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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Running during my second trimester

This pregnancy has been an amazing journey so far.  At almost 23 weeks I am still feeling great and I am still running.  I am finally looking pregnant and I feel our little peanut moving around in there.  My husband felt her kicking last night and that was the most moving experience for me.  It turned an ordinary Friday night into something extraordinary.  I teared-up several times while his face lit up.  Having this baby has changed our lives and our relationship in so many ways.  Just when I think we couldn't have a more solid relationship, something has brought us even closer.  For that, I am grateful.  I adore having him help me raise my children and cannot wait for him to have the experience of raising a child of his own ... of our own.
 
 
As I mentioned, I have still been running.  Not very fast.  Not as far.  But I am still running.  I took about six days off of running earlier this month to regroup and pull life back together.  But, regrouping has brought running right back with it.  It's so easy to just say the heck-with-it and give it up.  But, I need it.  Running is a part of me now.  I am so grateful that I have this gift and am able to feel like myself while I am pounding the pavement.  I can feel tired and lethargic after work, but then I put on my running gear and head out the door with my ipod and I feel like myself again.  I am reenergized.  I usually forget I that am pregnant while my belly bounces up and down and I can't see my running shoes beneath me.
 
I purchased my first pair of maternity running capris (pictured above) today at Motherhood Maternity!. I have been wearing all of my standard running capris up until this point, but I have a feeling that they will soon be too snug over my baby belly. And, I don't want them to be too stretched-out for post-pregnancy running.

Maternity activewear is REALLY hard to find - especially at a reasonable price. Luckily, I snagged the only pair of marked-down capris off of the clearance rack. I was surprised at how shocked the sales clerks were that I am still running and being active. They actually asked me if this was approved by my doctor.
 
 
 
 
This morning I crushed five miles around town with my husband.  This was coming off of a 5am run yesterday morning, with clients over five miles.  My pace is nowhere near where it use to be.  However, I was still able to pull off negative splits this morning.  A 9:40 mile - really??!!  I really pushed my last mile while I got my breathing in a rhythm with my footwork and my tunes.  I felt amazing as I wiped my brown afterwards.  I am way prouder of these miles lately than of anything I've accomplished over the past ten years.  It just proves to me that I can do anything I put my mind to.  And I want to show my clients that they can do it, too.  Life really begins when you get off the couch and move your body.  You don't have to move fast ... you just have to go.   I have approximately ten miles on tap for tomorrow morning.  I'm looking forward to trying out those new maternity capris!
 
 
At 22 weeks, our baby was the size of a banana.  I was hoping for something more like a cantaloupe (based on my tummy), but she must be well-cushioned in there!  She's healthy and active in there.
 
I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during my previous two pregnancies (once around 26 weeks and the other around 12 weeks).  So, I'm really hoping that my new, active lifestyle has kept me healthy and keeps her healthy as well.  I have already been tested once for diabetes in the first trimester and will have my final testing in a few weeks.  I am really crossing my fingers that I can avoid it and experience a pregnancy without it.
 
Until then, I will continue to lace up my running shoes and be the best version of me that I can be ...
 
 
 


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tips for Running in the Heat

           Modify your workout with run/walk intervals

           Bring a water bottle filled with ice water to run with

           Bring an extra bottle of ice water to drink while you are stretching after your workout

           Wear light-colored clothing

           Wear tank tops and shorts

           Wear wicking/breathable clothing and avoid cotton

           Wear your hair up

           Wear a baseball cap or visor for shade

           Wear sunscreen

           Bring a hand towel for after your run

           Choose a route where you can run in the shade when you can

           Run early in the morning or at dusk if you can

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Balini Sports Apparel Review

I received some fabulous apparel from Balini Sports to review recently.  I sent them my measurements and my standard size.  However, with my growing belly, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to squeeze into their apparel before the end of the year.  Wrong!  I squeezed right in.
 
When I looked at their apparel online, everyone pictured was fit and trim and pretty thin.  I honestly wasn't sure if their apparel was going to be a good fit with my curvy, mamas body (that is now expanding more day-by-day with #3).  However, I really (REALLY) like their stuff.  Some of their pieces are a little too revealing for my personality and body-type.  However I think they are adorable for someone that is willing to flaunt what they've got.
 
These Yogini Yoga Capris are amazingly soft.  I was sent a size 8 and typically wear a size 8 pant.  These are available in five sizes from XS to XL and are available in black or purple.  The purple were something really fun for me to try.  I also love mixing and matching my bright running gear with contrasting colors, so I paired it with a great top.  I honestly couldn't get over how soft they were. 
 
 
About the capris:
Yogini Yoga Capris is designed with comfort in mind, it comes in 2 colors.  Royal Purple and Black.  Stylish active wear yogi pants wrinkle gathering provides a simple elegance that adds a touch of sophistication to your workout.  If you practice hot yoga you need these yoga capris in your collection. Our yogini slim capris is designed for high performance, lightweight design, and rapid drying for maximum comfort in even the longest hot and bikram yoga sessions.  Four way stretch for your practice, 1 second moisture wicking,  Nylon Spandex for extra softness, flat lock gusset to avoid camel toes.
 
 
 
I loved the detail on the sides of the waist band and the gathering at the bottom of the capri.  It was really flattering and comfortable.  These were super light and airy and perfect for a warm day like today.  These capris are geared towards yoga.  However I decided to take them out for a run.  They fit great and were comfortable while walking.  However, as I started to pound out the miles, I was complaining (and giggling) to my husband as I had to keep pulling them up over my belly and my sides during our first mile.  I thought I may have to cut the run short and head back home to change (or not continue our run).  However, after a mile in and my big belly was sweaty they pretty much stayed in place for the last three miles and were comfortable during my remaining miles.  Since I needed more room over my belly, I also hiked up the bottom of the capris, so that I would have more room at the top of the pant.  I love these and hope to get a lot more use out of them next year, when I'm not pregnant.  They are adorable and super flattering.  The capris retail for $69.99 online.
 
I also tried out the Miranda Sport Bra.  I was sent a size 6 bra and typically wear a medium or large size sports bra.  Again, this bra comes in both black and purple - to match the capris and also comes in five different sizes.  This bra retails for $45.99 online.

About the bra:
 
Miranda Yoga Bra is the improved version from our best-selling Miracle Yoga Bra, our new design gives a firm lift without wires that feels as good as it makes you look.  After multiple revisions resulting from rigorous testing, we replace our stretch band with a specially engineered fabric that produces the same level of support without restricting your breathing. Women with enhanced breasts find they want to wear this bra inside the studio and out because the superior level of comfort and support.  We are proud to say this is the best yoga bra ever created.
 
This bra is again geared towards yoga, but I absolutely loved it for running.  It gave me some lift and I even received a nice compliment from my husband while running!  The bra wasn't restricting at all, yet I felt comfortable and in-place.  It is super soft and there is a removable padded liner inside.  I wasn't sure if I would like the criss-cross style for running and intense cardio, but it worked perfect.  I also wasn't sure if I would like the bra closure in the back, as I don't typically run with sports bras with this style.  But it didn't bother me in the least.  I felt so comfortable in fact - that I'm willing to post this belly picture (above)!!
 


Balini Sports:  http://balinisports.com/
Balini Sports on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/BaliniSports

For Two Fitness - Maternity Tank

 
I local mother runner no longer needed this adorable maternity running tank.  I am so touched that she thought of me and sent it my way.  I have had this tank from For Two Fitness for a couple of weeks and it arrived right when my waistline was starting to expand - as I started my second trimester.  Now I'm in week 15 and have already sported this tank a least a half dozen times.  It is so soft and comfortable and is super long, flattering and fitted at the sides.  I love this maternity tank and can't wait to purchase more!  I receive so many great compliments on it at races and group runs.  It makes me even more proud to be an expectant mother runner.
 
 
For Two Fitness - http://fortwofitness.com/
For Two Fitness on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ForTwoFitness
 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

2015 Grandma's Marathon Race Report

We made the five hour drive north to Duluth, Minnesota for Grandma's Marathon this past weekend.  We drove up on Friday and stayed through Sunday.  We registered last fall and had a difficult time finding a hotel already at that time.  And did I mention that the rates were through the roof?!  We paid close to $200/night to stay at a decent hotel in Superior, WI, just across the bridge and state line.  It worked out well, as all of the local hotels had shuttles to the start line on Saturday.  This hotel was also dog-friendly, so we were able to bring along our new pup.  The hotel was the Bestwestern Bridgeview Motor Inn and it turned out to be much nicer accommodations than I had expected.  The lobby was all decorated for the marathon and the hotel staff were dressed in Grandma's Marathon gear and super helpful and accommodating.
 
After checking in at the hotel, we drove to packet pick up at the expo - just a few miles away.  Parking was $5 and traffic was backing up because the 5K was being run on Friday evening.  We went inside and the sea of runners coming out of the expo was amazing.  We made our way back to packet pick up.  We didn't receive shirts, because we would be receiving our finishers shirts at the finish line of the race.  We walked around the modest size expo, but didn't purchase anything.  I could have easily blown hundreds of dollars on Friday, but I am currently in penny-pinching mode.
 
 
 
 
On our way out, we were discussing where to grab some pasta.  The expo's pasta dinner was $12 and unlimited.  We decided to stay and participate.  The photo below doesn't grasp just how many tables were full of runners and their families and friends enjoying this carb-loading experience.  It was really amazing and fun.  We had our dog bag at the hotel and didn't want to waste time driving around town looking for somewhere to find some pasta.  So, this worked out great.  We received unlimited spaghetti, bread, Caesar salad, wafers, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, popsicles, bottled water and white or chocolate milk.  I thought it was a great deal.  It was also fun to sit around with other runners that we didn't know and chat running, racing, strategies, goals and ... weather (ugh!).
 
 
We got our running gear out and headed to bed around 9:00 and watched tv until 10:00.  Unfortunately, I was obsessing so much about the race that I couldn't turn my mind off - typical.  I tossed and turned until midnight.  The forecast had been for rain on Saturday morning - just Saturday morning.  The rest of the weekend in Duluth looked great.  From 7:00-11:00 am thunderstorms were predicted from 80-100%.  I must have slept at some point, because I do remember dreaming.  But then I kept waking up worrying that my alarm wouldn't go off at 4:45 am.  I ended up getting up again before the alarm went off and started to get ready.
 
Hubby took the dog for a quick walk.  Breakfast was served at the hotel starting for runners at 4:30 am on race day.  We were able to stop by shortly after 5:00 am.  I enjoyed oatmeal, mini donuts and yogurt, and apple juice.  I have trouble chewing before a big race.  Later during the race, I wished I had tried some protein (sausage, peanut butter, something) to help keep me full.  This would also be my first race without any caffeine, as I was twelve weeks pregnant.
 
We quickly boarded a bus to head north to the startline.  Buses were coming into our hotel parking lot as soon as one was full.  It was super convenient and very well orchestrated.  The bus was full and dark from the cloudy skies.  Soon it started misting and as we got to the startline, the rain got heavier.  Our bus had to wait in a long line to park.  The lines at the port-o-potty lines were already looking lengthy and the crowds were in mass.  Many of the runners had garbage bags or ponchos - something we failed to bring with us.
 
 And then we headed to the dreaded bathroom lines.  There were so many bathrooms, however it was extremely disorganized as lines were overlapping and not moving.  Our line seemed to be the slowest of course, as we stood line for 45 mins.  The rain started and got heavier and then it just downpoured.  There was now where to go and nothing you could do about it.  We were standing on soggy ground, our shoes and socks were soaked, our clothes were drenched, my hair looked like I just got out of (or was in) the shower.  It was miserable.  And it was cold.  Temperatures were in the mid-50's - and it was wet.  Body temperatures cooled down quickly.  I chewed my sleeve of Shot Blox while my clothing got wetter and wetter.  We opted to get out our long sleeves from our sweat bags and put those on - I was so relieved we brought these along.  Mine was a zip-up, his was not.  Hubby then dropped our sweat bags in the designated areas - again very well organized. We had a few folks in front of us as the National Anthem was sung. And then I ran into the port o potty for relief and cover.  I quickly ran back out and hubby and I discussed the possibility of not running and heading back to the hotel.  However, all of the buses seemed to be gone.  There was a passenger train adjacent to the startline, but you needed tickets to ride it back and forth.  I asked in the medical tent where our first option would be to drop out, if we decided we could not continue.  She didn't know.  OK, one mile at a time.
 
We headed to the startline. My teeth were chattering.  The girl next to me had blue lips, her tank top looked miserable and her teeth were chattering uncontrollably.  Soon the race started and five minutes later, we were to the startline.  Here we go.  Oh lord, help me.
 
The route was considered pretty flat, except for a small incline that was talked about at mile 22.  The route is pretty much one straight shot, minus the twists and turns through downtown Duluth during the last few miles.  We ran along much of the same highway the entire time - with the lake to our left and the forest to our right.
 
We were thinking that we may stick together, but then again maybe not.  Hubby was worried about me being pregnant and said that he thought he would stay by my side.  I kind of wanted to run solo, however I felt safer with him by my side.  My fastest marathon time is 4:02 with my first marathon time being 4:37.  Typically, I am able to run a 4:10 for 26.2 miles.  This would be my tenth marathon and my husband's fifth.  He is a lot faster than me in the half marathon, but I have more endurance in the marathon and am able to keep my pace pretty consistent until the end.  Since I was planning on running this race really slowly, we were hoping that our paces would coincide.  I was aiming for about an 11 minute mile for this race, assuming I may slow down to a 12 min + mile with some walk and potty breaks.
 
I was clocking in the first couple of miles at 10:30-sub 11:00 min miles.  Faster than expected.  At mile four, hubby and I were still running together.  We both said we had to use the bathroom.  There were 2-3 port o potties at approximately every mile marker.  However, the lines were 5-8 people deep and I wasn't interested in waiting in line.  He ducked into the woods along with all of the other men doing so.  I kept trucking on, knowing that he would catch up with me.  And he did.
 
Finally at mile 7, I found a stop with bathrooms and only a couple ladies in line.  We used up 2:30 while I made this stop - and then we were off.  My clothes were still soggy and it was difficult to reassemble myself.  Luckily, my shoes were drying out as well as my socks.  They were still wet, but not soaked.  It was still raining on and off for the next several miles.  The drizzle felt good and at mile 13 it stopped - completely.  The sun came out and it got humid.  At mile 13 there was a sea of dozens upon dozens of port o potties.  I couldn't figure out why there were so many, but took advantage of one.  Later, my runner-brain realized that this was where the half marathon runners started a couple of hours ago (they got a very early start to the morning).  The lack of lines was welcomed! 
 
I then hit a wall. I already felt like my legs were buckling and like I was barely moving.  I expressed my disgust to my husband and told him to go on ahead.  He had a ton in the tank and I had nothing.  I was running with tunes and he was not - which made me feel like we were running separately even though he was alongside me.  But I needed the motivation from the music to keep propelling forward.  He seemed to almost be running in place to keep up with me.  I was mad at myself and not in a good place.  I was reflecting on my awesome training earlier this spring, and then the light mileage I'd been completing the past month since the pregnancy became a reality, I was thinking about the baby, the weather - my attitude stunk.  And I was HOT.  The humidity and the cold ground were causing a fog and mist to come from the ground.  I could see the same with my breath.  And I had to get this long-sleeve zip-up OFF.  I ran while taking off my race bib and eventually handed my water bottle over to my husband, while I replaced my bib number on my short sleeve shirt underneath.  I tried tying my jacket around my waste - but it must have weighed 4-5 pounds.  It was so heavy and this just wasn't going to work.  My husband tried tying it around his waist, but he agreed that it was just too much - it was falling down and would eventually be around our ankles.  I insisted that he throw it to the side of the road, with all of the other jackets, shirts, ponchos and garbage bags.  So we did - one of my favorite (cheap) running jackets.  But I felt so much lighter and dryer without it. 
 
I grabbed a wet sponge at the next water station and a cup of ice.  It was just what I needed.  I told my husband that I wasn't going to talk for awhile (not that we were anyway) and I cranked up my tunes.  I opted to find some slower, motivational songs instead of the upbeat Top 40 and rap that I typically use to push me.  That was just what I needed.  I got into a rhythm and into a comfortable pace.  But more importantly - my mindset was great and was going to do this.
 
 
The water stations were coming up one after another after another.  They were every other mile, but they seemed to be flying by quickly, as each mile passed.  At each water station I was grabbing some blue wild berry Powerade and at several towards the end, I would also grab a cup of water to refill my handheld water bottle.  I consumed four Honey Stinger energy gels during the race - taking them at miles 5, 10, 15 and 20 - just as planned.  I tend to sip on them for an entire mile and then down some water.  My plan always works well for me.  At one station I enjoyed some orange slices.  They also offered fresh strawberries later on. 
 
I made another quick potty break around mile 17.  There were no lines at the later bathrooms after the half marathon point.  I had never used a restroom during a race ever - and today my plan was just to stay comfortable and enjoy the experience as much as I could and keep baby comfortable as well.
 
At mile 19, I knew that mile 20 was right ahead.  Mumford and Sons, "Below my Feet" came on my ipod and I played it twice consecutively.  This song always is just what I need at the right time.  It moves me - sometimes uncontrollably.  I started crying.  The words, the music, the movement.  It all gets me.  Hubby asked what was wrong. I couldn't talk.  He asked if they were good tears, bad tears, what was happening.  I was just moved and couldn't believe that I was approaching mile 20 of my tenth marathon - pregnant, with my husband alongside me.  I was doing this.  Looking back ten years ago, I never imagined that I would run a 5K, let alone 26.2 miles.  I was doing this and no one was doing it for me.  I was so grateful that I changed who I once was - shy, intimidated, inactive.  Now I was going to be a ten time marathoner.  This was me.  The new me.
 
Hubby grabbed a beer from some spectators that were having fun along side the road.  He also had the energy to toss a football back and forth with another group around mile 22.  I was happy he was feeling so good as we headed into downtown Duluth.  There were spectators along the entire course, however the downtown area brought out the most of them.  At mile 22, the 5:00 pacer passed us andI picked up some speed.  I kept looking back the last few miles and told my husband that my goal was to stay in front of her.  Around mile 24, he started complain about his legs buckling and hitting some sort of a wall.  We kept moving one foot in front of the other. I looked back and couldn't see the balloons from the 5:00 pacer.  We were really picking up pace.  We headed down towards Lake Superior to do all of the final twists and turns of the race.
 
 
 
Race photographers were snagging photos of  us coming into the final stretch.  As we were in our final half mile, the song "Timber" came on my ipod and a dog that looked just like our dog, Timber, was standing with spectator to our right.  I pointed the pooch out to my husband and thought that it was a sign of some sort - either he has destroyed our hotel room, or that was the motivation I needed to move forward in these final moments. 
 
We could hear the finish line and then soon we could see it.  We grabbed each others' hands and propelled forward to the finish line, even passing a few people.
 

 
 

 
And there it was, the finish line.  We had made it.  26.2 miles - together the entire time.  My pace had been exactly what I was hoping and I finished in less than five hours, as I was secretly hoping.  I was so proud of my husband and always appreciate his commitment to me and to this sport.
Finish time:  4:52:58
11:11 min/mile pace


 

 
I stopped my watch and walked towards the volunteers. I cried as the man placed my finisher's medal around my neck.  A woman then handed me a flower and we then grabbed our finisher's shirts - which is now one of my favorites.
 
The results that Grandma's Marathon provides you with are incredible.  I have never seen such detailed information.  Usually I place in the top half of the race.  This was a different race - but I was just as proud.  Overall, my pace was pretty consistent - even with four potty breaks.  We figured we used up about ten minutes in the bathrooms and lines.




 
We hobbled on over to get our sweat bags.  Ouch.  I hate nothing more than the 5-10 minutes post marathon.  It hurts - terribly.  But the trick is to stretch and then keep moving.  Hubby wanted to get going, because he was cramping up and it was getting cold, cloudy and raining again.  And we had nothing warm to put on in our sweat bags now that we ran in our long-sleeves.  We ran over to the refreshments - they had several tents.  I enjoyed some chocolate milk and greek yogurt.  It really hit the spot.  They also offered the usual bagels, fruit, fresh strawberries and much more - oh yeah, and beer.  We also both received beer tickets but didn't use them.  We headed back to find the shuttles/buses for the hotels.  They weren't well marked, as we wandered back to find them.  We eventually got on a bus to Superior and headed back to the hotel. 
 
After I took my shoes off, I realized that my feet weren't as dry ad I thought they were.  Our feet were puffy and white and the existing blisters on our feet were white and water-logged.  I also received a new badge of honor, another blister under and around my left foot.   I will also thank the rain for that.
 
We grabbed the dog and headed to Little Caesars for a cheap pizza, breadsticks and some wings which we enjoyed in the hotel room.  We didn't end up eating much actually.  After a big race like that, one would think you'd have this huge appetite, but you don't always.  I showered up - which felt amazing - minus some minor chaffing.  And soon, we passed out and the dog and I both slept the entire afternoon away.
 
 
After our nap, we cleaned up and headed back down to the finish line area.  I took some photos of the area we ran through the last mile.  I enjoyed it much more and observed more this time around.  There was also a concert going on that night and a lot of post-race partying going on.  It was a really fun, hip area.  We walked with the dog around the boardwalk area and after awhile my legs were feeling great again.  It was just what we needed.






 

Proudly sporting my Grandma's Marathon finisher's shirt - approaching 13 weeks pregnant and the second trimester.


 
 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Constant Cravings

Cravings.  I don't recall craving too many foods with my other two pregnancies.  I do remember not being able to eat hamburger meat for several months, due to the smell and texture.  And also recall seeking out the best chicken Caesar salad in town.  Other than that, not too much stands out.
 
I feel absolutely great this pregnancy.  Not too many complaints.  I haven't been sick.  I have had plenty of energy.  Sometimes I still have to remind myself that I'm pregnant.  I've gained 3.8 lbs so far and just started my second trimester.  I ran a full marathon this past Saturday and am still planning on coaching couch to 5K classes in moderation through October.  This was my tenth marathon, my husband's fifth, and baby GIRL's first.
 
Recovery after Saturday's marathon has been the easiest of any of my ten marathons. I'm crediting that to my slow pace and the comfortable temperatures. My body and legs aren't that sore.
However, after a bought of exhaustion yesterday (not while running), my husband has reminded me that just because I feel amazing and strong during this pregnancy, that it doesn't mean that I should be pushing myself to my usual limits. I'm not one to sit down, one to rest, one to put things off to the next day. I'm a go-getter.
 
I've decided NOT to pace a half marathon this upcoming weekend and take the next couple of weeks EASY. Still running - just getting some short and mid-distance runs in for myself. But, I will be listening to my body (and my husband!).
 
Oh yeah, cravings ...
Baby Number Three is making me crave:

Cottage Cheese (tub after tub after tub)
Greek Yogurt
Egg Salad
Anything creamy (see 1, 2 and 3 above)
Red Grapes
Oranges
Potato Chips
Ice Water
 
Baby Number Three is causing me not to like:
Decaf Coffee (I guess I'll be saving money on Starbuck's!)
Beef and Chicken (occasionally)
 
 
 
Having had gestational diabetes with my other two children, I'm determined not to have to take my blood sugars four times daily during this pregnancy.  I understand limiting my carbs, but I had a difficult time also limiting my fruits, yogurt and other "healthy sweets" with my other two babies.  I eat a ton of fruit during the day and really enjoy it.  I was diagnosed early - around 13 weeks with Little Dude, since I had the history with Little Diva.  I was already tested once during this pregnancy  and passed.  I will be tested again during the second trimester and lastly at the usual 28 week benchmark.  I'm praying to the health gods that I pass - for my baby's sake and mine. 
 
In the meantime, I will keep moving and a grooving with my Bondi Band on and my tub of cottage cheese in hand.
 

Friday, May 29, 2015

We are filling another pair of running shoes in December!!

 
We are filling another pair of running shoes in December!!
 
 
Nine Weeks - 5/27/2015

Friday, May 15, 2015

2015 Door County Half Marathon Race Report

 During the first weekend of May, I was able to cross another race off of my bucket list.  I ran the 2015 Door County Half Marathon in Peninsula State Park.  I registered for this race last fall and have been anticipating it ever since.  We booked a room at Bay Breeze Resort in Ephraim last fall as well.  The room was about $80 and the rooms were super adorable, spacious and comfortable.  The hotel was located right outside of the Ephraim entrance to the state park.  There would be a shuttle in the morning from the hotel as well.  It ended up being perfect.

 
We checked into the hotel and drove to the library in Ephraim, where packet pick up was being held.  It was super quick and easy.  There was a very small race expo.  We were hoping to walk next door to Wilson's to grab some infamous ice cream.  But they were still closed for the season.  I thought that they would have least opened up for the 2,500 runners and spectators, but they hadn't.   We actually found out that most of the businesses are still technically closed for the season in Door County during the early parts of May.  Many of the restaurants and stores did open for Friday-Sunday for the race and would be closing up again until Memorial Day weekend.  We drove around the Lake Michigan coast, checking out Fish Creek and Egg Harbor on Friday evening.  We did some shopping in Fish Creek and enjoyed some sights down by the pier in Fish Creek.  We drove to Egg Harbor and had a nice plate of fettuccine alfredo and carb loaded with a basket of bread and stuffed shrimp.  Diner was great. 
 
We hadn't planned ahead for breakfast and there were only going to be breakfast burritos, muffins and potato pancakes available for purchase at the race.  So, we drop to Sister Bay to a Shopko Express to load up on bread, peanut butter, jelly - and mini donuts!  I wish we had planned better. 

 
We caught the 8:00 am bus from our hotel to the start line.  It worked out great.  They offered this service to many host hotels in the area.  Or runners could park and ride from the outdoor movie theater as well.  The race didn't start  until 10:00 am, so we were a little annoyed that we had to get their so early and sit around - especially since our hotel was right outside of the park.  But we figured that they must be getting the runners in their for some sort of logistical reason.  Everything was very well organized - I was amazed.  The bus drop off/loading zone was market very well by the different cities/resorts and buses would be running continuously after the race as well.
 
We walked to the beach and found a spot to enjoy our breakfast and chat.  It was an absolutely beautiful day an much warmer than they are use to that time of year in northern Wisconsin.  Apparently there were still ice caps on the lake at last year's event and runners were chilly.  We were able to sit around comfortably and enjoy the scenery pre-race. 
 
I made my usually 3-4 stops to the port-o-potty.  There were virtually no lines and they even had lines formed by orange cones.  Again, super organized and they were well prepared.
 
We sat around and got to know other runners.  It's always fun talking about races you've done, your training, chatting about Madison, Milwaukee, destination races.  Runners can go on forever.  I then was approached by Rebecca and her husband, who were running the half.  Rebecca was actually the woman that hired me for my very first couch to 5K coaching gig.  Soon, we were able to locate my friends Kerri and Leanne.  Leanne would be running and Kerri would be spectating.  They were both in one of my couch to 5K programs previously.  We also met up with our friends Brian and Leslie, who are making this an annual weekend getaway with friends.  They were running the 5K.
 
We walked a short jaunt down the path to the start line.  There were a lot of runners doing both events.  It was pretty astounding in such a quaint place.  Soon, we were off.
 
We were forewarned that cell phones and Garmins may not work in the park.  I couldn't locate a signal, so I didn't have my GPS turned on for the race.  I simply went on my time and the mile markers.

 
I was comfortable in short sleeves and the sun was breaking through the tree covered road.  The sites were breath taking.  We headed out on the road and I tried to set into a comfortable pace.  I was clocking well under 9 minute miles, but the 2:00 pace group continued to by right on my heels.  It was driving me absolutely crazy.  Finally, between miles 4-5 I let them pass me.  It was better for me mentally.  I swore they were going way faster than pace.  After they passed me, they were gone, and I never saw them again.  It was a little bit deflating.  But I was totally  uncomfortable and wasn't enjoying myself.  And that just isn't fun.  I'd rather feel good and enjoy the run, the race and this sport.  It just isn't worth it to me to try and keep up with the pace group.
 

I took a sleeve of Shot Blocks before the race and then a Honey Stingers energy gel at mile 5 and again at mile 10.  I carried my handheld water bottle and refilled it once late in the race.  I also took a cup of sports drink at every aid station.  The water stations were every mile to mile and a half.  I couldn't believe how much support was out on the course.  It was very comforting to see volunteers and water and sports drink soft often. 

I knew that the course would be hilly, but I was really concerned about all the inclines up.  It was the downhills that did me in.  I would fly down them and then when I had to run on a flat surface or up hill (around mile five especially) it was super difficult and my legs were sore.  I was feeling really sluggish from miles 4-8.  My husband had been way ahead of me.  We didn't even start together.  But, while I was drinking my sports drink at mile 8, he was standing there waiting for me.  I was astounded.  After asking him what he was doing, he just told me that it wasn't this day and he wasn't feeling it.  He had done some walking.  It was hotter than we were use to running in lately and that also was slowing us down.  We ran together for about a mile or so and then I got in a nice comfortable pace and trotted on.  I pushed forward as we zigzagged back to the startline. 

 
 
The entire course was on road or wide, paved path.  I found it very difficult to know where I was for this race.  Since everything was in the forest or along the lake, there wasn't much for landmarks.  I just kept looking at my watch and mile markers to know how much to push myself.  My pace increased considerably the last few miles.  There was wonderful crowd support down a drastic downhill throughout all of mile ten.  It was great and super motivating.  I could hear the startline, but couldn't see it as I rounded around the bend of the lake.  And there it was.  The clock read 2:02 and I knew I had sped up a lot those past few miles, and actually didn't finish far behind that 2:00 pace group that deflated my run earlier on.  I was still about 3-4 minutes off of my typical half marathon pace.  Hubby finished about 15-17 minutes off of his typical pace.  It was a tough race filled with beautiful scenery and was one of the best organized events I've participated in.

 
2:01:22 Finish
9:16 min/mile
10K  at 56:41
513/1540 finishers
43/179 age group
217/933 women

 
After finding friends - and each other - we walked over to the finisher's tent for some cookies, chocolate milk and fresh fruit.  We then took the shuttle back to our hotel, cleaned up and headed to Egg Harbor to enjoy some Mexican Food outdoors. 
 

 
We ended up staying in Door County from Friday-Sunday and had plenty to do and really enjoyed some down time relaxing and catching up with each other and with friends.  On our drive home Sunday, we stopped in Green Bay to do a tour of Lambeau Field.  It was a memorable way to end a fantastic weekend.