain Sludge!

It's been a few weeks, ya'll. A few tiring, sluggish, busy weeks.
My body just didn't want to work with me, and my mind didn't want to tackle the hard workouts that were coming up in my 10k program.

My previous workout of Walk 5 mins, Run 25 minutes, Walk 3 minutes, Run 15 minutes, and Walk 5 minutes was apparently just too much. I left the gym that day feeling terrible. I don't know what it was, but it made me take 2 days off before I'd even attempt to think about going to the gym.
Then came the weekend and I procrastinated by trying to teach my dog to roll over (he didn't like the concept). 
I apparently didn't like the concept of trying to hit the gym again to do a full 10k workout, so I compromised. I would go on Saturday AND Sunday, but would do my own workout for a half hour. 
I finally got myself out of the house and my workout looked a little something like this:

Walk 3 minutes 0.0% incline
Run .25 at 5.7 speed 0.0% Incline
Run .25 at 5.7 speed 0.5% Incline
Run .10 at 5.7 speed 1.0% Incline
Run .25 at 5.7 speed 0.5% Incline                 Run .25 at 5.7 speed 0.0% Incline
                                                                      Repeat until time is up.

Then I added about 5 minutes of walking on to the end.  I did about 3 miles on Saturday and 3.3 Miles on Sunday. (Easter dinner was a good motivator to burn more cals!) I found this made the workout go a lot faster by focusing on the little blocks of distance over the bigger block of time. 
When I went back on Tuesday to attempt the big workout I had been avoiding, it didn't turn out to be so bad! I did about 5.10 miles which was mostly running. So I'm getting there...only about 6 more workouts til the 10k program is DUNZO!
Then I have to find some decent balance (strength/cardio) to bring me though 5 months and then I start training for the half marathon in February!

My major problem with running seems to be keeping the momentum going! Every time I stop for any long period of time, I'm just done. I don't start again until I make a big decision to start again (which is usually a year or so after I stop). I just need to wade through all the sludge in my head telling myself that I'm too tired or too worn out to keep going. I know better. I've climbed MOUNTAINS (Plural!) before and didn't I think I can run for an hour on a treadmill.

Focus has to be on the goal. My short term goal when I started was to lose 25 lbs. My long term goal is to run a half marathon.
I'm now down 15 lbs, and have only 10 more to go...and I'm finishing up a 10k program which means I'm about halfway to a half marathon. I just have to keep myself going and can't let myself get complacent. 

Just have to weed through all that yucky negative brain sludge and to focus on the end goal.

That seems to be the bigger problem than the actual running...My mind is a bigger obstacle than that 13.1 miles in front of me.

How do you get over all that brain sludge?
What's your biggest obstacle when trying to reach your goals?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

ABC Get to know me!

I got this from the lovely OlivetoRun! I've really been enjoying her blog, so if you want another blog about running, you should check her out! :)
A. Age: 29 (eep!)
B. Bed size: We have a full size...but we are probably ready to step it up to a queen since our dog takes up most of it during the night!
C. Chore you dislike: Cleaning the bathroom or washing dishes
D. Dogs: I have one...His name is Winston and he's the best. We think that he is a mix between a Shih-tzu and Italian Greyhound. But he's adopted from a puppy mill, so we aren't sure.

E. Essential start to your day: Breakfast. It's my absolute favorite meal. I especially love going out to breakfast. Best thing ever.
F. Favorite color: Blue, Green, Purple, Teal, Grey...That kinda palette. 
G. Gold or silver: Silver all the way! :)
H. Height: 5’7”
I. Instruments you play(ed): Flute, Piano...Voice!
J. Job title: Currently, Promotions Assistant and Temp.
K. Kids:  They can be cool...but they can also stand outside your front window yelling about stupid stuff and telling lame stories about what happened at lunch.

L. Live: Originally from Upstate NY, now residing in Southeast Michigan!
M. Mom’s name: Regina.
N. Nicknames: Cait...Mimsie...Hey you.
O. Overnight hospital stays: Mayyyyybe when I was little for an operation. But I don't really remember.
P. Pet peeves: Cockiness, Slowing to a stop before you turn when you really don't need to, rushing for no reason standing in the way of other people, ignorance.
Q. Quote from a movie: "My Friends, you bow for no one."- Lord of the Rings (I know, I'm a nerd.)
S. Siblings:
Older Brother, Liam.

T. Time you wake up: For work: 6:40am On days off Winston will wake me at 8:30 on the dot to go out. He is a living alarm clock!

U. Underwear: Yes, I wear it.
V. Vegetables you don’t like: Ummm..Cooked Pepers and raw onions. 
W. What makes you run late: Distractions.
X. X-rays you’ve had: My ankle, my teeth...
Y. Yummy food you make: I've gotten pretty good at Salmon with lemon and basil, Cheesy chicken burgers, Pasta!
Z. Zoo animal favorites: I Love Hippos, and watching anything that swims. Also Giraffes and Monkeys.


Monday, March 18, 2013

First Race: The Lucky Dash!

Before the race...trying to stay positive!
Soooo...I ran my first "5k" (3.01 mi) this past Saturday! It was the Lucky Dash in Royal Oak, MI!  I was feeling pretty good about it the day before and not until I was getting to bed did I get a bit nervous. A slightly restless night of sleep later, I woke up ready to go... until I looked out the window and saw about 4 inches of snow on the ground.
Now, I'm not a fan of snow. I run inside during the winter so I don't have to worry about suddenly slipping and injuring myself on some black ice... This was making me nervous. I just kept telling myself that they'll make sure it's plowed and salted because there was a parade happening right after the race.
We got there after some confused driving and parking too far away, I got my bib and t-shirt (light green and super soft! Horray!) and we moved the car closer and camped out in there to stay warm.
Everyone dancing to keep warm!

The race started at 10:45, so we stayed in the car until 10:30. People started to gather at the start and everyone was dancing around to the music to stay warm. It was a fun atmosphere and you could tell everyone was antsy to get moving. 
I've read over and over again to never try new things on race days...and yet for some reason I didn't listen. I had downloaded the Nike+ app to try to track distance. I'm not sure why, exactly, because this was a measured distance... but I still figured I'd try.
The gun went off and I started it. It immediately started to play my playlist (not on shuffle) and every so often it would turn my music down, tell me how far I've gone and tell me how awesome I am... That's great, Nike+ App...but REALLY?! *sigh* I guess I learned my lesson on that one! 
Waiting for the train....
At about .75 mi into the race we had to stop for a train...Which for some reason was fully stopped halfway across the road.
People seemed a bit was I. I had been hoping to run the whole thing stopping, no walking...but I had to stop and wait for a train to pass by. I took it as an opportunity to turn the stupid app off and turn my playlist on shuffle for the rest of the course. The train moved soon after and everyone cheered and waved as it passed. As soon as the barriers went up the crowd started moving to yells of "GAME ON!!" 
The pack continued on and we started seeing the front runners on their way back. I was starting to feel a little tired, but I wasn't about to stop running now. We passed a local school, where everyone in the parade was lining up and they cheered us on.  There was one water stop at the turn around and everyone seemed to slow down to a crawl, but I wanted to keep moving. Plus, really? It's only a 5k. Passed the school again, this time there was a group playing Celtic music on a flatbed truck. That made me smile. :) 

The way back was actually kind of nice...You could see the big red inflatable finish line down the road so it gave me something to focus on. I felt like I could push a little more than I had been, so I picked up my pace and passed a few people that I had been running with since the train stop. 
Coming in to the finish!
The finish came along faster than I thought and I couldn't help but smile the last .25 mi!

I finished at 31:35 with a pace of 10:32...which is right about what I run on the treadmill! I ended up finishing at 170/318 overall and 28th out of my age group! So including the train stop, I probably did about 28 minutes in that's not too bad for my first race!

Crossing the finish line!
Happy to be done! ON TO THE NEXT!
I decided I wanted my first race to be a St. Patrick's Day race because years ago (I was probably 11 or 12) my dad talked me into doing a St. Paddy's Day kid's "fun" run, which I think was about a mile. I suffered through that thing so badly and it was ingrained in my mind for years and years that because of my experience at that race, that I would never be a runner and I couldn't run anything more than a mile without walking or stopping. Silly, I know...but that's what I got out of it.    So I'm pretty happy with the result of this one, and I'm excited to see how I do at the next 5k in April! 

For my first race and it being the first annual Lucky Dash, I have to say I liked this race. It was a simple course and everyone was in good spirits, despite the cold weather and the unexpected stop. Maybe I'll do it next year too! 

**Special thanks to Boyfriend (and friend of BF) for going with me and taking pictures!** 

If you race, what was your first? Why did you choose that particular race?
What is your favorite 5k to run?
If you don't run, do you think you might try a 5k sometime?

Monday, March 11, 2013

New Shoe Adventure!

*Photo Courtesy of The Running Lab Facebook Page

On Friday night, the boyfriend and I embarked on an adventure to find new running shoes! The ones I have been using (New Balance 720's) have lasted me through 6 years of on and off running. I think it was time to find something new. Through my searching for running specialty stores in the Metro Detroit area, I found The Running Lab. It was a little bit of a hike away from the town we live in, but I found their fitting process intriguing, so I decided that this is where I needed to go.
It took about 45 mins to get there, and once we found some parking, we tucked inside and started browse. I was surprised at how many people were in there at the time. I almost expected it to be dead on a Friday night. However, after being there for a little while, I realized it was the local runner's hub. They were familiar with their customers and knew their general situations. It was nice to find myself in a small local store like this.

                                                                                *Photo Courtesy of

I was assisted in my shoe finding mission by Swenja. She asked me about any injuries or issues and then asked me to walk around the store barefoot so she could get an idea of what my foot was like. She told me I would need a neutral shoe and then measured my foot and ran into the back to see what she could find for me. She brought out 3 pairs and explained to me that the one pair she REALLY wanted me to try on (Mizuno Precision 13), they didn't have in my size. So the next best thing was the Mizuno Wave Rider 16. Then I tried another shoe that seemed very minimal to me (I think they were Saucony KINVARA 3) and a pair of Brooks Ghost 5s. I liked the lightweight feeling of the Saucony, but they weren't cushioned enough, and I liked the cushioning in the brooks, but they felt kinda clunky like my New Balance had always felt. So it was back to the Wave Riders. She had me put those on and brought me back to the treadmill to try them out. 
The treadmill was really cool, they have 2 cameras set up to film you while you run. That way, you are able to see where your foot lands and your form. I always felt like I landed in the right spot, but turns out I land a little too far back! Interesting. She had me try on another pair of Mizunos that were similar to the Precision to see if I wanted to special order, but I was really impatient and wanted to leave with a pair that night! 
 I ended up deciding on the Wave Riders 16 in Rouge Red / Apple Green / Dark Shadow and had a chat with Swenja about my form and cadence. All really good information to know if you are planning on doing a lot of running!
She explained to me that I have a month to try them out and get them dirty and really give them a good go, and if I don't like them, I could still bring them back and get something else! I LOVE that policy! I can't tell you how many shoes I've bought and worn only 2 or 3 times because they just aren't comfortable, and I can't return them because they are worn! 
I brought them home and yesterday, I did my first trial run. There was a lot of unexpected adjusting. Loosening of laces and a last minute trip to the dollar store for some sports tape because they were rubbing my ankle bone a weird way that they hadn't when I tried them on. But that's all part of breaking a new shoe in! I ended up running (with a little bit of walking) for 80 minutes and doing 7 Miles (the most yet!). They held out nicely and didn't hurt too bad. I'm sure once I wear them a bit, they'll get more comfy.

I was a little unsure about the color of them, normally I'd prefer the Aruba Blue / Electric / Anthracite combo...but after Swenja likened them to a Watermelon...I was on board! 
I'm really excited to run with these on my feet and I feel confident knowing that they were fitted properly by someone that knows what they are doing and that they stand by that fit!

If you are ever in the Brighton, MI area and are in need of some new running shoes...Seriously...Go. They know their stuff and carry good quality products. I'm sure I'll take a few more trips out there as the year progresses. It's worth the drive!

What Kind of running shoes do you have? 
How was your buying experience? 
Are you planning on repurchasing the same pair when it's time?

Thursday, March 07, 2013

The Workout Playlist

*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
  I NEED music in order to run. I'm sure it's possible for me to run without it, but I'm not gonna like it, and it won't be easy. My playlist has evolved over the past 8 years. Some songs have stuck ("Get Me Bodied") and some are brand new ("Survival"). 
  I've found that there are some songs with a negative/angry vibe that I just feel miserable running to. Those get cut or skipped over quickly. I need a solid fast beat and the longer the song is, the better. My favorite on this list is "WORKOUT!" by ALL CAPS. It's long, has a good beat, it's interesting to listen to, and it's powerful. It's the best when I'm really struggling.
  So here is my really long Workout playlist!

"My Girls"- Christina Aguilera (Feat. Peaches)
"Don't Want You Back"- Backstreet Boys
"Total Hate 95"- No Doubt
"Do your Thing"- Basement Jaxx
"Get Me Bodied"- Beyonce
"Gold Trans Am"- Ke$ha
"Shut Up"- Black Eyed Peas
"Technologic"- Daft Punk
"Do Something"- Britney Spears
"Woohoo"- Christina Aguilera (Feat. Nicki Minaj)
"Oh Yeah"- The Cliks
"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger"- Daft Punk
"Gimme More"- Britney Spears
"Cascade"- Deluka
"Straight Through My Heart"- Backstreet Boys
"Fixin to Thirll"- Dragonette
"Fergalicious"- Fergie
"Jump Around"- House of Pain
"If"- Janet Jackson
"Blow"- Ke$ha
"Up all Night"- One Direction
"Bulletproof"- La Roux
"Boyz"- M.I.A.
"Hella Good"- No Doubt
"CrushCrushCrush"- Paramore
"Thinking of you"- Ke$ha
"Come with Me"- Puff Daddy
"Some Girls"- Rachel Stevens
"S&M Remix"- Rihanna (Feat. Britney Spears)
"Excuse Me Mr."- No Doubt
"What You See is What You Get"- Save Ferris
"Buttons"- Pussycat Dolls (Feat. Snoop Dogg)
"Bobblehead"- Christina Aguilera
"Internet Connection"- M.I.A.
"Jai Ho!"- A.R. Rahman (Feat. Nicole Scherzinger)
"Want You Back"- Cher Lloyd
"C'mon"- Ke$ha
"Closer"- Tegan and Sara
"Born For This"- Paramore
"Dirty Love"- Ke$ha (Feat. Iggy Pop)
"Hello"- Karmin
"Crazy Bitch"- Buckcherry
"Red Hot Kinda Love"- Christina Aguilera
"Your Body"- Christina Aguilera
"Bad Girls"- M.I.A.
"I Wanna Go"- Britney Spears
"Call On Me"- Eric Prydz
"Live While We're Young"- One Direction
"Survival"- Muse
"Scream and Shout"- Will.I.Am. (Feat. Britney Spears)
"End of Time"- Beyonce
"When Love Takes Over"- David Guetta (Feat. Kelly Rowland)

Do you HAVE to listen to music when you workout? If not, what do you do to keep yourself going? What are your "Go To" songs? 



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