Tag Archives: running

Old Port Half Marathon Race Recap

It’s now been two weeks since my last Half Marathon- the Old Port Half and it’s about time to do a little recap! For all the beautiful hot sunny days we’ve had this summer it was a shocker to wake up to cloudy skies on race day and cold (60 degree) temps with a chance of rain. This race is traditionally a very hot one but I was psyched to wake up to cold clouds! (Perfect running weather)

There were two different waves for start times and I was starting in the second wave but I knew that I was likely going to be faster than that pace (9 min/ mile) so I made sure to get up front for a good start so as not to get stuck. I ran into my friend Brian from IDEXX at the start and for the first mile or so we were chatting and catching up all while realizing both of us were running way faster than goal pace. But hey- it was working! We actually ended up running together for about 9 miles and I definitely think it helped push my pace. 

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The course is mostly flat with two big hills and it winds through the streets of the old port, west end, east end, and then around back cove. It’s a great course and aside from the two large hills I think it’s a pretty easy one. As far as racing goes this was actually pretty uneventful for me. After running Pineland in May I had a lot of miles under my belt and it felt a heck of a lot easier running on mostly flat roads vs. very hilly trails. I started out with a good pace and then it did not change a whole lot over the 13.1 miles. I think the hardest part was that it rained and my headphones wouldn’t stay in my ears. That was annoying! 

IMG_0785I ended up getting a PR by 15 minutes with a time of 1:51:45 averaging 8:31/mile. The finish was fun and even though I was absolutely soaked and cold we stuck around a bit and had some snacks and caught up with some friends. The only major bummer was that right after the race we hopped in the car for two hours and when I got out my IT band hurt SO bad! It was no fun for a couple of days but I’ve been doing lots of stretching and strengthening and back to running again! Next up: Beach to Beacon.

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Pineland Farms 25k Race Recap

Hard to believe it’s already been a week since the Pineland Farms 25k. A very busy and fun week, too! After the race I finished out a great long holiday weekend, had a free trial week for my new outdoor bootcamp business, went mountain biking for the first time this year, and finished with a course preview of the Sebago Lake Triathlon course (and a swim in the lake). Holy moly! But let’s back up a little bit… 

Training

I started training for this race around early April. Or that’s when I started building up my milage anyway. I basically only ran two days a week. Occasionally three if they were shorter. One “short” run 4-6 miles with some speed work (tempo or pick ups… I think I only went to the track once) and then one long run a week where I would add a mile or so each week, finishing with my longest run at 13.1 miles two weeks before race day. You may ask to yourself: is that enough running? For me, definitely. For those of you who don’t know I injured my ankle 4 years ago skiing (ironically at Pineland) so since then I have kept running to a minimum and I definitely make sure to not run every day, so as not to aggravate it. So two days a week works for me and then I cross train with spinning, road biking, weight training, and swimming. It works 🙂 

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My original training schedule. I also have to take into account classes I have to teach and workouts (running) I need to do with my clients. A giant jigsaw puzzle!

The Race

I’d say about 5/15 of the race miles are “fun”. Conveniently 3 of the fun miles are the first three so the race starts out on a good note. The race starts out FAST (by trail standards) and mostly downhill. And then the hills begin. There are no serious multi-mile climbs on the course but Pineland is LOADED with steep uphills and steep downhills. Non stop. For many many miles. Most of the course is in the woods on double track said hilly trails but there are a few field sections thrown in there. The fields were actually my least favorite part. They’re pretty- and you’ll see cows and sheep and that might distract you from how awful they are but the footing was very difficult on them and the grass was just long enough where you were never quite sure where to put your feet, but hey, I signed up for a trail race and a trail race it was! 

So the first three miles were fun, then I started to wonder if I could even finish 15 miles, there were two more fun miles around mile 11 when the hills decided to take a little break, and then the last 5k went by SO. SLOW. One foot in front of the other and I got to the end! I wasn’t sure what to expect pace wise for this race since I knew the terrain was very difficult and trails definitely slow you down. Walking slows you down too. That happened a few times. Going into it I was thinking that I would be very happy with sub 10 min miles and I hit my goal! I finished in 2:30 averaging 9:43 miles for 25k or for all you americans reading this: 15.5 miles. This race is very well organized and there were fantastic aid stations about every three miles where you can guzzle gatorade or water and feast on delacasies such as gummy bears and potato chips (true story that’s what I ate). I didn’t carry any water or snacks with me but made sure to have something at every stop. I saw lots of people carrying their own water so it’s totally personal preference. I don’t like carrying things. 

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Post Race

After this race is a fun time. There is a bbq, free stuff (darn tough socks and kind bars!), and free beer if you’re into that after racing. I am not. I ran into some friends and chatted for a while, got some food from the potluck bbq, sat on the grass and almost stayed there the rest of the day due to some seriously sore legs, and then made my way home. I didn’t realize how bad it was but I had a serious blister situation on my feet! I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with the dog on the couch and then actually ended up going to a concert later in the day. I was very excited that it was a cold evening for an outdoor concert because the only shoes I could even think about putting on were uggs! (and that’s what I wore to a concert in May… ugg boots.) Overall it was such a fun time and something I’m so proud of completing and I’m excited to do it next year! 

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Urban Runoff 5k and Summer Race Planning

Good morning! Today seems like a good day to think about summer and racing and anything other than the fact that it is SNOWING out. On Saturday we did the Urban Runoff 5k which was a great race that was put on right in our neighborhood. It was fun to race on trails that I run regularly (Angus laughs at me when I say “for fun”) and since IDEXX was a sponsor team I saw lots of people I knew at the race from classes! 

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I was hoping for a sub 24 minute 5k but that didn’t happen. In fact, I got the same exact (to the second!) time I got for the last 5k I did. Guess what, my friends? When you make the same mistake you get the same result! Need to get my pacing under control and not run like a bat out of hell the first mile. Things to work on! I got over the disappointment fast with a waffle brunch with some women who take my classes. 

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So what’s next? This time of year I shift my training and run and bike way more than I strength train. I’m still trying to get two days of weights in a week: one lighter workout (tabatas, AMRAPS, etc) with lighter weights and then one harder lift (mostly bench) a week. Other than that it’s run, bike, swim! Here’s what I’m looking at for racing this summer. Anything after July is very up in the air. Are you doing any of these races? Are there any I should consider? 

May 29- Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival 25k

June 12- Sebago Lake Triathlon Festival Sprint TRI

July 9- Old Port Half Marathon

(I am an ambassador for this race! I have done the half and the 5k and it’s such a great morning and so much fun to run through the streets of downtown Portland. If you would like to do the race here is a little discount! Sign up and then go treat yourself to a coffee with your big savings.)

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Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival

Good morning! My legs are a little tired this morning after running the 10k in the Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival yesterday! This was a great race and event and I’m already excited to do it again next year. (It’s funny how running works, if you asked me in the last mile of the course if I was ever going to do it again I would say no way… now that it’s over I can’t wait)

The 10k course has lots of rolling hills but the first half of the course is mostly downhill, while the last half of the course is mostly uphill. Then the last kilometer of the race is ALL uphill. It was hard. Since I’ve spent many days at Pineland skiing and racing there (on skis) the trails were really familiar to me and I knew all the twist and turns and upcoming hills. It was nice knowing the course so well but there were many times where I was dreading a hard section that was coming up. 

Here’s my coworker, Joanne, and I waiting at the start of the race!17693_10204587686231698_4730102087563766090_nThere are lots of different options for race distances and the festival spreads over two days. There is everything from 5k to 50 miles to a dog race. I loved this corgi and weener dog running together.IMG_2192This adorable little bundle of chub wanted to play with Angus instead of race.IMG_2196Here I am coming up one of the hills!IMG_2184

photoI was really happy with my results! It was one of my fastest 10ks on the hardest course I’ve done. Something about a race though and PAYING to run makes me want to try a little harder. See you again next year, Pineland! 🙂

Fore River Trail

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I thought I would share another one of my favorite trails in Portland for running. I have a great four mile loop right from my house that incorporates this trail and it is one of my favorite runs. I learned about this trail back in the day when I ran cross country in high school. Back then there were no fancy maps at the trail heads or anything of the sort but now there are which makes this much more doable to go alone even if you’ve never been. Let’s be real: the trail is still in Portland and there’s not THAT much area that it covers so even if you get lost it probably won’t be that bad. Explore a little and have fun! Or ask me to go running or walking with you and I’ll show you the way. That works too. ANYWAY so this trail is super fun and there are rivers and water falls and cool birds to look at. I also included a little map so you can start planning your route. 🙂

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photo 4I usually enter through the Congress street entrance and then run up and over by Jewell Falls and then out that little dead end street off of Brighton. Like I said… it’s not THAT big of a trail system so it’s sort of hard (impossible) to get really really lost. Happy trails!

Wedding Weekend and Old Port Half Marathon

Monday is especially hard after the fabulous weekend we had! The first half of the weekend we spent up at Sunday River to celebrate the marriage of our friends Jeff and Amanda. The rehearsal dinner was a great BBQ and pool party. On the day of the wedding Angus spent most of the day taking pictures with the rest of the wedding party so I took the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful day and went swimming at a nearby pond with my aunt and cousins.

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The ceremony was right on the slope of Lollapolooza and it was so cool feeling like you were right in the mountains! The reception was so beautifully decorated and I loved all of the little details. We had a lot of fun dancing. So much so that I woke up the next day sore!

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 This is the point where I started to regret signing up for the Old Port Half Marathon two days earlier. If you’re wondering how you missed all my training posts, don’t worry- you didn’t. I run once a week (about 4 miles) on Mondays and then I go and get iced coffee. That is how much I run. Every once in a while maybe I’ll do that twice in one week. The rest of my training includes teaching spin classes, cycling outdoors, circuit training, and swimming. So naturally I thought it was a good idea to try and run 13.1 miles.

I loved that the race course weaved along the familiar streets of the Portland penninsula. There were two major hills on the course, one going from Commercial street up to the West End, and the other going from Commercial street up to the East End. The hills were not the hardest part in my opinion. The first 8.5 miles were a breeze and then the course hits the back cove trail. It was SO sunny, and SO hot and you can see all the way around the 3 mile loop and it feels like it goes on forever. I’ve also run that trail about 10 billion times so it can get boring for me. The good part was that once you were off the trail there were only 2 miles left until the finish! As soon as I finished I took advantage of the free food that the race provided because I was STARVING for the last 3 miles. I was really happy with my time 2:06 (averaging 9:38 min/ mile). I wasn’t really sure what to expect since I’ve never run that far before and I was hoping for anything under 10 min/mile.

Over all I really enjoyed the race and will probably do it again next year. I know this race got a lot of bad reviews in the past because of the course and I know they previously ran out of water at the water stops. Everything seemed under control this year. The course was changed a bit, the water stops were not at the bottom of long down hills, and they didn’t run out of water or gatorade. 😀

 

Post Run Strength Workout

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This year I’m trying to keep running throughout the winter so my legs aren’t shocked come spring time when I start running more to get ready for triathlon season. Usually I just end up cross country skiing and going to the gym in the winter- great cross training but my legs are always angry when I start running again. After my snowshoeing adventure on New Years Day I was left with some pretty massive blisters on my feet from my hiking boots. Yesterday I thought I could probably run again and I made it about half a mile before I “reblistered” my blister and hobbled on home. When I got back I decided to do this little strength workout.

If you primarily run, bike, ski, walk, etc. etc. for your workouts why not try adding a little strength session at the end of the workout? Just 15 minutes of strength at the end of your run can make a huge difference! By adding some strength, you’ll likely find that you can do your cardio-based activities even faster and you will be less likely to get injured. Awesome, huh?! Okay now go for a run and resist flopping on the couch when you get back and spend 15 minutes doing my workout. 🙂

Post-Run Strength Workout

1 minute plank

15 push ups

20 alternating reverse lunges

15 push ups

40 oblique twists (20 on each side and with a med ball is great if you have one!! If you don’t then just tap the floor with your hands)

20 squats (jump squats are also a good option)

1 minute plank

15 push ups

40 bicycle crunches (each time you bring your knee to your elbow counts as 1)

15 push ups

1 minute glute bridge

DONE! If you have any questions on how to do the exercises shoot me a comment or an e-mail 🙂

 

 

Winter Running Layers

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It’s coming! Winter is almost here. This picture is from last Tuesday when I went for my first wintery run. If you’ve been running all summer and usually give up this time of year because it’s cold, dark, and often snowy, think again! Keep going! I guarantee, once you are out there you won’t even care that it is 20 degrees, snowing, and windy AND it’s a great reason to treat yourself to a post-run hot chocolate. Challenge yourself to keep your routine through the winter season. Wearing the right clothes can make a HUGE difference. Here’s my favorite outfit for a snowy winter run. And yes, I know you’re all thinking you’ve seen me out there in cotton EVERYTHING. It’s because I’m bad at laundry and all my good stuff is dirty. 😉

Skida Hat/Headband I love these! They are lightweight and breathable but still keep me warm in the coldest of temperatures. They come in all sorts of fun bright colors, too 🙂

Base Layer I always wear some sort of base layer…. if it’s really cold, go for the long sleeves. Craft makes a good one that I have had for YEARS but my new favorite is the lululemon swiftly long sleeve shirt.

Jacket Invest in a good lightweight but warm winter running jacket. I have two that I love. One is by Swix and the other is by Craft. They’re a little pricey but well worth it. You will have the jacket forever and it will be sooooo much better than running in that raincoat. (Anyone ever try running in a raincoat? It’s BAD.) These jackets keep you warm and toasty but allow air to circulate.

Pants If you think you can wear those cotton leggins from Target to run in the winter, think again. You will have the coldest legs ever. Here’s what you need to keep your legs toasty and happy. I either wear a fleece lined tight or any fleece lined pant, or a windblock pant by Swix. Helpful hint: TJ Maxx almost always has fleece lined pants by Hind or New Balance for about 20$. Deal!

Socks Wool! Smartwool! That’s all 🙂

Gloves Gloves are probably the one thing I’ll skimp on for winter running. If you’ve ever seen those spandex gloves at the grocery store or target for 1.00 those are what I wear 99% of the time. That or thin bike gloves. If you’re running then you’ll probably get hot and you can stuff these in your pocket when you don’t want them anymore. If it’s really cold maybe wear a mitten.

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Well there it is- my winter running (or nordic skiing) outfit. Avoid cotton and you’ll be a happy winter runner just like me.

 

Trails in Portland- Stroudwater River

One of the many reasons I love living in Portland is because there are so many great trails that I can access so easily from my house. I discovered (or was shown) the Stroudwater River Trail back in high school when it was a particularly bad snow year but the river was frozen and there was a thin layer of snow on top of the river. You know what that means? Yup. Time to skate ski on the river. The trail is relatively flat and winds along the river through the woods. It’s my favorite trail for a nice easy run. With the beautiful fall colors now is the perfect time to get out and enjoy it! Here is the information from Portland Trails on how to access the trail.

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