DJs for PJs 5K [Race Report]

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This morning Alex and I ran the DJs for PJs 5K. Well… I ran it, she went along for the ride.

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I picked up my packet the day before at a local Kohl’s store. Part of the event was a pajama drive for kids, so I had purchased a pair of baby pajamas at Target earlier in the week. I felt a little silly carrying a pair of pajamas into Kohl’s to donate. I guess I could have just bought a pair there!

Race participants could pick between a gray or a blue shirt. My shirt is a size S and it is huge. It will either become a sleep shirt or disappear completely.

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The packet also came with about a billion pieces of paper for various businesses, some of which I actually found interesting. There were some for free drinks and free desserts. (Okay, odds are I will never redeem those, because I don’t need a yard size drink and the desserts are at places I probably wouldn’t take my daughter for dinner and I don’t know what a date night is anymore.)

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Also, there were a couple of things for free workouts: a boot camp workout and a couple classes at a yoga studio. The yoga studio is nowhere near my house… but they have TRX classes. If I can fit in a couple free TRX classes, I’d love to try it! Those may be worth redeeming.

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We also got some other random stuff, including a water bottle that came with a warning that you should never put it in the dishwasher as it may melt. WHAT?! And a pen on a leash… in case your pen wanders away. And one of those RedStar sunglasses cards. Anyone ever redeemed one of those?

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It was about 75 degrees at race time, but it definitely felt warmer than that! My body needs to do the first heat adaptation! (The second will come when we are over 100 all the time! Vegas Baby!)

 

Runners/walkers were encouraged to wear their PJs for the race. The irony, I wore an old race tech-shirt to bed with a pair of gym shorts. I got up in the morning, changed out of those into a different tech shirt and running shorts! The people who actually wore PJs looked too hot!

The course was uphill for the first half. I’ve run this path soooooo many times. I don’t even know how many times, yet today it felt harder than it ever has in the past. Maybe because I was pushing about 50 pounds uphill! (I think the stroller weighs about 30 lbs and my little peanut is around 21 lbs.)

I like the pace chart from my Garmin, how you can see where it dips on some inclines. Oh, and where my passenger demanded WATER! and when she was ALL DONE! I’m not so competitive that I’m going to ignore that, it was warm!

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I had a lot of cheers on the course, lots of people yelling out “Go Mommy Runner!” and “Run Mom!” At the turnaround the volunteers there were yelling, “First stroller runner! Woo hoo!” It was kind of funny, I have never gotten that much attention for pushing a stroller in a race. At the finish line there was a gal just a little ahead of me and some guy started yelling, “Go mom runner, push it in. Pass that girl!” So I did… :-)

We got a medal when we crossed the finish line. Then the organizers said, “Give them another one, for the baby.” So Alex has her own medal, her very first one. She likes pointing out the “baby” on it. (She points out babies everywhere.)

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Jamba Juice was one of the sponsors and they had little smoothies at the finish for everyone. I went to pick one up and they asked if I wanted one for my cute baby. I had assumed I would just share some with her, but they promised there was enough for her to have her own. She loved it.

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What she didn’t love was all the people who wanted to talk to her. And when the race photographers/videographers gathered right in front of me and asked if they could take our picture and get video of us, she started to cry. She has a little bit of trouble with straw cups sometimes, she tries to tip them up like she was drinking from a sippy cup. And well… that gets messy. So when you are already kind of upset and then end up with cold smoothie all down the front of your chest, you might be sad and start crying harder, saying, “Go go go. Home.” So we left before the awards ceremony could start, thus I have no idea if I placed in my AG or if we won any of the raffle prizes. But we did ruin a shirt!

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It was a fun little event, I think the crowd was a little smaller because there was the big Mustang 50th Anniversary Half/5K going on, but that’s a one time thing and if they do this one again next year I’d participate. It’s a good cause and they did a nice job with the organization. And there’s something about having down a race in the morning that makes the day feel so much more interesting than if we’d just done the menu planning, grocery shopping, stuff around home like usual.

Race Report: Mums on the Run 5K

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This morning I ran the Mums on the Run 5K, my first race with Alex in the stroller! I woke up at 6 AM when my alarm went off, and I was thoroughly confused for a moment about why I was waking up. “Is it a weekday? What’s going on? Why is it so light outside?”

I quickly ate a Larabar while getting dressed and lathering on sunblock. Around 6:30 I heard the baby waking up, so I went into her room to feed her, get her dressed and covered in sunblock. We loaded the BOB into the car and left the house about 7:15.

Alex started to cry in the car on the way there, which made me worry a little. But when I got her situated in the BOB, she was fine. She was very quiet and observant the whole morning, few smiles… just taking everything in.

Baby in Sunglasses

She pulled the sunglasses off about 5 minutes after I put them on her. She much prefers chewing on Daddy’s sunglasses over wearing her own.

Before the race started, they had raffles; they had a pot of general raffles for all participants and then some mom-specific ones. My bib number was drawn in the mom-specific raffle for a bottle of wine. But that wouldn’t get much use in my household, so I told them to re-draw for that prize. The next prize was a massage certificate. They should have just given me that, right? ;-)

The race went well, it was at a park and was two laps around a water retention basin. I was originally registered for the 10K but decided to drop to the 5K since this was my first time taking the stroller to a race. I’m really glad I did that because it was warm, I was concerned about Alex out there. But she was good and even babbled a little in the stroller while we ran.

After Mums on the Run

All finishers got a mug.

Mums on the Run mug 2013

Moms also got a candle.

candle for moms

We hung out for a while to chat with friends and consume doughnuts from Pinkbox!

Post Mums on the Run

Pinkbox doughnut

Chocolate cake doughnut with cocoa krispies!

We hung out for the awards ceremony, I was thinking I would get in a picture with Charlene but I was starting to push the limits of Alex’s tolerance. We were fast approaching her next feeding time and it was really warm out. So we bailed almost immediately after the awards. No… I didn’t win anything! :-) Wasn’t expecting to, but it is a little bit of a bummer when someone asks you specifically what ribbon you got and you have to say “I didn’t.” I was happy with my performance pushing a stroller without my watch up until that question!

Addendum: I found out later in the evening that I was 4th in my AG with a time of 29:08. I’m happy with that!

Tech shirts were given to all participants with a cute little koala bear illustration.

Mums on the run shirt

I enjoyed the race and hope to do it each year. However, I don’t think I’m going to be doing another race with the stroller for a while. It’s just getting warmer now. Alex was so uncomfortable and she cried the whole drive home. She was hungry, hot and tired. I’m glad my husband was at home waiting for us so he could feed her some applesauce while I rinsed off in the shower really quickly before nursing her.

Today’s #BlogEveryDayInMay prompt: What do you miss? (a person, a thing, a place, a time of your life…)

I miss the carefree nature of my husband’s and my relationship post-college. We were dating at this time, but we went to movies frequently, late late showings that we couldn’t stay awake for now (nor would we have child care for them.) the last movie we went to was so long ago! Plus this was before the era of smartphones, so when we went out to eat we actually spoke to each other instead of playing Angry Birds or checking-in at locations or reading our email. As much as I love my iPhone, I do feel that in some ways the smartphones have made for a decline in human connections. I miss feeling like someone is paying attention to me and like I’m paying attention to someone else. We’re both too distracted now.

Blog Every Day In May

#BlogEveryDayInMay

Race Report: Commitment Day 5K

Commitment Day 5K

Commitment Day 5KAfter I ended 2012 with a 10K, I started 2013 with a 5K. This time I ran the Commitment Day 5K,  a race produced by Lifetime events that was run all around the country to encourage people to kick off their year with a commitment to a healthier lifestyle.

Each participant was given a bib number with a blank for them to write their name and their commitment for the year on it. When I initially signed up for this event I thought I would commit to nourishing my body and soul, but as the event got closer, I knew I had to change my commitment.

Commitment Day 5k

My Commitment: Laugh More, Stress Less

I haven’t been very happy lately. I have a great husband, a beautiful & healthy baby girl, a  loving dog, a good job, a nice home, so many things… yet I have been letting those things also be a source of great stress in my life. I fail to see the humor in things, I’ve lost some of the playfulness that I used to have in my relationships. It’s like the posters for The Dark Knight with the Joker on them that said “Why So Serious?”

Why so Serious?

Why so Serious? Joker in The Dark Knight

The moment that I thought of that as my “commitment” for the year, I knew it was right. The challenge will be in figuring out how to maintain that. But if it was easy then it wouldn’t be that much of a commitment, right? I could have always copped out and wrote “Brush My Teeth” on the bib. But since I already do that, it would be pointless.

I woke up in the morning, at a Clif baf while I got dressed. Then Alex started to wake up at 6:15 so I went into her room to feed her and get her dressed for the day. I took her downstairs and left her hanging out with my mom to get to the race. It was cold out, but beautiful out too. And unlike my race the day before, I was jazzed and ready to go this time. The night before had re-invigorated me and helped me to remember that I really do love to participate in races. I love being a part of a bigger community than just a runner of one.

Commitment Day 5k Commitment Day 5k

I got to Lifetime Fitness, where the race started, and followed the throngs of people dressed in Lululemon to the front doors. It seemed like that was some kind of unspoken dress code at this event! I felt kind of frumpy in my Target C9 jacket and Nike capris that were a tiny bit baggy. But I felt super cool in my Brooks PureDrift shoes! I hung out inside the club for about 10 minutes and then ventured out toward the start line with about 3 minutes to spare before the race kicked off.

Commitment Day 5k

Hanging out inside in my new Athleta beanie the hubby bought me for Christmas.

The race started off with a bunch of announcements about the course, but nobody could hear them. The RD needed a louder microphone. No one paid any attention, but it didn’t matter. The course was marked well. There were a couple of places where the course narrowed a little too much for the size of the crowd participating, which meant you had to slow down and trip over one another a little. But for the most part, it was a nice course, pretty much flat the whole way.

There wasn’t any chip timing with the event. And while I didn’t have any goals for this race, I was kind of curious to see what my time would be so I wore my Garmin. I started it at the beginning and it immediately gave me a warning that the battery was low. I changed the screen to only show me the time of day, I didn’t want to look at it and think about my pace during the race. Making that switch helped me to ignore it the whole time. I glanced at it as I went across the finish line, just in time to see the screen flicker off as the battery died. I synced it when I got home and saw that it read 28:23. Good enough for me!

After the race participants could pick up their swag. We got a little drawstring bag (I have about a billion of these things, they seemed to be the hot race item for a while. I wonder what will be next “thing”.) that contained our t-shirt and a training journal.

Commitment Day 5k Commitment Day 5k
Commitment Day 5k Commitment Day 5k

The training journal is a hardback book that has a yearly calendar and several training notes and tips throughout. It has a calendar for the entire year, broken down by each week. It allows you to set a goal at the beginning of each week and then mark how you feel you progressed on that goal at the end of each week. It also comes pre-scheduled with several Lifetime events… so there is an element of advertising to it! But it’s pretty nice.

I walked through the food line, I was one of the first people to go through this. (Most people were still on the course, there were a lot of walkers and families participating.) I grabbed a bottle of water, but they also had Gatorade and G2 available. The food included mini muffins, croissants and something called Aussie Bites, which I grabbed one. It’s something made out of oats, flax, dried apricots, honey, etc. Kind of a healthy mini muffin, it was a little dry but pretty tasty and kind of addicting. I wanted to go back for another but the food line had really filled up by then. They also had a bunch of fruits and yogurts available.

Commitment Day 5k

After I ate a little bit, I went back to my car so I could get back home. Alex usually eats at 9:30, so I wanted to get home and showered before she was too hungry. When I got home she was sitting happily in my husband’s arms. She had taken a nap in my mom’s arms after I left and was a well-rested and content baby.

This was seriously the best end and start to a year that I’ve had in a long time. I posted it on Facebook, but it was an opportunity to feel like ME again. And by getting to have that bit of myself back and to regain that joy, it makes me better when I am in MOM mode too.

Chefs for Kids 5K

Saturday morning I woke to the sound of the winds howling outside my house. I dragged myself out of bed and went downstairs to let Jade The Boxer outside to take care of her morning business.  Rain was sprinkling.  Las Vegas was under a high wind warning, with sustained gusts of 25-40 MPH, bursts up to 60-70 MPH.

This was a race morning…

I contemplated for a moment bailing on the race.  But I had paid and I kind of felt like I needed the boost from a race.  I knew I wouldn’t run my best race, but just getting out into the environment with other runners is invigorating.

So after eating breakfast, I got myself ready to go.  This nice thing was that the race started at 9:00 AM… that’s totally sleeping in!  I could sleep in, eat breakfast, laze around a bit and still get ready to go to the race! (When you start work at 7 AM each day, I imagine the term “sleeping in” takes on a different meaning than it may to others! Of course, I’ve always been a morning person.)

Instead of a race t-shirt, participants got a chef’s jacket and a paper chef’s hat.
Chefs For Kids 5K

When I picked up my race packet the day before, I was informed that the jackets were $45 each (or something like that.) They’re actually pretty decent. And since the race advertisements were about having a large group of “running chefs” I decided, alright… I’ll wear it. I never wear the race t-shirt in the race… but this seemed different.

In addition to the chef’s apparel, the goodie bag contained a bunch of snack-y items.
Chefs For Kids 5K

I got dressed for the race, putting on my chef’s jacket:
Chefs For Kids 5K

I didn’t wear the hat. No matter what direction I put that thing on my head it was incredibly awkward. And ugly. And it would have blown off in the high winds anyway.  I chose not to wear a cap during the run, since hats with bills always seem to catch in the wind and I didn’t want to have to hold it on my head all race.  But hairspraying the hair around my face didn’t hold it in… I should have worn a headband or something.

I got in my car and drove to the park where the race was held. Then I hung out in my car for about 10 minutes before braving the wind, but the wind wasn’t that bad when I got out of my car. “Okay, I can deal with this.”

As I approached the area where everyone was gathered, they announced that all runners needed to start walking toward the start line. So I just followed the herd. They described the course, told us we were just 5K away from a pancake breakfast, shot the gun and we were off.

Very shortly into the race, the winds kicked into high gear once again and didn’t relent for the rest of the race. Since we were running in loops, that meant we had moments where we ran straight into the wind, times with the wind at our side and times with the wind at our back… then repeat. Which meant that I ran hunched forward to power into the wind, I ran leaning sideways as strong winds were attempting to blow me over and I ran with a pretty good gusto with the wind pushing me forward.

My heart started pounding very quickly into the race and didn’t relax. My breathing felt very labored the whole time too. That’s just part of my life lately… generally feeling like crap! I’m proud of myself for getting out there and doing a race!

There were a few of my past Team Challenge participants out there on the course. Team Vegas represents!

On the course I passed a couple running together.  The guy was holding two bottles of Gatorade.  The woman next to him all the sudden yelled, “DRINK!” He handed her a bottle, she took a swing and then screamed “HOLD IT!” He quietly took the bottle back from her.  I wonder if they did that the whole race.

As I saw the finish line ahead and spotted the clock with a 29:XX on it… I pushed harder. My only goal at this point was to come in under 30 minutes at the point. And I did it!  Not my best 5K performance… not even in-line with my “average” 5K performance… but it still made me happy.

The race was not chip timed, so after crossing the finish line we all kind of shuffled into a line to tear off the bottom of our bib number for the race organizer to put on a big ring. About 10 seconds after I got in the line, a girl walked up behind me and then shoved her bib number tag right in front of me to hand it in and said, “I’m before you.” Then she patted me on the back rather patronizingly and said, “Good race.”

Uh… what was that? Weird.

I made my way over to get some water and then decided that I would eat a pancake. And I have to say, all those chefs flipping pancakes at the griddles, they mangled a good amount of them too. I feel far better about my pancake flipping (lack of) skills now!  They had pancakes with butter (Smart Balance actually) and syrup, oranges, bananas, juice and coffee.

I knew my friend Charlene was at the race, but I never saw her before or during the race. I kept looking around for her, finally I spotted one of her boys. I walked over to him, “Where’s your mom?!” He pointed me out so I finally spotted her. Charlene and I have run together for fun, we chat with each other often… yet this was the first race that we’ve run in together! FINALLY!!! (And it won’t be the last… Mardi Gras, Charlene?)
Chefs For Kids 5K

And Charlene kicked butt, like always. She won the Masters division.

Right after I got back to my car to drive home, rain started coming down harder. I’m glad that held off for the race. It would have been particularly miserable to have the rain in the driving wind.

I had fun, I’ll do this race again next year. It’s for a good cause and it was just enjoyable.

Race Report: Come Run With Santa 5K

This morning I got up and took myself out into the cold cold world to run a holiday themed 5K. Yeah… a race that was only 36 degrees at the start, that’s cold for my desert-dwelling blood! Plus, the race started at 7 AM. Races in Vegas have to start that early in the warm/hot months… but in the winter? Let us sleep in until 8 and gain a few more degrees! :-)

All whining aside, it wasn’t that rough. I did do my part to dress up for the holiday theme a little bit… I found some toe socks in the holiday section at Walgreens for $3.99, brought them home and cut off the toes. They didn’t really have spots on them for heels, so all I needed to do was cut straight across right under the toes and VOILA! Holiday leg warmers!

Leg Warmers

I picked up my race packet the day before, making sure that I got the “beautiful race sweatshirt” that comes with the Las Vegas Running Team events. Just like Catch the Gobbler… it’s a looker!
Come Run With Santa 5K Sweatshirt  - Front

Don’t forget the back, it’s the same hideousness as the Gobbler sweatshirt.
Come Run With Santa 5K Sweatshirt - Back

Funny enough, I was chatting with a woman before the race and she said that she was doing the race just for the shirt… she loves these sweatshirts, “they’re so well made and they don’t shrink!”

The race started at a car dealership, so most people were hanging out inside the showroom before it got going, trying to stay a warm. About 5 minutes before the race was supposed to start, we all stepped outside for the presentation of the colors, national anthem and to line up. As we were lining up I spotted Katy Beth… her antlers and curly hair made it easy to spot her in the crowd!

The race got going and we ran on the most boring course ever… basically we did a one mile loop around the dealership 3 times… they did make us go in another direction at one point to turn around and repeat the loop backwards. Didn’t make it any more thrilling, but whatever!

I decided to be festive and listen to holiday music while I ran. I put the Glee Christmas albums on shuffle. Sadly, that approach didn’t work for me at all. It kept shuffling to slower songs that didn’t motivate my running at all!

The moment I started running I knew I was just not feeling quite up to snuff… just a little wonky. I’ve been feeling that way a lot lately, just a little dizzy and fatigued. I was not running my fastest. I was actually quite surprised to see 28 minutes on the finish clock when I crossed that line… I felt like I was running through mud and really would not have been surprised to have seen 30+.

Due to the parking situation, nobody could leave until everyone was done with the race, so I hung out and ate some orange slices while chatting with people. The topic dujour was the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon/Half Marathon. The second I started chatting with one person about it, many more joined in with their own horror stories of the event.

Soon it was time for the awards ceremony to start. So I hung out thinking perhaps there would be some kind of remote chance they would pull my bib number for a raffle prize. No such luck… but I was shocked to hear them call me as 3rd place in my age group.
AG 3rd Place

LOL! One of my slower 5Ks and I win my first AG award! The chick who came in second only beat me by a second, must have been that girl surging past me at that last second. Good on her for having that push… I sure didn’t!

It was a fun morning, I’m glad I went out and did it. I missed some of my other friends who were initially going to do the race but had to back out due to various illness/injury. Kind of a bummer, but it is what it is. I definitely liked the idea of dressing up a little for the theme! I don’t do that much!

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OC Half Marathon

Two days ago I was pretty certain I wasn’t going to run this race anymore. Jade got really sick, she wasn’t eating and she was very lethargic. I took her to the vet and it looked like she had big pockets of gas trapped in her stomach and intestines. There wasn’t a solid obstruction, but she had been ripping her bed to pieces so there could have been cotton fibers in there causing her problems. The vet said they could do a procedure that would cost me $1200 to verify for certain if there was a blockage, or I could take her home with antibiotics and give her pepto. If there was a blockage, most likely we’d know in a couple days as she would start to vomit. Due to all this I had given up on taking a vacation and running this race. But she started to perk up and her boarding reservation was with the vet. My husband really wanted to take this trip as it is post busy-season for my hard working CPA spouse. The vet told me that he would take good care of Jade and that sometimes a vacation is exactly what we need. He promised to call me if there is any turn for the worse and promised I could call to check on her each day. (Yes, she is my baby, I am a totally over-protective mama!) So… we hit the road on Saturday after I coached my Team Challenge group.

Basically, I haven’t been training very well the past couple weeks. I ended up getting to California without my Garmin (and several other race items.) So I went into this thinking, “Alright, the only goal for today is to have fun.”

Start Line

And I was pretty successful for a while.

I started the race enjoying the views and taking in things around me.
Ocean views! Pretty homes! Nice weather!
But between the mile 8 & 9 markers two guys trotted alongside me. One said to the other, “What are you shooting for?” The other guy said, “1:55, but I’m ahead of pace for that now.”

When I heard that my mindset totally shifted… “What?! I’m ahead of pace for a 1:55? That would be so cool!” The thought of finally going sub-2 was all-consuming. By mile 10 my stomach was churning and I nearly threw up two separate times.

Then I encountered some more hills (there were more hills on this course than I anticipated!) and ended up walking a stretch. While walking I kept seeing spectators with dogs, which made me feel sad that I had left my baby Jade behind.

As the PR kept slipping away and I feared I was moving into my slowest half time ever, my thoughts turned to other people’s perceptions and how this would reflect. “Oh no, now I’ll have to tell my blog readers about my poor performance. And all the people I currently coach. And all the people I have previously coached… They’ll all think I’m a failure!”

This line of thinking slowed me down further, to where I was almost ready to throw in the towel completely. That’s when a woman trotted up next to me and said, “Don’t give up! Only a little more than a mile left!”

So I ran into the finish, feeling super relieved that it was over. I finished in 2:13. Not my worst time, but certainly off from my PR (2:02), my goals & even my normal comfortable time (2:08).

Oh well… Every race teaches me something. I need to take a few days to sort out the lessons, but I’m sure I’ll post about them here. But for the next couple days I’m going to spend a little time vacationing with my husband and calling the vet everyday.