Tag Archives: Iron Horse Half

Running Goals

Hello again!

Hope you all had a festive Halloween! Can you believe we’re moving on to Thanksgiving and then… *gasp… CHRISTMAS!

Christmas is coming. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

 

Brady. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoGoing back to Saturday’s post, I wanted to let you all know the Janji project reached 100% funding, yay! If you purchased a shirt for yourself or someone else, thank you!

It’s crazy how fast this year is flying by. I’m happy to say, looking back, I’ve done really well with my Non-New Years Resolutions though! I remember cautiously voicing the idea of running a marathon in 2014, not being sure if I could actually do it!

26 in 2014

Check that off the list! 🙂

However, I am getting awfully antsy to do another race. There may be one in the works, but stay tuned for more on that! For the next half marathon I do, I would love to maybe try for a personal record. I ran my best time for the half this past summer at the Amica Iron Horse Half in Connecticut in 1 hour 55 minutes, which is around 8:40/mile.

Amica Victory Shot

I would love to squeeze this down to 1:50 (am I jinxing myself by putting this in writing? Please tell me I’m not.)

Maybe it’s the competitive streak in me, but I love how running races gives you the chance to compete against yourself. I can’t really think of any other sport where that’s the case. Obviously, there are other runners there to race against, but I don’t think I’m ever going to be the first female finisher in a half or full. So, I can just focus on improving my performance and forget about the other racers. I’ve never been very good about fitting speedwork into my running – I generally prefer to go out and run at a comfortable pace for however many miles I am planning on doing that day. But I wonder how much stronger I would feel as a runner if I got better about doing this? So, I’m starting to browse around for 1:50 half marathon training plans. If you have a plan that’s worked well for you, I’d love to hear about it!

That’s about all I have time for (got an exam this week), but stay tuned for Friday’s Fall Fitness Challenge update. 🙂

Do you enjoy speedwork? Do you like to “compete” against yourself in running?

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Filed under Thoughts, Training

Fitletic Fuel Belt Review

Disclaimer: This product was NOT provided to me by Fitletic, nor was I compensated for writing this post; I purchased it on my own and all opinions expressed are my honest thoughts on this product.

Hey there! 🙂

I wanted to do a quick review this week to just share a little about a running product I’ve been using now for a few weeks and am ABSOLUTELY in love with!

Fitletic Fuel Belt Review

My Fitletic running belt.

I realized I needed my own running belt the night before the Amica Iron Horse Half. My mom and I were getting all our stuff together the night before, and I went to take the one black fuel belt we have, when my mom informed me she was planning on using it! Things you don’t wanna discover the night before a race… sigh.

I considered arm-wrestling her for it, but then after some creative thinking, we found an old fanny pack and safety pinned it to make it less floppy and I used that during the race. First off, let me just say I hate the word “fanny pack”. It conjures up images of 90 year-old tourists for me (not exactly what I wanna feel like when I’m running a half marathon!). But I will say, it did serve its purpose during the race.

The week after the race, I made it a priority to drive up to our local running store, where I got my fantastic new Brooks running sneakers –

This is Brady, our crazy chocolate lab.

Ignore the adorable dog, and check out those fancy new sneakers!!!

-and a belt.

Fitletic Fuel Belt with pockets

I always hated the idea of running with a belt because I felt like it would ride up or chafe, or just be downright annoying.

I’ve now worn my Fitletic belt for the Heartbreak Hill Half, the New England Running Company 10 Miler, and every training run I’ve gone on since purchasing it, and I have to say, it has wildly exceeded all my expectations. The belt does not move an inch while I run. I usually adjust it so that it sits on my hip so I can access my phone to see MapMyRun or grab a GU, and that’s where it stays!

The fitletic fuel belt sits right on my hip and doesn't move around

No slipping around to the front or back – and it’s not ridiculously tight. The stretchy band has plenty of give, so I don’t have to worry about cutting off my circulation either 😉 In fact, it’s so comfortable that a few times, I’ve completely forgotten that I’m still wearing it, only realizing when I go to take a post-run shower. 🙂

Inside, the belt has a couple of pockets – perfect for keeping my phone separate from my GU’s, and making it a cinch to grab one or the other. It also has a handy feature that allows you to attach your race bib directly to the belt, to avoid having to safety pin it to your clothes. I haven’t actually used that during races; my leg would just keep bumping the bib if I did because I prefer to wear the belt on my hip, but I do think it’s a great idea!

The fitletic fuel belt can even attach to your race bibs!

So if you’re a runner who THINKS you hate fuel belts, I would really recommend giving Fitletic a try. Let’s just say, it’s quite a step up from a safety pinned fanny pack! 🙂

 

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Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon

Well, one down, and one to go! 

title

My mom and I survived the first half marathon in our crazy 2 half marathons- in-2-weeks quest!! I really shouldn’t even use the word “survive” – that conjures up images of us weakly crawling across the finish on our hands and knees – we actually thrived, with both of us shaving 3 minutes off our best times for new PRs! But I don’t wanna skip ahead of myself, so I’ll go back to the beginning  – 3 am when our alarms went off. 

It was  brutal getting up at that hour, but luckily my mom and I were pretty organized, and had packed everything we were going to need (GU’s, race belts, sunscreen) the night before, so we just had to get dressed and get some coffee in our systems before hitting the road.

coffeeselfie

Don’t mistake my crazy expression in this photo – that’s not energy, it’s a lack-of-sleep induced delirium. I do have to say though, driving at 4 in the morning has its benefits!  The roads were completely deserted!

Totally dark out and the only ones crazy enough to be awake!

Totally dark out and the only ones crazy enough to be awake!

We made great time, and ended up arriving at Iron Horse Boulevard in an hour and 50 minutes, giving us plenty of time to pick up our race numbers and shirts (which are GORGEOUS by the way – definitely one of my favorite designs ever!).

While we were hanging out, waiting for the races to begin, we ended up chatting a little with the ladies of Willow Workout. They’ve designed this neat looking tool to use for resistance training and stretching.

willow workout

I tried to use it to stretch my legs a little, but almost fell over (not being the most flexible person in the world!). The wooden limbs are designed to bend when you push on them, allowing you to get in some resistance training without going to the gym. A pretty cool and unique concept!

After taking some pictures, my mom and I made our way to the start line. The pre-race photo –

I'm all squinty-eyed because we're looking directly into the sun. My mom is cheating by wearing sunglasses.

I’m all squinty-eyed because we’re looking directly into the sun. My mom is cheating by wearing sunglasses.

The 10K runners had already left, and the half marathon was scheduled to start 15 minutes later, at 7:45. It was pretty brisk that early in the morning, and my mom and I were both shivering. Finally, we listened to the Star-Spangled Banner, and then… we were off!

starting line

Almost immediately, my mom and I separated. I had told her in advance that I was hoping to potentially PR, given the flat course and comfortable temperatures. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to though, as I had taken my last dose of medicine for a sinus infection that morning! But I was feeling pretty healthy and thought it might be possible, so I figured why not go for it.  My plan had been to ease into the course and to run 9:30 minutes per mile for the first three miles, just to get warmed up. Well let’s just say I’m a little competitive and have a tendency to get sucked into the excitement at the beginning of a race, and that combination is a recipe for running faster than you’re supposed to. According to MapMyRun, I ran the first mile in 8:50. Oops…  After that first mile, I realized I was running way faster than I had planned, but I felt good! The pace felt comfortable and natural, so I completely threw out the little plan I had put together in my head and decided to just run the pace I was running for as long as I could.

I ended up doing a great job keeping my splits consistent, even speeding up a little towards the end!

I ended up doing a great job keeping my splits consistent, even speeding up a little towards the end!

(*Note – MapMyRun got a little messed up on the distance, it was 13.1 miles, not 13.4.)

When I wasn’t calculating mile splits and finishing times in my head, I did really appreciate the beauty of the course. It went through some lovely residential areas and past farmland, complete with horses and a very cute donkey (according to my mom… somehow I completely missed seeing the donkey). Boy scouts and girl scouts manned the water stops, and also had water guns that they would splash you with if you gave them the thumbs-up! I didn’t take them up on this early on when temps were still in the 50s, but towards the end of the race, it was super refreshing and a welcome relief!

course

Achilles International, an organization that brings together people with disabilities and helps them participate in athletic events, was there as well. I ran behind a blind runner and his guide, both members of Achilles for a while, and it was so inspiring! They held a band between them which they used to maneuver past other runners and obstacles. Both guide and runner seemed completely relaxed, and were chatting the whole time I was within hearing distance! One runner’s comment as she approached from behind and saw the two of them – “That’s freaking awesome.” And that seemed to be how everyone else felt too. 

The course consisted of a few loops, so that you ended up passing the finish area once around mile 8, before actually finishing. Right as I was coming into this loop the first time, the announcer said over the loudspeaker that the first finisher for the half marathon was within sight, and the crowd really began cheering. While I still had several more miles to run, it was pretty exciting and gave me a nice adrenaline boost (even if they weren’t cheering for me!).

By mile 10, I was definitely beginning to feel it, and while I had done well keeping my pace up throughout the race, I was beginning to feel paranoid that I wouldn’t get my PR. I just tried to keep pushing myself, knowing that I was so close to being done. At mile 12, I passed one of the race clocks that read 1:46, and it was then that I felt pretty confident I could get my PR – I knew it wasn’t going to take me ten minutes to run that last mile. I tuned out the discomfort in my legs, and gave it everything I had in that last mile, and boy, was it worth it! I crossed the finish line in 1:55:23, a new PR, and a very satisfying result!

I grabbed a water and my new medal and went to stand near the finish line, hoping to grab a photo of my mom as she crossed the line. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it!), she ran much faster than I expected and crossed the line in 2:01:36! I saw her right after she had crossed, but wasn’t ready with my camera. Darn it.

My mom and I then checked out the post-race food, and got some granola, a banana, and our choice of either a grilled cheese or hot dog, both cooked by a local boy scout troop. We picked grilled cheese, and I think it was the right choice! I’ve never had grilled cheese at the end of a long run before, but it really hit the spot! Those boy scouts knew what they were doing. 

food

Finally getting some rest!

Finally getting some rest!

We then took a picture over at the Amica Victory Podium, where we posed with the sign we had made. Connecticut: check.

Amica Victory Shot

We had just started to walk away as they were announcing the women’s age group winners. BAD DECISION. My mom got third in her age group, and was so disappointed when she realized she had missed out on the glory of walking up to the front and collecting her prize (who cares what the actual prize is, she really wanted the recognition!). We will have to make it a point from now on to always listen at the awards ceremony!

simsbury1

simsbury2

After switching into sandals and dropping our things off in the car, we walked through Simsbury’s town center a little, but were disappointed to find it didn’t offer much in terms of touristy boutiques or stores! We had been hoping to pick up a little souvenir, but there wasn’t much of anything besides restaurants. It was very scenic though! We ended up getting iced coffee and iced tea at Dunkin Donuts, and then a magic bar at a different little café, and then heading home.

magic bar

Overall, a very successful (but exhausting) day! I curled up with a blanket, and was bummed when I had to get up to help make dinner. 

sleepy me

 

Now we can just hope that the Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon goes as well as this one did! 

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Filed under Half-Marathons, Races

The Iron Horse Half and Other News…

Hey there!

My mom and I are starting to get very excited. We are only three short days away from crossing off the state of Connecticut! We will have to depart our house at the lovely hour of 4 AM, but hey, that means no traffic, RIGHT?! It’s going to be one for the books, that’s for sure. 

CT

To keep our legs active (but not tired), my mom and I took Brady on a 4 mile walk today around a nearby lake. The past two days were downright cold, in the low sixties and rainy, so the sunshine today was a nice change! I think Brady appreciated it too. 

brady walk collage

In other news, we had a new kitchen tool arrive in the mail today! We got a spiralizer, and I am beyond excited to start spiralizing every vegetable/fruit in sight! I learned about spiralizers after coming across the blog, Inspiralized. Basically, it’s a tool that allows you to make noodles and curly shavings out of pretty much any vegetable you want! Zucchini, sweet potato, cucumber, carrot, apple – you can spiralize them all! I find that it’s way too simple for me to overeat when it comes to pasta, so I’m really looking forward to exploring some quasi-pasta in the form of zucchini noodles!

spiralizer

While we’re on the subject of cooking, if you’ve been poking around the links for my recipes lately, you might have noticed a few changes – I’ve been going through, and slowly trying to update my food pics. I’ll admit when I first started this blog, I knew nothing about taking pictures of the food I cooked. I didn’t understand lighting, I didn’t know all the handy tools there are online for editing them (I am obsessed with Picmonkey now), and I just didn’t know how to make them look like they actually tasted good. I still don’t have a fancy camera to take my food photos – I just use my iPhone – but I am starting to understand all the careful thought and preparation that has to go into taking a good photo. Just what you wanna do when you’re starving and the food is right there in front of you… 

pineapple coleslaw redone!

cinnabunNEW3

(A couple of recipes where I improved my photos already!)

It’s definitely been a learning process, and I’m still learning. But one of my missions for this summer is to go back through these old recipes, make them again, and really try to take some stunning photos this time around. I want to make these recipes look as delicious as they taste! So stay tuned for those!

Wish us luck for our race on Sunday! And look out for the Race Recap coming after! 🙂

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Updates and Long Run Musings

Hi there!

Some pretty big news to report today! Did you notice anything different about the blog recently? Maybe the URL…? That’s right! It’s AdventuresMotherDaughterDuo.Com now folks! We are gettin’ official around here! With the one-year anniversary of this blog rapidly approaching, it seemed like a fitting time to make the leap. So enjoy the slightly shorter web address – haha, I know it’s still pretty long. 

The other news is that our first half marathon of the season is 1 week from Sunday! Woo!!  My mom and I ended up registering for the Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon in Simsbury, CT somewhat spontaneously, but it looks like a great race and we’re very excited (we’ll be crossing off another state!!).

Amica Iron Horse Reg

The only downside is that race day is going to mean a VERY early start for us – like 4 am early – in order to get there in time. But hey, like I’ve said before, there’s something about getting up early for a race that makes it not nearly as bad as if you were getting up early for work!

The week after the Amica Iron Horse, we’ll be running Heartbreak Hill in Boston. So yeah, I think two weeks with back-to-back half marathons officially means we’re insane. But it also gives us a pretty good excuse for if our times are slow in Boston! Hehehe, I’m already planning out excuses!

So in preparation for our crazy half marathon schedule, my mom and I went on a last long run on Thursday (10 miles). I’ve been battling some raging allergies and a pretty bad cough, so it was not the most pleasant run I’ve ever gone on, but oh well. Anyways, 10 miles is a long time to run, and it gives you plenty of time to really think about stuff. So, here’s a quick look into the mind of a runner on a long run…

thoughts long run

  •  Woo, I feel good! This is gonna be fine.
  • Actually, my ankle is twinging a little. What’s up with that?
  • Now it’s gone. I guess I have to keep running.
  • What should I wear later?
  • What should I EAT later?!
  • Maybe a smoothie… with lots of ice. And almond butter.
  • Oh my god I love almond butter so much.
  • And almond milk, that’s pretty darn tasty too.
  • Why are almond products always delicious?
  • I hate this song. Why is this in my running playlist?
  • I need to buy some new music.
  • Halfway done! Huzzah. I’m practically already home.
  • Maybe not… I wanna walk.
  • No I don’t no I don’t no I don’t, I WILL NOT WALK.
  • Just keep swimming just keep swimming
  • I need Dorie from Finding Nemo to provide me with encouragement.
  • Wait, only 2 miles left?! That’s basically a cool-down! I’m ESSENTIALLY DONE!
  • Ugh… ANOTHER HILL?!

scale this hill

  • Hills should be against the law.
  • Almost there……..
  •  Ahh thank god!
  • I DID IT; I RAN (insert # here) MILES!! I AM A CHAMPION!! 

Have a happy Memorial Day weekend everybody!

 

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Filed under Half-Marathons, Thoughts, Training