Category Archives: Races

Race Week Thoughts

Last 20 miler | happyfitmama.comKailey’s last 20 miler of this training cycle.

Race week is here!

In two days, we’ll be flying the friendly skies for a (very) long time before landing in Hawaii, where it will be sunny (hopefully) and warm (but hopefully not too warm).

My mind is kind of all over the place. Right now, I’m mostly focused on what needs to get done before we leave. So many things especially since it’s the first time Ron and I are vacationing sans kids. My absolutely wonderful parents, are flying in tonight and will be hanging out with the kids while we are gone for the next week.

Since I’ve been preoccupied with all the logistics with that, I really haven’t thought too much about the marathon.

The big question that everyone asks and that is hanging over my head:

Am I ready?

I’m really not sure.

I am not completely in marathon shape. This I know is true. After having to take all of October off from running because of my Achilles and back injuries, I just started to slowly build up my mileage again in November. My Achilles is absolutely fine when I am running. It does feel “pinched” afterwards and other random times. My back is also good. No problems at all. The farthest distance I’ve covered since returning is 16 miles. I felt great during it and felt like I could do more. I’m hoping my body will remember the two 20 milers and one 21.5 miler I did prior to October.

Even though it’s not what I pictured, it’s still going to be an amazing race.

My goal is to enjoy. Enjoy the scenery. Enjoy the movement of running. Enjoy helping a friend reach her goal.

My number one priority is to make sure my cadet, Kailey, crosses the finish line of her first marathon. This isn’t my race. It’s hers. She’s put in the miles, done exactly as I prescribed for her. She worked really hard while training and I am so very, very proud of her!

If you are interested in tracking us, it’s available through the Honolulu Marathon website. My bib # is 14604.

It’s going to be a crazy, good time. I’m ready to be on the plane already. I’m ready to meet the other teams from Saucony 26 Strong that are running Honolulu.

I’m ready to run.

Six03 Great Pumpkin 10k Relay Recap

Six03 Great Pumpkin 10k Relay |

You guys, I ran a race over the weekend.

I know what you are all thinking…WHAT? Aren’t you injured?

So here’s the thing. I ran twice last week and with every run, I saw progress in my injuries. I was able to run further with less discomfort. My plan was to try for at least 3 miles on Saturday. However, I was already registered for the Six03 Great Pumpkin 10k Relay with Kailey. The way the relay was set up was Runner #1 ran 1.5 miles and then handed off the baton pumpkin to Runner #2 for their 1.5 mile loop. Then it was all repeated again for a total of 6 miles or 3 miles for each runner. I didn’t want to have another DNS, but I knew there was no way I was going to actually race. Kailey was cool with me taking it easy so it was decided – I was running!

The race was located at Flag Hill Winery on the trails behind the vineyard. It was a chilly 41 degrees and sprinkling rain at the start. As with any trail race, the atmosphere is way different than a road race. It was a smaller crowd, no bibs, no timing chips. And very chill. Since it was a Halloween themed race, there were a few costumes. The most memorable being the Baywatch inspired team with the large man wearing a blonde wig, a stuffed tank ala Pam Anderson and complete with lifeguard float. The only race requirement? A mini pumpkin that had the team number that each runner carried during their leg.

Kailey started Team Pumpkin Pushers off while I tried to stay warm. We had done a 10 minute light warm up run before the start. I actually was very surprised how well all my aches were feeling even during that. Before I knew it, I saw Kailey trucking across the field. We had decided on wearing all black as our team uniform, but thankfully she wore her bright orange Saucony shoes. I could clearly pick her out!

Thoughts from my sections of the run:

  • I’m running!
  • I’m getting passed. Speed up. No! YOU ARE NOT RACING!
  • I love running on trails! A bed of soft pine needles and dirt feels so much better than pavement. I need to run more trails.
  • AGHHHHHHHHH!!!! Creepy old doll randomly in the woods propped up against a tree!
  • Holy steep, muddy downhill. Slow. Slow. Slow.
  • That guy has a dirty butt. I guess he didn’t slow down the steep hill.
  • Watch out for that tree.
  • I’m running!
  • Why don’t I run trails more?
  • I’m so happy I’m going to cry!

Six03 Great Pumpkin Relay  happyfitmama.comPhoto courtesy of Kailey.

Such a fun race! Even though we didn’t technically race it, we still did quite well – 38/80 with a time of 50:23. I was just unbelievably happy to be back to running relatively pain free. My Achilles felt great. My SI/L5 weren’t too bad. I definitely could tell I’m still not 100%. It just felt like I didn’t have as much strength on my right side as compared to the left. I was a little sore later in the day, but overall all good.

I’m happy to be back in my running shoes again! And that is simply marvelous.

How was your weekend? Run long? Run a race?

5 Lessons from Spectating a Marathon

spectating a race

Last Sunday, I spectated the Baystate Marathon.

The marathon I was supposed to be running.

I have never spectated a marathon before. Or any long distance race for that matter. I’ve watched a couple of 5k’s. That’s it.

I’ve always been the runner.

Being on the other side of the road, I got to see a lot more. When I’m running, I usually have blinders on. I’m in my own space. I don’t notice the faces of the other runners as they push their aching bodies towards the finish line.

I’m in my pain cave.

As a spectator, I saw pain, grimaces with each step and tears. But I also saw smiles, joy and relief of knowing they did it!

5 Lessons Learned from Spectating a Marathon

1. Race day outfit matters! Don’t wear an old ratty, stained shirt. There will be pictures after all. You worked your ass off to make it to the finish line and most likely you’re going to look like hell. You owe yourself to at least look like a little effort went into your attire.

2. Cold weather + singlets = bloody nipples. I have never seen more bloody nipples in my life. And it wasn’t just a little bit of blood soaked shirts. It was a lot. And they were all on males. I was in agony just looking at those poor guys. I’m sure they learned their lesson – band aid up boys!

3. Runner’s won’t stop, can’t stop for anything. Kailey and I almost missed seeing Mariette running into the finisher’s chute because of a woman that had blood running down her leg. We couldn’t help but stare as she trudged by us. I’m not sure exactly what it was from but I’m guessing her shorts were rubbing on her inner thigh the whole 26.2 miles. There was a large chunk of raw skin in that area. At least it was cold enough that maybe she was numb?

4. Some people make it look so easy. You gotta love the guy or girl who comes trucking into the finisher’s chute at a blazing speed with what looks like little effort and absolutely no sweat on them at all. Seriously, how do you do it?

5. Marathons are freakin’ hard! It’s easy to forget that running 26.2 miles is not something that can be done by everyone when you see the smiling race reports coming through your social media feeds. It takes endurance. It takes heart. It takes guts. No matter how well your training went, it still is going to be hard work to make it through those miles. It’s kind of like childbirth – you swear you are never going to do it again but then you forget about all the pain and agony in a month or so. And then you sign up for another.

Have you spectated a marathon? What did you learn?