4 years of running ~ 1388 miles, sometimes tedious with a sprinkle of fun

To be honest, I was quite surprised when Facebook showed me an old blog post celebrating my running anniversary. I had completely forgotten! In a way, this sums up my last year of running.

Many times it was tedious and frankly lack luster. My running motivation was pretty much gone. I exercise a lot outside of running and decided to honor it. I cut back on running and made sure I was in shape enough to participate in races.

Slowly, my running desire is coming back. The weather is improving and I’m enjoying getting in miles with friends when I can. My hips have been getting cranky on the treadmill so I’m focusing my cardio elsewhere.

Before I started running, I was envious of people who could just run. They decided to simply run a 5k. This seemed impossible to me. I couldn’t run a mile. I put in a lot of hard work and eventually got there myself.  

As I play on different cardio machines, I realize how much running has helped. They aren’t as intimidating as they once were.

Of course, there was a lot of good too! We ran the 10k trilogy and that was amazing! The atmosphere at each race is electric and it’s a great sense of accomplishment to finish all three. Not to mention the courses are beautiful 🙂

The boys were more involved in running and look forward to running 5ks with us. We are planning to run as a family at the end of April. It can be a challenge scheduling races around their busy activity schedule, but it works.

It’s not a bad lesson for them to cheer us on once in a while as we spend much of our time cheering them on. Not to mention the lesson of perseverance and working towards fitness goals as adults. They’ve both noticed how their sports season affects their race. For example, one noticed he runs better during soccer season as his conditioning is on point versus a season with less running.

While it wasn’t the most glamorous year of running, like many runs themselves, it got done. I’m looking forward to this year of running and seeing what it brings 🙂

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?

January ~ A little bit of everything

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I knew my miles would be a little off as we were going on vacation; however I hadn’t planned on 2 feet of snow and 5 consecutive snow days. Oops ;). The treadmill and I are working on our relationship and it’s getting better.

January brought a lot of different weather on my runs. Most of my runs were in the 30 degree range and often with some brutal winds. We did run in single digits once and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Luckily after the frigid run, we went on vacation and ran in warmer weather. I jumped back into it when we got back and luckily the temps were in the thirties. Then came the snow 😉

I have accepted the treadmill and have had two good runs at the gym. It looks like the treadmill and I will be friendly for the foreseeable future. With a little luck, the roads will clear up and I’ll be outside soon enough 🙂

How was January for you? Do you have a treadmill or rely on the gym? What’s your favorite distance to walk or run?

Holding steady through December

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December is one of those months that’s simply difficult to accommodate fitness. This year, I was determined to keep running a priority while I could. I knew once the kids were home for vacation, all bets were off.

After a cold start to the month, it was pleasant by the end. I even snuck in a quick neighborhood run the day after Christmas and it was actually warm. Of course, now it’s cold; but I’ll save that for another time 😉

Being consistent through November and most of December was really paying off in both my level of comfort and speed. With the kids back in school, I’ve been trying to get back on track.

We are traveling next week, but planning a family run. Otherwise, I will probably give my body a much deserved rest. I hate the thought of losing progress, but I also know I abuse my muscles regularly and they need to rest.

Were you able to stay active through December? How is the weather where you are?

I post all the pictures from my runs on Instagram 🙂

Oysterfest “Shuck n Run” ~ Up, down and so fun!

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When my husband began running a few years ago, his goal was to run in the Wellfleet Oysterfest 5k. Due to yucky October weather and young kids, we didn’t make it to the race. When we decided to run the Piggy Trot last May, the Oysterfest 5k was also put on the calendar. Little did we know three of our friends would be joining us. Unlike years ago, the weather was perfect and the day lived up to our expectations!

We always arrive early to the race and drive the course. We did the same this time and discovered there would be some hills. After the Labor Day race, we had changed our training. My husband found an outdoor run that incorporated hills and helped him be more comfortable running outside. I added incline on the treadmill and ran outside when I could.

Having done all of that, I pretty much took last week off. My breathing finally began to settle and it was my body that was screaming. I decided to let my legs rest a bit. I ran three miles on the treadmill Tuesday and that was it. I continued to teach all week, so rest is relative. Thankfully, I woke up feeling pretty fresh on Sunday and it made a huge difference.

The course was an out and back. The pros of this type of race for me were: it’s fun to see my hubby and friends (of course high-fiving), I knew what to expect and the way back was closer to the water. I can’t express how beautiful the course is. We were climbing hills, but it made the view that much better. The ocean was sparkling the entire time!

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I made it through the entire course jogging! I followed my mantras of “one foot in front of the other” and “just keep going”. Some of the hills were tough so I looked out at the water and enjoyed the vistas. After the race, I was joking that a slower pace allows you to truly enjoy the scenery. While this is true, I shaved almost two minutes off my last race!

It was a great race followed by a great time at Oysterfest. We pulled a Clark Kent and changed into jeans before walking up to Wellfleet center and the festival. We got there just as a bluegrass group was playing and enjoyed a few beers, and oysters. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it was seasonably warm for Cape Cod in October. A perfect day!!

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Have you run an out and back? What’s your favorite race so far?