Thursday, October 16, 2014

Topsham 250th 5K {Race Recap}

You know those days when everything falls into place and you least expect it? Well, that happened to me last Saturday at the Topsham 250th 5K. A Home Depot customer of mine, Jeff, who was the co-race director for this 5K to celebrate Topsham's 250th anniversary, invited me to run in his race. Honestly, we talk more running than home improvement when he comes in. I also managed to talk my manager into going into work late. It totally worked in my favor that he's a big runner more ways than one...he is over 7 feet tall!

Seeing that it was one week before the MDI relay, I had no intent on pushing myself for this race. I wanted to focus on running easy and not bother my left hammy that had been nagging me recently. I wasn't thinking that a PR could even be possible with my lack of following a training plan or no speed work in recent months. I wouldn't say that they have been terrible, but my training runs have been a struggle to even feel comfortable at a 9-minute-mile pace. In my head, there was no way I could run an average 7:40 pace. This one was to be for fun.

The weather could not have been more perfect. 40 degrees. No humidity. No wind. I chose to wear my Spandits! 3/4 tights. 

Don't they look fast?
(from a previous day)

They worked out great in my last two training runs and the temperature was just right for them. Plus the print is called Hyperspeed. I was also wearing my go-to racing shoes, the Mizuno Wave Sayonara (not picture in the photo). 

When I got to the start I recognized another runner who I knew was faster than me, but I didn't plan on racing, right? I watched the hot air balloon giving people teathered rides and soon it was time to line up. 

From the warmth of the car.

I jostled for position with a few other women plus a little kid (his name is Dash - so appropriate!) before I found myself as the third woman within the first mile. I wasn't all out sprinting, but running relaxed and comfortably hard. My hands were a little numb, but I knew they would warm up soon. As I ran along with another woman I could hear her stomach sloshing around and either she slowed or I sped up, but at the one mile mark {7:51} I was now the second woman.

Up ahead I could see the woman I knew was fast running along with Jeff (who decided to run). Crazy thing, she was running with her hands on her hips/sides...not using her arms at all, or very little. I was slowly catching up to them when we hit the turnaround point, but then she saw that I was only a few steps behind and turned on the gas. She opened up a bigger lead, but I kept with her and eventually passed Jeff right around mile two. I was now in 5th place! Mile two split was 7:32, which completely stunned me. That meant that my average pace was at my current 5K PR pace. My effort thus far seemed easy and I focused on keeping it that way. Any time I started to tense up, I relaxed my shoulders and kept my eyes on the first place woman's back. My younger, more competitive self would have pushed hard to beat her, but I was so stoked that I was in second place (albeit a small field), and that was good enough for me. 

Mile three came in at 7:27, which meant that this was the first time EVER that I had negative splits in a race. And still I wasn't really pushing the effort. I'd say I was about 85% of red-lining. This also meant that I had a shiny new 5K PR coming my way!

I crossed the line in 23:34, an average pace of 7:36. 

5/45 overall
2/26 women
1/13 in AG 31-50

Bath, Maine represent!

They didn't do overall winner awards just age groups. I was a little taken aback that I fit into age group 50 and under...seriously, I'm only 37! But this was my last race at this age and it earned me a $20 gift certificate to Dick's Sporting Goods that I know I can put to good use. At first I was confused when they called my name for first, because I thought it would be Madison, the woman who beat me, but then she told me that she was 60 and out of my age group! Dang, I want to be you when I grow up!

My winnings!

I am still a little shocked that I now have a new 5K PR. There are a few things that I think made that happen. One, the weather was my absolute perfect running weather. The sudden lack of heat and humidity felt so good. I could actually breathe! Two, I was relaxed and not nervous at all about this race. Sometimes having no expectations is a good thing. Three, the course is flat. Not completely a pancake, but the only "hill" was the short incline right before the finish. Four, I really think my Hyperspeed Spandits! tights have magical speedy powers.

I'm hoping that this is a reoccurring race, because I really want to come back next year and seriously race it! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A month later.

I'm coming to terms with the fact that can not keep up with this blog full time. There are certainly times when I have a few minutes to write a post, but honestly most of the time I just don't feel like it or don't feel like I have anything to say that you'd be interested in reading about. I started writing as a way to keep track of training and to look back on what I've done, but nowadays I don't find that I need to do that. 

I'm currently addicted to Instagram and post there daily, so if you want to check out what's going on follow me @mainemomrunning (I promise to follow you back). 

I'm not ready to give up on the blog it just yet. I just currently have no motivation to keep coming up with ideas for posts. Sure, this blog has gotten me in touch with A LOT of great people and I've had a lot of fantastic opportunities come my way because of it, but it's not my job. 

Anyway, MDI is coming up very soon...17 days actually! I've very excited for a girls' night away and my birthday is the day before! I'm also a little bit nervous to keep up with Jen for the first half of the relay. We are running in two-person teams (Me/Stacy and Jen/Jill) so I'll be running with Jen and Stacy and Jill will take over at the halfway point. I've just been slowly building up my mileage from a huge drop over the last half of the summer while Jen had been in the middle of marathon training. One thing I know is we are going to be representing Spandits! again and I can not wait. Everyone commented on our skull capris last year! I think I know what ones I'm going to be wearing...

Spandits! 3/4 tights in Hyperspeed

I've been wanting 3/4 tights for a while and now that the cooler weather is here, it's the perfect opportunity to wear them. I can honestly say I have never put on a more comfortable pair of pants. They are the perfect length. They are the perfect fit. The fabric is silky soft and the freaking awesome. The first time I put them on I could not stop looking at them. I've slept in them. I've worked in them. I've run 10+ miles in them. Now I just need more of them! Seriously, go check them out at! And hey, if you'd like to save 10% on your order enter SPANDITSLOVE at checkout and there's free shipping through October 13th! Be sure to let them know Carrie sent you!

Until next time!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Breaking the Silence.

Yes, I still exist even though the blog had gone dark for a couple of weeks. I have been focusing more on enjoying the last couple weeks of summer and spending time with the family, but now that school is in session I'll be able to get back here on a regular basis. Here's a quick recap on the last 2-3 weeks...

Ran the Maine Mile (recap soon...thankfully it was only a mile and there isn't much to remember).

Blurry because I'm running so fast!
Photo courtesy Maine Running Photos - Jen Boudreau

Still painting my parents' house. Today I finally started putting color on instead of scraping and priming.

Way up high!

Zeke started first grade and is loving it.

Finn had his first day of pre-K this morning. He's happy to be in the same school as big brother.

Ian and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last week. 

So young.

We enjoyed a nice walk to the restaurant and had a lovely dinner on the waterfront. 

It had been well over two years since we last went out just the two of us and hopefully we won't have to wait another two plus years.

We also took vacation time last week and while we spent a few days working scraping paint, it was nice to have time to do other things. We went to the Bath Farmer's Market and explored Fort Popham on Saturday. 

Peach hot sauce made from hot chilis from the farmer's market.

I've forgotten how nice having Saturdays off is. I've worked just about every Saturday for the last 15 years. If I wasn't working it was because I took time off for a race. I'm thinking it might be time to change things around to have more Saturdays free.

I went on a run this morning and saw the sunrise. 

Fog over the Kennebec.

I haven't been running much and today was the first time in over a week. I managed six miles (the furthest I've gone since the KRRT Half Marathon the end of June). It wasn't that fast, but it wasn't terrible either. Plus it was 45-degrees, my absolute favorite running temperature! I'm getting my act together now though...I've got the MDI Marathon in which I'm doing it as a 2-person relay in less than 6 weeks!

That's about it for now, I promise not to stay away so long this time! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Maine Mile Giveaway Winner and Discount Code

Just a quick note to announce that the winner of my Maine Mile giveaway is...

Congrats Sara!!! Sara, a.k.a. @middleagedrunner, just got married this past Saturday to one of my 2012 Reach the Beach:MA teammates, Eric! She's also a super speedy runner who has raced Boston twice and runs for Oiselle. She is going to do some serious butt kicking at the Maine Mile. You can follow her at

For those who didn't win, I'd still love to see you at the Maine Mile this Saturday. I've got a discount code for you! Enter MMOTREveryoneWins42 (case-sensitive) for $3 off registration! Hope to see you there!

Discount code valid until 12:00 PM EST 8/20/14.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Maine Mile {giveaway}

When was the last time you raced a mile? Sure, I've done mile repeats in training, but never an organized mile race. The last time I came close to racing a mile was in gym class in...ahem...1993. 

The Maine Mile, a new race here in Maine is not your gym class mile run. Taking place in Portland on the evening of August 23rd, The Maine Mile starts on Baxter Boulevard that surrounds the scenic Back Cove and ends in Payson Park. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Manitou Experience, a free camp for boys who have experienced a death-loss. There is also a High School Challenge where you choose what high school in the community you support and the school with the most votes will receive a donation to its athletic program. The course is flat (I used to live right along the Boulevard and ran here all the time...10+ years ago). The question is, how fast can you run it?

My time from high school was 6:34...I was over 20 years ago, but I think that was it. I'm not sure that I could currently beat that time since back then all I did was speed work as a sprinter/hurdler and haven't done much as all as of late. I could definitely outrun my younger self in distance, though. But I'll try my best!

Would you like to race a mile with me? I've got a free entry up for grabs for one lucky Maine Mom on the Run reader! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. The winner will be contacted by email as well as announced on this blog. For more information on The Maine Mile or to register if you don't win, visit

Disclosure: I was provided a race entry for myself and one to giveaway in exchange for event promotion. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Spandits! 5K {Race Recap}

Last Saturday afternoon I headed up to Farmington to run a 5K. I typically would not drive over an hour and a half to run 3.1 miles, but being that it was the Spandits! 5K and I am a somewhat "local" ambassador for the brand, it was not even a question!

I met up with Jen (also a Spandits! ambassador) and her family as well as Jill and hers.

Jackson (Jill's son), Jen, Jill, Me
Photo courtesy Sarah Doscinski

I also had the opportunity to meet the other ambassador from Maine, Shelley, as well as the fabulous Spandits! owners, Kelley and Sarah!

Shelley, Jen, Me Spandits! co-owner Sarah
Photo courtesy Jen Boudreau

It was one big Spandits! party and a lot of the racers were decked out in awesome gear!

We waited around a bit during the 1-mile kid's fun run and then got all lined up to race. I didn't have any goal other than to have fun. I did want to try to keep it under 25 minute though and figured I'd stick with Jen as long as possible. She was running on tired legs from marathon training and I was running on legs that barely ran over the last month. 

The course starts going around the block and back over the start line before heading out to a turnaround point and both Jen and I commented that we were going too fast. Mile one came in at 7:30...yup, too fast. 

I think Jen runs with a perma-grin...the girl is always smiling!
Photo courtesy Maine Running Photos

It wasn't flat, yet wasn't overly hilly either, but with temps in the mid-70s and over 70% humidity I started to suffer quickly. I normally wouldn't pause for water during a 5K, but slowed down to a brief walk to grab a cup and pour it over my shoulders. I wasn't too far behind Jen at the turnaround, but I was really fading fast and felt like I was moving at a snails pace. Mile two came in at 8:34.

My legs felt great actually, but the humidity and lack of mileage made it a huge struggle to just breathe. Before long I saw Wade and Ward running back with the kids in the strollers just as I was going up the last hill. Ward was yelling something about popping my legs up the hill or something and accelerate around the corner. All I had to do was run down the hill to the finish, but then a huge wave of nausea hit. Seriously? I had two choices - just cruise to the finish and keep my insides in or race to the line and puke on the street. There was really nowhere to hide and I really, really did not want to throw up in front of everyone in my brand-spankin' new Team Spandits! kit. It really bothered me that I couldn't sprint. My whole being was telling me to sprint, all except my stomach. I'm hoping that it was the late day start time and heat that caused my tummy troubles, I never used to have this problem. 

Look of death or trying really hard not to toss my cookies.
Photo courtesy Maine Running Photos
Thank you, Sarah, for making my legs look skinny in this picture.
Photo courtesy Sarah Doscinski
Only two more steps
Photo courtesy Sarah Doscinski

Anyway, I made it to the end. I did not puke. I met my goals of having fun and keeping my time under 25 minutes...just barely.

Final stats:
24:58, 8:03 pace
40/82 overall
9/38 females
4/12 age group (30-39)

I love running small races and in a new place. It was great meeting a bunch of people I've only met through social media and racing for my favorite running apparel company. Overall, it was well worth the drive to run this race and I hope to have the opportunity to do it again. Go Team Spandits!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

When did I become so bad at blogging?

It seems with the lull in running, I don't blog. While there are other things I could write about (and I'm about to), I'm not sure you're all that interested in every move I make. No worries, I'll be back at it very soon!

Without a goal race on the calendar I've gone back to running when I feel like it or when I can fit it in. I've taken the boys out in the double stroller a couple times, but I've cut way back on the mileage. I actually woke up this morning with the intention of running, but my left knee is acting a little funky and with the Spandits! 5K on Saturday, I figure heading out there may do more harm than good. I don't believe this one run would magically make me PR, though it would have felt good to run in the rain after the heatwave we've been having. So I'm taking this opportunity to write this instead since I'm awake!

I've up to my eyeballs in projects around the house. I'm still painting my fence. I've got two more panels to go on the inside and then the whole outside to paint. Hopefully I'll be done my the end of the summer! I've also taken on painting my parents' house and a small renovation of their bathroom, so my schedule is full. 

My little painter.

So far this summer has been full of fun. Last weekend Ian and the boys headed to Long Island (Maine) for Ian's family reunion. I was working so I had the house to myself (late night nachos and DIY show marathons). I met them down there on Monday and enjoyed a gorgeous day on the island. It's hard to believe that in a little over a month it will be 10 years since we got married there!

En route to Long Island

I'm very excited to be representing Spandits! as an ambassador this weekend at the Spandits! 5K in Farmington. I'll be meeting up with a couple other ambassadors and spreading the Spandits! love. 

I don't really have any goals for this race other than to have fun. I'm not expecting a PR given my lack of speedwork or running altogether. The race isn't until 6:15 in the evening, so it's going to be interesting to figure out what and when to eat beforehand. The forecast is showing temps in the 80s, so it's going to be hot. I am so taking Jen up on her offer to jump in the lake at their cottage afterward! Have you checked out Spandits! yet? The patterns are so fun and there is something there for everyone, including kids! Be sure to tell them that I (Carrie) sent you!