Live Like Renee 5k Recap

  
Funny story, while I haven’t been blogging, I also haven’t been running. Coincidence, I think not ;). I did run a 10k+ at the end of May and I will be sharing about that race in a later post.

Since I last wrote, I have simply been busy being a mom and getting in what I can. With school back in session and a 10k on Sunday, I’ve been trying to get back in the swing of things while not getting discouraged.

While I’m not in the same running shape as I was in the past, it is my lack of mental strength that is the most frustrating! Like all muscles, it is slowly coming along and has taken a little tough love; but improvement is improvement.This next race is the third part of a trilogy and would probably not be happening if I weren’t a crazy person. You can’t run 2 out of 3 – that’s just silly!

While trying to win the mental battle and find miles at any cost, I decided to sign the boys and I up for a local, charity 5k (my husband was traveling for business). The course is beautiful and one I run often, so it seemed like a good idea.

While my friends and I have been trying to figure out how in the world we are going to run our distances next weekend, we brought it back to basics and the reliable run/walk method. Right where I started with the run for 2 minutes, walk for 1 minute system from Jeff Galloway.

I figured I would apply the method to the 5k and see how it felt. Our youngest wound up spectating as his asthma was acting up, but the oldest and I went to the starting line feeling a little underprepared.

The oldest bolted from the start and I set into my 2/1 system right away. It worked like a charm. Not only did it keep me in a good routine, but the time flew! I wasn’t thinking about anything other than counting down to the next walk/run interval. In the end, I finished with an 11 minute pace all the way through. Certainly not speedy, but not that far off from my usual time.

 Our oldest was a little disappointed with his time (29:34 – still 5 minutes ahead of me) as he went out too fast, but he was happy to have done it and wants to train more in the future.

Sometimes I can’t believe that I can go out and tackle a 5k without a lot of preparation. Struggling through my first mile seems like yesterday and a million years ago at once. 

The running bug is coming back strong! My legs are feeling pretty good and I love running with my friends! Of course, we’ll see how next week goes – yikes!

  

39.5 miles in June and school is out!

You know you are a runner when you don’t round your mileage ;). You also know it’s killing me to see that .5 – it won’t happen again 🙂
  June is always a tough month, there are a million things going on. Here in the Northeast, school just got out (the last day for the boys was June 25). This means lots of fun end of the year events, field trips and school celebrations. Not great for running.  

Last night was my first night at the track. Definitely hard to get back in the swing of ovals. The beauty of the track is you can focus on intervals when you aren’t feeling it. We walked and sprinted to get back in the groove.

Previously, the boys participated in a running program and I ran with friends while they were in class. This year, we have baseball. I am still meeting my friend on Tuesday nights and will sneak in miles elsewhere 🙂

I realized while I was looking at my running stats how much has changed in a year. July is usually our best month because we have the set time at the track. We generally logged between 12 and 14 miles a week. Over the past year, we’ve increased our weekly runs and this is much more our norm.

The end of June taught me to take it hour by hour (day by day was a little overwhelming) and so far it is working. This hour is for chauffeuring, this hour is for teaching, beach, grocery shopping, etc. Thankfully, I included this hour is for running.

So far, we are soaking up as much summer fun as possible!! How is your summer going? Is it busy or does it slow down?

39.5 miles in June and school is out!

You know you are a runner when you don’t round your mileage ;). You also know it’s killing me to see that .5 – it won’t happen again 🙂   
June is always a tough month, there are a million things going on. Here in the Northeast, school just got out (the last day for the boys was June 25). This means lots of fun end of the year events, field trips and school celebrations. Not great for running.  

Last night was my first night at the track. Definitely hard to get back in the swing of ovals. The beauty of the track is you can focus on intervals when you aren’t feeling it. We walked and sprinted to get back in the groove.

Previously, the boys participated in a running program and I ran with friends while they were in class. This year, we have baseball. I am still meeting my friend on Tuesday nights and will sneak in miles elsewhere 🙂

I realized while I was looking at my running stats how much has changed in a year. July is usually our best month because we have the set time at the track. We generally logged between 12 and 14 miles a week. Over the past year, we’ve increased our weekly runs and this is much more our norm.

The end of June taught me to take it hour by hour (day by day was a little overwhelming) and so far it is working. This hour is for chauffeuring, this hour is for teaching, beach, grocery shopping, etc. Thankfully, I included this hour is for running.

So far, we are soaking up as much summer fun as possible!! How is your summer going? Is it busy or does it slow down?

Oh October

I keep thinking, next month will be easier, it won’t be as busy. The reality – life is busy. September was the beginning of school and sports with a trip at the end of the month. October began with one trip ending and travel in the middle of the month.

November doesn’t have any travel, but the holidays are upon us. Any parent knows we are entering crunch time. All of this shows me how hard consistency in miles really is.

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Luckily, I was able to hit my goal of being consistent in October. I am pretty optimistic about November. If I can maintain my schedule while the boys are in school and know I might be shorter on miles over Thanksgiving, I should have success.

There’s even a chance I’ll log more miles in November. The key for me is to keep showing up to run with my friend. She is preparing for her first half marathon this weekend (how awesome is that?!?!) and keeps me on track.

Our runs are an appointment on my calendar. Maybe there will be more for longer distances in the future. So far, I couldn’t have predicted where my running adventure has gone and am along for the ride 🙂

How do the holidays affect your fitness routine? Are you consistent in your activities?

Running with friends

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When I began running, it was all about me. I didn’t want anyone else running with me. Sometimes on the treadmill was ok because I could go at my own speed. I wasn’t responsible for anyone else’s workout.

Now, I hate running by myself. I’ve been walking on the treadmill to keep moving and often clear my head before teaching a class. Running has become social.

I love it in the summer when I run and walk with friends at the track. Again, it’s like the treadmill. People can go ahead or slow down at their own pace, but we are all there together. Somewhere along the way, running with friends has become a huge highlight of my week!

It’s my “me” time, the equivalent of meeting for coffee. I don’t know when this happened! There are so many strange phrases coming out of my mouth. For example, “it’s only _ miles” or “I wish I brought my running stuff on vacation”. The craziest was this past week.

My running friend and I had scheduled a 5 mile run on Friday afternoon. Her daughter wound up being home with a stomach bug (life of a mom) and she had to cancel. I was genuinely disappointed. I looked at my husband and said I can’t believe how bummed I am about not going for our run.

On my way to teach, I thought of a friend I might be able to talk into joining me. The running gods smiled down, because there she was running on the treadmill when I got to the gym. I mentioned going for a run/walk in her neighborhood AND she said YES!

I was psyched! Of course the weather was cold and wet. It was supposed to clear, but typical New England – it didn’t. I called after my last class to see if she was still game and she was! We ventured out for a 3.25 mile run/walk.

Her long legs made her fast and we only walked for a little over .25 miles. It was great 🙂 We chatted along the way and I found myself explaining that I love getting out and catching up while running.

I can still see the irony as a friend last year told me how great it is to run and talk. I thought she was CRAZY! Who can run AND talk, that’s just insane. Somehow, this has become my reality. I love running with friends. The mileage is secondary to getting out and catching up.

Not to mention, it keeps me accountable. I’m not going to be the one wimping out when the weather isn’t perfect or I don’t feel like it. I have an appointment, somewhere to be and someone counting on me.

I am capable of motivating myself to workout, but why make it less fun? As the winter months approach, I may be stuck back on my own. Right now, I plan on keeping it outside and with friends as long as it’s safe.

There is nothing like the fresh air and quality time with friends.

Do you exercise with friends? What has surprised you about leading a healthy lifestyle? Do you prefer being outside or inside when exercising?

Back to BOKS training

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Last week I ventured up to Reebok (again :)) with two moms for BOKS training. I am the lead trainer and thought it is great team building and frankly, just fun.

We were a little early and snuck in some shopping before the event began. The training was full at 75 people! It felt like double from last year’s training. How awesome is that?!?

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While I knew it would be fun and I love going to Reebok; I had forgotten how contagious everyone’s energy and passion is. It felt like a BOKS pep rally as we sat and listened to Kathleen talk about starting the program and how far it has come.

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They made the point that it has really been a grass roots movement. The trainers and people bringing it into the schools have to be passionate about it. In districts where it’s been mandated, people feel forced and it doesn’t have the same impact. They also mentioned Eli Manning as a spokesman didn’t go very far either.

Like any training, the group makes or breaks it. We had an awesome group. It was large and diverse. There were other parents, grandparents, retired educators and people from a YMCA in the Boston area. This allowed for great questions and discussion. It also made the games fun and realistic from a size/chaos perspective.

75 adults running around and playing toilet tag was a fair representation of what it feels like in the gym when running BOKS. We all did sit-ups and planks, ran around and laughed. It’s a great way to meet new people as you’re cheering on your team of strangers 🙂

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This year’s training touched a little bit more on the numbers side of things. The original school has been tracking performance based numbers and they are currently being analyzed. They know that attendance is better for children enrolled in BOKS. Test scores are showing improvement as well. Of course, there are the testimonials from teachers in favor of BOKS.

At our school, kids didn’t want to miss a BOKS day. There are many stories from parents saying how easy it is to get their kids up and out on BOKS day because the kids can’t wait to get there. To the adult eye, it might seem basic; but that is the beauty!

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The games are simple and easy for all children to understand. We have a wide range of kids involved and they cheer each other on. It was asked at the training about handling kids who were maybe faster/more athletically inclined and those who are not. Most of us agreed that it isn’t the issue adults think it will be. We break our kids up into even groups and emphasize cheering on your team. So far, this has brought smiles to even the shyest kids.

Another question that surprised me but seems worth mentioning, do trainers have to be fit. The answer – no! It was emphasized that a good trainer is charismatic, has control of the room and has fun demonstrating and playing the games.

Keeping the program volunteer run and free allows all children the opportunity to be involved. We were shocked at how many people signed up the first time we offered it. This year has been no different. Even finding volunteers was easier than I anticipated it. The kids love it so much, you don’t need any publicity 😉

Does your school offer BOKS? What was your favorite game to play as a kid? When was the last time you played tag?

Oysterfest ~ Friends, Hills and Fun!

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Last year, Oysterfest was one of our favorite races. It was far more challenging than we had realized going into it, but we ran with friends and attended the festival when we were done. Who doesn’t like live music, seafood and a beer with friends after a difficult race?

I had remembered last year was chilly pre-race and thought a lot about clothing options. I went with capris, t-shirt and light weight sweatshirt. My husband had a hat on the counter and I thought to grab my own (best idea of the day).

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We enjoyed a pretty sunrise on our drive down Cape (which is actually north) to Wellfleet. We drove the course before picking up our numbers and there were those hills as we had remembered. Somehow, they had grown to mountains in my memory. Driving them, they didn’t seem as scary.

We picked up our numbers and met up with our friends. As we bounced around to stay warm and did a little yoga pose for fun (and stretching) we chatted about last year’s race. We were excited that my husband had his watch on this year and we would know what the elevation is.

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There are three hills in this out and back race (so you climb and descend 6). The race began at 7 feet above sea level. The first hill is 61, the second 55 and the third 57. No wonder my quads were crying for mercy 😉

I ran the first part of the race with my running buddy. She keeps me working hard to keep up and I always feel pretty good. It was running with her that I had my best time in August. I sent her ahead near mile 2 as I knew I needed energy for that last hill.

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I felt pretty good going into the race. My running has been funky this month with travel, but I’ve still put in some decent runs. Hills are difficult to find on the Cape and it’s hard to be ready for them. I remembered feeling strong on them last year and was hoping for the same success.

It seemed I was ready to give in and walk just as we reached the top of each hill. No matter how big the hill was, the top came at exactly the right moment. I was able to keep trucking and enjoy the down hill that much more.

As I ran and warmed up, I took my hat off. I watched people peel off layers expertly. I kept going with my long sleeves which I was thankful for at the finish. The cold wind took care of that heat as soon as I stopped moving.

Luckily, we all brought a fresh change of clothes and pulled a Clark Kent in our cars before walking up to the festival. Sadly, I have an old iPhone (new one has been ordered) that doesn’t hold its charge and I didn’t get any pictures from the festival.

In the end, I finished the race in exactly 33 minutes, shaving just over 3 minutes off last year’s time! If I’m honest, I was hoping for 4, but am happy with 3. It’s been fun to re-run a few races and have something to compare it to.

What’s your favorite post race activity? What fall festival is your favorite?