another 5K PR

Last week I was in the dumps.  My lower back was hurting and I felt anxiety about it, wondering is my running a hindrance to getting back on track, or is it helping to make me stronger?  The doc says to continue to run but do it carefully, really listening to any aches and pains.  So I ran a handful of slow miles last week and did strength training and Pilates, too.  I felt my strength – physically and emotionally – returning.  My pain subsided and my spirits lifted.

Saturday morning I ran a local 5K – the We’ve Got Your Back 5K in Reston.  The irony of the reason for this race isn’t lost on me — after a week of back pain I am running a race all about spinal health!?  Meant to be, if you ask me.  Anyway, I ran this race last year and set a PR at the time of 25:22.  When I PR’d a few weeks ago with 25:16 I decided I needed to do this race again this year so I could really measure my fitness (although they did alter the course slightly).  Since my back pain had dissipated but not disappeared I ran the race cautiously on Saturday.  My goals for the race were to run smart/really listen to my body and to enjoy myself.  I accomplished both and I set a new PR!  24:52.  I felt great – no pains or aches and I can honestly say I had a lot left in my tank when I crossed the finish line.  I was the 4th female in my age group and 17th overall female (out of 192).  These things make me smile because I know I’m overcoming the issues I’m facing and that I’m stronger because of it.  Just like any mountain we have to climb, right?

making lemonade and my first virtual race

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler, the race I am running on Sunday.  It stated that in the unlikely event that Congress would still be out on the budget, our race would have to be postponed to May 1st.  Honestly, I read it and didn’t think twice about it.  In my mind there was NO way it would come to that – that would be ridiculous!! – so why let it irk me?  All week this week I have heard that it looks like the budget will not be passed by the end of the night tonight and that most likely there will be a shutdown of non-essential personnel, hence my race will be canceled.  I have been in denial.  I can’t get over the ineptitude of our Congress.  It baffles me.  There are people who depend on their paychecks who will not be getting paid, for goodness’ sake!  This is a blog about running though, not politics, so I will not bore you with my opinions on the matter.

The point is that my race is most likely not being held on Sunday.  When I accepted this, I was initially pretty bummed.  But then I decided that I would of course run the 10 miles anyway.  It is my 35th birthday and I am celebrating with the longest run since having my baby two months ago, gosh darnit!!  I have worked HARD to get ready for this.  My running buddies are in and we are going to make it our own 10 mile race right here in Reston.  My amazing friend Dorothy suggested that I make it a virtual race and have Abby make us finishers’ medals.  Abby could not be more proud or excited to do this.  So, now I have gone from feeling totally annoyed and disappointed to being very excited about the change of plans!!

When you’ve got lemons, make lemonade.

I have never done a “virtual race” before, much less so last minute.  I’m going to have my route meander along my favorite trails in Reston, and the start and finish will be right by my house so my family can see us off and cheer for us at the finish.  I also want to come up with a name for the race.  I’m feeling inspired by the idea of taking negatives and turning them into positives – working with what you’ve got to make a disappointment into a celebration.  So, right now I’m thinking of calling it the “Lemonade Run.”  Since I am operating on very little sleep with my newborn and my brain is made of mush, that is the best I can come up with right now so I will go with it!

Were you planning to run the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler this weekend, or another race that is possibly being postponed or canceled because of the federal government?  Do you have a long run planned this weekend and want to jazz it up a little, give it a little more meaning?  Have you found yourself feeling down and pessimistic lately?  If so, I would love to invite you to be a part of my first ever Lemonade Run.  Sunday morning get out there and make the most of it.  Have fun.  Put your shoes on and move.  Even if the race does not get canceled, I am going to make it a Lemonade Run.  I am going to focus on turning the bad to good, the loss to gain, the without to the with.  I am going to turn the negatives into positives for myself and encourage you to do the same.

I have spent the last several weeks trying so hard to regain my strength and fitness after having a baby.  It has been tough and I am still working at it, but I made it to the start line ready to complete 10 miles.  I am not going to let a canceled race ruin my plans to celebrate.  Don’t let disappointments get you down – make the most of it and you may find that the result is even better than the thing you were hoping for in the first place.  Go for a Lemonade Run!

a gift

I just gave myself an early birthday present: I signed up for the GW Parkway Classic 10 Mile race!  The race is on my 35th birthday, April 10th.  I am sooo excited.  I truly can’t think of a better way to start my birthday than with my first post-baby race!


My due date is now just a little over three weeks away and the end of this pregnancy is in sight.  I am enjoying these last few weeks…loving feeling my baby move and the excitement and anticipation that is brewing through my home.  We are all so excited to meet this newest member of our family.  I feel blessed beyond words.

Today I went to the gym for the first time in a while.  Since I got my treadmill last month, I’ve opted to get my exercise at home rather than bringing the kids out in the cold to go to the gym.  It was FUN showing up there today and seeing my friends there.  They were all so surprised to see me and so sweet telling me how amazing they thought it was that I was there so close to my due date.  I walked for 40 minutes on an incline on the treadmill and caught up with friends and neighbors.  The movement and the conversation made me feel so good.  I felt strong and happy.

Other than not-so-comfortable nights’ sleep, I am feeling pretty good these days.  I’m grateful I’ve been able to keep moving throughout my pregnancy and I’m excited to get back in shape after baby is born.  Having this “birthday race” to train for will surely be motivating.  I’m beginning to think maybe it was a blessing in disguise that I didn’t get a spot in the Cherry Blossom race.  It will surely be special to race on my 35th birthday, for the first time as a momma of three.

If you are in the area and interested in this race, the registration page is here :

Sunday, April 10 – Parkway Classic 10 Miler

Let me know if you decide to sign up!!

i hope i hope i hope

well, i just signed up for the lottery for the cherry blossom 10 miler.  if i get in, it will be my first race since having my baby and my last before i turn 35 (my birthday is exactly one week after race day).  i pushed “register” and then sent it off to cyberspace and the powers that be.  i am hoping with all of my heart that i get a spot.  i love this race and the energy that goes along with it.  even though it’s always super-crowded and crazy, being a part of it always makes me happy.

other news – today i can start saying “i am due next month” since it is the first of december!  even though i am not due til the end of january (the 28th), for some reason saying my due date is next month is really fun to say and i am able to convince myself that it is closer than it really is.  whatever works to keep me positive …. i find that looking on the bright side of things is definitely the right perspective for me these days, and always.

contemplation and request for advice

Last year I raced my first ever half marathon at the Virginia Beach Rock n’ Roll Half over Labor Day weekend.  It was AWESOME.  I love the distance soo much, it may be my favorite.  I was hoping for a sub-2 hour time and came in a 2:00:32.  I actually fell flat on my face at mile 10 and cut up my hand and knee and lost some time there (I am not the most coordinated person at times) and if that hadn’t happened I’m sure I would have come in under 2:00.  It was still a great race, though – despite missing my time goal, the extreme heat, and making a fool of myself at mile 10.  Anyway, I’ve run two other halves since then and beat my PR in May at the Pacers Half, coming in at 1:55:47.  I signed up for this year’s VA Beach Half this past winter with the hopes of improving my time, having a blast and NOT falling on my face.

Well, things have changed since then – I am pregnant!  I’m still signed up for this race and will be in VA Beach for it and all along through this pregnancy have been planning to just see how I feel on race day and do whatever pace/distance feels right that morning.  That is my plan even still.  My goals for the race remain pretty much the same with the exception of improving my time.  I want to (1) have fun, (2) not fall flat on my face and (3) set a PR of sorts because this will be my first time participating in a race with a baby in my belly.

The only thing is that I have not been consistent with my running, especially over the last month.  I was running 10-14 mile long runs on the weekends until 2 weeks ago.  The past 2 weekends have been plagued with pregnancy migraines and I haven’t run more than 5 miles at a time over the past 2 weeks, sometimes walking quite a bit of those runs. I would love some advice…if I was not pregnant and my training was slacking like this I would be a little concerned but just do it anyway.  My question is, being pregnant combined with not training properly and with the race just 3 weeks away…is it less than smart to do this race?  Should I just let go and look to next year to do this distance again?