I actually forgot to even blog about this race! It was such a last minute thing that I signed up for! I heard about it from Ellen at church who is training for her first half. Part of the fee for the race goes to benefit the parks in Hudson so it is a good cause too. I had 9 miles to run that day so I figured it might make sense to run 6.2 with a group and then tack on the balance afterwards. The race took place mostly at Hudson Springs. It was perfect weather and I ran pretty good! My time was 1:08:36 for the 10K. I was feeling like bailing on the last almost 3 miles, but thankfully Ellen talked me into it. The race ended downtown Hudson so I just ran home. I had asked Mike to drop me at the start. Every now and then I have a good idea! Anyways, the last almost 3 miles were pretty good as well. I’ll have to remember this race for next year!
I’ve tried to sit down and write this blog a bunch of times, but each time I had to put my laptop away and go back to it later. So many thoughts and feelings to process and not enough time to dedicate to it! Well, a week after descending on Cincinnati for my special birthday celebration weekend I’m finally ready to write! In January this year I gave a lot of thought as to what I might want to do to celebrate my 50th birthday in May in terms of fitness goals. I did ponder running a full marathon – for like 3 minutes, but then decided I wanted to focus on a less intense, more doable and enjoyable goal. How about a new (to me ) race around my bday, I thought. Right around this same time I started seeing folks talk about the Flying Pig race in Cincinnati in the Challenger Nation (running group website). I had heard tons of good things about the Flying Pig and had never done it before. Plus it became clear very quickly that this was becoming an EPIC meet up for my virtual running group! That was all I needed to hear! I registered in January for my 11th half marathon and started to put my training plan and other weekend plans together. I figured we could make it a family trip by including a college visit to Xavier University in the mix as well.
Before I share the details of the weekend I want to include a note about my training for this race. I. Was. Dedicated. I didn’t do lots of cross training, but I was religious about doing the amount of minutes listed on the plan (Coach Jenny’s plan, of course!). I am usually good about getting all the long runs in, but lots of times I just do 3 miles on week days and that is it. I made sure to get all the minutes in (sometimes early on the TM before work) for like every weekday training run. I really think this made all the difference for my success on race day!!
The weekend came and I left home Saturday morning with my husband and son in tow. We checked into the hotel first and then walked over to the expo right across the street. We all agreed that Cincinnati was a pretty cool city! They are very serious about their support of the Flying Pig. See below.
The Expo was very fun with lots of SWAG!!
After the Expo we went back to the hotel to relax a bit before dinner. We had signed up for the special Challenger meet up for dinner at the Rock Bottom Brewery, about a 2 minute walk from our room. The dinner was a buffet from 4:30pm – 7pm so it was a come and go situation (so I thought). In typical Ramsey fashion I screwed up the time somehow! We got caught up watching a cool movie on Netflix so we planned to leave for dinner around 5:30pm. Then, our GPS to walk to the restaurant got messed up so we walked all the way around the barn out of our way to get there. Did I mention it was raining and we didn’t have umbrellas?! By the time we finally arrived it was like 6pm and everyone was already seated and eating! Turns out everything did actually start at 4:30pm so I missed Coach Jenny’s talk and everything. Thankfully, we were so welcome by everyone that my frustration and embarrassment quickly faded and we enjoyed dinner and mingling with all my virtual friends I could finally meet in real life! There were about 60 folks there for the weekend! I wish I could have had more time to talk with more folks, but there is always next year, I suppose!
That night I slept terribly (typical for the night before a race), but got up ready to run! It was so nice to be so close to the start line. I just followed the folks I met in the elevator!
What a fantastic race!! I was overwhelmed by so much spectator support the entire way! There were tons of signs and people all along the route. Most big races typically have Gatorade/water stations regularly along the way, but in addition to that this race had SO much stuff – food and other supplies runners need during runs. It was almost as if the race organizers could read our minds…like “boy, I could use a tissue right now,” and BOOM someone is handing you one! Or “wow, I just need some extra energy right about now”, and BOOM, someone is handing you an unwrapped Hershey’s kiss in a cup! The following food items were given out by volunteers along the route (keep in mind this is just the half – they had more stuff for the last half of the rout too I’m sure. And remember this is DURING the race – this doesn’t count all the stuff we got during the after race party):
Bacon (duh, and so funny)
Hershey’s kisses (at least 2x during the race)
Orange wedges (2x during the race)
Orange juicey candies
If that list wasn’t enough, there also non food items given out – again, seemingly right when we thought we needed it. Here is the list of non food items that were distributed:
Tissues (at least 2x during the race)
Paper towels (dry ones and some stops and wet ones at others)
Hose sprays/mist sprays
Sticks of Vaseline for chapped lips.
Between mile 12 and 13 they gave out shots of beer (eww), but hillarious! I mean this was incredible!! It felt like almost every mile or shorter there was something else being given to us! I only took the orange slices, tissue, paper towels, GU and definitely the hose spritzer. I saw two live pet pigs too!! One was like a mile in and the other was about 5 miles in. In terms of the race itself, I felt really good! The weather was perfect – 54 degrees and cloudy – totally perfect! MY GLASSES DIDN’T FOG UP which was huge as it is always nice to see running in a race (ha)! I was worried about the hills, but after talking to Coach the night before I decided to take her advice and “walk the ups”. It worked and I felt really strong the entire race.
I talked with the Challengers who ran this race before about the route and they said you will know when you get to the top of the hilly part because of the view – everyone takes pics. Yep – see below! Worth the climb for sure!
The race was great and I was really happy with my time too! My time was 2:34:44 which was a 11:46 per mile pace. I finished in the top 50% for my age group and about the middle of the pack for the women. It was awesome having Zach and Mike greet me at the finish. Last race in my 40’s. Bring on my 50’s!!!
Well, this was the 9th year of running this race! I had to look back at my website and count the years! This is the first one that I remember being a total downpour, however! It had been raining all afternoon and continued throughout the race! The temp was in the 50’s so that was good, I guess. I ran into my friend Debbie and her husband and then also runner friends, Chris and Alise (pictured below). I have run into Chris and Alise for the past 4 years of this race!
It was pretty miserable, I’m not going to lie. I walked a bit of the stupid hill. In spite of all of this, however, I ran a pretty good race! I was faster than last year’s time by like a minute. I ran a 33.27 which was 10:47/mile. Here are the rest of my stats for folks keeping track at home:
Overall place: 255/413; All female: 108/232; Age group: 14/37. For my age group and the overall female I was in the top half so that is awesome! I’ll have to think of something really cool to do for next year’s 10th year! Maybe a prom dress and a tiara??
We had a new addition to the Ram Fam this year! Anna Hershel, Zach’s girlfriend, joined us this year! It was a bit chilly to start – in the 20’s, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time together! Zach and Anna finished a bit ahead of me and Mike brought up the rear with his 5K walk. It turned out to be a sunny day and we met some cute furry friends. I ran a great time and a great time was had by all!
Zachary: 29:41.2 30:10.8 9:35/M (For some reason they didn’t have Anna’s results listed, but she came in right with Zach for sure!)
Well, Zach and I ran the Turkey Trot in Aurora again this year! It was pretty chilly, but fun! I felt really good and ran a good time. Zach ran a PR – faster during this race than he did all season in cross country – probably because the course was so much different on a street than on trails and such. It was funny because at the end of the race we ran into Zach’s cross country coach, Mark McConnell. Our times were the following:
Lisa – 32:05; Overall: 402/593; Female: 193/328; Age-group finisher: 9/21
Zach – 26:26; Overall: 181/593; Male: 122/265; Age group finisher: 24/32
Wow, that week went fast!! Faster than I could eat all the goodies from last week! Looks like I might be freezing some peaches!
Here is the haul from this week’s basket:
And the details:
Sweet Corn – 4 ears
Green Peppers – 2
Black Beans – 1 lb
Yellow Wax Beans
Cilantro – 1 bunch
Chorizo – 1 lb
Here is the plan: We will eat the sweet corn tonight with our dinner. I’ll be interested to see if it is any better than the ears from Szalays from this week cause that was pretty yummy! I will be making a salsa with some of the items – onions, tomatoes, black beans and cilantro. I also might try a sweeter salsa with some of the peaches from last week that I need to use up. I will also make a tomato sauce this week and include the green peppers and the chorizo to have on some pasta this week. The cantaloupe will be eaten raw and the yellow wax beans are still a question. Probably will just steam them as a side.
I’m so behind this week, but finally getting to blog about last Friday’s basket! Here is what we got:
Here is how it breaks down:
Peaches – 5 to 6
Zucchini – 1 to 2
Carrots – 1 bunch
Cucumber – 1 to 2
Green Onion Brats
I cut up the carrots and the cucumber to eat as an appetizer for a dinner party on Friday night. We at the green onion brats (which were really Italian sausage) last night with our first Szalays corn of the season – yummy! The onion will be used in a pork and beans dish for tomorrow and the lettuce has/will be used for salad. The peaches will be eaten as is or cooked in a dessert if they get ahead of me. Not sure about the red cabbage, honestly. I need to do some research on that one – again! I might make red cabbage and potato hash tonight!
Saturday, July 14
Muddy Paws 2 Mile Trail Race
Pine Hollow Trail
So I tried something different this summer! I signed Henry up for his first trail race! I had been running with him a bit over the summer when I saw an ad on Facebook for the Muddy Paws race series sponsored by Western Reserve Racing. There were 2 different races – a 5 miler and a 10 miler, but what caught my eye was the 2 mile doggie fun run as a fundraiser for the Humane Society. I read further to read that the dogs would be chipped (timed) only and not the humans and there would be prizes for the various sizes of dogs. That was it! I was in!
So the morning of the run Henry was totally cool. No pre-race jitters for him!
We got there a little bit early to pick up his bib and his swag item – a collapsible water bowl that has the Muddy Paws logo on it. So stinkin’ cute! We spent the rest of the 30 minutes before the race making new friends, slobbering other dogs and straightening out leashes! Before we knew it it was time to start! The first 100 yards or so was all downhill and even the race director mentioned that he couldn’t wait to see how fast the dogs would pull us down the hill!! There was quite a crowd there – I was pleasantly surprised! I was also surprised at how many smaller dogs there were! I wasn’t sure how the littler dogs would do with a race that distance!
We took off and at first Henry was a bit confused. He wanted to smell the dogs as we were passing them. Pretty soon he got the hang of it as he saw all of them moving in the same direction. He trotted along pretty good. I had made sure to have him take care of business on a quick walk at home that morning before we left to minimize stops. I think he only had to pee once. The trail was pretty steep in parts and the morning was very humid! Because of this I had to walk just a bit on some of the hills. Each time I did as I told him I had to talk just a bit, Henry looked back at me like, “is that all you got, lady? When are we actually going to start running?!”
We trotted our way to the finish line and I led him to the number of water bowls out for the doggies. He sniffed all of them, but would not drink out of any of them. It was like they were tainted. First of all, who is he to be judgmental of slobber?! He eyed the water I was drinking so I had to pour some of my bottle out so he could drink it. But as soon as I dumped the rest in a bowl he was not interested. He could not bear to drink out of a public water bowl! Funny how a muddy lake is another story, however! I was glad I brought his own bowl and a cold water bottle with us so he could have a drink by the car before heading home.
One cool and unique thing about this race was the sounds I heard. Normally during a race I hear feet on the pavement or path and sometimes folks breathing. This time it was a mix of human breathing, but also lots of panting! It was fun and I felt a cool connection with Henry. He is 7 years old and we just started doing this together, but it just shows that it is never too late. We didn’t win any prizes. He/we came in 51 out of 62 dogs in total, but I had a blast and I think I can speak for Henry that he did too.
We ate the red potatoes with 2 different dinners over the weekend roasted with a candy onion. By the way, roasting veggies in general are amazing!! I don’t know why I don’t do it more often! The onions were really sweet and yummy. We roasted some zucchini also with a little bit of salt and pepper, and Parmesan cheese on it. Next time I think I want to broil them a little bit more to get them a bit crispier. We roasted the beets for a salad to go with dinner last night and they were yummy too. It was an experiment as both Shirley, my mother-in-law and I had never done it before. However, I realized that beets shrink down a lot and I should not cut them as small next time. Other than that they turned out great! We made the chicken on the Traeger grill last night and it was very good! We will eat the rest of the items raw.
And the details:
Cherries – 1 pt
We will eat the broccoli and green beans as sides. I am making a yummy snack (think smoothie bowl) with the cherries using almond milk for a treat for tomorrow. I will use the green onions, some zucchini and some other veggies I need to use up in a stir fry for lunch today. I will use the kale in a soup this week as well as for a new twist on avocado toast because I’m a little bit obsessed. The lettuce will be for salads and the chicken patties we will make for jerk chicken sammy’s for tomorrow’s dinner. Also on deck today is a blueberry peach cobbler that is from skinnytaste.com so it is totally a healthier option.