46 miles in September

Wow, how is it October? September has been all about getting back in the swing of things, but thankfully the transition back to school has been pretty easy. Our oldest is playing football for the first time and our youngest is playing soccer and fall baseball. Add in open houses at different schools and it’s safe to say, we are quite busy. 

My teaching schedule has picked back up and I’m finally back running. Not surprisingly, my body is talking back a little bit. My running hasn’t been exactly where I want it to be. I’m able to get in a longer run and then it seems to take more recovery. I’m still getting out there and I’m trying to accept that sometimes I have to walk.

I have expanded my running circle by reconnecting with an old friend. She noticed I was running and we decided to meet up along the canal as she lives off Cape. I’ve even run with both running friends together!  

Sadly, races haven’t really worked with the activity schedule. We have signed up for a relay marathon at the end of October. It’s nice to have the external motivation of a race on the horizon!

We are looking forward to a great school year and embracing our new routine! Obviously blogging has taken a backseat to everything else. My goal for the time being is to get one post up a week and build from there :). As the kids keep us busy there will probably be a few sports/parenting posts in the future.

How is your fall going? Does your routine change with the season? What’s your favorite part of the fall?

Running to run

When I began running I followed a training plan. I began walking one minute and running one minute for a total of 30 minutes and increased the number of minutes I ran. This plan helped get me through my first race and I continued along this route for a while.

Over time, I began running with my friend outside. We started with 4 miles once a week and eventually increased it to 4 miles two or three times a week. This turned into 5 or 6 miles a few times a week. As I added miles and outdoor runs, any formal training fell by the wayside.

I simply ran for fun. Racing continued to be a part of my routine as I love it. The longer miles and better stamina certainly helped with 5Ks. I am sure speed work and intervals would help improve overall performance but it isn’t a priority for me right now.

I practice pilates and yoga and work with weights and body weight. Not for running, because I like it! All of these habits help each other. I can definitely feel the effects of strength training when I run hills and improved cardio has helped in all areas of my life.

Training sounds like it has an end date to me and I don’t have an end date in sight. I simply want to do what I enjoy and right now that is running, yoga, pilates and general strength training.  

I have already talked about how running will be more challenging this summer. Frankly, I just have to change my mindset. Maybe I bring the boys to the track before teaching or gasp become one of those early morning runners ;). Like everything, it will be a little trial and error.

For me, following a training plan is important to get started in any new adventure. It provides structure, knowledge and confidence. Over time, it’s important to take that knowledge and confidence and translate it into something that works for you.

Do you follow a specific plan? What is your favorite way to get moving?

Ocean to Bay 5 Miler ~ Nerves, fun and high fives

What a day! This race has been on my radar since I began running. I never ran with it as a goal, but I loved the idea of running across Cape Cod (we live at a much wider part of the Cape). It came across as a race we could sneak in and we were sold!

We knew the boys would have flag football playoffs, but didn’t anticipate all star baseball practices. Thankfully, my parents rock and got everyone to the first round of games and practice. We scooted back from the race for the second round :)

The race started at 9 and we like to be early and take it all in. We headed off early as it was an hour away from home. This allowed us to take in the beautiful start! Like most lighthouses on Cape Cod (I think all, but am not 100% sure) this lighthouse has been moved back from the edge of the dunes. Storms around here take a toll on our beaches and the lighthouses have to be moved from the edge.

  The race benefits the lighthouse and had the best mile markers along the course :)

  They promise the most scenic run and they didn’t disappoint! My plan was to take photos when I was tired, for blogging purposes of course ;). If nothing else, I was getting a picture of the bay, just because.

  I could have taken pictures along the entire course, it was that beautiful! As we approached our final turn around, I had to slow down for this photo. The ocean matches the sky, but it’s there. It definitely helped me keep going.

  The course had two up and backs which is a little funky, but fun all the same. This allowed me to get two high fives from my speedy husband and one from my running friend (we were still at the same pace for the first high five).

Because I had already run the finish (in reverse), I knew it would be uphill. This was definitely in the back of my mind as I was getting tired. In the end, it wasn’t as scary as I built it up in my head. It was definitely a head down, no stopping type of finish; but so worth it!

  Five miles is one of my favorite distances to run, but I was really nervous about how it would translate to a race. I loved it! It’s definitely a challenge, but so worth it! This race was about checking out a new distance and seeing how it worked. Anytime you run a new distance, it’s a PR (personal record). My goal was to finish under an hour (which was modest, but I was nervous about hills) and I finished in 52:03 :)

I hit my secret goal pace through the race and was really happy with the entire experience. Yes, we are looking for more 5 mile races that fit within the all star schedule.  

How was your weekend? How do you balance activities? What’s your favorite distance to walk or run?

Viva 5k ~ 3 years running

Somehow, this race has been a somewhat last minute addition to our schedule two out of the three years it’s existed. After we ran our first race (3 years ago, how has it been that long) we had caught the racing bug and found this 5k in its inaugural year. We decided a few weeks before to run it and had a blast. Last year, we planned ahead and our oldest joined us on the course.

This year, we planned on running it with both boys, but they had a baseball game and all star try-outs so running seemed unnecessary. It didn’t look like we had anyone to watch the kids and we decided to miss the race and focus our energy on other events.

That Thursday, my parents became available to watch the boys and my husband said, “great, we can the viva 5k”! If you follow me on Instagram, you know my runs after the Michael Aselton 5k were TERRIBLE! My legs had felt like a cement/lead combination and while they eventually loosened up, it was pretty miserable. One of those times you look at the stairs and think, do I really need xyz? Hesitantly, I agreed. My legs couldn’t feel this way forever, right?

I asked one of our friends to join us and decided, it would simply be. Of course, I wanted the same or better time as the race only the Sunday before, but knew it might be a little slower. Once we were registered and at the race, everything changed. I forgot how much I love this race. It is not only a fun race, but the culmination of a rec running program. There are TONS of kids on the course. I saw a few of my BOKS kids before the race and they were pumped!

We all lined up and headed off on the pretty course. No ocean views on this one, but still a nice part of town. It was a sea of neon ahead of and behind me. My legs started a little tight, but loosened up nicely before the mile marker. My big goal was to increase my pace consistently through the race. I shaved 10 seconds off each mile and was very happy with my 32:12 finish.

As I was running, I came up to one of my BOKS buddies who was walking. I took out my headphones and asked him if he was having fun. He said YES with a huge smile! I told him I would see him at the finish line and he sprinted past me yelling, “I’ll see you at the finish line Mrs Fishback”. I laughed and kept my pace. I came upon another BOKS friend at the end and was able to cheer him on too!

It was a great experience and I can’t wait to run it again next year! I am constantly amazed at what a difference running consistently has made in running 5Ks. Seems obvious, I know; but it has really changed my experience.

This weekend we are tackling our first ever 5 mile race. I ran a 5.7 mile race on New Year’s Day, but there were no numbers or clock. It was a genuine fun run. I have had my eye on this race for the last 3 years and can’t wait to tackle it. The course is supposed to be stunning. I may have to sacrifice a few seconds on my time for photos. We will see 😉

Do youth sports/kid activities dictate your weekends? Is there an event you put on the calendar every year?  Do you have your eye on a specific event?

Running in May ~ 56 Miles

I know it’s a little late, but May saw some fun milestones!  My friend and I were finally back to our 6 mile runs after a dismal March and rebuilding in April. The weather is improving and our route has been beautiful!

A highlight was running overseas with my husband. This was the first time I planned to run while away on vacation and more than once! We ran in Dublin, Ireland and Albufeira, Portugal. Completely different climate and surroundings, but early runs all the same. I’ve seen photos from other people who have run while visiting different places and initially thought it was lame. Then, something changed and I thought it was really cool (this continues to happen for me pertaining to many things running related).

We also ran two 5Ks in the month of May. One was planned and the other was last minute (recap of the second race is coming this week). The runs felt really good and my time was pretty consistent as they were only a week apart. I’m still wrapping my head around the fact I can randomly sign-up and run a 5k. I can vividly remember all of the prep work and stress of trying my first road race. I still get butterflies, but it isn’t the same stress :)

Looking ahead to June…

June can be a tough month. The boys get out of school on June 25th and the last few weeks of school can be pretty hectic. I’m hoping to stay consistent in miles through the end of school. The boys decided to try out for and made the local all star baseball team. This will change some things this summer, but they couldn’t be more excited!  

Is school out for summer where you live? Does your routine change over the summer? Do you have any trips planned?

Michael Aselton 5k ~ PRETTY Awesome

Confession: this race has been recommended to me from the time I began running. The “problem” was, the race is at 7:30 am during Memorial Day weekend. As you might imagine, Memorial Day weekend is huge on the Cape (Monday saw a 50 mile back-up to the bridges). Not only did getting up early to run on a celebratory weekend not seem exciting, it falls between 2 races we enjoy running. How did we wind up doing it this year? Scheduling!

We were away for one of our favorite races, the Piggy Trot and we’re not able to run the Viva 5k due to childcare (this has since changed ;)). Desire to get a 5k under our belts meant the start time didn’t seem so crazy and my running friend was running the half marathon at the same time. It seemed like a great time to try it.

I can’t say enough good things about this race. First, the course is absolutely gorgeous. Sorry for the lack of pictures but I didn’t dare stop my momentum. The crowd was great and most importantly, the roads were closed! We had an entire lane for the full length of the race. It was awesome!

Many of the local high school track teams were volunteering along the course. It was great to see kids up early and cheering us all on. Most of the crowd was people visiting with some locals mixed in.

I didn’t know what to expect from my legs as my running had been sporadic. My goal was to keep going and I was hoping to increase my pace as I went along. I slowed down a little in the second mile, but was able to speed back up in the third. My legs felt great the entire time. It usually takes them a little while to warm-up, but they were loose from the beginning.

Not to mention, I began behind this guy (does it get any better?) 
 I finished in 31:38 minutes. The elusive 30 minutes didn’t happen and frankly, I didn’t expect it. I almost forgot how much I love the race atmosphere. Time to find more fun races :)

What’s your favorite way to kick off summer?  Do you enjoy races early in the day?

I’m still here

I’m not sure what happened to April! The snow finally melted and life became very busy. I’ve been trying to change my mindset from thinking of it as busy to simply, it’s life.

BOKS started up again and we expanded to three mornings a week – allowing for more manageable groups. It is definitely more of a commitment on my part and the mom helping me everyday; yet it’s easier. The kids have been great and are enjoying running around.

I’m back running outside and logged 40 miles in April! Not bad considering we had April vacation and I didn’t get out that week. The weather could be a little nicer, but it isn’t snow so I’m not complaining!
40 Miles in April
Classes are finally back to normal. The snow and holidays allowed for only two full weeks of classes from Christmas to April. I know, crazy!

Baseball season has begun and the boys are loving it! It keeps us busy and I spend a lot of time driving. Luckily, they are on the same team this year. May will be filled with games and practices. Just to be sure we are busy enough, the boys are playing flag football on Sundays.Where did April go?

My writing normally happens early in the morning, but BOKs has changed that. I am still working out a new writing schedule and hope to be more consistent soon! The idea of setting new goals and freshening things up has been keeping me busy. I am still working out what that would look like in my head.

Do you evaluate your goals and set new ones? Are they often career or lifestyle based? Maybe both?