Run Laughlin Half Marathon Race Recap

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Earlier this year, I was contacted by the Run Laughlin race director and asked to be part of their ambassador program for their race.  In return for promoting their race, I was given 2 race entries for myself and a friend PLUS 8 race entries to giveaway! Although I was given this race entry, my review and opinions are my own. 

This was my 2nd year running this race.  I ran it in 2015 and really enjoyed the course, you can read my review HERE.  The course for 2017 was slightly different, so I was looking forward to comparing the course.  I also was excited because this was the hubby's 2nd half marathon and I was looking forward to running together for part of the race and and seeing him cross that finish line! 

The race began at the high school and had us do a loop around the track.  The higher elevation of the school, meant we got some great views of the mountains around us! After the track, it was a steady uphill climb for the next 3 miles or so.  Not the best start to a race for me, but at least it was at the beginning and not the end! Like the saying goes, "What goes up, must come down!" and the next 3 miles were gloriously downhill and fast! I knew that we'd get another uphill section as we ran towards the dam and across the bridge and I took it slow and steady because that section was out and back so it was going to be a nice downhill after the turnaround.  The last portion of the race was along the river.  It was pretty flat with a few slight inclines, but nothing major.  Of course, after 10 miles, any slight change uphill can feel like a mountain! I kept pushing on that last mile and was really happy with my time! I beat my 2015 time for this race by 1 minute and finished 2017 strong! 

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I really enjoyed the course and the smaller race size, after having ran a lot of bigger races this year.  The volunteers were all super friendly, even though a lot of the aid stations were running out of cups for water! Thankfully, I run with my Nathan's hydration pack, so this didn't affect me.  The other not-so-great- thing about this race was the fact that they ran out of medals.  It was such a let down to cross the finish line and not get our finisher medals.  According to the new race directors, it was a problem with their supplier. I will say, they have communicated with us and are in the process of mailing our medals and even got the suppliers to engraving our name and finish time on the back of our medal at no cost.  It's been 2 weeks and we're patiently waiting for them to arrive.  

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In the meantime, I'm working on my race schedule and goals for 2018! Can't wait to share them with you next week! Tell me, what are your health and fitness goals for the new year? 

3 Tips for Finding Motivation to Run or Workout

I've been pretty generic with my blog posts lately.  I've mostly been keeping my posts about race recaps and family vacations.  The truth is that, I've been lacking motivation lately.  We moved across town this summer and as anyone who has ever moved can tell you, life got hectic and all structure and routines went out the door.  Yes, it's been 9 months and I still can't get back to my regular routine!

Actually, I realized early on that my regular routine needed to change.  Where my kiddos rode the bus to and from school each day, I am now driving them to and from school and they each attend different schools now.  This has really altered my daily routine and shortened my work-from-home workdays significantly! With my shortened workdays, soon came the .."do I work or workout? Laundry or running?" Yea, I know that it's not about having the time, it's about making the time. Blah, blah, blah! But, the truth is, I really liked my old schedule.  It worked so well for me and the idea of having to figure out a whole new system has been daunting.  I started trying different options, making myself new schedules, but the motivation was still not there and I wasn't sticking to it.  Well I finally said, enough is enough.  I've feeling sluggish and not to mention, fluffy and I know it's due to the lack of regular exercise. So, I've slowly been implementing some tricks to get me back to running and working out regularly! Here they are!

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1. Get it done early! If I tell myself I'm going to go for a run after lunch or after I check my emails, or before I pick up my son, the chances of me actually going for that run are slim.  I'll end up getting wrapped up in work or making up excuses and I won't go.  It's pure self-sabotage! I know not all of us can workout before work, so my tip for those of you who have to do evening workouts is to do it asap.  If you can go straight from work to the gym or out on your run - do it! Once you walk in to your home, life starts to happen and it will be much more difficult to go back out. 

2. Make plans.  Once I make plans with someone, I can't bail on them.  I'll make myself go on the run even if I'm not motivated to run.  I've also joined a local running groups on facebook and they frequently post group runs throughout the week. I'll rsvp for the run that best fits my schedule and make it a priority.  So, next time you don't feel like running or working out, contact a friend and put it on the calendar!  I'm sure you'll keep your plans with them and it'll be a great run together :)

3.  Sign up for a race.  This one is huge for me and I know I've said it on here before.  Training for for races keeps me on track even if I lack the motivation.  The race date isn't going to change and I don't want to show up unprepared, so I'm going to make sure I get my runs in!  If you're looking for a challenge, sign up for a race, anything that'll challenge you, 5K, 10K, half, full, trail, obstacles, whatever scares you a little bit and will make you work!  BONUS: Sign up with a friend ;)

I'm signed up for the Rock N Roll San Diego 5K and Half Marathon, plus the Rock N Roll Seattle Half Marathon both in June and the Napa to Sonoma Half in July! YIKES!!! Yup, I need to get my motivation back up and get ready for these fun races coming up! 

What do you do to get yourself out of a motivational funk and back on track with your running? Let me know in the comments! I could use all the tricks you've got! XO

Ventura Half Marathon | Race Recap

You guys I PRed!!! Woohooo!! I am so excited to give you all the details from the Ventura Marathon & Half Marathon event earlier this month.  I got to participate in this awesome race thanks to RacePlace.  As an ambassador for RacePlace, I was offered this race entry at no cost, but this review and recap are my own thoughts and opinions.  

The marathon and half marathon took place on Sunday, September 11 but they had fun events on Saturday too.  There were also various bike race distances, an adventure race, 5K, kids races, and K9 Shuffle!  Packet pickup and expo were held outside right next to the pier and there was a live band and some food trucks too.  It was definitely a beach party atmosphere!  

We left Vegas Friday morning.  Totally let the kids skip school for this trip!  Every year we take a 3 day weekend getaway to the beach right before school starts and this year we just didn't make it. So, this became a fun little race-cation!  More on that part of our trip in another post ;) 

We kept to our plan and got to the beach right around 11am or so after our huge brunch at Cajun Kitchen Cafe right on Main St. in downtown Ventura.  First stop was packet pickup.  Like I mentioned, the expo was held outside right next to the pier.  It was super easy and quick to get my bib and swag bag.  I loved the goodies we got! Just look at all the stuff I got! I really like that hat and the bag is great too.  Roomy and useful.  I gotta say I was getting tired of the drawstring bags mot races are giving.  Plus, race photos were free! 

The expo itself wasn't super big but that was fine with me.  I don't particularly enjoy those big expos where it's inside and stuffy and there's a ton of people all around you!  Anyhow, once we were done looking around and getting the kids some ice cream we spent a relaxing day on the beach.  Dinner was my usual carb-loading pizza with some protein and lots of veggies ;) 

Race morning was smooth and easy.  Jason was just dropping me off, so parking was not an issue for us, although it seems there was plenty of parking options.  The folks that were directing traffic were friendly and showed us where he could park to drop me off.  I had forgotten my Garmin in the room, so we had turn around and grab that for sure!  I got to the race, which started right in front o f the pier, with just enough time to get my headphones on and line up near the 2:30 pacer before we took off.  Everything seemed organized and relaxed. 

I went into this race with zero expectations and just happy there were no hills and it was a flat course.  My training had not been as regular as it should have been.  I did get my long runs in each week, but only running 2-4 miles once or twice during the week. So you can imagine my surprise when I ended up passing the 2:30 pacer and felt great around mile 5.  I was so sad when around mile 6 I had to stop and pee in the port a potty.  I considered not stopping, but of course, that just made me have to go more! LOL I sped up a little bit to try to catch up to the pacer again but I reached the turn around point (it was an out and back race) and still didn't see them.  I slowed down a bit and maintained a steady pace until about mile 10.  At this point in a half marathon I always feel anxious and ready for it to be over.  I found a really nice groove and kicked it up a notch.  Once I spotted the 2:30 pacers I took off.  I was a woman on on a mission!  I came up to them and they told me I was doing a good job.  I replied back with a thanks and told them I had been trying to catch up with them the whole race!  It was great to hear them cheer me on as I kept going and passed them.  I knew I was going faster than usual, but I was still feeling great.  I didn't want to look down at my garmin and see my pace out of fear of slowing down once I saw it! Crazy, I know.  I just ran for myself and only when I crossed the finish line and stopped my watch did I see I had a new record!  I finished in 2:24:26 beating my previous record of 2:25:27.  I don't know how it happened, but I'm so happy it did!  Maybe I can finish my next half in 2:20 ;) 

Thanks agin to Raceplace for the race entry and to the race directors and volunteers who made this my best half marathon to date!  And of course, thanks to my ever supportive family for coming along and cheering me on!  They're the best! XO