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 middle-agedrunner.blogspot.com

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 think...it 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 themainemile.com

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!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bath Heritage Days 1-Mile Fun Run and 5-Miler {Race Recap}

Let's get around to this race recap before next year rolls around, shall we?

Last year we all ran in the Bath Heritage Days 5-Miler with me pushing the boys in the double stroller with a ton of help from Ian. The 4th of July in 2013 was so hot, 94 degrees was too much for me. You can read about that here

Earlier this year, I had decided that there was no way I'd be pushing two even bigger boys for this hilly race and they were excited to run the mile fun run. Ian (self-admittedly) was not in race shape for the 5-miler, so it was decided that we would all do the one mile and I would run the five mile solo.

With my little runners!
We pinned on our bibs and got all lined up for the fun run. Finn (age 4) had announced that he was going to win and really wanted to start at the front, but I made him settle for the middle behind the big kids. The start is downhill and we all stuck together for a little bit. 

Finn, out in front.
Zeke, showing good form and focus.

We split up when Zeke wanted to take a walk break, so I stuck with him while Finn forged ahead with Ian. We'd run a little, walk a little, but made it all the way to the finish. It was a highlight for Zeke when heading up the hill to the finish seeing his Kindergarten teacher cheering him on followed by the people clapping and cheering at the finish. 

Photo courtesy Michelle Rooney

And Finn? He ran the whole way without stopping, and between the four of us came in first.

Right before his first 'win'. Photo courtesy Michelle Rooney

There was a little bit of time before the 5-miler so we just rested on a bench while I went back and forth on deciding if I wanted to wear a shirt or not. The humidity was high and I was already sweaty even from just walking fast/slow jogging with Zeke. In the last possible second, I decided it had to come off. I'd rather people stare at me than me suffer from the heat. And maybe my less than tight stomach distracted them from my ugly legs. But honestly, who cares?

I didn't have a goal going into this race. I knew I'd be faster this year since I wasn't pushing a giant stroller full of boys, but didn't know how fast. Really my one goal was to finish ahead of Zeke's Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. London. I knew from stalking the results of past races she ran around my pace. I was hoping for around an 8:30 pace given the weather and the course difficulty. 

The race started at a comfortable pace and Mrs. London was running just ahead of me with one of her friends. My first mile came in at 8:11. I was thanking myself for the decision to run shirtless. 

Can't miss me in my bright Spandits! skirt! 

The course is really hilly and mostly an out and back course that follows the river. But the best part of running a local race is knowing the terrain in and out. I knew what every hill felt like from running them in training and knew what was coming up next and how far I had left to go. 

Bath Heritage Days 5-Mile course map

5-Mile course profile

There was a water stop at just over 1.5 miles so I walked to take a sip of water and dump the rest over my shoulders. I had fallen a little bit further behind from the quick stop, but could still see Mrs. London and her friend. There was also an older lady that I leap-frogged for a majority of the race that was just up ahead. Mile two was 8:23 and was still feeling good.

The turn around happens just before mile 2.5 and the gap between Mrs. London and I had become shorter and I eventually passed them on an uphill (my strong point). Mile three was 8:25. I was hot, but I was managing the heat better than I expected. I did feel like I was holding back, but didn't want to crash and burn before the finish.

I walked a little bit again when I got back to the water stop, this time just past mile three and Mrs. London and friend passed me. I quickly caught back up but was getting tired and really started to overheat. The sun was starting to burn through the clouds. Between miles three and four are the longest uphills too and was thankful they added another water stop right before mile four. That last quick walk break made my mile four split the slowest of the day at 9:12, but it also gave me a huge jump in energy. 

I started running faster and faster. There is a steep downhill that I cruised down and kept up the momentum on the long uphill to the finish line. I was flying uphill at an sub-7 pace, so fast that I forgot to stop my watch at the finish! Mile five - 7:30...that's faster than my 5K PR pace!

Hey, I DO have abs!
This is what 6:58 pace looks like going uphill.

Final stats:
41:40, 8:20 average pace
87/244 overall
24/119 women
6/28 AG (30-39)

Even though summer racing isn't my thing, I love making this race a tradition. It's a great challenge and a fun way to start off the Independence Day festivities here in Bath!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Let's do a little update...

Well, I slightly fell off the blogging planet, but with the half marathon behind me, I'm not training for anything (well I am, but it hasn't gotten serious yet), I just needed a little breather from early morning wake-ups to run. I did race on the 4th and I promise to get that recap up, hopefully by tomorrow. I got to enjoy a great holiday weekend with my family so I took a short blogging hiatus. 

Before the Bath Heritage Days 1-mi Fun Run
Sparklers with cousins at the waterfront

I've been working everyday on my fence project and I am so sore. My arms and legs are so tired! Home improvement = strength training. I contemplated getting up to run this morning, but my body had other thoughts. I've been painting for a few days now, but yesterday I spent a good eight hours ripping down one side, digging holes, setting posts, and putting the new fence up. By the time I got to working on the gate a thunderstorm rolled in and my brain was so fried that I called it a day.

After! (minus the gate)

I did get the gate finished and installed today. It's not a work of art by any means, but I used scrap lumber and salvaged fence parts so it was free. It will look a ton better once I finish the painting...you'll just have to wait to see the finished project.

Anyway, my mental state is telling me that I need to run soon and I'm hoping to get back to following a training plan next week. Talk to you soon!