This Runner's Trials

Charlotte Southpark Turkey Trot 8k 2013 race recap

Posted by runnerstrials

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Jeff and I kicked off turkey day like we have every other year we’ve lived in Charlotte (except in 2011 when I was in the hospital with my one-day old) – with the Charlotte Southpark Turkey Trot!


Hiding from the cold in the car.

It was 21 degrees out this morning – COLD! I went outside my house at 6:30 am and saw there were ice patches. I seriously considered DNS-ing this race. I wasn’t sure if Wyatt would stay warm (Jeff planned on running with him) and I didn’t think it was the best idea to run a potentially icy route during pregnancy.

But since the sun was shining and the wind wasn’t blowing we decided to go to the race – and I’m so glad we did! We stayed in the car until the last possible minute, bundled Wyatt up, and headed to the start.


Where’s Wyatt?

Every year, I forget how crowded this race is! There were 10,000 participants and chaos at the start line. There were somewhat hard-to-see signs with anticipated paces, but no announcement to line up according to your pace. Still, we lined up in the 8-minute group and it took about 15 seconds to cross the start line.


It. was. packed. The entire way. I ran much faster last year and only remember it being crowded the first mile. But this year, there were still some areas in miles 3 and 4 when I still couldn’t get around people.

Still, I think the crowds helped my time. Jeff and I planned to run together, but I quickly realized it was too hard to concentrate on not tripping and not losing him so I said good-bye to him in mile 1 (ironically, I caught up to him and then lost him several times). He was timing the race on his watch, but once he took off, I was naked. There were no clocks on the course, so I had no idea what my pace was. At mile 1, I heard some guy say he ran a 9:20. That kind of surprised me – with all the crowds and weaving, I thought I had run much slower.

I aimed to pick up the pace a little bit. My original goal was to finish within 10 minutes of last year’s time – 34:55 – which meant I had to take it down to a 9-minute pace.

The rest of the race was kind of a blur. I really appreciated the volunteers pointing out where the ice on the course was. I had to pee (shocking), but never found a porta-potty. I remembered feeling strong and not needing to walk up hills which was odd since the course is so challenging. And I also didn’t need stop at any of the two water stations, which was really unusual since I usually carry water and drink some every mile or two.

Right after mile 4, I caught up with Jeff and he told me there was a chance we could come in around 40 minutes. What?! He had to be kidding. So, even thought he told me he’d stick with me the rest of the race, I did what any competitive wife would and sprinted ahead.

I ended up finishing in 40:14 – an 8:06 pace which is my fastest pregnant run ever by far.


Jeff and Wyatt came in 2 seconds after me. We got our medals, grabbed some water, and then let Wyatt stretch his legs out.


And then we realized how cold it was and hightailed it back to the car before we got a family photo. Oh well!

I used to love this race, but the crowds really are an issue. I wish the race had corrals or the announcers at least encouraged people to line up with their anticipated paces. We found out last week that there’s a 5k turkey trot in our new neighborhood, and I’m tempted to go that route next year if it’s offered again.

Regardless, I love turkey trots. I can’t think of a better way to kick off a holiday with my family.


I can’t wait for the year when Wyatt and the baby in my belly are running beside me. Actually, I hope they run way ahead of me!



On short races (+ a giveaway)

Posted by runnerstrials

I’ve been running for ten years, but I didn’t run my first 5k until I was pregnant two years ago. My first road race was a 10k and I just “went up” from there.

Truth be told, I always thought short races were kind of a waste of time and money. I’m weird and I rarely ever run for fewer than 30 minutes in training. So why would I get up early and pay to race for “only” 20-something minutes?


Now that I have a few 5ks and 4-milers under my belt, I totally get the appeal of shorter distances. Not only are they super tough – I only ever feel like I’m going to during after a 5k – but they’re a great way to check in with your ability, tune up, and train for longer goal races.

I’m on such a high from the 4th of July Spectacular 4-Miler last week. I thought about registering for another short race to do in the next few weeks, but my calendar is jam-packed.

Instead, I’m going to give you the chance to run a short race! I know a lot of you are just starting half and full marathon training for Fall races, so I thought it’d be a great idea to throw a 5k, 4-, or 5-mile race in there to break up your training.

Leave a comment below telling me what short race you want to run -- and I'll pay for your for your entry fee! It can really be any distance, just as long as you consider it short (and as long as registration is $50 or less -- sorry guys, I have to draw a limit somewhere). Entries will be accepted until 11:59 eastern time on Friday, July 12, 2013. A winner will be randomly chosen and announced in next Monday’s post. Good luck!

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July 4th Spectacular 4 Miler 2013 race recap

Posted by runnerstrials

Happy 4th of July, grown ups! It’s me, Wyatt, and I’m here to tell you about a race I did this morning.

Remember last year when I ran the July 4th Spectacular 4 Miler with Mommy? We did it again this year! It’s the only other race I’ve ever done with Mommy and we won the stroller division last year so we went into today totally undefeated.


I really wanted to defend our title but Mommy kept telling me she’s not as fast this year as she was last year. Plus it was 100% humidity and disgusting out, or something. I didn’t like her excuses.


Luckily, Henry showed up just in time to cheer me up.


Our mommies thought we were trading race strategies but we were actually talking about how lame they are for not letting us run this race. We both know how to really run – strollers are for babies.


We headed to the start, and just like last year, we started one minute ahead of the people without wheels.


And we were off!


I was pretty happy in the beginning – I was squealing and looking around. Mommy has only run with me three times since last October – and she calls herself a #motherrunner :rollseyes: -- and I forgot what it feels like to go fast (I usually only run with Dada and he’s slower than Mommy).


We were out in front of the other strollers pretty quickly, and I could tell Mommy was running way too fast. But I also remembered there was a huge hill at mile 3, so Mommy probably figured she was going to blow up no matter what, so she may as well run fast while she could.


The hardest part of the race was seeing Dada along the course. He was cheering for me and Mommy, but every time I saw him I wanted “OUT” so I could play with him. Each Dada encounter resulted in smiles followed by a few tears, but I held it together well otherwise.


We made it to the mile 2 marker in 14:20 and I could read Mommy’s mind. I knew she was feeling OK and thought that maybe we could beat last year’s time. Then we hit the hills, and I swear I heard her cry. I think she had a hard time because she’s not used to pushing me anymore, so the hills did her in. That’s what you get for ditching your training buddy, Mama.


Check out Mommy’s awesome form. Scary. Hopefully I inherit my running form from my Uncle Dan – he’s way fast.

A lot of people passed us on the hills. But most of them were really nice and cheering for us. One lady even called me “the cutest runner on the course” – I hope you placed, kind woman. I was proud of Mommy for not walking at all on the hills, but I was also nervous we’d get passed by another stroller since we slowed down so much.

Finally the hills were over, and we only had a mile to go. I’m sure Mommy remembered that the last mile was downhill, but for some reason we were still going pretty slow. I’m sure if you asked her she would have blamed the humidity or something. She said that she was having trouble holding on to my stroller because her hands were so sweaty. THANKS FOR TELLING ME THAT, MOM! Information I could have definitely lived without.


Thankfully, before I knew it, the finish line was in sight.


I had survived – and we won the stroller division again!


Our unofficial time was 31:14 – a good 40 seconds slower than last year – but given the humidity and Mommy’s lack of training with me, I was happy with my performance.


2012 vs. 2013.

I was more than ready to get out of my stroller, refuel, cool off, and find Henry.


Henry had a really good first race experience, but I think I can speak for us both when I say that we had more fun afterwards running around together.


We didn’t stick around for awards because I had to make it to swim lessons (my crazy parents are making me take up triathlon events way too young). All in all, it was a fun, exhausting morning – I even took a 2 hour nap afterwards.


Are you going to race with me again next year, Mommy? We have to make this our tradition!