Cox Providence Half Marathon: 1 Week to Go!

Happy Weekend!!

I had an absolutely CRAZY week (hence the lack of posts – whoops), so I’m looking forward to some running and relaxing this weekend. I’ll also be volunteering at the Groton Road Race that my running club puts on tomorrow, so that should be fun!

Today, my mom and I went for our last long run before next weekend’s half marathon, the Cox Providence Half. In case you’re a new reader, my mom and I are trying to run a half marathon (or more if we’re feeling up to a marathon!) in every state. We’ve had a few repeats, so this will be half marathon #11 and state #9.

The last half marathon we ran was the Clearwater Distance Classic in Florida. It was a great race and really well-organized, but it wasn’t the best race for me. I had hurt my hamstring one or two weeks before during an overly ambitious speed workout, and I think that issue compounded itself turning into a nasty case of runner’s knee by the end of those 13.1 miles.

Clearwater Distance Classic.I’m psyched to be feeling pretty darn awesome with this half marathon one week away from Sunday. I’ve been cross-training more regularly at the gym, and with my trusty Garmin, I’ve been pushing myself to run a little bit faster through my training runs than I usually do. Now I’m just crossing my fingers that I don’t do anything to sabotage myself in this last week!

Today, my mom and I ran our last 9 miler. While it was windy and a little brisk, this run felt pretty great. The sun was shining and there were a ton of runners and walkers out and about.

2 Generations RunningWhen we got home, we refueled with coffee (obviously) and pumpkin croissants from Trader Joe’s. My mom actually fell in love with them during the fall and stock-piled a ton of boxes in our freezer since (like everything pumpkin), these were a seasonal product. They’re still delicious, even in the spring. 🙂

Lastly, I just want to leave you guys with a little weekend inspiration. It might be cheesy, but I love me some inspirational quotes, and this one has been motivating me this week through some stressful moments. 🙂

Don't be afraid to pursue your goals | 2 Generations Running

Hope you have an awesome weekend too! Anyone else racing/running/volunteering this weekend? Do you also wish pumpkin products were available year-round or are we just weird?

Friday Five: Say Cheese!

Hey there and happy Friday!!

Once again this week, I’m linking up with Eat Pray Run DC, Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What for the Friday Five Linkup.

Friday 5 Link-Up

I was so excited for this week’s topic – Fitness Snapshots. I LOVE a good action shot (and a good story to go with it), so I’m very excited to see what other bloggers post!

Friday Five: Fitness Snapshots. 2 Generations Running.

Ok, here are some of the best fitness snapshots of my mom and I that I could find.

1. This picture taken by my boyfriend, of me finishing the Rochester Marathon.

2 Generations Running. Rochester Marathon.Obviously, I love this picture because it’s from my first marathon, but don’t I look strong for being at the end of 26.2 miles?! There’s little sign of how much my big toe hurts (the toenail started aching around mile 18 and I knew I was going to lose it, which I did.). You can’t tell how much pain my legs are in, or how chafed and blistery my back got from my sports bra (who thinks to put Body Glide on your back?!) All you can tell is that I’m finishing my first marathon and I look like I’m just warming up. 🙂

2. This photo of my mom from the Dirty Girl Mud Run.

mudrunDoesn’t she look like she’s killin’ it on the obstacle course? I volunteered at this race, so I didn’t actually get to run it, but it looked like so. much. fun. If you have a mud run/obstacle course race in your future, check out this post we wrote on it for some helpful tips (especially on what to wear!).

3. This shot of me from my high school soccer days (I had just headed the ball, but it’s unfortunately not in the picture)

2 Generations Running.My love for running began with soccer, so it seemed appropriate to include a picture from that time. I was warming up for a game in this picture, practicing headers. Clearly, my bangs are a little out of control. 🙂 I loved playing soccer and I miss it sometimes.

4. This shot of my mom from near the end of the Clearwater Distance Classic (our last half marathon!)

Clearwater Distance Classic. 2 Generations Running.Look, she’s smiling and waving! (she says it was forced, but I think it looks pretty natural.) Not bad for probably having 11-12 miles under her belt. (Full recap can be read here if ya want!) Given the bajillion feet of snow we have right now, it will probably be a while before we’re running in tank tops again.

5. And lastly, another throwback picture of me from high school, this time from indoor track-

2 Generations Running. Long Jump.I’m doing the long jump here (not randomly flinging myself into the air in case you were worried about my sanity.) I wasn’t the best long jumper in the world, but it was pretty fun! And I loved my bright red Saucony track spikes, I felt like a bada** in those.

Did anybody else play soccer or long jump before getting into running? Ever tried a mud run (and was it as awesome as it looks?!)? Have a great weekend!

Tips for Traveling to a Race

Good morning!

So lately, I feel like I’ve talked about the darn snow A LOT on the blog. But I can’t help it, because it just keeps snowing! Yesterday, we got a foot (on top of the 3 feet we already have).

2 Generations Running. Snowfall over my head.Yep, that mound of snow is taller than me. While most people are bemoaning the shoveling and snowblowing, Brady is getting some serious enjoyment out of it.

Brady. 2 Generations Running.And here he is, coming back inside to defrost-

Brady. 2 Generations RunningHappy days. And to think, it was only a few weeks ago that my mom and I returned from Florida after running our tenth half marathon and crossing off another state (or more importantly, we got to walk around in sundresses in January. We won’t be getting to do that again anytime soon.) We’ve now traveled to run in several different states (Virginia, Vermont, and Maine were all far enough away that we had to make travel arrangements and stay overnight). We still have LOTS more running and traveling to do before we get close to reaching our goal of 50 states, but I thought now would be a good time to share some tips my mom and I have picked up from our experiences traveling to run in new areas. So without further ado…

Tips for Traveling to Races. 2 Generations Running.

  1. If flying, pack your sneakers and running outfit in your carry-on bag (if you’re checking luggage). My mom and I were paranoid that our luggage was going to get lost on our way to Florida, but it gave us some peace of mind to know we would at least have our running stuff if it did get lost.
  2. If you have a smart phone, take a screenshot of the info on the race’s website about packet pickup, race day parking/transportation – anything you may need to refer back to many times.
  3. Give yourself a day (or two) to acclimate. You don’t want to be spending hours driving or flying, only to have to wake up at 4 or 5 the very next day and run a long race.
  4. Pack 2 running outfits – one for ideal or expected weather, and one for if it ends up rainy or cooler than usual.
  5. Don’t forget your fuel (that you’ve trained with and tested). I made the mistake of trying Gatorade shot bloks during a race – these are about the size of a Starburst and about as chewy. I found I could barely breathe while trying to chew the stupid thing enough to swallow! Now I stick to GU’s and the much smaller Sports beans.
  6. Remember to fuel in the days leading up to the race! It can be easy to get distracted by the vacation environment, but if you’re running a half marathon or marathon, eating the right foods is SO important. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, carboload, and watch your fiber intake (you don’t want any digestive issues while running a race).

And here’s a handy-dandy checklist I’ve put together to keep in mind while packing for your race (we’ve come close to forgetting a few of these items a handful of times!)

The Runner's Packing Checklist. 2 Generations RunningI hope that helps a bit for when you’re packing for your next race vacation! If you take away nothing else from this post, let it be: remember your sneakers.

Have a great week! Have you ever forgotten anything important while on vacation (or going to a race?) Does anyone else have a dog who is seemingly part polar bear?

The Clearwater Distance Classic

We’re finally home! And back to 30 degree temps and snow. Oh well, it was nice to escape from it for a week!  But anyways, it’s time for the race recap! The Clearwater Distance Classic was on Sunday, and my mom and I got up bright and early around 5 am to make the 7:05 start. We were surprised by how dark it was at the start, but I think we forgot it was mid-winter and that it’s still dark early in the mornings, even in Florida. Clearwater Distance Classic. 2 Generations Running Clearwater Distance Classic. 2 Generations Running.We were both excited to run, having not run a long race since the Rochester Marathon in September. Right at 7:05 the gun sounded, and everyone was off! And I mean, everyone. This race offered a 50k, marathon, half marathon, or 5-mile distance, and everyone started at the same time. This made it a little hectic and crowded at the start, but not terrible. Everyone just seemed happy to be running! Clearwater Distance Classic.The race took us into the edge of downtown Clearwater, and then across the first much-anticipated bridge! On the website, they described this as possibly Florida’s most challenging half marathon because of the steepness and difficulty of these bridges, which provide great views of the Gulf of Mexico and Clearwater Bay. Being from hilly New England, my mom had scoffed at this. “Bridges?! How bad can they be?” Well, pretty dang steep to be honest.

Bridge at the Clearwater Distance Classic.Impressive, right?

The only good news was that the first one came somewhere around mile 2, so we still had plenty of gas in the tank. The views from the bridge were wonderful – all sky and ocean and impressive silhouettes of the hotels in the distance. Clearwater Distance Classic. Clearwater Distance ClassicOnce we crossed the bridge, we started seeing signs for Hope and Winter – the famous dolphins from the Dolphin Tale movies who live in the nearby aquarium. One runner shouted out across the bay area “HI HOPE AND WINTER!!” 🙂 There were also jokes about all the beeps from GPS watches being understood by the dolphins nearby.

Clearwater Distance Classic. 2 Generations Running(My mom powering up the last bridge)

My mom and I kept running, maintaining a pretty comfortable pace right around 9:30-ish/mile. We passed some beautiful beaches, finally reaching the turn-around point in this out-and-back course. At this point, I was really starting to feel it. My hamstring was twinging, but it was actually my knee on the same leg that was starting to really hurt. I was so happy to just be doing 13.1 miles that day; I couldn’t imagine running a marathon with my knee hurting the way it was. My mom and I have definitely run more challenging courses in the past – the Mad Half in Vermont had tons of hills! But this race  felt the toughest for me, both physically and mentally, and I got progressively grumpier mile by mile. After crossing the bridge back towards the end of the course, we had to run down this spiral walkway that led back to the finish area. I kept running because I was desperate to be done, but yikes– running downhill made my knee seize up like I couldn’t believe! I got passed by lots of runners on this little section, which was disappointing – especially since running downhill is supposed to be the easy part!  Clearwater Distance Classic.Finally, that was over and I was crossing the finish line, a couple minutes behind my mom. Final time – 2:12

Clearwater Distance Classic.I’m smiling but only because I’m happy to be done running. And because the medal was cool.

I immediately grabbed an ice pack from the aid tent after finishing, and after catching my breath, went with my mom to check out the post-race food! There was a good selection and we helped ourselves to chocolate milk, pastries, pretzels, and bananas. There was also pasta available, but neither of us really wanted that after running for 2 hours. So despite the beautiful views, wonderful setting, and yummy food spread, this was not the best race for me. I’m pretty sure the knee issue isn’t too serious – I think it’s just runners’ knee, which can be treated pretty easily with stretching (I know because my mom had some issues with it not too long ago!). My plan is to look into that, and slowly start building my mileage up again so that I’ll be ready when the next race rolls around. I guess the moral of my last few posts lately, is that I need to be better about stretching (ahem, remember when I stupidly strained my hamstring a week and a half ago?) So yeah… I guess I’ll start doing that.  But looking on the bright side, my mom and I finished our tenth half marathon, and bagged another state! So a successful trip overall. I hope you all had a great week! Many thanks to Bonnie and my grandfather for hosting us and helping this be a successful trip! My mom and I are both so grateful to have such wonderful family. 

5 Things in My Bag

Happy Friday (and hello from sunny Florida!)

After reading a bunch of posts by some of my favorite bloggers who participate in the Friday 5 (a link-up with a variety of topics hosted weekly by Eat Pray Run DC, You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar on the Run), I thought it would be kind of fun to join in on the action! This week’s topic is ‘What’s in your gym bag?’ Well, I don’t have a gym bag right now (since I don’t have a gym membership!) But, my mom and I did just pack for our trip to Florida to run the Clearwater Distance Classic Half , so I thought I would share some of the items that are coming along in our suitcases.

Friday 5 Link-Up. 2 Generations Running

1. The Circle by Dave Eggers

“When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency… Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken… What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.”

I found this book in Barnes and Noble on Monday, and thought it sounded like a good read! I’m hoping it keeps me entertained in the airport and then by the beach or pool in Florida. 

New Garmin watch. 2 Generations Running2. My new Garmin GPS watch!

I recently traded in a couple of textbooks back to Amazon in exchange for an Amazon gift card. I put that money towards buying this beauty, and I’m so excited to use it! In the past, I relied on the MapMyRun app for keeping track of my pace and mileage, but it’s a little cumbersome to check that in the middle of a run. So I’m excited to use this in my speed work and tempo runs in the future.

3. My sneakers.

2 Generations Running

Because as beautiful as that looks, I think it would get a little painful after 13.1 miles.

4. My bathing suit/a couple of sundresses.

The weather in Tampa right now is roughly 50 degrees warmer than it is in New England.

2 Generations Running

The last race I ran, it was probably, oh 15 degrees? Yeah, let’s just say I’m pretty excited about 66 and sunny.

5. And lastly, my laptop! It may take a while for a full race recap to be posted, but be on the lookout for some shorter posts this week, as I would like to check in a little. 

Have a great weekend!