Running Through a Fulfilled Life

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Race Recap: Dart Frog Dash 5K

Hark! A blog post that isn’t totally and entirely related to children or pregnancy.  These things DO still exist, kind of.  Back on May 20, Hubs and I registered to run the Dart Frog Dash 5K at the Toledo Zoo.  It’s a race that we did last year, thoroughly enjoyed (despite the weather), and decided it would be a perfect 5K to kick off “Project Get Eli Into Racing Form Again 2.0”.  In essence, it was my baseline 5K test to thoroughly gauge how in or out of shape I currently am.   If this were a pendulum, it would strongly be leaning more towards the out of shape realm (but approaching the midline, hopefully).

After I had James back in ’14, I ran the Melon Festival 5K as my first race back (at 6 weeks post-partum) and clocked a 23:56 after running for a solid 1 day.  I also ran with him up to my due date, so I really only had 7ish weeks away from exercising.

This time, I hopped off the exercise horse early (at 37ish weeks pregnant), but was able to start running again a bit earlier (4.5 weeks post- partum…hallelujah to no repair!).  So, I was off running about the same time, but didn’t run this race until I was approaching 8 weeks post-partum.  So, we are comparing apples to…bananas? here.


Here we are heading to the start, James looking sullen in the jogging stroller


Pre-Race family selfie! Dino sippy cup for the win!

The Dart Frog Dash covers the roads surrounding the Toledo Zoo and ventures through some old and very pretty neighborhoods.  My only gripe with the course is that the roads are in pretty god awful shape in some places.  Like, very uneven footing and chuckholes, so you definitely have to watch where you’re going so you don’t roll an ankle or fall into a pit of despair.

The last 1/4 of a mile ends in the Zoo, but has a bunch of hare pin turns that don’t allow you to get a proper kick.  I already knew all of this from running last year and being hella out of shape, I really wasn’t too worried about that part.  My goal, simply, was to A) Finish, B) Run a 24-25 minute race (although on a good day I knew I was capable of faster), C) Not pee my pants (hardy har, post partum runner humor).

The race took off nearly right on time and I cautiously started.  I didn’t want to start too fast (hello, out of shape) and get caught up in the excitement of the day.  Plus, I did no warm-up and my hamstrings were protesting just a tid.  Mile 1 felt like it was mostly downhill and registered at a 7:48.  Feeling good, I tried to pick up my pace a bit and hold steady.  Mile 2 clocked in at a 7:29.  Money.  There were a few runners in front of me that looked to be of the female variety and of my age group, but I felt no pressure to even try to race them.  Instead, I just focused on me.  Mile 3 was a 7:28.  As I wound around the final turn into the finish chute, I saw that I was going to finish under 24.  I crossed the line in 23:13  (7:29/mile avg) and 2nd in my Age Group.  So yes, I achieved all my A, B, and C goals.

Hubs and James crossed the finish line in 24:56 (which I think is impressive given that is 35 pounds of pure toddler to push up the hills going into the wind).  James told me all during the race that “he and Daddy were trying to find Mommy”.


2nd Age Group 30-34

Definite sense of satisfaction for my first 5K race (and race in general) back since having Lucas.  It was fun to be back out running without having my belly make me do the backwards lean and waddle posture and have my back kill me at the end.  It was fun to be able share a fun event with my husband and son.  It was a pleasant surprise to get any age group award.  But now the work begins, I’ve got some big goals and I’m more than willing to put in the hard work to achieve them.

Eli Out!



Race Recap: Holly Run 5K

Yes, that’s not a typo.  I most certainly did a race after not participating in any since June.  The Holly Run continues to be a race I automatically mark on my calendar to participate in, and 2016’s edition was certainly not going to be hindered by me toting around my growing baby belly!  This year’s version did not disappoint in the least.  The 5K was filled with 500+ participants ready to celebrate that “Life is Good, No Matter What”.

I wrangled both my parental units into running this race with me.  Probably a good idea because my car tire decided to deflate before we even had left for the race.  Minor tire drama aside, we managed to arrive to the race about an hour before, pick up packets, and do a small warm-up type thing.   For me, this consisted of shedding my sweats, running probably for 2 minutes and deciding that was enough.  No race goals makes for a much more relaxing day.  My only goal was to A) Finish and B) Not get out of breath.  Cool beans.


The race started right on time after a Moment of Loudness.  A moment of loudness that corresponded to a rising in excitement, a burst of sunlight, and a perfect race morning.  I started off conservatively with my pace, knowing full well that there was a decent sized hill within the first mile.  I chugged up that bad boy, feeling like the Little Engine that Could (except with a pot belly) and arrived to the 1 mile split in 8:10.  Thought to myself, “That felt rather easy, me thinks I can keep this up”.  I continued on, again not feeling any inkling of the urge to race.  I was smiling, waving, and strutting my awkward balanced running gait like it was going out of style.  Mile 2 clocked in at 7:52.

And then…I for some reason felt the urge to be competitive after Mile 2, it’s like seeing age group competition in front of me was somehow the donut to hang in front of my face.  I have not run low 8 minute miles since…um…September, and here I was, throwing down a 7:28 final mile.  And a 6:45 pace last 0.1   And, no breathlessness.  I felt weirdly strong.

And finished in 24:04.  Which is almost 3 minutes slower than my time on this course last year.  But last year I wasn’t almost 5 months pregnant.  My overall pace wound up being 7:47.  Can we say pregnancy PR?  Are those a thing?  Somehow this finish, knowing that I managed it in a race that holds such sentimental meaning to me, meant more than any of the times I threw down earlier this year.    Belly for the win!

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Race Recap: Milan Melon Festival 5K

Surprise!! I ran a race…finally.  I decided there was really no better way to commemorate the fact that I was now 6 weeks post-partum and able to run, than by registering for a 5K to determine just how grossly out of shape I had become.

The week prior, I also decided to take my legs for 2 jogs just to make sure I could coordinate my body to run.  Believe me, those two outings allowed me to come to the conclusion: it felt so weird.  My body felt like it had forgotten how to put one leg in front of the other, my jelly belly was bouncing around, and I cursed the fact that I probably need to use 2 sports bras combined to contain the girls.  No more wearing C9 Sports bras that’s for sure!

Mike and SBJ both came to watch Mommy attempt to run 3.1 miles.  And my attempt went much better than I could have expected.
This is the second time I have run the Melon Festival 5k, so I was relatively familiar with the course and had pre-determined it’s flat nature was perfect for a girl that still is running about with joint laxity effecting the netherregions.  We got to the race at 8:30 for the 9:00 start.  My warm-up consisted of jogging to pick up my race packet and no more.  I totally rock at preparing myself.

I lined up for the start, throwing myself in the middle of the crowd as I literally had no expectations and simply wanted to finish.  The gun went off and off I went!  I tried to keep my pace in a “comfortable zone” and didn’t want to feel like I was racing.  My heart rate definitely started to creep up there, especially as we hit the first mile around Mile 1.

Mile 1 clocked in at 7:48.

The second mile is typically where I lose it.  Both when I’m in shape and not in shape.  The latter being the case here.  I tried to simply keep things moving.

Mile 2 clocked in at 7:48.

The third mile I began to feel it.  Feel the fact that it was super humid out.  Feel the fact that I have not really run hard this distance in like 4 months  Feel the fact that I have not run these paces since last November.  Gosh dang.

Mile 3 clocked in at 7:43.

Last 0.1 I “kind of” pushed it, but not really.  When I saw the clock and realized I could finish under 24 minutes, that became my goal.  And I did.

Final Finish Time–23:56

Since I was nowhere to be found in any race pictures, here is the blurry picture Mike took as I came into the finish! Huzzah!

Since I was nowhere to be found in any race pictures, here is the blurry picture Mike took as I came into the finish! Huzzah!

I could not be happier with how my first race back went.  Maybe lugging around a giant baby in my stomach did help me maintain some fitness.  Also, somehow I maintained pace throughout an entire race.  I couldn’t even do that pre-baby if I tried.  We left quickly after the race because SBJ was indicating he’d be awakening soon and would probably want to attach himself to me in the near future.  What we missed out on was that I (icing on the cake) had managed to place 2nd in my Age Group!  Not too bad for my post-baby debut.  Definitely could be a fluke, but I’m looking forward to seeing how my running progresses over the next few weeks.  It will be a while before my mileage gets back up there, because I definitely was sore the next day after this race!

Speaking of SBJ, here’s how my little buddy has been lately.  I know parents always say this, but he is getting so big and changes every week!  Also, I have become one of those proud parents that likes to share as many pictures as possible.  Sorry not sorry.

SBJ at 5 weeks old.  Already rocking his soccer ball.

SBJ at 5 weeks old. Already rocking his soccer ball.

SBJ at 6 Weeks Old.  Getting so big already!

SBJ at 6 Weeks Old. Getting so big already!

Happy Running!!