My 5 mile recap and a Labor day Virtual run link up

Happy Labor Day!  I am swimming in recaps and photos from the Labor Day Virtual run, and loving it.  Thanks to all of you who participated! Tomorrow is the last day to get your run in, if you haven’t already.

I am trying to be patient and build my mileage back slowly, so I opted for the 5 miler with a few warm up and cool down miles.  I got up early Saturday and was met with lovely Texas humidity and heat… I don’t think I’ll ever fully adjust to running in the summer months here.

After a slow mile and a half, I pushed my pace for 5 (at what I’m hoping will be my 10-mile race pace in October) and cooled down for another few miles.

3 7:37.4 1.00 7:37
4 7:28.0 1.00 7:28
5 7:31.3 1.00 7:31
6 7:25.0 1.00 7:25
7 7:21.2 1.00 7:22

Either it’s the heat, or I seriously lost some speed this summer, but I was struggling that last mile or two. I loved the challenge to find a little pace again.  I’m ready to start training again!

I stopped at home (dripping wet from the humidity), showered and headed to the gym to teach my spin class.  I can pretend that makes it a double digit running day, right?

This is my intense face. I make them work hard and attempt to look intimidating.  Ha.

We ended the day with a spontaneous trip to the beach, to enjoy the final days of summer.  It started raining on our way there, but settled at a drizzle and we braved the weather in exchange for an empty beach.

If you ran the Labor day Virtual 5 or 10, I’d love to hear about it! Those of you who wrote a recap on your blog can link it up below. Links will be accepted for several more days. Be sure to check out some of your fellow virtual runners links as well!

Labor Day 5 or 10 Mile Virtual Run – Registration open!

In the six years we lived in Ithaca, one of my favorite races was the September 5 and 10 miler.  Neither distance is very common in road races, and I missed it last year after we moved.  So I decided to re-create one this year with a virtual race.

Are you up for it? Join me in the 5 or 10 mile Virtual race over Labor Day weekend.  Registration is free- you simply register below and choose a distance.  The “race” can be done anytime, anywhere from Friday, August 31 through Tuesday, September 4th, 2012.

If you’ve never participated in a virtual race before, it simply means you run it on your own or with friends wherever you choose and send in your results afterward.

And of course, what is a race without a few prizes?  I’m excited to have the following sponsors and their generous donations (read more details about each sponsor here):


One pair of Tommie Copper compression shorts and a pair of calf sleeves ($100 value)

One Allied Medal awards holder of any design (up to $100 value)

One copy of the RW Big Book of Marathon and Half Marathon Training

One Sparkle Skirt ($30 value)

One month’s subscription to ibodyfit for online workouts and exercise videos

Honey Stinger Energy Chews (one box)

Probars (one box)

Sample pack from Drink Chia!

Two $25 gift cards for GoSport ID


To register, sign up here:


I will email a link in September for you to submit your race times, and you can email me photos or blog recap links.  I’ll share your photos on the Mommy, Run Fast Facebook page, and share an optional race bib. Please submit all times and photos to me by Friday, September 7th.

I will announce the top 3 overall winners, but all prizes will be drawn randomly.

Additional prize entries can be earned by

  • Submitting a photo of your race
  • Tweeting about the race, something like: I’m signing up for @Mommyrunfaster’s 5/10 Virtual Race-
  • Sharing the race on your blog or Facebook (tag me if you do so I can count it)

Walkers are welcome, too!  Are you in?

Virtual 5k Recap and my first Bucket List item

This week was the start of Toni’s Welcome to Summer Virtual 5k and 10k. I signed up for both- I ran my 5k on Tuesday and plan to use part of my long run on Saturday for the 10k.

I’ve been struggling to maintain a decent pace in the Texas heat, so I decided to run two miles to the gym as a warm up, complete my 5k on the treadmill, and jog back home.  I almost wished I was outside- trying to run a “race” when you’re going nowhere is tough! But it’s done…

Nice, sweaty picture for you.  Next time I’ll wipe it off first! I tried to “cool down” on my jog home, but long after showering at home, my face was still red.  Thanks for the motivation to push myself, Toni!

Onto my fitness bucket list item… if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may have seen me spill my news yesterday.  Thanks to some consistent, gentle nudging from Holly and Corey, I finally registered for my first triathlon!

The triathlon is July 15… just three weeks to “train”- (aka: learn how to survive the swim.) It’s a sprint distance- 500 meter swim, 16 mile bike, and 3.25 mile run.  Sounds doable, right?!

I’m super excited, but equally terrified… my last swim was in March, and I’ve never done an open water swim before.  The bike should be okay, although I rarely ride outdoors, I think I can manage.  And thank goodness the run is last.  I’ll be so relieved to get to that part!

I have no time goals as I have no idea what to expect- I just want to enjoy the experience and cross it off my bucket list. Stop by Jill’s for more Fitness Friday posts!

Is anyone else doing the virtual run this week?

Any advice for a first time triathlete? Training schedule tips?

Joggermom marathon, wiaw and toddler carrot “cookies”

I got up bright and early yesterday to finish my last 6 miles for the Joggermom Virtual marathon.  The “marathon” is for women (moms) of all abilities–you have all of May to complete your 26.2 miles, and there are some great prizes (winners chosen randomly- so no pressure for speed).   And registration is open through the 15th, so it’s not too late to sign up!

I totaled 26.6 miles in four runs, and completed it in 3:29:xx.  Since I decided against the Dallas marathon this April, it was nice to feel like I still did a marathon of sorts.  Maybe that can hold me over for awhile?!

On to food… I’m linking up again with Jenn at Peas and Crayons for another What I ate Wednesday:

I came back from my sweaty run and gobbled up the leftover oatmeal and egg that daddy and L had saved for me and had half a Honey Stinger protein bar (new to me, and delicious!).  You can’t beat starting the day with a little chocolate!

We had a whole day with no plans, so L and I took it easy after breakfast and had a picnic with her “friends” on a blanket in the living room. I like getting out of the house in the morning, so we went to the Children’s museum, and she had a blast playing in the police car and ambulance, throwing boats in the “water works” and watched a baby chick trying to hatch out of its egg.  She made me pizza and lasagna for lunch #1:

We headed home for lunch #2 and threw together some quick leftovers: salad with beets and avocado, and the remaining peanut-lime noodles from last night’s dinner.

After she was settled for her nap, I finished my lunch with kashi cereal, raisins, almonds and a few dark chocolate chips.  Later, I finished the other half of the protein bar and snatched a few pretzels. Mmm, I love snacks.

It’s already getting hot here by mid-afternoon, so we opted to stay indoors and L “helped” me get dinner going. (Dinner was ready after two kitchen floor sweepings,  one soaking wet L, and three bead necklace projects.)

I haven’t been doing a great job of menu-planning lately, so at the last minute I decided on a barley risotto, (inspired by Thrifty Veggie Mama). I like her idea of throwing it in the crock pot, but didn’t have time for that, so we made it on the stove top and added sauteed zucchini and peppers to the finished product, and fresh Parmesan cheese.  We also made a simple lentil dish for extra protein.

Finally, here’s another healthy toddler cookie we’ve been loving.  This one is a variation of the banana raisin cookies.  I ate a few spoonfuls of the batter and would consider having a bowlful for breakfast, but I know I’m weird.

Carrot banana “cookies” (printable version)

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 c. rolled oats
  • 1 c. oatbran (or all oats)
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • dash cinnamon
  • 1 c. dried fruit of choice (raisins, chopped dates, chopped apricots)

Mash the bananas well and combine all ingredients.  Let sit for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350, and scoop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet.  Bake for approximately 15 minutes.

Moms at home- do you have to get out of the house every day like me?!

4 the Park Race Recap and JellyBean run

Saturday was the “4 the Park” race, a local run to benefit Memorial park and the tremendous loss of trees there since last year’s drought and heat wave.  It was my first time racing the 4 mile distance, and as I am still relatively new to racing shorter distances, I was nervous about pacing.

I was also coming off of a fairly light workout week and little running during the week my family was visiting, so I didn’t know if my legs would be shocked by a faster pace or itching to go.  My goal was 28 minutes, a 7 minute pace.

The race had an 8:30 start, so my husband and L came along to cheer and spectate.  We arrived with plenty of time, and I did a 1.5 mile warm up at an easy pace.

The kids race started at 8am, and L took off running behind them, even though she wasn’t registered.  People cheered her on and she was loving it… she didn’t last for long, and she’s only 26 months, but there were kids younger than her and I think she’s ready to do a kids run at the next race, if it’s short!

Our race started right on time.  I started near the front, and it was small enough that I didn’t have to do much weaving.  My first mile beeped at 6:45! I was really nervous that I would be able to maintain a sub-7 pace, but decided to do my best to hold on.  I settled in with two other women, and we were neck to neck almost the entire race.

(I’m the third one, almost cut off the photo, and wow- I need to work on my arm swinging!)

My splits for mile 2 and 3 were both 6:54.  The final mile was by far the longest.  I pushed myself and passed the two women I was running with.  In the final quarter mile, I heard one of the women catching up to me, and I did my best to sprint the final stretch.

Chip time: 27:29 (6:53 pace)

I found the final-sprint-woman afterwards, and thanked her for pushing me! She was really sweet, and we chatted for a few minutes.  Her focus is 5k’s, so I’m sure I could learn a lot from her– but I resisted the urge to ask if she needed a running buddy.  :)

I heard my husband and L cheering at mile two, and again in the final stretch to the finish.  It makes such a difference having their support at the race!

I was hoping to get in about 9 miles for the day, so I added on another 3.5 miles at the park (on a nice, shaded 3 mile loop) while L played with some other kids at the post-race party.

I also used this as my 10k run for Jess’s JellyBean run, so my final 10k time (with a short break immediately after the race) was 44:18… a pr, but with a break in there, so it doesn’t really count.

Avg Pace
Summary 44:18 6.20
1 6:45 1.00 6:45
2 6:54 1.00 6:54
3 6:54 1.00 6:54
4 6:51 1.00 6:52
5 :11 0.03 6:16
6 7:53 1.00 7:53
7 7:42 1.00 7:42
8 1:09 0.17                                                                                   6:43

As we were getting ready to leave, I saw the results were posted and went over to check it out.  I knew there were a number of women in front of me, so I was shocked to see that I placed second in my age group! Gotta love small races. I won a 30 minute massage, which I assume will be mailed to me.  Can’t wait to use it!

To make a great day even better, I got a nap in that afternoon while L napped, and then had the treat of a quiet house while L and daddy went to the pool.  (Yes, it’s already that hot here!)  It was a pretty perfect Saturday.

How was your weekend? Do you get as excited about a quiet house as I do?!  Do you think a 2 year old could do a kids race?


March recap

March Recap: At the end of each month, I’m revisiting my 2012 goal post to track my progress and to record my stats.  I meant to get this up earlier in the week, but had minimal computer time with family visiting.  Better late than never! Here’s March:

Running Related

  • March stats:  running- total 60 miles; 16 spin classes- total 393 miles; 8.75 elliptical miles; 15.5 walking miles; 4200m swimming; and weights 2-3x/week

  • Record breaking: Nope
  • Cross Training Challenge: Had a blast at Power Yoga!
  • Running Buddy: Not motivated to do much here, as I had to take off two weeks for my twisted ankle

Personal and Family Balance

  • Evening quiet time:  Where does the day go? I would love an extra evening hour to read, but it hasn’t been happening lately.
  • Computer balance: Not bad… having family here for a week taught me how little computer time I really need!
  • Reading: Finished “Four Seasons in Five Senses” which I won in Carrie’s giveaway! I have several books I’m hoping to get through this month.
  • Date Nights:  Rodeo night- finally got the full Texas experience

Summary:  The downside of March was twisting my ankle on my 15 miler, and having to take a couple weeks off, which meant missing two scheduled 20 milers, and deciding to pull out of the Dallas marathon in April. Instead, I got in lots of spinning miles!

In place of the marathon, I’m planning to run a few shorter races this month.  I actually won some compression socks from Ali’s Spatula run last weekend, so that was a fun surprise!

Speaking of shorter races, the first one is tomorrow, a 4 miler… I’ve been slacking a lot this week.  That could mean well rested legs ready to run, or sluggish legs shocked that I’m demanding some speed out of them… let’s hope for the former. I’ve never raced 4 miles before, so at least it’s an automatic pr.  :)

I’m linking up with Jill today for Fitness Friday!

How not to run a 10k

I mentioned before that with the ankle set back, there will be no April marathon.  It’s just not smart.

Instead, I’m trying to stave off disappointment with several shorter races and virtual races the next few weeks.  So, first up was Ali’s Spatula Race:

Unfortunately, it didn’t go as smoothly as I had planned.

So here’s what NOT to do before your next 10k:

1) Do not race on your planned rest day-   I’m not sure what I was thinking… I had planned to run it Saturday morning, after resting my tired legs on Friday.  But for some reason Friday night, I thought it made sense to get it done.

2) Do not race in the evening when you’re a morning runner- Just because I occasionally get a second wind in the evening, does not mean it’s guaranteed to happen.

3) Do not fill up with as much fiber as you can find, including lots of beans, cabbage, dried fruit and popcorn-  Oops.  I know better, but as I was eating all day, I wasn’t planning to run that evening.

4) Do not race on a full stomach that includes unfamiliar food from a dinner out- For my husband’s birthday weekend, we went to a Jamaican restaurant Friday night.

Ugh, it was a rough run.

I gave myself a couple hours to digest dinner (it was an early dinner, with L along) and headed out.  The first mile felt okay, and I kept expecting to find my stride and start feeling strong, but it never happened.  By mile 2, my stomach was cramping and sending me some warning signs.  I chose to ignore them and kept pushing.

At mile 3, I considered stopping and trying again another day.  But racing the 10k distance is not fun, and I forced myself to finish and get it over with, knowing I’d be happy to have it done.

I pushed through those final miles at what felt like a much harder effort than the first few, despite my pace actually slowing down.

I finally hit 6 miles, and tried to push for the final two-tenths.  As soon as I stopped my watch, my stomach began revolting.  I dashed behind the first tree I could find.  Thank goodness it was dark…that’s all I’ll say about that.

Avg Pace
Summary 46:47 6.20 7:33
1 7:25.6 1.00 7:26
2 7:30.5 1.00 7:31
3 7:34.4 1.00 7:34
4 7:34.6 1.00 7:35
5 7:37.4 1.00 7:37
6 7:40.8 1.00 7:41
7 1:24.7 0.20 7:07

Overall, not a terrible run, but not my strongest and certainly not a very fun one!

Ali is also doing a “Running with Spatulas” photo contest, so I need to submit a photo.  The first round of pictures didn’t turn out (couldn’t see the spatulas) so I tried again with L last night.  What do you think… A or B?

Is anyone else participating in this race?  And, if you’re up for sharing, have you ever had to dash behind a tree?  :)

Virtual run and race shirts

I finally completed Toni’s 3.5 Virtual Run this week, and used it as part of a tempo run.  I took L in the stroller, and forgot how hard it is to run a decent pace while pushing a toddler!

Unfortunately, my Garmin had a low battery, and died at 3.2 miles… here are the splits I recorded:

Avg Pace
Summary 25:27.4 3.20 7:57
1 8:00.4 1.00 8:00
2 7:45.2 1.00 7:45
3 8:04.3 1.00 8:04
4 1:37.5 0.20 8:05

I finished it off at the same pace, but I can’t document that, so I’ll add a 10-second buffer and estimate my final time as 28:05. Close enough!  Here’s my jogging partner, looking thrilled:

And much happier below with her afternoon snack… apples post-nap have been our go-to stroller snack lately.  It took her almost the entire run to get through it!  Happy baby= happy running mama.

We swung back home about the time my husband was getting back, so I dropped L off and finished with another easy 3 miles for the day.

Side note here: I love the shirts we got for completing the Houston half… soft, tech material, and a really nice fit.  So much better than some of the bulky, cotton shirts I have from shorter (read: cheaper) races! But I thought twice before putting it on.  I finally went with it, as it was the best clean option in my drawer, but running in it makes me somewhat self-conscious, like I’m trying to brag or something… is this valid?  Silly, I think, especially for a nice shirt.

I went on a very popular (and busy) running trail, which could be part of it.  Or maybe it’s because the race was just 12 days ago.  I probably wouldn’t care if it was a year old!

Which leaves me wondering…

Do you wear your race shirts? What do you think of runners who do? :)

Have a great weekend!

70.3 Challenge

Thanks to KDub’s 70.3 Birthday Challenge, I had extra motivation to keep up my cross training while tapering this past week and a half:

We had 11 days to fit in a 13.1 mile run, 56 miles on the bike, and a 1.2 mile swim.   I divided the run into two portions, the biking into three (two spin classes and one cycling session) and got in one long swim.  Here’s my breakdown:

Run #1: 6.1 miles, 52:35 (8:36/mile)                                             Run #2: 7 miles, 1:01:25 (8:45/mile)

Bike #1: Spin- 24.2 (59 minutes)                                                 Bike #2: Spin- 22.1 (57 minutes)                                                                                           

Bike #3: Cycle- 9.7 (37 minutes)

Swim: 2100 , 49 minutes

SWIM 0:49 2100
BIKE 2:34 56.00
RUN 1:54 13.10
Total 5:17


Run: Because I am tapering for Sunday, I didn’t race the running portion, but the challenge encouraged me to push the “recovery” pace more than I otherwise would have.  We’ve had gorgeous weather, so both runs were outside.  One was an exploratory run through some new neighborhoods, which is always fun!

Bike: Even in challenging, hilly classes, I always get more miles in an hour of spinning than in an hour of cycling, so I know my biking time is much faster than what it would be on the road. My third session was on an Expresso bike at the gym, and was considerably slower (and probably much more accurate for road riding).  Next to spin, the Expresso bike is my favorite indoor biking workout– you can choose a course and ride it almost like a video game.  The mandatory hills make it a more challenging workout for me than riding a stationary bike (I don’t choose those hills on my own!).  There are only two of Expresso bikes in our gym and they are always empty, while dozens of people choose the regular cycling bikes.  I can’t understand this!

Swim: I needed this push to get back in the pool… I think my last swim was in September! I loved swimming when I was unable to run, but I have a hard time sticking with it year round.  It feels like so much more work to change into my swimsuit, remember my goggle and cap, and take the leap into the chilly water.  I’m not a speedy swimmer, but it felt great to be back in the water again.  Still no guarantees that I’ll be swimming again before May!

Thanks, Karen, for hosting this fun challenge!

For now, I’m ready to rest and fuel up, cheer for the Trials on Saturday, and run hard at the race on Sunday!

Have you ever tried the Expresso bike? Or completed a triathlon? I am most nervous about the swim portion, but I’d like to face those fears at some point.