10k race recap

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day is filled with lots of love and yummy food!

My sisters and I woke up really early, complained about being up so early, and then went off to run a race. It was pretty cool for all 3 of us to run a race together. I’ve run races with each of my sisters individually, but never together. Sister time + running = perfect.

Yesterday, little sister and I did a “pre-race” (but not really) at the gym. I did 3 relaxed and smooth miles on the treadmill and some rolling out with the bar. No core and no extra leg work. The little decided it would be a great idea to do a billion squats with the bar and leg presses… I’m not sure of the logic on that decision.

Pre-race workout followed by a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with my dad and sisters, couch snuggling while watching Risky Business (my first time seeing it!) and making critical life decisions such as deciding what shirt I wanted to race in. I repined my bib on 3 shirts before I committed (the yellow/green shirt is mine). It was a stressful experience.

I was so excited and ready to go this morning. I got right up with my alarm and started my pre-race routine: hair (pull through braid is the best), clothes, accessories (gloves, flip-belt, vest, scarf), FOOD and hydration. My sisters didn’t understand my plentiful energy at 5:45am, and wanted nothing to do with me.

My older sister ran the 5k, which started before the 10k that little and I ran. The 5k started at 7:30am and the 10k started at 8:10am. The races were totally separate and the runners in each race didn’t overlap at all. I thought it was weird, because the longer race usually starts first and the shorter race starts shortly after on the same course. I’m not sure why they did it in reverse. It was kind of annoying to stand around between the 5k and 10k, and it made the whole morning race process extra long.

We arrived around 6:55am to give big sister time to settle in before she started. She was super grumpy about being up so early and whined until the second she crossed the start line. Her misery was entertaining.

After she was off, little and I ran in circles around the parking lot to stay warm and watched the first couple people finish the 5k. We had to line up before sister 3 finished her race, which was unfortunate because I wanted to see her smiley face. Oh well! While little and I were standing in the corral waiting to go, we were dancing and being real hyper. People thought it was weird. We thought it was awesome :)

Even though we started in the same corral, we split up right away. I wanted to run a bit faster than her, which she was totally fine with. She listens to music while she runs but I don’t, so she definitely wanted to stay away from me to avoid conversation. I still love her though.

The course was a lot hillier than I expected. We were right near the Lake so lots of uphills and few downhills to recover. It was also a little gusty, which made the uphills even more fun. I always get angry at courses with obnoxious amounts of hills, but then I remind myself that races are fun because they’re challenging. Runners thrive off challenges. If there were no hills and perfect weather conditions at every race, running would be pretty one dimensional. Who wants that?

I finished 4.5 minutes faster than my last 10k this summer, which I’m excited about :). My sisters also PRed, but they couldn’t care less about times. They weren’t born with my competitive edge, and I’m pretty sure they think I’m crazy. Maybe one day they’ll accept me.

We bolted for the car right when we were done because we were cold, wanted coffee, and needed extra long hot showers. The rest of the day will be dedicated to the couch, family, food, football and lots of cuddling.

Did anyone else race this morning?? How far??

Have you ever run a race with a sibling?? If so, how was the experience for you??


Running logs

Running logs came into my life at a perfect time.

The first time I was introduced to the concept of running logs was first semester freshman year of college. Up until that point, I wasn’t running enough or training for anything in particular, so it didn’t matter that I wasn’t logging. During that first semester, I made some friends that were “real” runners and I was determined to keep up with them. I wanted to get faster and stronger so that I could be a “real” runner too.

Coincidentally, I became friends with a super cute girl in my Latin class and she told me everything I needed to know as an amateur runner (I’m still am amateur, but I’m a little smarter now). The most important thing she told me was to LOG MY MILES. Like me, she was an injury prone runner. She explained that logging miles helped her track patterns in her training that led her to injuries. She got me all set up with a logging website and I was hooked. I loved entering numbers and seeing my weekly milage grow. It was the first time I’d ever paid attention to my running from an analytic perspective. I realized that keeping up with a running log is extremely important to prevent injuries, track  progress, identify patterns, solve problems and monitor milage.

The first logging website I used (the one mentioned above) was dailymile. I thought it was great. I loved the distance, pace, time and feeling tracking graphs and all the records it kept. The website also provides an active running community, so you can connect with other runners and support one another through training. I stopped using this log because I transferred schools and walked onto their cross country team. The team used a different logging website, so I joined our team log.


My XC team used running2win, which I didn’t like as much. I loved the log, all the information it lays out for you to fill in and the analysis of my data, but the website was unreliable. It crashed frequently, took forever to log in and the pages took an eternity to load. It also had an app that featured the same issues. Maybe the website is better now??

After my frustrating experience with running2win, I started doing my own thing with paper and pencil. I had a little note book and I didn’t know what the heck I was because the information in there was never consistent and became useless. Once I scratched that system, I started to log my miles in my everyday planner. This was better, but I didn’t include anything other than the number of miles because there wasn’t enough room. Even though that system was organized, I knew I needed to keep track of more than just miles.

Most recently I’ve been logging miles in the calendar on my phone (which also shows up on my computer). I have a different color set for my running info as opposed to my work, school, and personal info/events. I put the number of miles in as the event and then write some notes in the description/notes area of the event. I really like this situation because everything is neatly organized and uniform. However, the one thing I don’t like about this system is that my running is mixed in with everything else going on in my day. I usually don’t even look back at my week of training, because I don’t look backwards in my calendar for anything else. I’m always thinking about the next thing on my agenda, not the stuff I did a week ago.

Because I’m not using my phone log as effectively as I should be, I decided to consider another option: a weekly calendar strictly dedicated to running/training matters. Here’s why I think it will provide a more useful logging experience:

  1. There’s no other life matters in there to distract me
  2. It’s a specific, sacred place for me to reflect on my running/training. It takes a lot more thinking and self-awareness to write down what I want to say as opposed to punching numbers on my phone
  3. There’s plenty of space for me to write as much as I want
  4. There’s no pre-determined format/information for me to log, so I can write about whatever I want. It’s good to vent to yourself :)
  5. It’s organized by week, so I can look at a single page and see everything I need to know from that week
  6. It’s personal. It’s all mine.

I’m really excited to try out this new system. I’m feeling positive vibes already. Also, a lot of elite runners stick with logging systems like this, so maybe there’s hope for me to be elite one day??

Wow, that was a lot of nerdy running talk. The following pictures are just some other randomness from my day to lighten the mood :)

I am literally the bag lady. This stuff travelled with me all day.

Picked up race packets for Thursday!

Got this with our bibs… never tried it.

And counting down the minutes until these girls come home!

How do you log your miles??

Are you waiting for anyone to come home for the holiday?? 


All about the band work

I finally stepped foot in the gym today after a week of hamstring recovery. Hitting that start button felt pretty darn amazing.

I made a PROMISE to myself that I wouldn’t run more than 3 miles, and I’m proud to announce that I kept my promise. I can feel that I’m not recovered yet, so I wanted to approach my first run this week conservatively, both in distance and pace. I started my warm-up mile at 8:30 pace and worked my way down to 7:48 at mile 3. It felt comfortable most of the way, but my right hamstring started to scream at me right near the end.

I also made some adjustments on the treadmill to keep the risk of pain as low as possible. I kept the incline at .5% and I made sure to stay toward the back half of the treadmill. Keeping the incline low gives my hamstrings less work to do, but without totally sacrificing an outdoor feel. There’s no science behind staying toward the back of the treadmill (at least I don’t think there is?), but chilling in that area keeps me from “racing” to keep up with the belt right when it pops out. I think these little tweaks really helped my body settle back into running.

I’m happy with my 3 short and sweet miles and I’m excited to progress back into this week. I have a 10k scheduled for Thursday, because that’s how runners choose to spend holiday mornings :). I’m especially excited for this one because BOTH of my sisters will be running!!! Nothing like sister bonding with a side of sweat.

Because my hamstrings are still feeling weak, I’m dedicating this week’s post-run exercises to pelvic stabilization. Strengthening my pelvic muscles will allow muscles other than my hamstrings to  work as I’m running. I brought my resistance bands to the gym and worked on some adductor/abductor exercises. Back, side and front. 15 reps each direction on each leg x2. My glutes were burning like crazy by the end. It was fantastic.

I obviously had to wander into the weight room when I was done to bother foreverintraining, and I caught him doing squats. He’s really proud of how his butt looks in this picture. I’m more into the mismatched color scheme of his outfit.

Just to make myself feel a little better about being injured, I snuggled with the puppy for a long time on the kitchen floor.

He gets me every time.

Really quick, I love her…

Is anyone else running a Thanksgiving day race?? If so, what distance??

What makes you feel better when you’re bummed about an injury???


Shorter runs

I’m sure you are all sick of hearing about my back issues, but I’m going to share anyways (in case 1 other person in the world cares!). I went to a pain management doctor today, and of course he suggested that I stop running. I nearly broke into tears. I felt the salty water welling up in my eyes as I listened to him talk about swimming… no thanks. Kudos to all you swimmers out there because it’s hard as heck! I actually swam on a team when I was a kid, but I quit because I hated it. Interesting how swimming may have to make a reappearance in my life.

He was one of the cool doctors and said, “I know you’re going to probably walk out of here and go for a run, but consider cutting down your miles and getting in the pool.” He was spot on about busting out of the office and going on a run, because that’s exactly what I wanted to do after being told to stop running. However, I decided to be smart so I went home and iced. Man, that took a lot of strength. In about 2 weeks, this doctor is going to perform a small surgical procedure on my back in attempt to reduce some pain. I’m hoping that it works because back pain is no fun.

Ironically, I decided that it was a good idea to run short on the treadmill yesterday: 4.5 mile progression run. I started my warm-up mile at 8:26 pace and ended at 7:48 pace. Not a huge difference in pace, but I felt the change. I felt like a rockstar the last 1.5 miles when I was going fast, so it was hard for me to give in and hit the stop button. I reminded myself that I don’t need to be a “hero” everyday and that it’s okay to enjoy a short, mellow run. If I pushed myself as hard as I wanted to on every run, my body would be in pieces.

Run followed by core… lots of core. I found the ab wheel laying around in the stretching area, so I incorporated that too. I haven’t used that thing in a while. It was fun for a change. People were annoyed that I was taking up so much space rolling the wheel out, but I pretended I was oblivious to angry body language.

Side note- I tried my first pull-through braid yesterday and I am obsessed. I learned how to do it in this video! Thanks Anna for helping me look like a decent human being every morning!  I did it around 8am and it lasted through 8 hours of school + a 1.5 hour workout without falling apart. New favorite go-to braid :)

I’m thinking today will be an off day, because I don’t really have time to hit the gym. I should also continue the smart runner thing, give my back a chance to chill and play with my puppy. Yea, that plan sounds good typed out :)

Any swimmers out there that can give me advice on a pool workout??