Race to the pint ~ 5k recap

This past weekend, we ran the 2nd annual Cape Cod Beer Race to the Pint as a family. The weather report was not ideal! It was chilly with a strong chance of rain. Thankfully, the rain held off, but it was still pretty raw. We all bundled up and headed to the race.

Just as the last 5k we ran together, both boys were running with me. None of us had been consistent in training and we weren’t too sure what to expect. While the boys were a little frustrated with each other at the beginning of the race, they settled down when we came up with a plan.

We ran one minute and walked one minute and the youngest was able to go ahead with one mile left. Once we had settled on the plan, they eased up and were more fun to run with. They became chatty and ultimately enjoyed the experience.

With each race, they learn a little bit more about pacing and training. What once seemed easy to do without much training is no longer a walk in the park. Moving forward, we will train a bit more and see how it goes!

Oysterfest 5k ~ Hills, hills, hills and surprise a new hill!

  
This race has always been one of our favorite races and is probably the hardest one we run. This year, my husband had to travel for business during Oysterfest and I considered not running the race. My running friend convinced me to bring the kids and her husband would watch them while we ran, leading to this fun crew 🙂

  
Registration seemed to go online late and it stated there would be a new course. Finally, registration went live along with a map of the course. Having run it two years in a row, we know the area pretty well. Imagine our surprise when they eliminated the flat and added a hill – eek!

I decided to not psych myself out and drive the course. It wasn’t going to change my game plan. My running has been interesting. I haven’t hit some of my distance goals, but I’ve been getting out there running consistently and walking during football practice. My hope was a continuous 10:30 pace. This seemed obtainable and it was 🙂

  
This Sunday, I’m running a marathon relay with my husband and friends. I have a 6 mile, hilly leg ahead of me. I was using the Oysterfest 5k to gauge where I was in training. Thankfully, I felt pretty good.

Don’t get me wrong – the race was HARD!! By the time we were done, we had climbed 254 ft! This is a lot for our little sandbar. I’ve said it before, one of the best parts about this race is the scenery. For example…

  
The boys have never gone to this race with us. I asked the boys if they wanted to run the kids race. Our oldest was excited to join in the fun; the youngest, however wasn’t too sure. As the day went on, our youngest decided to give it a try. The course was a little different from the adult course, but there were still hills. We talked about working hard, but respecting the hills. 

  
A mom asked if I would be running with the boys and I laughed stating they are much faster than me. Not surprisingly, they proved me right. Our oldest came in first and his younger brother was less than a minute behind him.

  
After everyone was done, I showed them the best part of the Oysterfest race – Oysterfest! They enjoyed chowder, crab cakes and some fried dough ;). It was a great day and I’ll be ready for those hills again next year!!

  
PS. I finished with a time of 34:01 one minute slower than last year. I keep reminding myself it was 8 hills and not the 6 from last year 😉

 Time to celebrate 🙂 
How is your fall going?  Have you attended any fun festivals?

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?

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?

Our first turkey trot!

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My friends mentioned running on Thanksgiving and my husband had mentioned it in passing. Honestly, I wasn’t too sure. Now, I’m completely hooked and hope to do it every year.

The 5k, We Gather Together, is a fun run with a low registration fee in exchange for food donations. We decided to head over Wednesday for registration. It was pouring rain and just nasty out; yet this didn’t discourage the hundreds of runners from coming and donating food. They boasted t-shirts for the first 2,000 runners and I think they were right on!

This was definitely the biggest race we’ve run and there were many familiar faces in the crowd. Here is our crew…

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The kids ran the kids’ dash before the race and then cheered us on. How awesome is this cheering section?!?

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We drove through some snow squalls to get to the race and I wasn’t about to wimp out, but I wasn’t too psyched about the weather. It cleared a bit as we waited for the start and then we were running through picturesque Sandwich village.

There is something awesome about running with so many people through an old New England town (one of the first towns). I didn’t know what to expect from my legs. Wow, they came through!

I really want a solid under 30 minute finish and settled for 32 minutes. They asked everyone to line up according to their pace and I headed towards the 10 minute + section. I have never really needed to weave around other runners and walkers. I definitely was weaving and bobbing for the first half mile. After that, it evened out.

I’ve been hoping to run a race where my pace increases and doesn’t decrease. At the very least, it’s been holding steady. Not during this 5k! I increased speed with each mile and was able to finish strong. My legs felt good from the start and I felt pretty confident in my pace.

I knew it wasn’t going to be a 30 minute finish, but it felt good and I stuck with it. I’ve been running longer distances lately, but I didn’t know how that would translate. Pretty well for this race.

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After the race, we went home, showered and put on p.j.s to watch the parade. Then, I made this guy to bring to my parents house and boy did we feast!!

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Have you done a turkey trot? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Did you have snow?

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?

Jolly Jaunt ~ Family, friends, and a jolly good time

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Over the summer our friends picked the local Jolly Jaunt as their running goal. We decided to join them, but we were a little wary of it falling on our youngest’s birthday. Well, it did. We asked him what he thought about it. He wanted to know if he could race too. We looked it up and there was a kids race. He wanted to run on his birthday like Daddy did on his.

We signed everyone up and recruited some more friends to join us. One of my awesome co-workers even made tutus for the event.

The day of the race was a balmy 34* with some wind, but no snow. We geared up after a morning of birthday presents and went to the race.

The boys ran first. They loved it! Our oldest came in second and our youngest was right behind him as he came in fourth. They were so proud of their numbers, medals and t-shirts. Our oldest put his shirt on the minute we got home and our youngest wore his shirt to school.

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When the kids were done, we met up with our friends and put on our tutus. This was one of the bigger 5ks we’ve run. There were people of all shapes and sizes. The outfits were pretty awesome. There was everything from Santa hats and tutus to full costumes.

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The course was pretty straight forward. There was a small loop before running back, so there were a few high-fives with my hubby and friend as they were heading back. Thankfully, we ran towards the water at the halfway point. It always makes it a little more fun. Of course, the water at this time of year means more wind (it was worth it).

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I was able to keep a pretty steady pace and found my warm gear the perfect level of warmth for me. I get cold easily (it makes me a little grumpy) and wanted to be as comfortable as possible.

While no race is easy, I’m beginning to hit my stride. I finished feeling pretty strong and not as exhausted as I have in the past. I was able to give the finish a solid sprint and not worry that my legs were going to give out. I’m always a little nervous that I’m going to face plant at the finish.

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Thankfully, no face plant in front of my amazing friends and family. It was cold and when you’re done running it is freezing! My friends and family all stayed to cheer me across the finish. There is such a great feeling of accomplishment and it means a lot to share it with others!!