“Race” Recap: 2011 Turkey Trot 5K

Turkey Cake Pops I made for hubby’s office Thanksgiving party

Thanksgiving is a day full of family, friends and food.  Lots and lots of food.  A great way to start the day off is with a Turkey Trot.  I ran my first Turkey Trot in Washington, DC several years ago with hubby (who was my fiancé at the time).  We had a blast, supported a great cause and felt moderately less guilty about our excessive calorie consumption later in the day.  This year, we planned to run the same Turkey Trot.  We decided to change our plans when we found out that our neighborhood was hosting it’s very own Turkey Trot 5K.  Convenience is a big factor when you have a toddler plus 5 pies, 24 cupcakes and 10 pounds of sweet potatoes to make! We didn’t sweat losing the registration fee for the DC Turkey Trot because it went to a good cause.

I used our neighborhood race as my virtual Turkey Trot for the Dailymile’s Feed the Turkey fundraiser for Charity Water.  The neighborhood race also collected donations for the Immune Deficiency Foundation.  Technically, we supported 3 causes one one day!

Bundled up for the race and giving the other runners the side-eye

Our neighborhood Turkey Trot was an unofficial, untimed race comprised of about 50 runners.  There were lots of families and everyone had a great time.  The nice part of it being an unofficial race was that no one could tell me my stroller wasn’t allowed :) .

I felt sluggish the entire race – no doubt a result of the major lack of sleep going on in our house.  My poor little man is getting his 2 year molars and it’s not fun for anyone.  Despite how I felt, I really tried to push myself.  I will admit that I got a small amount of satisfaction out of passing people while pushing the stroller, especially on the hills.  One lady said to me “you are strong!” In the out and back portion toward the end of the race, several people heading in the opposite direction told me how great I was doing.  I really appreciated the encouragement.  It helped me push through my fatigue and finish strong.

The time on my Garmin was 29:24 – a sub-30 minute 5K with the stroller, I’ll take it! My splits were 9:59, 9:39, 8:55, and a pace of 8:05 for the last tenth of a mile.  I could have started off a bit stronger had I not been stuck on the sidewalk behind a kid riding his bike in the race.  I had to figure out a way to get past him and all the other slower runners.  I think I also would have felt better if I had warmed up before the race with short run to get my legs moving.  Nevertheless, I think we probably finished in the top 20 or so runners, but as I said – it was a small crowd.  Zain and I were the first stroller runners to cross the finish line out of all 4 of us runners with strollers :) .

Zain needed to burn off some extra calories after the race so he wanted to walk home

I have to say how proud I was of my hubby.  He was on fire.  He ran in front of me and Zain and I had trouble keeping up with him! He kindly slowed down to stay with us even though I told him he should keep going.  I’m glad he was there because when we were getting ready to line for the race, Zain was getting a bit fussy.  That kind of threw me because he’s usually so calm in the stroller for our runs; I mean this is the kid who sat through a 20 mile run! Luckily, he was perfectly content once hubby was running in front of us.  He kept yelling “go, dada, go!”

I’m so thankful for this adorable little guy

It’s a good thing we ran in the morning because devoured quite a few treats later in the day.

Red velvet cupcakes I made for my cousin’s birthday which we celebrated on Thanksgiving – please note the sleeping hubby in the background

Cream cheese buttercream frosting – absurdly delicious

I was in charge of making several pies.

Apple pie

Cherry pie

Pecan pie and chocolate pecan pie (my favorite!)

Sweet potato pie – my first time making it and it was yummmmy!

I was also in charge of making the sweet potatoes for dinner.  I used 10 pounds of delicious local sweet potatoes.  One pan was topped with marshmallows, the other was halfway covered in nuts and half in just a yummy crumb topping.

Please excuse the messy presentation; I’m not a fan of the pecan topping like the rest of the family so I just threw them on :) ; hubby on the other hand, very carefully placed every single marshmallow in an orderly fashion


Did you participate in a Turkey Trot?

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Positive Thinking

I’m really good at telling other people to think positively.  I’m also really good about thinking positively about what other people can do and achieve.  When I ran the Maryland Half Marathon with my hubby, he told me around mile 11 that he couldn’t keep going because he was going to die (yes, he really said that).  I was right there telling him he wouldn’t die and I knew he could finish strong.  He told me to to just keep running while he took a break; clearly, he couldn’t handle all my positivity.

Usually my positive thinking about others is right on.  Hubby did finish strong for the MD Half and he didn’t die.  Unfortunately, my positive thinking isn’t always right.  I thought Ashton and Demi really might make it, but I guess I was wrong about that one.  Tear.

As I get ready to kick off my next round of marathon training the week after Thanksgiving, my positive thinking is wavering.  For my past 2 marathons, I followed a fairly basic training plan.  It helped me build the mileage and cover the distance, but it didn’t do anything to teach my slow legs to move faster.  For the Rock ‘n Roll USA Marathon in March, I’m going to adopt a different training plan.

When I first chose this plan, I thought maybe I was aiming a little high.  I told hubby about it and he teased me that I was basically saying I was going to “aim high and achieve low” since while I was telling him I was going to do it, I was already saying I wouldn’t be able to reach my goal.  I’m so thankful he’s so supportive of me and believes in me when I don’t believe in myself.  I will honestly be happy if I can take any time at all off my marathon PR, but I’m going to strive for something even better than that.  My training plan is for a 4 hour marathon.  Considering that my first two marathons were 4:57 and 4:54 respectively, this feels like a very ambitious goal for me.  Even if it means I end up finishing in 4:15, 4:30 or 4:45, I’ll just be happy to see an improvement.

The plan includes hill runs, tempo runs, Yasso 800s (I’m scared just typing them into my schedule), runs with strides, and some very welcome “easy” runs.  My longest run will be 22 miles and I will also do two 20 mile runs.  Looking at what lies ahead in this plan terrifies me and excites me at the same time.

Here is my problem: I don’t think I can run a 4 hour marathon.  Where is my positive thinking? If someone told me that they wanted to run a 4 hour marathon, I’d tell them they could do it.  Why can’t I tell myself that?

Some people have expressed concern over whether or not they can complete all 100 miles for my Winter 100 Challenge and I have told every single one of them that I know that they can.  Why can’t I believe in myself like I believe in everyone else?

If I keep telling myself I’m slow, I’m just going to stay slow.  I have to start following my own advice and believing in what I can achieve.

How do you stay positive?

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Winter 100 Challenge

Every year since I started running, I have the same problem that creeps up on me as the temperatures drop – I lose my motivation to run.  Since I will be running my 3rd marathon in March, I have no choice but to keep up with my running this Winter.  However, for extra motivation and because it will be a lot of fun, I’m creating a challenge and I hope you will join me.

I challenge you to run 100 miles combined in the months of December, January and February with me.  I am calling this the Winter 100 Challenge (yes, I’m aware that Winter doesn’t technically start until December 22, but hey, the whole month is cold around here!).  Even if you live someplace that is warm all year around, you can still participate (I will just be insanely jealous of your weather).

One hundred miles may sound intimidating, but you have 3 months to run those miles.  It averages out to a little over 33 miles per month which is a teensy bit over 8 miles per week.  Easy peasy! I know you can do that. Plus, this is a great way to keep that pesky holiday weight gain at bay!

Need some motivation to participate? How about some fantastic prizes? The list will grow as I hear back from more sponsors.  So far, you have the chance to win prizes from some of my favorite running gear makers:

Garmin – you can win a Garmin Forerunner 210!! I cannot live without my Garmin and I’m ecstatic that one Winter 100 Challenge participant will win one.

GU Energy Labs – you can win a sampling of their latest flavors! Gu is my favorite fuel for long runs!

Ryders Eyewear – you have the chance to win a pair of sunglasses! Their sunglasses have become one of my favorite running accessories.

Sparkly Soul – you can win an awesome and very sparkly headband! Perfect for keeping your hair out of your face while you work up a sweat.

Nuun – you have the chance to win a Nuun sample pack plus a super cool Nuun water bottle! The BEST sports drink I have ever had; a must for my long runs.

Go Sport ID – we have TWO gift certificates to give away from Go Sport ID so 2 people get to win this awesome prize! Their ID bracelets are not only a must for safety, but they are also an awesome running accessory.

SparkleSkirts – you can win your choice of a SparkleLight or SparkleTech skirt! These skirts are adorable.



To enter this challenge, simply register:



Rules and Requirements:

  • E-mail me a spreadsheet with all of your completed runs listed (date, miles and time required) OR you may send me a screenshot from your Garmin Connect, Nike Plus, MapMyRun, RunKeeper, DailyMile, or other running log data.  You are on the honor system for tracking mileage.  As they say – if you cheat, you’re only cheating yourself!
  • E-mail me your spreadsheet or running data screenshot by 11:59pm on February 29, 2012.  You may send it to me sooner if you complete your miles sooner, you overachiever! Winners will be contacted on March 2, 2012.
  • Just get the miles in.  It doesn’t matter if you run at a 6:00min/mile pace for a 13:00min/mile pace.  Runners of all levels are invited to join in.
  • Winners will be chosen at random out of those who send me their completed running logs.  As long as you run at least 100 miles, you will be entered to win.  Running 300 miles will not give you a greater chance of winning; it will just make me think that you are awesome.
  • You don’t have to be a running mom! You can be a man or woman, with or without kids to participate.
  • Don’t be intimidated by the thought of running 100 miles.  You have 3 months to do it and I know you can do it!
  • While I originally intended this to be a running challenge, I know that not everyone can run for whatever reason.  Therefore, walking miles count too.  However, biking, ellipticals, etc do not count.  I want these miles to be accomplished with your feet on the ground (or treadmill)!
  • There is no deadline to register.  As long as you can show proof that you ran 100 miles in December, January and February, you can still enter the challenge.
  • Optional: I’d love to have some of your pictures to share as the challenge progresses.  If you’re hardcore and head out for a run in the snow, it would be pretty awesome if you take some pictures so I can post it here.
  • Optional: Chance for a bonus entry! If you help me reach my fundraising goal with Team in Training in addition to participating in the challenge, you will receive a bonus entry.  A donation is not required to enter the challenge!
  • Please e-mail all mileage logs to therunningmomblog@gmail.com

If you’d like, I’d love it if you would tweet the following: “I just signed up for @thismomruns Winter 100 Challenge! http://the-running-mom.com/?p=991 Join me & enter to win some awesome prizes!”

Thank you to all of our wonderful sponsors for this challenge!

To kick off this challenge, reply below with a comment to tell us how you stay motivated to run as the temperatures drop.


Note: All prizes have been donated.  Throughout the course of the challenge, I will post product reviews of the items being given away.  All reviews, thoughts and words are my own.

If you are interested in donating a prize to the challenge, please e-mail me!

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What’s next?

When my first marathon was over 5 years ago, I felt like I had no reason left to run.  Not only was I still nursing injuries sustained during training, I just didn’t feel like running.  I remember feeling the post-marathon blues in the weeks following the Marine Corps Marathon.  My first attempt at running 3 weeks post-race was an epic fail so I certainly didn’t consider signing up for another race – of any distance – at that point in time.

Now that the Baltimore Marathon is over, I don’t even have a slightest twinge of the post-marathon blues.  What’s the difference this time around? First of all, I’m not injured.  Yay for that! Second of all, I’m looking ahead.  I’m registered for 3, soon to be 4 races in 2012.

While training for the Baltimore Marathon, I hit a point where I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to run another marathon again after the race was over.  The training was taxing physically and mentally.  I thought after the race I would decide to stick with half marathons.  What changed? I ran the marathon and had a blast.  No, it wasn’t all happy times during those 26.2 miles, but it was still awesome and I can’t wait to do it again.

Here is what 2012 will bring…

  • Rock ‘n Roll USA Marathon on March 17.  I am officially signed up to run the race with Team in Training for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  I have professed my love for TNT many times in the past and I am ecstatic to be running with them again.  Feel free to help me get a jump on my fundraising! My goal for this marathon may be a little too ambitious, but I want my finish to be closer to the 4 hour mark than the 5, preferably under 4:30.  That means lots of speed work to come!
  • Iron Girl Half Marathon on April 29.  I’m not going to lie.  I have high hopes for this race.  My half marathon goal is a sub-2 hour finish.  My current PR is 2:08 from when I ran the ZOOMA Half Marathon and I’d love to crush that!
  • Maryland Half Marathon on May 6.  This race was my return to the long distance race scene last year.  It will be in our area again in 2012.  I don’t have any goal in mind for this race except to finish it with my hubby by my side.  I also have 3 family members who have tentatively committed to running it.  I can’t wait to see them cross the finish line!
  • Warrior Dash on May 19 or 20.  I haven’t taken the leap and registered yet, but hubby and I will be doing this crazy race together, along with several family members.  It’s going to be tough, but I think we’re going to have fun anyway.  Hubby originally wanted to do the Tough Mudder – a 10-12 mile race with 25 obstacles.  I was able to convince him that we should start with the Warrior Dash – a 3 mile race with a mere 12 obstacles.  I know this race is going to kick my butt.  The added bonus is that I’ll have to pretend that picking up Zain all the time is my strength training and I’ll have to do real strength training to get ready.

I am so happy to have so many awesome races to look forward to in the Spring.  I will be finishing off the racing season in 2011 with a 5K on Thanksgiving with hubby and Z!

Happy running!

What races are you looking ahead to?


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