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!

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 🙂

Hyannis Marathon, Half & 10k ~ Recap

I must admit, I don’t know where to begin with this recap – there are so many emotions and stories! I guess I should just start at the beginning. After running the trilogy last year, my husband placed in the top ten and qualified for free entry in all three races this year.  

After lack luster (to put it mildly) training for the last race in October, I wasn’t too sure about doing it again. In the name of support and having a goal, I decided to join him again.

As the race approached, I read my recap from last year and felt that my training was actually pretty good. The weather looked great again and I started to get excited for race day. We met up with our friend to collect out trilogy jackets at the race expo and the excitement went to a new level.The buzz around this race is contagious!! You can’t help but get pumped! You know this is true because my friend spontaneously signed up for the 10k! I was through the roof to have a friend run with me!!

We got to the race nice and early as parking can be a challenge and enjoyed amazing people watching (one of my favorite activities 😉). There are so many different types of people at this race. It is one of (if not the) last qualifiers for Boston. This means there are a lot of serious runners looking for great times. There are also lots of half marathoners training for Boston or accomplishing New Years resolutions.

As we were sitting there, the Hoyt’s came in and started getting ready. I don’t think there can be anything more inspiring! It really is such a treat to see them in person and know how much running has done for them and others!

We met up with a few other friends and headed to the start. My friend revealed her “Roger That” t-shirt during pre-race photos and I can assure you it was a huge hit along the course. I’m pretty sure it must be what it’s like to run with a celebrity. One of the college kids volunteering along the course even threw her a football around mile 3. Of course, I wasn’t paying attention and almost took it to the face, but I didn’t and she made an Edelman catch 😉.

My friend hadn’t had the opportunity to train as extensively – because life happens. We decided to have fun and take it all in. I know she was a little frustrated and wanted me to go ahead, but I reminded her that I had talked her into it. I was so happy to have company!!

We finished and found out my husband had his best time – he was pretty excited. The three of us had some water and decided to go grab lunch. After battling our way out and getting to the restaurant we discovered my husband had won his division and the awards ceremony was about to start. Back to the race we went and luckily made it just in time for the awards ceremony. Here he is collecting his trophy from Frank Shorter (who won the Olympic gold medal for the Marathon in 1972 and silver in 1976).

We were doubly lucky to have gone back as they held up a found car key. Yup, it belonged to our group! It had fallen out of an arm strap designed to hold your phone and wait for it, key 😉. Luckily all is well that ends well.After collecting his award and the key, we went to the after party for a post run beer 😊. It seems crazy to think I was considering not running. The day was everything I hoped for and I’m already looking forward to the next one!!

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!


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?

New Year, New Race, New Distance

A run on New Year’s Day? Heck yeah! Run my longest race to date? Of course! I know, who am I? I’ve always thought people who ran on New Year’s were overachievers. I mean there are 364 more days to exercise.

Then, I became one of those people. It all began when I was randomly looking for 10Ks in the area. Turns out, they are hard to find! I came across this New Year’s fun run and mentioned it to my husband and friends. Everyone was in!

My friend and I decided to tackle the 5.7 mile course. We’ve been running longer distances and it seemed like a good one to try. I got there early with my husband and friend. This was the first time we were seeing the course as it wasn’t online. I’m not going to lie – 5.7 miles looks A LOT farther when put next to the 3 mile loop.

Because it was a fun run, there were no numbers and no official start. Basically, the course was marked and you could head out when you wanted. The longer distance had an earlier start and thankfully the event was hosted at a hotel as it was a windy 32 degrees, but sunny 😉

My friend and I set off in a group, but I was quickly alone. This race was ALL mental! I remembered my headphones (thankfully!) and enjoyed my music. The scenery was pretty and the cold wasn’t bothering me. I was very aware of distance and pace.

By the third mile, I was less in my head and along for the ride. I felt pretty steady, but was definitely looking for those mile markers! There was a long, uphill portion at the end. Many people were walking and it was crowded. My legs were done and I sooooo wanted to walk. I didn’t. Pride stepped in and pushed me through!

I got a little slower with each mile, but I maintained a 10:34 pace. Definitely the fastest I’ve maintained for that distance. I wanted to finish within an hour and I came in at 59:43. It’s not a lot under an hour, but it’s still under an hour 🙂

The best surprise at the end was seeing my husband and friends! I thought they would still be running because they had a later start time. Turns out they went with an earlier group and ran their course. We hung out and had some water. Then it was time for the plunge. No thank you! Of course, we did watch. I feel confident in saying you will never see me plunge in New England 😉

Afterward, we ventured out for lunch and a celebratory drink! It was a perfect start to 2015 🙂

Have you done a polar plunge? Do you exercise on New Year’s?

Oh October

I keep thinking, next month will be easier, it won’t be as busy. The reality – life is busy. September was the beginning of school and sports with a trip at the end of the month. October began with one trip ending and travel in the middle of the month.

November doesn’t have any travel, but the holidays are upon us. Any parent knows we are entering crunch time. All of this shows me how hard consistency in miles really is.

Luckily, I was able to hit my goal of being consistent in October. I am pretty optimistic about November. If I can maintain my schedule while the boys are in school and know I might be shorter on miles over Thanksgiving, I should have success.

There’s even a chance I’ll log more miles in November. The key for me is to keep showing up to run with my friend. She is preparing for her first half marathon this weekend (how awesome is that?!?!) and keeps me on track.

Our runs are an appointment on my calendar. Maybe there will be more for longer distances in the future. So far, I couldn’t have predicted where my running adventure has gone and am along for the ride 🙂

How do the holidays affect your fitness routine? Are you consistent in your activities?