Surprise….surprise…

Since I’ve been on a blogging hiatus, I thought it was time to dip my toe back in the waters.

A recap of the last few months…

What I HAVEN’t been doing:
Blogging

What I HAVE been doing:
End of the school year stuff (yes the kids went to school until June 25th), working, traveling, vacationing, slowly ramping up my mileage, starting to race again.

The Slow Return:
Since the whole car vs. foot vs. trying to return to running sooner than I should have debacle, I’ve been slowly increasing mileage and checking in with my friends at Rausch PT.

The Highlights:
Renegade Race Series Summer Trail Race #1 back a few weeks ago.  I did a half mile warmup pre-race and thought I was going to die, so my plans for the race were to just finish.  I had visited the PT that morning and got final clearance to race and I was thrilled to find myself…err…actually running at a pretty good clip.  I snagged a shocking 3rd place overall for the women and finished the evening by securing a 1st place overall female finish in pounding celebratory Doritos post-race.

I literally don't have a single pic from the entire night except the one of my being a good PT patient post-race.

I literally don’t have a single pic from the entire night except the one of my being a good PT patient post-race.

In addition, we hit the road (more like not so friendly and thunderstorm laden skies) and headed for the midwest to experience squirrel sized mosquitos and actual humidity.  I found a little local 5k (Kade’s Klassic) that started 2 hours before a reunion we had to attend in Wisconsin, so 3 generations of us clowns opted to hit the race.  A great time was had by all and we all took some some super sweet times and memories.

Of note:

  • Strawberry won his age group and came in the top 10 finishers
  • I won the overall women despite a serious footrace and challenge from another woman the entire time
  • Vanilla and Chocolate ran the entire race together and said it was the best time “conversationing” they have had in a long time and “didn’t fight one single time”.  When asked what they discussed the entire time they said, “racing and life”.  I’m pretty sure that means gummy bears and tag rules in 7 year old speak.
  • Showing up to a reunion post-race where you haven’t seen people for 20 years is always a SUPER good idea
  • Grandma Honey (my mom) got to be run in by her 3 favorite runners
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Some pre-race photo fun including some seriously wonky hair on all of our parts.

Apparently I’ve magically discovered the way to triumphantly returning to running races and feel better about yourself – wear a watch reading out slower than you are actually running times while you train thus underestimating your current abilities, stick with smaller local-ish races, and ensure some of those are in a place where most people can only feasibly run about 5-7 months a year.  Oh, and be sure you’re a stubborn mule who realizes that running faster means you finish the race sooner.

I’m sure I’ll keep this little place called blogging home a little more updated in the near future.

What races have you done lately?

Are you enjoying summer?

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Renegade Santa Run 10k: Race Review

6.2 Miles
44:36
Santa Strides

Some days, you just wake up with a bad ‘tude dudes, no?

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With a wakeup like this, you shouldn’t be shocked when I ran up to some dude dressed at mile 5 at the Renegade Race Series Santa Run and I asked, “Would it be bad for me to tell you to go elf yourself?” 

Maybe it was the fact I was wearing a costume for the first time, or more likely the bow I tied to my head (who am I?) was cutting off circulation to my brain only leaving the crabby parts exposed, but it was not my day for good running.

Logistics:  Since UPS isn’t the one one concerned about handling logistics, I have to give Renegade a super shout out for nailing all of the finer points – solid registration process, on-time race start, great parking (right down the street even 30 minutes before the race started), good amount of port-a-potties, etc.

The one thing they couldn’t control was the weather.  As we were walking to the starting area we kept asking, “Is there a heater somewhere?” then realized it was actually crazy hot Santa Ana winds kicking up.

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In retrospect, the long sleeve shirt was TOTAL and complete overkill…why yes, that is my swimsuit with a fuzzy boa hand sewn on and a “For that Special Someone” tag to go with Buddy the Elf

Race:  The race itself takes place on the local running trails.  It got pretty crowded in pockets (particularly the beginning), but for the most part it was fairly smooths sailing.  *A word for those really trying to PR, get to the front of the starting corral because the first half mile can be really crowded.*  I had to ditch strawberry about .2 mile in because it was too hard to play Frogger through the crowds together…it was best for each of us to go solo.

For the 10k there are a lot of out and backs and turn arounds which make the race pretty interesting.  You can see everyone hustling along (including the guy who won the 10k, easily beating out many of the 5ker’s in the process…who runs that fast?!?!)  In addition, there was a lot of water, which was a fabulous thing given that it was hot and windy.

As far as my personal racing went – ehhh….so-so.  I went out too fast (surprising absolutely no one) to get out of the crowds, and then settled in a slightly uncomfortable “I’m out of shape” pace.  Then around mile 5, I just flat out tanked.  It was uphill, into the wind and I kind of just wanted to be in bed reading a book right about then, which is not my typical 5-mile in run attitude.  Eventually I realized I missed the 5-mile marker and was all disoriented as to how far I had left to go (I didn’t wear a watch or Garmin).  2 women passed me and I told them to have fun….then looked up to 5 seconds later to see the 6 mile marker.

Stupid…stupid…stupid…Sheila….

I felt like a total jerk wad, but I ended up sprinting right there at that moment to catch up and pass them at the end (I might not be PRing, but do like to compete) on my way to the kids and some cool shade.

Vanilla’s age wasn’t recorded correctly in the registration (oops, my bad!) or he would have placed 2nd in his age group – so kuddos to him on a fun, fabulous finish! Chocolate ran the Kid’s Run and took home a 3rd place finish making his little elf feet very happy.

Strawberry was bummed he didn’t PR (he still ran a 24), but he did have fun no less – I mean how could you not in that custom made Buddy the Elf costume?  We had other costumes in the group including the Grinch and Max the Dog and a DJing elf.  Apparently I can be very crafty and sew, paint and design costumes like a champ, who knew?

The Grinch and Max the Dog

The Grinch and Max the Dog

I totally stole this pic from Heather since mine all kept turning out blurry.

I totally stole this pic from Heather since mine all kept turning out blurry.

Post-Race Fun:  As soon as everyone finished the race (and I mean everyone) you got a super cute Santa medal.  After the race was a great costume contest and lots of things to do/see (snacks, a photo booth, pictures with Santa, etc.).  We cruised around for a bit waiting for the kids race (which was a long time to wait).  We didn’t win any of the costume contests, but Strawberry was thrilled to have a large captive audience to watch him do the worm while they were voting for him.

Overall, the family gives this race a 5 out of 5 candy canes on the Christmas race scale.  The crowds were big enough to make it exciting – very family friendly and well-run.  I think it will be on the list again for next year!