Monthly Archives: September 2016

Hartwood 10 Miler [2016]


Over a month ago on August 18th I ran one of my favorite local races, the Hartwood 10 Miler. This was my 4th year running this race and I’ve had a lot of success with it in the past. Even despite it being a hilly race in mid-August, the weather has usually cooperated enough for me to pull out a time I was proud of, and even a new PR a couple of times. I had high hopes for the race this year. In 2015 I ran it for fun since I was 3 months post partum. I don’t even think I wore a watch. I was building my mileage base back up and wasn’t overly concerned with getting faster again quite yet. Over the course of the following year I had worked a lot on my speed, so I wanted to use this race to test myself and see how I had progressed.

As the date of the race got closer, I started stalking the weather forecast and getting nervous. This summer was absolutely BRUTAL in Virginia, as I wrote about often in my marathon training recaps. I was holding out hope that the 95+ degree, 100% humidity days would go away just in time for me to have a great race, but it didn’t happen. It was another sweltering, sticky, uncomfortably hot day, with the real feel already at 89 degrees and 95% humidity before 6 AM the morning of the race. I knew it would only get worse closer to the 7 AM race start and as the sun came out.


Weather at 5:51 AM!

I knew I had two choices: 1) Run the race like I wanted to, HARD, and feel miserable and defeated and/or die in the process, or 2) Throw out my goals for the race, run with friends and have fun. I chose the latter πŸ™‚ We also chose to be brave, take off our shirts, and run in our sports bras. That was a racing first for me!


Once I adjusted my expectations for the race I felt so much better. We arrived early, found parking easily, chatted and hung out in the park until the start. I love this race because it’s small and local and has easy logistics, plus the course is on beautiful back roads that are normally unsafe to run on when a race is not happening. I felt pretty naked at first in my sports bra but it helped a ton knowing my friends were right there with me, and I forgot about it after a few minutes.


The sports bra squad!


Moms Run This Town!

We met up with more friends from our Moms Run This Town group and lined up at the start. I thought the weather might deter a lot of people from running, but there was still a good amount of people out there. I was sweating just standing there waiting, so I knew we were all in for an interesting race!


Soon we were off, and I immediately was thankful that I didn’t have any extra clothing to deal with. The air was thick and heavy and felt like a wet blanket. Our friends Stephanie and Kimmie went ahead while I stayed with Dina and Laura. Our first mile was a little fast out of excitement, but we slowed it down after that.


The only way to get through a race under these kinds of conditions (in my opinion) is to have fun with it. So we did! We laughed, talked, ran, walked when we wanted to, ran again, cheered on runners around us, and had a great time.


This course is beautiful but the hills are no joke! There are some decent ones in the first half, but the bigger rolling hills happen between miles 6-9. We stuck to our word to stay together and walked whenever one of us needed to.


Finally, we re-entered the park and ran the final half mile to the finish line. The picture below doesn’t even convey how soaking wet we were. My shorts felt so heavy because they were DRIPPING and my socks and shoes were filled with sweat. Gross!


We were so happy to cross that finish line, get a cold towel and some water, and of course some beer! One thing I love about this race is that in addition to a nice race shirt, you get an awesome engraved glass as well.


I took a few minutes to change into dry clothes before heading over to the post-race area where we got food, drinks, and recapped our races for each other. When the awards ceremony began we were so excited to hear that a few of our ladies got age group/masters awards! So impressive especially on such a tough day!


We definitely earned that beer!

Even though this year’s Hartwood 10 Miler wasn’t the race that I originally wanted, I still had a great time and made the best of it. I plan to continue to participate in this race in the years to come, I’ll just be crossing my fingers for slightly better weather πŸ™‚

Finish Time – 1:42:18 / 10:13 average pace

Previous Hartwood 10 Miler recaps:

Turning 30

In 2 days I will turn 30. Like usual I can’t sleep so I am reflecting. Last year on my birthday I never in a million years would’ve predicted what the following year would bring. I was happy, life was good. I had a loving husband, a 3 year old, a 4 month old, a busy teaching job, was getting ready to officially launch my coaching business, and my running was starting to really progress after baby #2. I was excited for the future.

And then all of a sudden, in what felt like the blink of an eye, everything changed. Nine months later, I am still processing it all and working through pain, sadness and anger that comes and goes as I figure out life as a single mom/co-parent. A life I never wanted or expected.

I have learned a lot about myself over the past year. I’m not the same person as I was a year ago. I am more tired, stressed, emotional, overwhelmed, with lots of ups and downs on a daily basis- but I know a couple of things for sure. I am a hell of a lot stronger both inside and out. I know exactly what I want and don’t want in my life. I have learned to trust myself and my intuition. I have learned how to guard my heart while also leaning on those that love and support me. I try to make the most of every minute with my boys since I have to share them now. I have worked on letting go of the past and forgiveness so that I can truly move forward into a better future, and be a positive role model for my kids. It can only go up from here. I’m very excited for my new chapter and this fresh start as I enter my 30s. Here’s to a brand new decade.

I also realize I’m extremely behind on blog posts. I need to recap 3 races, Chicago Marathon training (leaving in one week!!!), updates on Kyler since he turned 1 and Kevin who just turned 4, and more. Blogging had to be put on the back burner for a bit while I dealt with a crazy work schedule, mommy duties and marathon training. More to come soon… I promise!