First Day 5k ~ 2017

You may recall, we ran this race last year and our youngest experienced every running emotion possible over three miles (you can read about it here). This year, we stayed at a New Year’s party until the ball dropped – making everyone a little tired. Of course, my husband and I still planned on going and “coerced” the little men out the door.

The weather was perfect for a January run in Massachusetts, sunny and 43*. The crowd was a little bigger than last year’s and everyone seemed in good spirits. We met up with one of my running friends as we were walking to get our numbers.  (Our color scheme wasn’t planned 😉)As always, I ran with our youngest (carrying his inhaler), but this time the oldest joined us; rather than run ahead.  The boys and I picked our plan: running to a landmark the youngest picks, walking to the next one, etc.We had a great time, we talked and laughed and ran plenty!  It’s funny when you walk/run because you pass the same people along the course. There were a few families moving along at our pace making for a fun and festive time.

While it took some effort getting out the door, it was a great experience. I may have threatened that we won’t do it next year, but I changed my mind 😉

CHiPS 10k+ Recap ~ only 4 months later

 Right after this race, I went away with my husband and came home to the end of school year joys and completely forgot to write a recap. As our latest race got closer I thought I would simply combine the recaps into one post, but they were such different experiences, I decided to write them separately!

Some of the specifics of this race have faded into the background. I had to look up my pace and the temperature, details that aren’t important anymore. What I do remember vividly is the feeling I had while running and after!

  My friends were running the half and we came up with a plan to pace ourselves steady and slow from the beginning. I decided I would take pictures along the way and just enjoy the course.

We chatted the entire time and the miles seemed to cruise right by. I remember distinctly thinking how are we already to mile 5? It just felt good and fun to be with my running friends. Eventually we parted ways as they continued along and I turned back towards the finish.

  One detail I remember very clearly is the distance of the race! A few days before the event, an email was sent explaining that the cute little plus was a whole mile ~ eek! I had never run 7 miles before. It wasn’t even on my radar.

I knew my legs would carry me through and they did. I had finally reached a point in my training that allowed for extra distance without too much thought. How could I just tack on an extra mile? Seems crazy to me even now!

The day was a great success and I was very happy with the whole experience!

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!


3 years (and 1 month), 1161 miles, Friendship and Family

This is the hardest recap to date. I find I’m struggling with perspective on a year that saw new adventures and unevenness in commitment. In many ways, it seems to be my new normal.

The blahs…

Honestly, I can’t blame last winter (but how how convenient it would be to blame all that snow) – it was all me. By accident, I learned that I had reached a point in my running that I could pull off a race without a lot of training. It may not be my best time, but it wasn’t even that far off. Training seemed unimportant (eek!)

There were months with a lot of miles and months with very few miles; yet there were miles. Even when it didn’t seem like much, I would get out and walk. The hardest part was deciding to run when walking seemed just fine.

Time to run…

As the boys get older, my schedule continues to change. This is obvious, yet hard to get a handle on. I’ve said before that I try not to say we are busy (all the time) and accept it as normal. To sound like a teenager, “all of my friends are doing it too!”

I’m pretty good at sneaking in running time, but it is definitely the first thing to go. My goal for the summer is to be more consistent in my running. I’ve been pretty good about it, but last summer was pitiful. 


This year saw not only running with my usual partner in crime, but reconnecting with an old friend. We had lost our ways when our kids were tiny and we live 30 minutes apart. A mutual love of running has allowed us to meet mid-way and chat through our miles.

I can’t imagine running without my friends. They help get me out and keep me going. It is always a highlight within my week!


Not only have I expanded my friend circle, but my family circle as well. My husband and I never thought we would run more than a 5k, this year we ran our first 10k and 5+ mile legs of a marathon relay and a 5 miler! We’ve already run as many races in 2016 as we did in the spring and fall of last year. Pretty crazy!

There has also been the welcome addition of our youngest running 5Ks. Our oldest has enjoyed them and we are now at a point where we trust him on the course by himself. The youngest was a little more hesitant. Mainly because of his asthma. We worked out an agreement where I run with his inhaler and he runs with me. Somehow, he already has three races under his belt.

We are at the beginning of their busy sports season and I’m not sure how many races they’ll run this spring, but it has been amazing to include them in the fun. It’s only a matter of time before they are both speeding by me on the course.

Sharing the running bug…

I am asked about running often, probably because I talk about it so much ;), and I have to say it has given me so much more than I ever imagined. When I am contemplating (arguing in my head) about walking or running on any given day – I remember how much I enjoy the race and time with my friends and family.

When I started running and followed runners on social media, I would get frustrated when people would post “a quick 5k today” because I was still struggling to get through a 5k. Now, 3 miles doesn’t seem far (I’m still not quick) and I get it. I vividly remember the struggle to get through one mile and I’m not going back to it!

Some days and weeks are easier than others, but it has all been worth it!

Shamrock Shuffle ~ Family Fun

One of my favorite things about my running journey is the addition of running with the kids. It is nice to have races to run with my husband and different races to run with the entire family. The Shamrock Shuffle was a great race to run with the kids.

We ventured up early to check out the course and the sights. The race began and ended by Plymouth Rock and went along the water. It gave us the opportunity to play tourist and meet up with friends!

The race had a good turnout and there was a lot of green!

We split up at the start according to our paces. I was running with our youngest. He was enthusiastic the first time we ran a 5k together and was less enthusiastic the second time. He really wanted to do this race so I was hopeful.  

He was a complete joy through the entire race. There was a running commentary the whole time and he was excited to pick out scenery shots along the way. He still doesn’t maintain a consistent pace so there is a lot of running and walking. I let him determine our pace and followed his lead. It worked out well!

Our oldest finished with his best time (26:01) and placed second in his age group! The entire day was a great success and we can’t wait for the next one!!


My first official 10k!!!!

My head is still spinning and I’m having a hard time putting all of my emotions into words, but I’ll give it a try 😉

I’m not sure how I got to this point and yet it has been a long time in the making. Weird, right?  Last year, I decided to forget my “I’ll never run more than a 5k” and look for the next challenge and then the snow came ~ cancelling many winter races, including what was supposed to be my first 10k.

Let’s just say training fell flat after that. The boys’ schedules were crazy and while I was still running, my runs weren’t as long or as consistent. This fall, I ran the hilly 6.15 mile portion of the Cape Cod Marathon Relay relatively unprepared and felt better than I expected. While I was happy with the entire experience, I had hoped to be a little faster.

My husband and I had always planned to run the 10k from last year and signed up pretty early. Somehow, I didn’t really train properly (sensing a theme?). I was running consistently and put in plenty of miles in January for the Winter Warrior challenge. Still, I didn’t feel as prepared as I did last year. 

I found I was having a lot of doubts about this race. Yes, I would finish; but would it be the time I was capable of? I didn’t know. I held onto the fact it was my first 10k and would be my PR (Personal Record) regardless. 

I had a pretty good idea about what my pace would be and was hoping to be done around 1:10 and would accept 1:15 (due to lack of training). By my calculations, this meant I would be finishing with the front runners of the half marathon. This did not thrill me.

I know I’m racing myself and all of the other feel good statements, but there is something about finishing 6.2 miles at the same time someone is finishing 13.1 miles.

The race…

The weather could not have been any better! It was sunny, in the high 40s and breezy (ok, really windy). It seemed as if the weather was making up for last year! I wasn’t sure about layers and knew I over dressed for the frozen pilgrim. I decided to put my number on my leg, allowing me to peel layers off along the way.

We found our friends (who were running their first half marathon!) and headed to the start with 3,000 of our friends. This is definitely the largest race we have ever been in!

My primary goal was negative splits (faster pace each mile) and to simply run. I started without music and decided to just go with it. My legs felt great right away and I was a little nervous I was going too fast. 

I overheard someone say their pace and figured I should be fine. As I went along, my legs and breathing felt good. I took my jacket off around mile 2 and was happy with my layers from there.

The course was absolutely beautiful! I didn’t dare stop for pictures, afraid I would ruin a good thing. I simply enjoyed the view! Knowing the course so well, was a huge advantage. I picked out landmarks in my head and checked in with myself at each of these points. Everything felt good and I kept going.

I never put in my headphones. I had no idea what my pace was. I let the sound of all the sneakers and the view of all the brightly colored runners keep me going. All I knew was it felt great! I was happy through the entire course!

As I came around the final corner, I saw 1:08 on the clock and ran hard. I was going to beat my goal! After crossing the finish line, my phone congratulated me on my fastest 10k at 1:05! Could it be?

Just as I collected my medal, the first finisher for the half marathon crossed the finish. What? Two goals accomplished 😉

My official chip time was 1:05:17! My first mile was 11:17 and then I maintained a 10:30 pace and mile six was a 10:15 pace!

This race reminded me of everything I love about running. It was exactly what I needed!!

I’m a winter warrior!

OK, the challenge was for January and we are nearing the end of February; but I’m still excited about all January had to offer. Throughout December, I couldn’t pick a goal or word for 2016. Nothing was really exciting me. I decided it was time to focus on feeling success in what I already do. My plan was to run distances I felt good about and feel good with the weights and reps I do in class.

Then I signed up for the Winter Warrior challenge on January first. My friend had mentioned it earlier in December and I wasn’t ready to commit. A) I don’t like being cold (ever) B) How does this fit with feeling successful in what I’m currently doing C) What the hell – go for it 😉

I had already done the First Day 5k when I signed up and decided to go all in. They give you an option to buy the shirt when you sign-up. The names of everyone who completes the challenge are on the back. Of course I decided to buy it and there was no way my name wasn’t going to be on it!

I decided to do the bronze challenge which meant getting in one mile everyday (walking or running) outside for the month of January. The boys and I found a fun mile in the neighborhood that includes a decent hill. I also found a flatter mile in the neighborhood for the truly yucky days.

Luckily, the least inviting days fell on days I run with friends. There were times we were tempted to do our miles in the neighborhood or my friend not doing the challenge was going to go on the treadmill. Somehow, we decided to get together and get it done. Something about sharing the experience and if you’re going to put on all those layers, it might as well be for more than a mile 😉

My friends doing the challenge and I even got our mile in through gross weather before attending the Pats playoff game ;). As we said in my house, anything for my name on a shirt!

The challenge was a huge success and gave me the perfect goal to start the year! It allowed for success and took some extra effort. There were a few times I told my friends “I am not this bad ass!” Turns out I am 😉 There were some bitter cold, windy and snowy days; yet I conquered them with my friends and it felt great!!

I was excited to complete the challenge with my husband and friends at the Frozen Pilgrim. Maybe even more excited to celebrate with a cold beer after 😉

Time to find a new challenge – I really enjoy the external motivation!