Tag Archives: Races

13.1-The Journey and Wrapping Up Fall Races

We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.

– Proust –

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Fall Foliage Covered Road in Scarborough, Maine

Every mile is part of the journey.  Covering distance, with every step, mindful of the imperfect roads.  Life and running are perfectly imperfect and a journey of self-discovery.  As I wrap up my fall racing, I reflect on the last five months of training and life.

13.1 Miles-is half of nothing.  This has been my distance to conquer, to test my limits and strengthen my body and soul.  Last June, I decided that this would be the season of running half marathons.  I love this distance because it is a mixture of strength, stamina, endurance and speed.

The build up to this distance occurred over the last five months.  Weekly training was a combination of strength, endurance and speed.  I focused on building a solid base of weekly mileage – 25-30 miles a week.  Running typically happened five times a week out of a seven day cycle.  I included tempo runs, race specific speed workouts and the long runs into this training cycle. I increased my “short” weekdays runs from 4 to 6 miles.  Every Saturday or Sunday I was managing to hit double digit long runs.  Ten miles seems to be my lucky 10!

My constant struggle during any training cycle is “fitting in” the strength training.  Strength training is a huge piece of the puzzle when it comes to staying injury free by maintaining good running form and keeping the hips and calves “strong and happy”!! 

There is an incredibly satisfying feeling when training hard through the summer months for fall racing.  You suck it up and get out there in the heat and humidity. My running mantra -#SuckitUpButterCup! For me, it was also a good time to add some races to my summer training.  I like to use some races as preparation for my big goal race.  The magic number, for me, was 13.1 miles this season!  I raced a few 10ks, but have had my eye on the Annapolis Classic Half Marathon which is now in three weeks!!

The Journey to Racing  13.1 

I used three half marathons this season as training runs, in preparation for my late fall goal race.  In July I ran the Portland Maine Shipyard Half Marathon, then I went on to run the Navy Air Force Half Marathon in September, followed by the The Leaf Peeper Half Marathon in Vermont on October 4th  The Annapolis Classic Half Marathon will bring me to a total of ten half marathons since I started road racing four years ago.  Running 13.1 miles over and over again, allows or me to build on what works with pacing and knowing where I need to put in more work.

 Overcoming the Mental Game

I feel like upping my shorter weekly runs to six miles and some nights even 7 miles, during the week, really put me in a good position mentally.  Then, when it came time for my Saturday/Sunday longer runs, those double digit 10 milers seemed so much more manageable.  10 miles no longer seems like a long and challenging task.  I have become more comfortable, both physically and mentally with lengthening the miles during my tempo runs. I have built strength, endurance and speed into my double digit runs, which I feel is key to racing half marathons.

Of course, as my body adapted both mentally and physically to consistent higher mileage, I then needed to add in more speed work and eventually increase my long runs to 11-12 miles every week.  Increasing some of my long runs on weekends was doable because I picked two half marathons between the months of September and October.

The key piece of advice for myself this training season has been-building routines and consistency.  Sticking to my 7 day training schedule and being consistent with a balance if hard tempos, easy long runs and speed work.  Allowing my body and mind to adapt and then pushing myself further, reaching outside of my comfort zone.

 

Three Weeks till Goal Race and Then. . . 

In the last three weeks leading up to the Annapolis Classic Half Marathon, my focus is staying injury free.  I tend to feel a few “squeaky wheels” as I near the end of a training cycle that has been “high mileage” for me.  So, I will foam roll, fill up on fish and legumes for protein, focus on eating complex carbs and start to taper a week and a half out from the race.  I want to nail one more long run workout this weekend!  It will be a tough workout-Allie from Vitatrain4life did this workout.  I will adjust the paces to fit me.

The Plan-

2 mile warm up

3 miles @mp pace

3 miles @hmp

3 miles @10kpace

1 mile @mp

and a 1 mile cool down

 

Goals for Annapolis-allow myself to settle in to a good pace, trust my training, and not be afraid to “leave it all out there” on the course.  I don’t want any regrets about this race and I know that as long as I just “run my race” it will all fall into place.  I feel good about where I have come this year with half marathons.  This is definitely a distance that allows me the opportunity to keep “chipping away” at my time.

This is a late season race, but after November I will take some time off from heavy mileage, let myself just enjoy some easy miles and then start building a base back up in January for spring races.  I’ve enjoyed the journey.  As with anything in life and running, nothing is perfect, the plans don’t always go off effortlessly each week, but the lessons learned along the road to any race build wisdom and strength.

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“Everyone must take the time to sit and watch the leaves turn.”- Elizabeth Lawrence

Any late fall races on your schedule?  What’s next?  

 

Leaf Peeper Half Marathon: Rise.Run.Retreat

Running up and over the beautiful Vermont hillside.  The fog lifting up off of the peaks of mountains in the distance.  Cool, crisp fall air and overcast skies made for the perfect running weather.  All around me, the colors of fall gently painting the leaves of the trees-rusty oranges, deep fiery reds and sunny yellows.  The Vermont Leaf Peeper Half Marathon was the perfect finale to an incredible weekend at Rise.Run.Retreat

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The Views along the road in mile 2-3

When ten women, including myself, get together for a four-day retreat because we love to run and blog about running, it seems only fitting to end the retreat with a scenic, but hilly half marathon!  Our mutual love of running brought us together, so why not celebrate each other and the retreat with a 13.1 run, up and over hills, dirt roads and a grassy trail. Of course, after having spent a majority of the four-day retreat-eating, drinking wine and having some serious fun, I am not sure we were over zealous to run on the final day of the retreat!  The comfortable house overlooking the mountains,on a cloudy chilly morning seemed to be inviting us to stay and chat a bit longer.

Sunday Morning-Late Race Start!

Wow!  An 11:00am race start!  I have never started a race that late in the day!  However, I am not a super, duper early morning riser, so it was okay.  It allowed for time to eat a great breakfast and slowly get moving.

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Fueling with Stonyfield, Pete and Gerry’s and Blissful Eats!

I chatted with everyone at the table about their race plans/goals.  I remember talking with Sandra about race fueling, which I must say, I have not been very consistent with for my half marathons!  My plan was to focus more on refueling -carbs/glycogen, during the half marathon!  I knew that I wanted to use this race as a strong long run, keeping some strong and steady paces throughout the race.  I wanted to take advantage of being able to run so many hills!

 

Packet Pick-Up and -Ready.Set. Go-My 9th Half Marathon

So. . . packet/race bib pick up went smoothly.  That’s the beauty of small town races, tucked away in quaint little mountain towns.  No crazy long lines!  Every runner received a long sleeve cotton shirt and a “made in Vermont” jar of pasta sauce!  Since it was a bit chilly and overcast, many of us chose to stay warm in the cars-Allie and Sandra had driven us all to the race that morning in their cars.  There was plenty of time for dashes to the porta potties and some easy warm-up miles and dynamic stretches!  Ten-to fifteen minutes prior to the start of the race, we all gathered at the start line.

Here Come the Hills!

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The first mile went smoothly and I was holding a steady 9:00 minute pace.  I had Christine just to my left.  She looked strong as we headed into mile 2.  The temps were perfect!  I think I have finally learned not to overdress, I alway warm up within the first mile, even on really chilly days.  I felt comfortable with my pace.  I focused on on not going out too hard in the first two miles, because I knew there would be some hills early on in the race.

The road ahead started to curve and wind upward on a steady incline.  Runners around me started to slow, a run/power walk form going into mile 3.  I looked ahead of me and saw Christine still powering through the hill.  So impressed with her grit on those hills!  I kept pushing up the hill, I didn’t feel alone though in that struggle up the hill.  I could hear heavy breathing and other runners encouraging each other to keep pushing through the hill.  My lungs were burning and my quads were straining!  I just kept telling myself, “what goes up, must come down”!  It seemed like a never ending incline up that hill, which actually had a name-Perry Hill!!  That is some serious hill status-to be named!

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Still Trying to Smile through Perry Hill-Photo Credit Vermont Road Runners

Slowly Christine began to pull away from me.  I tried to keep her in my sight through mile 3, but my pace had slowed significantly.  I was struggling to maintain a strong pace.  Then, my garmin beeped at mile 3-12:14.  Wow, super tough hill!!

This quote sums up my feelings of the hills on this course- “It’s easier to go down a hill than up it but the view is much better at the top”-Henry Ward Beecher, American Writer

There was so much beauty around me on this course.  The fog hanging along the tops of the mountains in the distance.  The vibrant colors of fall scattered throughout the leaves on trees.  It was all so breathtaking.  I couldn’t resist the chance to snap a few pics along the course. I didn’t have any time goal for this race, I just wanted to use it as a strong training run.  Some of the course was hard dirt and gravel.  Somewhere between mile 4 and 5, was a dairy farm with black and white cows grazing in the field, against a backdrop of rolling hills and mountains in the distance.  Just so much beauty on this course!

Mile 4 beeped on my garmin-9:08- I was cruising along a good pace now, just taking in the beauty around me.  I was starting think about seeing Jes somewhere near mile 6.  She is 6 months pregnant and had run up ahead earlier, before the race started to get a good spectator spot.  I knew I only had about two miles to go before seeing her along the side of the course!

Miles 5 and 6- 8:27 and 8:20- I gained some good momentum on the slight down hills. I was feeling strong.  I walked/jogged through a water stop and chewed on some Gatorade Endurance Energy Carb Chews one of the sponsors of Rise.Run.Retreat  I need to focus more on my fueling options during half marathons because I always feel like I sputter out in mile 10-11.  I washed down the energy chews with some water.

I was so excited to see Jes as I turned into the end of mile 6.  Seeing her out there on the course was so motivating!  I waved and smiled as I past her and focused on the next several miles to come along the course.  The course is an ‘out and back’ course, so I knew there would be a ‘turn-around’ at some point!

Miles 7 and 8- 9:48 and 9:04- There were some more hills in mile 7 and then some downhills in mile 8.  I kept focusing on maintaining a strong and steady pace.  I was feeling a bit tired from the hills on the course.  I swear it’s the hilliest course I have ever run!  Finally, I saw some of the first place runners coming back towards me, on the other side of the road!  I started to keep my eyes open for some of the other Rise.Run.Retreat women!  Sure enough, first I saw Allie and she looked strong and fast!  She would actually win her age group!  Then, coming towards me, from the other side of the road was Sarah, in her neon yellow shirt!  This is one of the perks of the ‘out and back’ course, you eventually get to see runners who were ahead of you during the race!

Seeing the other women out there on the course was so motivating.  Those are the moments that I cherish most in a race-the motivation, encouragement and support from other runners.  Their energy and strength and determination are contagious!!  I waved to Laura,  Sandra and Angela as they past me on the way back, after the turn around!  I think the orang turn around cone was at mile 8.  I remember seeing and hearing Natalie and Sue cheering for me and snapping photos as I passed by them going into mile 9.  They were so sweet to actually slow up and take pictures of all of us out there on the course!

Miles 9 and 10- 8:35 and 9:40 –  Lately, in races, I have had bladder issues. I try to “hold it”, but it just gets too uncomfortable!  It’s probably due to age, but I have had to stop and pee in the porta potty.  So I dashed off to the bathroom for a quick pee break somewhere along mile 10.

Miles 11-12 8:28 and 9:37-I saw Jes again, waiting at mile 10.  She was going to run/walk the last three miles of the race with Natalie and Sue.  Then, I continued on through mile 10. I was feeling pretty good and energized to finish this race.  I remember chatting with some other runners along mile ten and we encouraged each other to push hard and finish strong.  Then, just as I am thinking that I will “dial in that last gear”, here comes one more uphill battle in mile 12.  Mile 12 was an uphill that then turned onto a grassy trail.  I had to really push to maintain a steady pace.  I just kept thinking about mile 13, which be a great downhill to the start!

Miles 13 and .22-8:06 and 6:50- The final stretch of this course was a gently rolling downhill back to where the race had started.   As turned into the parking lot of the finish line,  I picked up speed and finished strong through the finish shoot!  I could see Sarah, Laura, Christine, Sandra and Allie waving on the other side of the finish line!  My final finish time was 2:01:30-

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Celebratory Pic-We conquered the hills of the Vermont Leaf Peeper Half Marathon!

The Finish Line- It was cloudy and chilly.  My long sleeve shirt felt moist and chilled with sweat.  It didn’t matter though, because my heart was warm from being surrounded by strong, talented and amazing women at this race.  We had all gone out there on the course to run our own race, at our own pace, but we still were there for each other.  Cheering and encouraging each other on through the hilly course.

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Sue, Natalie and Jes-finishing strong with smiles on their faces!

At the end  of the race, it was about celebrating each other’s accomplishments and inspiring each other.  That’s what we do-lift up, motivate and inspire.  For me, that was the theme throughout the whole retreat.  The pics from this race, our final event together, sum up what the whole weekend was about-channeling each other’s strengths, talents and inspiration.  Our hearts were full.  We celebrated returns to running from injury, a huge age group win, nailing a hard tempo run during the race and sticking out the tough parts and finishing!

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The Vermont Leaf Peeper Half Marathon was the perfect ending to an amazing four days at Rise.Run.Retreat All of us out there pushing hard and doing what we love-running.  The very sport that brought us together and wove friendships! This race and being surrounded by these women, reminded my of why I love to run and race.  It also reminded me of what I am capable of on a tough course.

How do you tackle tough hills during a race?  

A Huge Thank You –Headline Sponsor Dr. Cool Recovery and the following Event Sponsors for supporting and pampering us with amazing products and gear! Rise.Run.Retreat has the best swag bag!

Cabot Cheese Vermont
Blissful Eats
Stonyfield Yogurt
Chef’D
InsideTracker
Gatorade Endurance
Propel Electrolyte Water
Vermont Made Garuka Bars

Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs
Tiger Tail Recovery
FuelBelt
The WTFactory
Moji Mojo
Eureka Healing Balm
Skins Compression Gear
Kuhl Lifestyle Clothing
Darn Tough Vermont Socks

Llbean and LlbeanPR

Chasing 13.1-Fall Races and Celebrating Autumn!

13.1 – Half marathon-Not just half of anything.  This is the distance that challenges me and pushes me to my limits.  This distance is a combination of speed and stamina over a period of 13.1 miles.  

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2016 Navy Air Force Half Marathon 

13.1 – Goals-  Since this past spring (2016), I have been building base mileage, increasing my weekend long runs and working on my mental stamina and speed for this distance.  Last fall of 2015, I ran my 7th half marathon-back in November (Annapolis Classic Half Marathon)  and prior to that, the Navy Air Force half marathon, last September.   Both half marathons were sub 2 hours.  Earlier this summer, I ran the Portland Maine Shipyard Half marathon-an early July race that was cool and cloudy-very hilly course (1:59xx)

Break Down -Navy Air Force Half (2015, 2016) September races

  • 1:55:31:31-  cool morning, low humidity
  • 1:58:18- warm morning, extremely humid

Break Down-Annapolis Classic Half Marathon (hilly course)  Early December and Late November Race (2013 and 2015)

  • 1:57 in early December of 2013-cold start
  • 1:56:46 in late November of 2015-chilly start

Looking back on my last several fall marathons- I see consistency, steady pace and overall strengths.  Looking back at my individual splits for these races, I see that I go out strong in the first 6-7 miles, then slowly my pace declines and I “sputter”.  I feel that I am still working on and training for that combination of sustained endurance and maintaining speed.

Training this past summer and early fall- I have been focused on “long runs” of 10+ miles every week.  Also, adding some tempo runs of 6-7 miles, along with breaking up my 3-4 mile runs with 400s and 800s for speed.

Two More Half Marathons for Fall 2016

I have two more half marathons on the schedule for this fall racing season.  A very hilly, new to me race in Vermont-Leaf Peeper Half Marathon which I am running as part of the Rise Run Retreat weekend, hosted/created by Sarah of RunFarGirl and Jessica of RunLadyLike !  Vermont is going to be another strong, tune up race!! Some good hills to work in that race!  Vermont Half is next weekend-October 2nd!!

Then, I have the Annapolis Classic Half Marathon in mid/late November.  This will be my “goal race”!!  This will be my third time running the Annapolis Classic Half Marathon!!  I feel ready to shave off 3 minutes-(aiming for 1:53xx)  Join me on November 19th in Annapolis for this awesome race!  1 dozen oysters and beer at the finish line!  CODE MAINEGIRL2RUNS16 for a discount at REGISTRATION  

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Image Credit: Found Here

Okay!!  Time to celebrate fall weather, autumn related activities and cooler, less humid weather!!  Fall is my absolute my favorite time of year!!  I love the 70 degree days and the 50 degree nights!!  I am a jeans and sweater kind-of-girl!!  Hoping for one more trip north, to Maine, before the end of October! I am looking forward to –

  • apple picking
  • bonfires
  • wine on the deck
  • wearing all my Ll Bean Sweaters!!
  • A/C off-windows open and fresh air in
  • Enjoying those gorgeous fall colors in the trees

And-this time next week, I will be spending time with some amazing women!!  SO excited to meet some fellow runners/bloggers in person, for the first time!!  I am attending Rise Run Retreat  in beautiful Waterbury, Vermont!  Even though I grew up in Maine, I have never been to Vermont!  This retreat is going to be the highlight of my fall season!  Running has brought me the incredible gift of –experiences, meeting other women, and creating lasting memories.  I am looking forward to a long weekend of running, laughter, sharing life stories and learning so much from this experience!!  The retreat is hosting some great guest speakers/companies that will be presenting on topics related to nutrition, recovery and overall wellness! The Sponsors at RiseRunRetreat are amazing companies/brands!!  A few months ago, I posted about my blood work analysis –Training, Nutrition and A Blood Test  and so I am really “pumped” to meet the faces behind Inside Tracker at this retreat!

 

So-there you have it!!  Happy Friday!  What’s on your fall race schedule?  What are you celebrating?  

A Quick Look Back, Update and Summer Memories

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Geez!  I totally fell off the blogging wagon this summer!  Summers are usually my best blogging months too, because I am not teaching!

Okay, so here it is in a nut shell!   I ended up in Maine for the entire summer!  I rented a house on Peaks Island, Maine for two weeks in July, then stayed at my parents’ new beach house in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.  (OOB)

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Peaks Island, Maine

Backstory-  I was born and raised in Maine until the age of 13.  My parents are from New Jersey, but met up in Maine during College.  They raised my brother and I in Alfred, Portland, and Gorham, Maine until January of 1988!  Then, we moved to Upstate New York, along the Hudson River.  A year later, my parents bought a second home, a condo in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.  So we would spend summers and holidays at the condo in Maine through my high school years. (End of June through Labor Day, because my mom was a teacher)  Maine was always our second home, but first in our hearts.  My parents would own that condo in Maine, until the fall of 2003.  Life happens, things change and my parents sold the condo in Maine, just after my daughter turned two years old.

My parents eventually ended up living in southern New Jersey.  I ended up going to college in Baltimore, Maryland where I met my husband-he is from southern Maryland!  I have taught in an elementary school in southern Maryland for the last 18 years.  My Redhead (Daughter) is now 15 years old and a sophomore in high school.

Fast Forward- My parents are now retired, well my mom is definitely retired from teaching, but my dad still works, for now.  As of right now, southern New Jersey is still their permanent residence, but this past July 4th –they bought a seasonal beach house in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.(six months out of the year)!!  So. . . I spent 6 weeks in Maine this summer!  Excited that once again, Maine is home-at least 6 months out of the year for my parents!!

Summer Was. . . magical. relaxing, and rejuvenating!

  • two weeks at a beach house on Peaks Island, Maine-then headed to my parents’ house in Old Orchard Beach
  • tons of days spent on the beaches
  • evenings sipping wine and watching the Olympics with my mom
  • running my favorite roads and beaches that I grew up on
  • seeing old friends and new friends in Maine
  • Running two Races
  • Simply unplugging and enjoying the salty sea air
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Took my mom back to Peaks Island by ferry for a day!

So many times, I wanted to type a blog post-a ton of thoughts swirling through my head, but in the end it just didn’t happen this past summer.  I was just enjoying so much “down time” and honestly living out a dream, that just a year ago seemed unlikely.  I had wished for so long for my parents to own back in Maine again.  I know it’s only 6 months out of the year (May through end of October) but, it’s ‘one foot back in the state of Maine’-my happy place.

Here are my summer memories in pictures!

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Lobstah Supper on the Beach

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Cuddling goats at Smiling Hill Farm in Westbrook, Maine

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Evenings included Wine at my Parents House

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Sunrise Runs -Old Orchard Beach, Maine

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Paddling out to sea-Pine Point Beach, Maine

Running Update-

I had a good, solid summer of running.  Running to stay in racing shape for 10ks and half marathons.  Logging weekly mileage of 25 to 30 miles a week.  Some good hilly running through the Cape Elizabeth, Maine-near Portland Headlight and sandy beach runs!  In July I had run the Old Port Shipyard Half through hilly Portland, Maine.  In August I ran Beach2Beacon for the 5th time/year in a row! I haven’t really put in the time to write race recaps for both of those Maine summer races.

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Old Port Shipyard Half Marathon-Portland, Maine

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5th Time Running Beach2Beacon -Cape Elizabeth, Maine

My weekly training looked like this-

  • weekly long run 10-12 miles
  • easy 6 miles runs twice a week
  • 8 mile progression run 1x a week

Upcoming Fall Races: 13.1 is the Lucky Number!

So excited for Rise Run Retreat in Waterbury, Vermont!  An amazing weekend of running with some awesome running/blogger women at a lodge overlooking picturesque mountains in Vermont!  Stay tuned for more on this event!!

Share your summer highlights!  What fall races are on your schedule? 

RaceCation Destination: Portland, Maine

Summer is quickly approaching!  So many runners have trudged through soggy, snowy and cold winter months, followed by a very wet and rainy spring.  Now it’s time to start planning the ultimate RaceCation! 

Views of boats moored in Casco Bay

Views of boats moored in Casco Bay

RAceCation in Portland, Maine!  Enjoy fabulous views of Casco Bay, delicious seafood and shopping!  Plenty of sunshine, warm days with a nice breeze off of Casco Bay and cool nights!  Portland, Maine is the perfect RaceCation destination for July!

 

Register for the Shipyard Half or 5k here and use code KForrest for a discount on registration! The Shipyard Half and 5k take runners through the historic, winding streets of Portland, Maine with views of Casco Bay along the route.  Check out the link above for race info, course maps and pre and post running events!  Of course, beer drinkers can enjoy Portland, Maine brewed Shipyard Brewing Company Beer

Awesome Tech Tee Shipyard Old Port Half or 5k

Awesome Tech Tee Shipyard Old Port Half or 5k

Shipyard Half and 5k -Saturday July 9th, Portland, Maine -Race Discount Code KForrest

Weekend Running in Portland, Maine- Portland is a relatively small, coastal, city.  The city-by-the sea!  It is a friendly city with two beautiful trails for running!  These trails take runners along the coast line of Casco Bay.  Walkers and bikers can also enjoy these running trails!  I love running Portland when I am home.  Check out these Back Cove Trail and the Eastern Promenade trail

The view of the Eastern Promenade trail along Casco Bay

The view of the Eastern Promenade trail along Casco Bay

Back Cove Trail-Portland, Maine

Back Cove Trail-Portland, Maine

Where to Eat-Portland, Maine!  There are many restaurants to choose from in Portland, however, the Porthole Restaurant  is the best bang for your buck!  Delicious seafood, including full steamed lobster, steamers and the iconic Maine Lobster Roll!  Eat outside and watch the lobster boats roll in from a day of lobstering!

Night time view from the patio of the Porthole Restaurant!

Night time view from the patio of the Porthole Restaurant!

Iconic Maine Lobster Roll! Porthole Restaurant! You can Never Eat too Many Lobstah Rolls!

Iconic Maine Lobster Roll! Porthole Restaurant! You can Never Eat too Many Lobstah Rolls!

Shopping and a Sweet End to the RaceCation Weekend!  A  weekend in Portland has to include walking the historic, cobble stone streets of the Old Port! Visiting the many shops and gathering Portland, Maine themed souvenirs!  My favorite cupcake bakery is also tops on the list for a sweet treat! Eastend Cupcakes

Walk the cobblestone streets of the Old Port! Visit all the shops!

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East End Cupcakes in the Old Port!!

East End Cupcakes in the Old Port!!

 

Definitely consider making Portland, Maine your July 8th-10th RaceCation Destination!  Register for the Shipyard Half Marathon or 5k! Use code Kforrest for a discount on registration!

Who’s Running Shipyard Half or 5k??  Any other fabulous RaceCation destinations out there?

Life Lately: Training,Nutrition and Races

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    Where did April go?   It seems as if time is on speed warp!  Just trying to make the most the most of all the minutes in a day. week or even month!  

In my life, I have realized that not everything is always going to get an equal balance.  Lately, it’s been a shift in balance between Racing, training and nutrition.  I have been focusing on what’s working and just taking each day one-step/run at a time.  Sometimes, you just have to “Go with What is Working in the Moment” and see the positives!

Training- 

  • Building that base mileage back up after an early spring race.  I had a PR in a local, slightly hilly, 10k race back on April 9th- with a time of 50:32
  • The whole month of April I focused on running 4-5 days a week, short runs of 4-6 miles and then a long run of 10 miles.  
  • Mondays-Easy run of 4 miles with a friend
  • Tuesdays-6 easy miles
  • Wednesdays-6 mile tempo run
  • Thursdays-Easy 4 miles with a friend
  • Fridays or Saturdays- Long Run of 10 miles

So, . . . Why this is working!  On my “easy” days, I am running with a friend who is looking to increase her cardio and pace for a 5k.  This kind of forces me to run really easy and focus on encouraging her to meet her goals.  I am getting in my base mileage each week and building up my aerobic fitness, increase muscular endurance and increase oxygen capacity.  My longs runs sometimes happen on a Friday night right now, due to me Redhead’s track meets on Saturdays.  The month of April was all about building upon a base of mileage that was really already in place, just really making it a solid foundation.

Up Next-A few Tweaks and A Shift

  • Hilly repeats are on the horizon, just trying to figure out how to shift my training schedule- I want to incorporate more hill repeats to build speed and endurance, Awwe! The benefits of hill running!
  • Core and Strength Training- I have found an awesome fitness trainer that does sessions with a 1:2 ratio.  I love this because she helps me focus on my form with every exercise.  The focus is on core and strength using weights, medicine ball and weighted balls.
  • Extending my weekly long to 12 miles-getting ready for the Old Port Shipyard Half Marathon on July 9th

Nutrition- A Shift in Balance of Carbs, Healthy Fats, Veggies and Proteins 

Maybe it’s that fact that I am now 41,but I was feeling a bit a sluggish and just not energized.  I am currently in Laura’s Mommy Run Fast Runner Reset group.  The Focus is healthy, balanced eating ( Eating for metabolic efficiency)  and core/strength training.  I have seen improvements, in just a short amount of time, with a larger emphasis on vegetables and fish/plant-based protein in my daily “eats”!

  • Increase water intake
  • Daily vegetables and salad greens
  • Eggs, Fish and beans
  • Quinoa is my favorite “grain” right now!
  • Great time of year for tons of local produce!!
  • Supplement with a high quality protein powder -I am still experimenting with a variety of protein powder brands, but Vega Sport Performance has some great ingredients for performance and recovery!

Races- What’s Coming Up!

  • 5 weeks until this –Zooma Run Annapolis 10k  I love this annual, early June, Women’s Racing Event.  It is a fun-filled, weekend of great women, an awesome Friday night expo and gathering, along with a challenging course to run on Saturday June 4th!  The course is a bit hilly and early June in Annapolis, Maryland can be a bit warm and humid. There is still time to Register for this Fun Racing Event!!  {10k or 1/2 marathon}

So-5 weeks of new opportunities with training, nutrition and races on the horizon!

How are things with training, nutrition and races in your world?  Any tweaks and changes being made?  

 

 

Spring/Summer Race Calendar and Discount Codes

 

Spring_Summer Races

Winter is slowly fading, the snow has melted and the sunsets are getting later each night!  All those months of running, whether morning or night, in the cold dark hours has all led to spring and summer racing!  It took me a moment to decide on some key races to fill my calendar with for the spring and summer months, but I am excited to share my racing plans!

Choices, Choices, Choices!  How Does One Choose Which Races?

  • Race location-the proximity to friends, family and scenic views is important to me.
  • Race Course- Out and Back or Point to Point, flat, slightly hilly or major hills?!
  • RaceCation Wow Factor-events to fill the race weekend, sights to see, running trails and routes to explore, and of course yummy restaurants!
  • Race Course Swag and Course Support-hydration, fun and unique samples of products and coupons, along with a post-race party or gathering!

Yup!  These are some key factors that go into my decisions when creating my race calendar!  How about you?

  • Leonardtown Hospice 10kSaturday April 9th– The race offers a 5k or a 10k.  This race is only 10 minutes from my house.  The course is a rolling loop of country roads leading back into historic Leonardtown. Leashed dog and stroller friendly!  Leonardtown is about two hours south of Washington, DC. This will be my 3rd time running this event!
  • Cooking Light and Health FIT FOODIE Race WeekendFairfax, Virginia May 20th-22nd! This race was on my radar last year, but it didn’t fit with my schedule!  The race is a 5k, but it is also about enjoying a weekend of food, health and fitness tips!  Who doesn’t love delicious food!  This will be my first time running this event!  LiveFreeAndRun has a discount code to use when registering-LIVEFREERUN 10%discount!
  • Zooma Annapolis Maryland 10k Saturday June 4th-Really excited to be running with Zooma again this year for the 5th year!  Click the link to read my race recap!  Zooma Annapolis is a fun girls’ oriented weekend in historic downtown Annapolis!  I have run both the 10k and half marathon in the past.  Due to the heat, humidity and rolling hills- I have opted for the 10k this year.  Use Code COLLEEN16 for 10% off either race distance-from LiveFreeAndRun

Summer Racing-It’s A Maine Thing!

Sadly, I no longer live in Maine right now, permanently, but. . . I am working on that!  In the mean time, I have worked out my summer plans to include my Favorite coastal southern Maine races!  Summers in Maine along the Atlantic ocean, lobster rolls and locally brewed beer -does it get any better?!

  • Llbean July 4th 10k -Read Race RecapJuly 4th- Race a 10k through the heart of Freeport, Maine-start and finish near LLBean Flagship store!  Celebrate afterwards with eating and shopping in Freeport!  Stay for the Freeport July 4th parade down Main Street! Still time to register!
  • Shipyard Oldport Half MarathonJuly 9th- I have run this event once in the past.  I ran the 5k course with my daughter in 2014.  The race starts and finishes along the historic working waterfront of Portland, Maine.  The race course has views of Casco Bay.  Who doesn’t love running along beautiful water views!  Enjoy Shipyard Brewing company beer after the race!  Race Discount Code KForrest for a savings at registration!
  • Beach2Beacon 10K-Race Recap HereAugust 6th-Cape Elizabeth, Maine- This is where I race my heart out every August!  The point to point course finishes in front of picturesque Portland Headlight Light House!  I have been lucky enough to have fast typing fingers for the past five years now!  This is a BUCKETLIST race!  The views are stunning!

So, there it is, my spring and summer racing plans!  What are your racing plans?  Any races on your calendar that you are stoked to run?