North Park Triathlon

I have done this triathlon more than a handful of times but this time it was so much different!  It was a complete Tri weekend… Denny participated in the Kids Triathlon for the first time on Saturday!

We practiced and trained for at least a month before.  When I first signed him up, I thought he would be using training wheels for the bike.  I was so excited that in just 2 weeks he learned to ride without training wheels AND improved at swimming!  He started to love biking… Nate would sometimes even draft off of him 😉IMG_1751.JPG

The 7 year olds swam 50 meters, biked 1.5 miles, and ran 0.5 miles.  He did SO awesome!  He took it seriously and had a lot of fun!  IMG_1847.JPG

I love watching him (and all of the kids)!  It is very motivating!  I think it’s also awesome that so many of my family members volunteered to make this event so great!  Here is the “hot corner” where my mom directed the bikers and runners!  IMG_1802.JPG

Sunday morning I actually felt more relaxed than usual before a race and felt like I really enjoyed it!  I didn’t get many pictures but I did feel great!  My time was 1:23:04 which was very similar to last year… and almost exactly one hour longer than Denny’s race!  🙂

Here I am happy to finish the bike (my least favorite part) and start the run (my favorite)!

The kids cheered us on with a bunch of my family!  FullSizeRender.jpg

Nate got 2nd in his age group and I got first in mine!  IMG_1865.JPG

Then… as if this wasn’t a good enough day, we went to Kennywood to ride every ride that we can’t go on with the kids!  We had so much fun and were definitely tired when we went to bed!  IMG_1870.JPG



4th of July 5k

Even though I just raced 2 days ago, I decided to join Nate in our local 5k race!  My mom and brother came to cheer us on and watch the kids!  Plus, my dad also decided last minute to do it!  I think the kids were happy with our decision to do the race too!  They do love Eat’n Park cookies 🙂  IMG_1253.JPG

We got in a good warm up while the kids were playing.  Then they watched us do some striders before we started.  Having them there is the best!  IMG_1215.JPG

It was a fast start… especially for Nate!  He ran his first mile in 5:25!IMG_1222.JPG

It was pretty humid, the course was a little long, there was a really steep hill at the end… IMG_1237.JPG

but my dad, Nate, and I powered through!  IMG_1249.JPG

And we all had great races!  Nate even got 2nd overall and I got first female!  There were 148 total finishers!IMG_1260.JPG

We changed our clothes and headed to the pool!  I think Ellie is pretending to break the finish line tape like me 😉  FullSizeRender-2.jpg

The water felt perfect!  We even got to swim some laps in between playing!  IMG_1278.JPG

Then we had an awesome cook out with family and the kids somehow managed to stay awake to see fireworks!!IMG_1307.JPG




Happy Valley Sprint Triathlon

My mom, sister, and I left Saturday afternoon for a fun road trip to Penn State University.  IMG_1133.JPG

We stayed with my cousin and then also met up with my Aunt and Uncle who did the Tri too!  We had a lot of fun exploring… IMG_1136.JPG

And of course racing!  We got to watch my mom swim and no matter if she is running, biking, or swimming she always looks like she is having a good time 🙂  IMG_1173.JPG

My sister and I were in the same heat so we got to hang out a little while and start together!  FullSizeRender.jpg

There were times that felt hard (& hot)… but that just means it was a good race 😉  I was sure happy to see that finish line!  IMG_1185.JPG

I did the swim (750 meters) in 14:52, the bike (12 miles) in 45:25, and the run (5k) in 24:06.   My overall time was 1:27:51… which includes the transition times that felt like a lot of running barefoot and then running with my bike!  It was a great race and it shows because everyone in my family did awesome!

We all celebrated with an awesome brunch at the Waffle Shop AND going to the creamery to bring some home!!  IMG_1190.JPG

These 3 were sure happy to see me and the ice cream!! 🙂  IMG_1194.jpg


Cleveland Marathon!

I quickly decided after running Boston that I wanted to do a marathon again and soon! 🙂  I know that my body needed time to recover (and I didn’t run at all for an entire week)!  I also knew that I did not feel my best at Boston and wanted to try one more time with all of the training I had already done!

After doing a little marathon research I decided Cleveland would be great!  This meant we got to sleep two nights at Nate’s parents’ house which was perfect!  This is our best attempt at “pretend” sleeping! Haha 🙂  FullSizeRender-4.jpg

This race was everything I wanted it to be!  It was a lot more low-key than both the Pittsburgh and Boston marathons.  Nate and I drove to Cleveland that morning and had plenty of time to get to the start line.  IMG_9619.JPG

I just remember feeling SO great for the first 7+ miles.  It was quite the opposite feeling a month ago at mile 7!  I continued to remind myself that I trained to feel this good!  FullSizeRender-2.jpg

Around mile 14 things definitely started to feel hard and I decided to not worry about it too much and instead kind of zone out for a little while.  I did that and before I knew it I was at mile 17 and feeling like I could pick it up a little!  Around 18 I started to hurt again but felt huge rain drops and hoped there would NOT be lightning to cancel the race.  I really wanted to finish!

The weather was predicted to storm (with lighting) at race time which would cause the officials to cancel the marathon.  Plus, it was supposed to be 70 degrees with 80% humidity!  However, it actually ended up being a perfect day… There wasn’t much sun and the breeze from the lake made it feel cooler!

I loved that Nate was able to see me a few times on the course plus run 20 miles on his own around the city!  IMG_9625.JPG

The last 3 miles felt the toughest but I just kept pushing on (slower than before) but still happy and even smiling!  🙂  IMG_9624.JPG

My time was almost the same as a month ago at Boston, but I felt completely different!  I loved this marathon and want to do it again someday!  FullSizeRender.jpg

I also love that we were back with our kiddos to celebrate Nate’s dad’s 70th birthday before lunch time!  FullSizeRender-1.jpg

Unlike Boston, I’m not very sore… and even felt like a little hike with the whole group the next morning!  FullSizeRender-3.jpg

Boston Marathon Recap!

This Easter holiday was quite different… but I loved every minute of it!   We managed to fit a lot in too!     FullSizeRender-1.jpg

Nate and I even got to pay attention at church… without kids! 😉  We went to church in Connecticut, towards the end of our 9 hour drive to Boston!  FullSizeRender-2.jpg

We spent the rest of Sunday exploring Boston and shocked by the crowds of runners getting ready for the marathon!  IMG_9026.JPG

The energy at the expo was so much fun!  We enjoyed it all!  FullSizeRender-3.jpg

We had the perfect pre-race evening!  I made sure to hydrate extra because I knew race day would be warmer than I’m used to.  I also found out that during the race there was a side-wind… imagine that! 😉  IMG_9035.JPG

I have heard for YEARS (my parents have done 20+ marathons each!) how great the Boston Marathon is but only now, after having FINISHED, I know it truly is an amazing experience!  I think finishing any marathon is amazing.  However, most marathons are more individual (which I love… I am very self motivated!) whereas Boston is support from an entire city plus many, many more people that appreciate this marathon!

I have the best family and friends… which is why I am able to train for a marathon and go!  I had my best training leading up to this marathon and I think I am in my best marathon shape ever.  I was so grateful to be healthy, injury free, and rested going into this marathon.  I also was worry free about my kids who were taken care of by both sets of grandparents.  My husband was with me to help with everything!  I don’t think it could be more perfect.

My day started out at 6 am with my usual race day oatmeal breakfast.  The hotel then shuttled us to the long line of busses that would take all the runners to the start line.  Don’t be fooled by my throw away clothes… it was already a sunny 68 degrees early in the morning!FullSizeRender-4.jpg  My bus arrived to Hopkinton around 9 am where I hung out at Athletes Village for about the next 2 hours.  Athletes Village felt like a huge party with lots of food, music, and port-a-potties!  I even put a few tattoos on my arms there!    FullSizeRender-5.jpg

At 10:50 it was finally time for me to start!  FullSizeRender 2.jpg

I followed my plan to run the first few miles conservatively.  Considering the 70 degree and sunny weather I planned to not use too much energy on the early miles and pick it up or slow down depending on what I needed.  After a short time I was dripping with sweat and very hot.  Things that never hurt on me started to hurt.  I never want to make excuses while I’m running (because if I start they will just keep coming!) but I knew the heat was a big factor for me.  All of my training was outside in cold weather and my body just isn’t used to the heat yet.

At mile 7, I made the decision that I was going to finish and do the best I could do.  Sure, it was a little depressing looking at my watch and feeling like I was going faster than I actually was, but I am proud to say I finished.  I also never walked or stopped running.  I did my best to use the excitment from the crowd and my own motivation to keep me going!  From being a runner that doesn’t love hydrating while running… I took a sip of gatorade or water almost every mile and dumped water on my head more than 10 times!  In addition to all the liquid, I ate three huma gels and my stomach felt great.  My legs and body temperature were what was holding me back.  I looked forward to dumping a cup full of water on my head and neck most miles. There were a few cool sprinklers, ice cubes, and wet paper towels along the course and they felt wonderful.  Somehow, at mile 18, I got water in my right ear and couldn’t get it out!  I couldn’t hear in that ear at all until a few minutes after I finished!  Which may be why I didn’t hear my amazing husband cheering at mile 25 for me.  IMG_9052.JPG

It’s crazy because I remember thinking that I didn’t want my picture taken… I imagined my form being way off and feeling like I looked terrible, but a lot of the pictures I’ve seen I really like!  IMG_9103.JPG

I honestly didn’t know if I would be able to stand once I got to the finish line!  I did stand and walk through (what felt like) a mile of finish line food to where I could finally get to my husband!  After I finished, the weather was overcast and much, much cooler!  I actually needed the foil blanket to keep me and my wet clothes warm!    IMG_9049.JPG

Although my goal time was 20+ minutes faster I finished at 3:50:28.  I was 12,865 out of 26,411 total finishers and I was the 4,355 female out of 11,973 females.  IMG_9105.PNG

We then went with a huge crowd on the T and back to our hotel!  The entire time I felt awesome with people asking if I ran the entire marathon! 🙂  We had a delicious dinner and relaxing night.  It’s the best when you have a runner husband that loves hearing and sharing every detail!  He has some really funny spectator stories and got in a long run before I even started the marathon!  IMG_9060.JPG

I’m typing this with the sorest legs I’ve ever had!  I know that in the future I want to run many more marathons and Boston again… when I can do it with my favorite running family and friends!  I will never forget this great experience and I’m so thankful for everyone who helped me make it happen. FullSizeRender-6.jpg

Spring Thaw 20 Mile Race

Whenever I am training for a marathon I like to do a race about 2 months before.  It is a great way to see where I am in my training… but still time to improve!  FullSizeRender-2.jpg

So, I chose to do the Spring Thaw today.  They have a 10, 15, and 20 mile race.  I picked the 20 because it is an easy way to get my long one in.  It is 4 times around the lake (which is mentally tough to do four loops, but there is a lot of things to keep you motivated!)  If you do the 15 you get an extra prize… gloves!  And for the 20 you get a head/neck wrap!  FullSizeRender-1 2.jpg

I wanted to use this race as more of a workout and not a race (to prevent peaking too early!)  and I think I did a good job!  I felt great and was happy my husband even came to run a few miles with me!   IMG_8224.JPG

The rain held off and it felt warm out!  It was a windy 50 degrees!  I am thankful it wasn’t like a few years ago when we had 6+ inches coming down!

I finished 20 miles in 2:41:55 so my average pace was 8:06 per mile.  I ended up being surprised to get third female overall!  Screen Shot 2017-02-25 at 3.13.45 PM.png

I’m EVEN MORE excited for Boston now!  I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do!  FullSizeRender.jpg

Denny got a medal yesterday for finishing his basketball season… He may love medals 100 times more than me 😉  But… I love that about him!  🙂  FullSizeRender-3.jpg

Thanksgiving Race!

On Thanksgiving I am very thankful to be a runner!  I love getting a great workout in early and then relaxing and having delicious food!  This year we got to try a new race in Ohio while visiting family!  It is always fun to be able to warm-up together and do the same race!IMG_6433.JPG

We both pushed it!  Nate’s time was 17:51 and my time was 20:52!  He was 5th overall and I was 6th female.  We both got 1st in our age group, 30-39!  IMG_6432.JPG

We probably did so well because we had the best cheering section!  IMG_6430.JPG

THEN… the kids got to race!  IMG_6427.JPG

They did so great!!  This turkey headband is good luck…IMG_6429.JPG

and may bring out the weirdness in all of us! 😉  IMG_6431.JPG

The boys ran together… IMG_0660.JPG

and the girls ran together!  IMG_6428.JPG

We even brought home lots of prizes!IMG_6054.jpeg

Thankfully these 3 did “rest” and I did nap!  IMG_6424.JPG

And of course we had a delicious Thanksgiving feast!  I had the same plate as Denny X 5!  IMG_6422.JPG

Thanksgiving reminds me that I am truly thankful for everything!  Happy Thanksgiving from all of us!  IMG_4149.jpeg