Kevin is Two!

Yesterday on September 12, 2014 my baby boy turned two years old. I really don’t know how that’s possible, since it feels like I was just meeting him for the first time yesterday.

September 12th 2012, 2013 & 2014

September 12th 2012, 2013 & 2014

If you have been reading my blog for a while you may remember that little Kevin was actually born on his daddy’s birthday. Not only that, but the two of them share a birthday with my mother-in-law as well! 3 generations born on September 12th. It’s actually pretty amazing! So many reasons to celebrate!

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My husband and I took the day off to spend as a family so I let the birthday boys sleep in and made them some special pancakes with the age they were each turning.

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Once they woke up and had eaten, we all headed out for little Kev’s 2 year doctor’s appointment. But first, we had to do something very special! We had to turn his carseat forward facing for the first time! He was so excited and was pointing out all the cars, trucks, motorcycles, and even planes on the way to the doctor. He loved telling daddy to “go get them!” :)

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Our doctor’s visit was relatively quick and easy. He measured in at 37 inches (97th percentile!) and 28 pounds 4 ounces (55th percentile). Tall and skinny just like most of the men on my side of the family. The doctor was very happy with his growth and development and said he’s meeting all of his milestones. We were happy to know that he didn’t need any immunizations, just a flu mist up his nose and we were good to go!

Once we were back home we quickly did some final packing and cleaning up before we left again to drive up to Pennsylvania. We were heading to my hometown for my 10 year reunion this weekend and to see family. Kevin loved his new view the entire ride and read some books he received as a birthday gift.

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We stopped at the store to pick up some food and a cake for the boys birthday, since we were having a small get together at my dad’s house that night to celebrate.  Most of our family and friends from Pennsylvania can’t make it to his birthday party in Virginia next weekend, so we wanted to do a little party with them this weekend.

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We had an amazing night hanging out outside in the cool weather, eating good food, laughing and catching up with each other. Eventually Kevin made it known that he was ready for cake, so we went inside to sing happy birthday (his new favorite song).

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Both of my boys have a MAJOR sweet tooth, and little Kev tried to attack the cake before we even blew the candles out!

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Eventually we got him his own piece and let him have at it.

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After cake it was present time! Last year he wasn’t really into presents yet and didn’t get the concept. This year he was all about it! He loved taking all the paper out of the bag and throwing it until he found what was inside.

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He is a lucky boy and received his own smartphone toy (perfect), two different kinds of trucks, a bunch of fall clothes (which he promptly threw on the floor along with the tissue paper), some football jerseys, and money for his savings account!

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We spent some more time outside letting him play with his new toys before he started saying bye bye to everyone, letting us know he was ready for bed. It was a long day and he was tired!

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With my two best friends from home. Love these ladies!

The night ended with a bonfire in my dad’s backyard. What a perfect (almost) fall evening!

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I love my two birthday boys so much. It’s so special that they get to share a birthday. I am looking forward to celebrating many more together as a family!

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Kevin’s Birth Story

Kevin is One!

Arlington 9-11 Memorial 5K

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So the last time I ran this race I looked like this…

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It was two years ago, there were bad storms and a tornado watch, I was 37 1/2 weeks pregnant and Kevin was born 4 days later. However, despite those things I still ran this race faster back then [32:45] than I did yesterday [33:19]! Yes, it was a tough one for sure! Here are the details!

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As I explained last time, this race takes place in Arlington which is right outside Washington D.C., and near the Pentagon where one of the planes hit on 9/11. Part of the course actually wraps around the Pentagon itself. This race is very much team-based and has an overall feel of unity. There were teams of firefighters, police officers, military, running groups, businesses, and more running in remembrance of those that had been lost on 9/11. Many people run with their groups in formation, holding flags and some even chanting military-style. We were running as part of Team RWB, who had a huge crowd show up!

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We had some friends also running this race- James and Chanda and their little girl Leighton who is Kevin’s age. We met them through our birth classes over two years ago and have stayed really close friends. They’re also part of Team RWB.

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Kevin is in love with little Leighton, and they had fun chasing each other around the parking lot while we waited for the race’s 6 P.M. start.

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My friend Cynthia was also there running with a team of people from her work. She was looking adorable in her “Running for Two” shirt and is more than halfway through her pregnancy!

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Eventually after hanging out for a while we were told to make our way to the start. We had been outside for a couple hours at this point and were feeling the effects of the heat. It was in the mid-90s and extremely humid. It was also really crowded which made it feel even hotter! We lined up in the back since we had strollers and then had to wait a while for the race to start. This was interesting with two toddlers who were restless and didn’t want to be restrained in their strollers, especially since we were approaching their normal bedtime! Luckily we distracted them with snacks and they hung in there. After they did all the introductions and remembrance tributes, we were about to start when the announcer said that he needed a medic to the start line because someone had passed out. Yeah, it was that hot!!

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Once the person who was sick was safe and taken care of we were off and running at about 6:20. Chanda and I ran with the strollers and our husbands went ahead. Since strollers have to start in the back we were stuck behind everyone and couldn’t move very fast at all, especially during the first mile. At one point our pace was at 13 minutes/mile. Ugh!

  • Mile 1 – 10:20

We were able to find some open space during the second mile which helped us pick up the pace a little. But it was difficult to navigate the stroller in the crowds. I had to focus really hard on not running into the backs of people’s shoes or into Chanda’s stroller. We did have a few crash incidents with each other :) On top of that it was tough to breathe due to the humidity. I found myself wishing it would rain!

  • Mile 2 – 10:02

Chanda started to feel nauseous during the 3rd mile so we took some walk breaks. She told me to go ahead but I didn’t want to leave her if she was feeling sick. She had already run 9 miles that morning too- she’s such a rockstar! I wasn’t feeling great either myself, but I just kept reminding myself why we were running and the purpose of this race. During one of our walk breaks I texted Kevin that we were having a hard time, and since him and James were finished they came back and grabbed the strollers for us. We were able to run the last half mile or so stroller-free, which felt better- especially when we ran past a fire truck that was spraying water! Ahhhh relief!

  • Mile 3 – 11:25 (run/walk)

Finally we saw the finish line and ran through it just as we saw a huge lightning strike!

  • Finish Time – 33:19 (10:44 average pace)

It was kind of a crazy scene at the finish line. It was super crowded and we saw a lot of people who needed medical attention because they were either passing out or puking or in bad shape. We got ourselves some water and food (and the guys got beer of course), but didn’t stick around too long because the lightning and thunder was getting worse. We ended up sprinting to the car and got there just as the strong wind and rain started!

Even though this was a tough race for us, it was still a very memorable evening spent with great friends for an amazing cause!

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Run Streak: Final Recap!

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I apologize for my silence on the blog this past week. If you couldn’t tell I am back to work, which means my blogging time is limited now. But I have big news! This past Monday Kevin and I met our goal to run at least one mile a day until Labor Day! It is crazy to think that I ran for 101 days in a row and Kevin ran for 100 days! Here is how our last week of the streak went down.

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Katie’s Miles (8/25 – 9/1)

  • Monday: 3 miles @ 10:05. 3 miles before the sunrise with my running buddy! I love these running dates with her because they get me out of bed and hold me accountable. It was also a great way to begin the week, since it was my first day back to work after a wonderful summer and needed a little stress relief before it all started. It also helped that it was a BEAUTIFUL and cool morning. Bring on fall!!!
  • Tuesday: 4 miles @ 8:08. Hello speedwork, my old friend! I haven’t done much speedwork besides the short 100 meter sprints at the track I was doing over the summer with my friend. Lately I’ve been feeling the desire to do it again so I went to the gym for half-mile repeats on the treadmill. Normally I prefer to do speedwork at the track but I don’t have one nearby and now that I’m back to work I have to run before sunrise. It’s difficult for me to run fast when I can’t really see where I’m going! Anyway I warmed up for a mile, then did 4 x 800 meters (a half mile) with 400 meters of slower recovery running between. I started my first repeat at 7:13 pace and worked my way down to a 6:58 pace on my last one. Then I quickly cooled down and finished with a total of 4 miles. It felt so good to do this type of workout again! I really did miss it!
  • Wednesday: 3 miles @ 10:02. My plan was to do 3 easy miles around the neighborhood this morning, and when Laura told me she was doing the same and asked if I wanted to run together I obviously couldn’t refuse! Running in the dark is way more fun (and safe) with a buddy. It was a great run and went by super fast as usual. It even included a surprise shower from a sprinkler that we didn’t see which made me scream! Sorry neighbors!
  • Thursday: 4 miles @ 8:44 pace. This tempo run was awesome! It has been a long time since I’ve done one so I kept it easy with 1 slow warm up mile, 2 fast, and 1 slow to cool down. I was aiming for 8:00/mile or less for the fast miles, but when I went outside and was hit with 100% humidity I wasn’t sure it would happen. I told myself to stop making excuses and just do it- so I did! My two miles were 7:58 and 7:52 and it was NOT easy, but there’s nothing like the feeling after a hard speed workout! Then as if my heart rate wasn’t up high enough already, I ran into the biggest spiderweb of all time on my way back to the house, which made me scream. That’s the second day in a row that I’ve screamed while running before sunrise… My neighbors must love me!
  • Friday: 3 miles @ 10:03. Another morning run with my friend Laura! I will happily wake up early every day if it means getting to see a beautiful sunrise like I did on this morning. We just did a nice and easy 3 miler since we had planned to do a long run with our group the next day.
  • Saturday: 14 miles @ 10:30. One of the best decisions I made this summer was starting a running group with some amazing ladies. We’ve been doing long runs together on the weekends for a few months now and it’s so much fun. On this day we met at 6 a.m. (so early for a Saturday!) and ran out and back along a paved path. Two of my friends are pregnant and weren’t running as far, so they turned around at 5.5 miles to finish with 11 miles. I went ahead with two other friends and we ended up running 14. It felt awesome and went by pretty quickly, although I did start to really feel it toward the end. I am not surprised by that though, because I’m starting to get into distances I haven’t run since my marathon in March!
  • Sunday: 3 miles @ 9:29. I celebrated Day 100 by finally making it to Body Pump (that is truly a miracle!) and then going on a family run on one of our favorite local running paths. It was very hot but I always love running with my boys :)
  • Monday: 4 miles @ 7:58. I finished off the streak with a bang! 4 miles of speedwork at the track with my boys. My workout was a warm up, then 3 x 1200 meters (.75 mile repeats) with 400 meters slow recovery running in between. I was aiming for each repeat to be between 5:17 – 5:37 (7:05 – 7:32 pace). It was hot and very sunny but I pushed hard and my splits were 5:19, 5:18, and 5:17! I was so proud to end my running streak in a strong way.
  • Total Miles This Week: 38
  • Total Miles: 407
  • Total Days Streaking: 101

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Kevin’s Miles (8/25 – 9/1)

  • Monday: 2 miles @ 8:19
  • Tuesday: 1 mile @ 6:25 (I was hungry and dinner was ready!)
  • Wednesday: 3 miles @ 8:28
  • Thursday: 1 mile @ ? (No Garmin)
  • Friday: 2 miles @ 8:55
  • Saturday: 1 mile @ ? (No Garmin)
  • Sunday: 3 miles @ 9:29 (Family run)
  • Monday: 2 miles @ ? (At the track- Katie had the Garmin)
  • Total Miles This Week: 15
  • Total Miles: 191.3
  • Total Days Streaking: 100

From Kevin: I am very happy I did the streak. I lost 20 pounds and built my running base up to where I wanted it to be. It was challenging at times when my legs felt so tired and it was hot, but I kept thinking of my motivators like Anna- who ran more in a week than I did in 100 days! It feels good to let my legs rest now!

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Part of me is sad to break the streak, but I have other goals I want to accomplish now, like getting back to more consistent strength training. I also want to start doing more speedwork and tempo runs, since I kept my runs at an easy pace all summer long. Kevin and I both agreed we would do another streak someday. We obviously have to beat our record now! :)  It’s been an amazing journey and I’m very proud of not only myself and Kevin, but also my friend Chanda who did it with us! It really is true, every day is a good day when you run!

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Previous Updates

Run Streak: Week 13

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Another great week. 4 runs with friends, another amazing (and spontaneous) race, and my last week of summer break. Read on for details!

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Katie’s Miles (8/18 – 8/24)

  • Monday: 3.5 miles @ 8:30 pace. I wasn’t sure how my usual Monday morning track date would go since I really pushed myself in the Hartwood 10 miler the day before. I normally wouldn’t do two harder speed workouts back-to-back but it was my last “Mommy Monday” with Gina before going back to work next week and I didn’t want to miss it! I got there earlier than Gina so I started by running a little over 2 recovery miles to warm up and loosen up my legs. Once she got there we did our sprints- running fast on the straight sides of the track and walking the curves. We were so caught up in conversation that we lost count of how many we had done, so we think we ended up doing more than usual, but that’s okay! It felt great to spend time with her and sweat it out on the track. I’m really going to miss our weekly dates when school starts next week!
  • Tuesday: 4 miles @ 9:55. The best kind of running buddy is one who convinces you to spontaneously sign up for a half marathon that’s in 4 days! The funny part is I was already secretly thinking about it. My husband said when Laura (my running buddy) isn’t pregnant anymore we are going to be trouble. Our race PRs are very close, we love to push ourselves and she’s pretty much as crazy as I am. Bonus: she lives right down the street! We had a great run that went by fast with our half marathon planning. I finished the run really excited for the race!
  • Wednesday: 2 miles @ 9:43 pace. I was looking forward to running with my hubby and little Kev in the stroller but as soon as he got home from work it started pouring rain with thunder and lightning We went ahead and ate dinner, put Kevin to bed and by that point it had cleared up so my hubby went out for a quick mile. I left once he got back. It was SUPER humid and I did see one lightning strike which freaked me out, but I got my run in! I planned to take it easy the rest of the week and only run 1-2 miles a day since I decided to do the half marathon at the last minute. I really wanted to do well in it and I pushed myself in the 10 miler a few days before, so I wanted to make sure my legs are ready… well, as ready as they can be after running for almost 100 days straight!
  • Thursday: 2 miles @ 10:11. If it weren’t for my running buddy I definitely wouldn’t have gotten up this morning! After running late the night before I couldn’t fall asleep (that always happens to me!), and then right when I was about to Kevin woke up crying from a bad coughing fit. It took forever to calm him down and he ended up in our bed ninja kicking us. Eventually my husband got him back in his own crib and we were finally able to sleep around 1 a.m. Alarm went off at 5:30. Wahhh! Laura and I ran an easy and slow 2 miles since we had our half marathon in a few days. I also had a pretty nasty blister on my left foot that I needed to hurry up and heal before the race!
  • Friday: I just did one mile today before my race to keep the streak going. The good news was that my blister was feeling so much better!
  • Saturday: 13.1 miles @ 8:36. Wow! This was a great race, but a tough one for me. I finished feeling super proud. Full recap is here.
  • Sunday: 2.4 miles @ 9:26. Little Kev was up bright and early at 5:30 AM so I got my run in while everyone in my neighborhood was still sleeping. It was a ghost town out there but I liked the peace and quiet. It was a cooler morning with nice breeze, which felt great! I wore my shirt from the race yesterday and did 2.4 easy recovery miles. Had to do the extra .4 to round up to the next whole number (OCD), bringing my mileage for the week to 28.
  • Total Miles This Week: 28
  • Total Miles So Far: 369
  • Total Days Streaking: 93

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Kevin’s Miles (8/18 – 8/24)

  • Monday: 2 miles @ 8:23 (Team RWB group run)
  • Tuesday: 2 miles @ 8:35
  • Wednesday: 1 mile @ ? (Didn’t take the Garmin)
  • Thursday: 2 miles @ 8:00
  • Friday: 2 miles @ 8:26
  • Saturday: 3 miles @ ? (Didn’t take the Garmin)
  • Sunday: 1 mile @ 9:26
  • Total Miles This Week: 13
  • Total Miles So Far: 176.3
  • Total Days Streaking: 92
Monday's group run with Team RWB

Monday’s group run with Team RWB

From Kevin: After last week which was tough, it was time to step up my game and increase my mileage a little bit.  I did a lot of runs with the stroller and felt really good so I pushed myself at the same time. Right now I’m trying to decide if I want to keep streaking or if I want to start following a different type of training plan- or both.

Saturday's run with my boy

Saturday’s run with my boy

The end of week 13 is definitely bittersweet. It marks the end of my summer and the beginning of a new school year, since I went back to work full-time this past Monday. This means it’s going to be tougher to fit my runs in with my commute and daycare drop off/pick up but I just need to make them happen! Can’t stop streaking now!

Previous Updates

Patrick Henry Half Marathon

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On Saturday morning I ran the Patrick Henry Half Marathon with two of my running buddies. We decided to do this race only a few days before and I am so glad we did! After having such a great time at the Hartwood 10 Miler on Sunday, the thought had crossed my mind to do this small, local half marathon the following weekend and keep riding the endorphin high. But I didn’t know if that was crazy or not. It’s been a long time since I’ve raced any substantial distance besides a 5K, let alone two back-to-back longer races. I’ve been doing long runs of 10-12 miles all summer long to maintain my base but haven’t been doing any real speed work except for short sprints at the track with a friend.  So I was undecided about attempting a half and was leaning toward waiting for the one I had already registered for on October 4th.

It wasn’t until I was out for a run on Tuesday night with my friend Laura that I changed my mind. She is currently 20 weeks pregnant and had also done the Hartwood 10 Miler a few days before and felt great. I asked her if having a good race was giving her the urge to do more, and she said, “Well actually, there’s a half marathon I’m considering doing this weekend…” I laughed because I knew it was the same one, and I should have already known she was thinking about it! I told her I wanted to do it too but I didn’t know if I was crazy or not. Within the 40 minutes we were running we had decided to go for it. We got home and registered that night, and also convinced another running buddy Leslie to join us.  A spontaneous half marathon in 4 days? Sure, why not!

After Laura talked me into the half :)

After Laura talked me into the half :)

I told myself that since I had just raced and PRed at a 10 I really needed to go into this race with no real expectations for a PR or anything like that. I definitely wanted to do my best, but I knew there would be some difficult conditions I would have to work through. The course was very hilly (but beautiful!) and the weather forecast was warm and very humid. I figured if nothing else it would be a fun way to spend a Saturday morning and give me a good idea of my current fitness level as I start preparing for my October half.

The race started at 7:00 a.m. and took place in Ashland, Virginia, which is about 50 minutes away from where I live. This meant my alarm was set for 4:30 (!!!), so I could do all my pre-race routines and be ready to leave by 5:30. We still needed to pick up our race packets and go to the bathroom one last time (very necessary!), so we wanted to make sure we had enough time for all of that. We got a little bit of a late start due to a mix up about who would drive, and then a stop for gas, which put us behind. We arrived at the start around 6:40 and quickly picked up our stuff, ran the race shirts back to the car, and went to wait in the longest port-a-potty line I’ve ever seen!

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Waiting in line!

The race was actually bigger than I expected, so I started to get nervous we would miss the start. Even though I didn’t expect much in terms of how fast I was going to run and I knew the race was chip timed, I still didn’t want to be stuck behind a big crowd of people and have to weave my way through. As the time ticked closer to 7:00 I knew we weren’t going to make it, but people slowly started leaving the bathroom line to go to the start. Unfortunately I HAD to pee before starting to run (and so did my two friends), so we continued to wait.  We heard the gun go off and shortly after it was our turn. We quickly did what we needed to do and then ran over to the start, crossing about 2 ½ minutes after the official start time.

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My first mile was spent mainly trying to get past everyone who had chosen to start in the back because they were running at a slower pace- which is exactly what they should have done! I felt frustrated that I had to do a lot of weaving but I knew it was my own fault for starting late. I still ran a pretty decent first mile despite all of that and was feeling pretty good. Mile 2 was even faster- probably a little too fast! But I was just happy to have some breathing room. During the third mile I realized that I was already sweating quite a bit and feeling thirsty. The humidity was already starting to affect me and I knew it would be tough to maintain the pace I was running, even though it was already slower than my race the weekend before. It just felt a lot more difficult! I stuck to the same nutrition plan that worked so well for me at the 10 miler- eating half a pack of Honey Stinger Chews 25 minutes into the race and then again every 20 minutes after that.

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  • Mile 1 – 8:25
  • Mile 2 – 8:02
  • Mile 3 – 8:19

Rather than focus on conditions that I couldn’t control, I tried to look around at the beautiful farmland we were running through, the pretty sky, the runners all around me, and all the reasons I love to run. It definitely helped me maintain focus on why I was doing this race and I was really enjoying it, even though my pace was consistently slowing down.

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  • Mile 4 – 8:23
  • Mile 5 – 8:26
  • Mile 6 – 8:36

I passed the halfway point (mile 6.55) at a little over 55 minutes. I was actually doing better than I had expected, but I knew I couldn’t maintain that for the second half since it was only getting warmer and more humid. The sun was behind clouds and there was a nice breeze that came through every once in a while which helped, but I kept getting distracted by my pace that was slowing down. So I decided to turn off my watch once I hit mile 7. I just wanted to keep enjoying myself rather than allowing myself to feel pressured by what my watch said. I knew I wasn’t going to PR at all. When I turned off my watch my average pace so far was 8:25, and my half marathon PR was run at an 8:18 pace. However, I knew that I still wanted to finish feeling proud of myself and my effort so I kept pushing.

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  • Mile 7 – 8:48

After turning it off I focused on getting up and over the (many) uphills, relaxing on the downhills, and talking to runners around me when I needed a little boost. It didn’t feel easy at all and I really did have to fight for each mile, especially since I was having a lot of pain due to my shoes. I knew after this race they would be officially retired- they are so worn out and just DONE. I could feel it in my feet, ankles, calves, the blister on my left foot- everywhere! It was very painful but I kept pushing. My mind wanted to stop and walk so many times but I knew physically I didn’t need to. I reminded myself that I wanted to finish feeling proud and that I gave it my all given the conditions that I was in, so I kept going.

I ended up getting a little second wind during the last two miles and was able to pick it up once I knew the end was near. Finally we turned right and ran alongside the railroad tracks where we started, making the final long stretch to the finish line. I was shocked when I saw the finish time on the clock as I got closer to it. It said 1:54 and counting and I knew that I was a little over two minutes behind. I couldn’t believe I actually did that well and didn’t slow down as much as I had thought I did after turning off my watch!

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The finish line is in sight!

  • Finish Time – 1:52:47, 8:37 per mile

As soon as I finished the race my official finish time was texted to my phone (love modern day racing technology!) I realized that I ended up running the second half not too much slower than the first. There was about a 2.5 minute difference between my two splits, but I thought it would be much more than that. I was actually thinking I would be finishing around the 1:56-1:57 mark. My finish time was a little less than 4 minutes slower than my PR, but I was so happy with it!

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After getting some water and my medal I went back to the finish line to wait for my friends. I was so shocked to see Laura (my friend who is 20 weeks pregnant) come through just over 2:08, which is a sub-10 minute pace! Her goal was around 2:15 and she killed that!

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Just a couple minutes later my friend Leslie came through looking strong!

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Once we were finished, we headed over to get some food and talk about the race. We all really enjoyed it even though it was challenging, and decided we would love to do it again next year. I actually feel more proud of this race than last week’s PR at the 10 miler, where an 8:04 pace felt relatively effortless. Even though my pace was a good 30 seconds slower per mile this time, I had to fight for this one more due to things that were out of my control, and I overcame them. It is a great feeling ☺

Laura @ 20 weeks pregnant

Laura @ 20 weeks pregnant

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Now, which other races can I sign up for? The fall racing season is THE BEST!!!

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Anna Runs America

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A couple weeks ago I had the honor of meeting an amazing person- Anna Judd. Anna is currently running across America as part of Team RWB, which is the running group Kevin and I recently joined. Team RWB consists of veterans, current military personnel and civilians, and its mission is to support and connect veterans and the community. Anna is running across America to raise awareness and support for veterans’ issues. She started her journey on March 22nd in Venice Beach, California, and is scheduled to finish it in New York City in just a few days on Saturday, August 23rd. By the end she will have run a total of 3,400 miles!

Anna with Team RWB of Fredericksburg (our group!)

Anna with Team RWB of Fredericksburg, Virginia

We were lucky to live right on Anna’s route as she passed through Virginia on her way to NYC, and were able to see her in action! Our Fredericksburg chapter of Team RWB did an amazing job of supporting her as she passed through our area. There was a large organized group run and dinner (that unfortunately we couldn’t make), and one of our members ended up running with her 3 days straight, covering 79 miles total! WOW!

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Even though we weren’t able to run with her and the group we still had a chance to meet her and show our support. Kevin met her right as she finished up running for the day at the Marine Corps Museum at Quantico on his way home from work. They were able to talk for a few minutes and she gave him one of her signature dog tags to thank him for supporting her (see above photo by her talented sidekick- Miss Robot).

Anna Runs America

The next day I caught her as she headed north from the Marine Corps Museum. I was driving up to Pennsylvania to visit my family and stopped a couple times to get out of the car with little Kev and cheer her on along route 1 where she was running.

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Each time we saw her she was so friendly and gracious- thanking us for coming out and supporting her- even though she was the one who deserved to be thanked the most! She stopped running when she got close to come over and talk for a minute. Little Kev gave her a high five and said, “Go Anna go!” On this day she was running with a couple female Marines and one of our RWB Fredericksburg teammates (in the red holding the flag). He is the one who ran 79 miles total with her! They did an awesome job on our Virginia hills and in the heat. I was so impressed.

Our second time seeing Anna

Our second time seeing Anna

Anna is TRULY an inspiration. When I think about what she is doing it gives me chills and a tremendous feeling of pride. I love that one of our own in the running community is accomplishing something so amazing and using running as a form of activism. She was also in the running for the Runner’s World Cover Photo contest. I really hope that her journey and the message she is sending gets noticed- if not for that contest than at least as a feature story. She definitely deserves it in my opinion!

Here are some links to learn more about Anna and her run across America:

Run Streak: Week 12

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I am so happy to report that week 12 was SO MUCH BETTER than week 11. I still had a couple runs that were difficult, but for the most part I felt back to my old self after my sickness. I was also able to run with other people almost every day, and finished the week off with a surprise PR at one of my favorite local races!

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Katie’s Miles (8/11 – 8/17)

  • Monday: 2 miles @ 9:18. I still wasn’t feeling 100% after being sick all weekend but wanted to get out and join the Team RWB group run with my husband and friends Chanda and James. The guys took the strollers and I ran 2 miles with Chanda. I wanted to take it easy plus it was raining so we kept it short and sweet. Afterwards we watched the kids play together in the rain, which is just something all kids should do! It was a nice evening that took my mind off still feeling a bit sick!
  • Tuesday: 1 mile @ 10:07. There were thunderstorms in the forecast all day along with heavy rain, so I knew I had to get out early if I was going to run. It was still raining but not too much, and I only did 1 mile because my knee started to ache a little after my run the day before. I wanted to play it safe and take it easy and slow. On the positive side, I was starting to feel better and recover from my never ending stomach bug! Woo hoo!
  • Wednesday: 5 miles @ 10:07. I woke up on Wednesday morning feeling like myself again! I was excited because I had a running date with my friend Laura in the evening. We ran 5 pretty hilly miles and I tried to keep up with her while we had girl talk the whole time (did I mention she’s pregnant and almost at the halfway point? She is awesome!) The miles flew by and before I knew it we were done. I’m so happy to have a running buddy that lives in my neighborhood! Oh, and my knee felt fine too!
  • Thursday: 3 miles @ ?. I made a lot of rookie mistakes during this run. #1: I chose to sleep instead of getting my butt out of bed to run in the morning, telling myself I would just go later. #2: I helped a friend paint her apartment all day and drank hardly any water. #3: We ate Mexican food for lunch. Note to self- this is NEVER a good idea before a run. Ever. #4: I went out to run during the hottest time of day with no cloud cover whatsoever, and #5: I chose the stupidest most hilly route in my neighborhood just to make an already hard run even harder. I didn’t even record my time because it wasn’t really the truth, due to how many times I stopped my watch to walk or answer the phone when Kevin called. I actually stopped right before mile 2 and talked to him on the side of the road for like 10 minutes. Haha. I was so unmotivated. The point of this long post is that I know better, and I need to make sure I DO BETTER!!!
  • Friday: 4 miles @ 10:10. So much better than the day before! I got up before sunrise to run with my friend Laura again before she had to go to work. When I got out there I realized it’s been a long time since I ran in the dark since I have been off all summer! Luckily it was only dark for a little bit before the sun started coming up. It was a picture perfect morning, cool and breezy and Laura said it smelled like fall, which I LOVE! We did 3 miles together and I did a little more on my own. So happy to have had a good run after my tough one the day before!
  • Saturday: 2 miles @ 9:50. The fam ran with Team RWB at their new location by our house again. We knew we just wanted to do a short and easy run since I had my 10 mile race the next day. I ran with Kevin and the stroller and we just enjoyed each other’s company on a beautiful Saturday morning.
  • Sunday: 10 miles @ 8:04. Amazing day, amazing race! Read my full recap here.
  • Total Miles This Week: 27
  • Total Miles So Far: 341
  • Total Days Streaking: 86

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Kevin’s Miles (8/11 – 8/17)

  • Monday: 1 mile @ ?
  • Tuesday: 1 mile @ 9:30
  • Wednesday: 2 miles @ ? 
  • Thursday: 1 mile @ 7:37
  • Friday: 2 miles @ ?
  • Saturday: 2 miles @ 9:50
  • Sunday: 1 mile @ ?
  • Total Miles This Week: 10
  • Total Miles So Far: 163.3
  • Total Days Streaking: 85

From Kevin: I had a tough week. I decided to cut back on mileage a little bit because my body was feeling sore and I had a lot going on. I didn’t wear the Garmin a lot because I just wanted to run and not care about my time. I did familiar routes so I knew what mileage I was running. This week I hope to get myself back up to where I was running before. Katie and I signed up for a 5K in September so that is motivating me now.

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That wraps up week 12! One of the most exciting parts of this week was that we got a little glimpse of fall weather, which I cannot WAIT for. There is nothing better than running in the fall in my opinion. Bring it on!!!

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