Sunday, June 11, 2017

Torture Trail 10K Recap

This past Saturday was the Torture Trail 10K in Eatonton. The race certainly lives up to its name. I think it had more hills then any other race I have ran so far. I had a lot of people tell me this race was tough and that I haven't seen anything until I run this race. They were pretty much right but surprisingly I didn't mind all the hills. When I saw the first long hill I actually started laughing because I was thinking this is what they were talking about. I got a nine minute mile on the first mile but once I started up the hills, my time slowly went up. At mile four, I was tired but I wasn't exhausted like I thought I would be. By the time I got towards the finish line, I didn't even feel like running anymore not to mention there was a big hill right at the end. I stopped looking at my watch once I got to the last hill. At that point, I didn't mind what my time was going to be, I just wanted to finish. I finished in 1:17 and was 6th place in my age group. I was asked would I ever run this race again. Most likely, yes I will run this race again. Overall it wasn't as bad as I envisioned.

This weekend, we are running the Hotlanta half marathon through downtown Atlanta. I know it's going to be hot and when I get there I will probably be wishing I hadn't signed up but I am looking forward to this race. They have really cool medals and we all know I love those! I will be taking next week off from training due to my surgery. It's going to be weird not being able to do any kind of training.

5Kay Running Queen got a new look and a new web address. I figured since I am doing so much more these days then just 5K's I would give my blog a generic name. I started calling myself Queen Beast after I completed the Spartan and even made a magnet for my car with that on it. Therefore, I found it fitting to use it as the name of my blog. Hope you all like it! 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Goodbye May, Hello June

Being out of town for a weekend and not running a race was hard. I was looking at pictures on Facebook from different runs this past weekend and I saw that I missed out on some really cool races. However, I had a lot of fun relaxing at the beach before facing my longer work days that started this week. For the summer, I have to work 10 hour days but only four days a week. We have Fridays off, which is something we look forward to. I'm currently planning what I want to do on my days off. I'm sure I will find a new hiking spot or take some road trips. June is going to be a busy month along with the months following being just as busy. My summer classes for my degree that I'm working on start Monday which are packed in to just eight weeks. Yoga classes start again next week. I'm so looking forward to this because Yoga gives my overdrive mind a break. I then have a half marathon next weekend. We are running the Hotlanta half through downtown Atlanta. Yes, I am running 13.1 miles in the middle of June. Yes, I am aware that it is a little crazy and it's going to be hot. It's sounds like a good idea now but I'm sure by mile 7, I will be questioning why. My goal for this half is simple, it's not to die. The day after the half marathon, I have to have tooth surgery. I have been told I will not be able to run for a few days or do any other type of training. I'm not looking forward to that part. Anyone that knows me, knows I have a problem sitting still. I am always on the go, so I guess I will have to find some non physical things to occupy myself for a few days. Lastly, my Yoga certification classes start June 30th. I will have to start practicing Yoga poses pretty much everyday. Fortunately, I have some pretty awesome people that will help me practice.

This past month, I have turned my living room in to a workout room. I have Yoga mats, Yoga blocks and weights stacked up along the fireplace. I have started lifting weights several times a week along with working on strengthening the legs. I found a great arm workout video from a professional trainer that I love doing. I have decided that I am going to do another Spartan in November. This gives me plenty of time to gain that upper body strength I want so bad. So far, I have stayed motivated to do some type of workout everyday except for Fridays which is my rest day. The biggest motivator is wanting to be able to hang with the boys during obstacle races. I have always been competitive and I like being able to keep up with the best of them. I also have a 5kayrunningqueen Instagram account where I connect with runners from all over the country. Seeing their posts and posting my own journey is a huge motivator for me as well. If you have an Instagram check out my account and follow for daily posts!  

This weekend I am running the Torture Trail 10K. I have been told it really is torture because of the major hills throughout the race. I'm not so sure what I have gotten myself into. I will find out Saturday! 

Here's to Summer fun, hot races, tan lines and of course ice cream! 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Flat Joe 5K Recap

Saturday morning I ran the Flat Joe 5K in Monroe. The Flat Joe honors a soldier that was killed in the line of duty. The 5K raises money for scholarships that are awarded to students who are in pursuit of a military career. It was a great tribute to the fallen soldier who I learned was my age when he was killed overseas. The start of the morning was very humid but at least the sun stayed in long enough for us to finish the race. The name of the race had me thinking the course was going to be flat. I thought wrong, the race had a nice mixture of hills! The hills wore me out to the point I ended up walking some of the flat areas. Every time I caught my breathe, I would hit another hill. I finished the race in 35:06 and placed second in my age group. They had really nice medals as the awards along with coins for the overall and masters winners.

Later in the day we met up with some of the running family for pizza. It was a lot of fun! Great food and great friends makes for an awesome Saturday!

So this past week has been filled with some good news! I received a phone call asking would I be the President for my alumni association at Athens Tech. Of course I said yes! I use to be the President for the Student Council there so it will be nice to get back in to that kind of role. Also, I said I was going to wait until December to let you all know what my next adventure is, but I am so excited about it so here it goes! I decided I am going to get my Yoga teaching certificate to teach Yoga classes. I am really looking forward to classes starting at the end of June. I have to attend one Saturday a month along with three days a month through the week. If you don't see me at a race, then I am in Yoga class. I will finish up the 200 hour certificate in December. I hope to start teaching at local rec departments. Yoga can be really good for runners, so I hope all my running friends consider joining me when the time comes!

I am taking this coming weekend off from running because I will be out of town. The following weekend I will be running the Torture Trail in Eatonton.

Thanks for following my journey!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Madison in May 5K & 10K Recap

It's been a slow month so far with competitive races. This past weekend I ran a 5K and 10.2K back to back in Madison. It always sounds like a good idea to run back to back races at the time of registration. When race day actually arrives, it doesn't sound like the best idea. I started the 5K off pretty slow but pushed through the first mile. The past few weeks my legs have been hurting when I run. It feels like there are needles poking at them and they also cramp up during my Yoga classes. I know it's because I don't drink enough water. I have never been a big water drinker but lately I have realized I desperately need to drink more then I do. Therefore, I have been forcing down water at work and at night. I finished the 5K in 33:19 and was 6th in my age group. I had about 20 minutes to get ready for the 10.2K and I was not feeling it. I was exhausted after running just the 5K. The 10.2K went as I expected, I managed to keep a good pace on the first mile but after that I gave out. I walked a good majority of the 10K but Madison has some pretty views so it was a nice stroll. They were calling for rain that morning but after the 5K, the sky was looking clear and the sun was trying to peak through. At mile 4 our awesome Georgia weather decided it was going to rain on me for the next two miles. What is better then a Georgia rain shower on a hot day? I don't mind getting wet, I actually like it to rain on those warm summer mornings that we run. Maybe it will rain on the morning of the half marathon I have in June. Would be a great way to cool off for 13.1 miles! I finished the 10.2K in 1:20. Not my best 10K time but I will take it. I was just glad to finish and get something to eat. After those 9 miles I was starving.

It may be a slow month for competitive races but it is far from slow during the week. We run four times a week, go to Yoga twice a week and through all that we work on arm strengthening and leg strengthening exercises. We have the Hotlanta half coming up in June so we are working on a half marathon training plan. I am also working on a new project so stay tuned for my surprise announcement coming in December. I know that is forever away but it will be worth the wait! We also have pretty cool races coming up such as the Spartan Super. We also have our eyes set on the St. Jude Memphis half marathon and more! The one event we are all looking forward to and currently planning is our Disney trip next February. We will be running the Disney Princess half marathon and 5K. I may already have my outfits designed and planned out, just saying! Super excited about it!

This weekend I am running a 5K in Monroe and I will be taking the next weekend off. I will be in Daytona for one of those country music festivals that I like so much!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Let's Run A Dam Race or Two

Saturday's races were a lot of fun. How many people can say they have ran over the Lake Hartwell Dam or ran a 5K through foam?! Not too many people can say that. We started the morning out at Lake Hartwell for the yearly 5K that runs over the dam. It's actually the only time of the year they let people across it. This race buses runners from Georgia over to South Carolina where you then run back to Georgia.  The course is flat and one of the larger races we run during the year. The crazy Georgia weather brought some chill and wind to the race. Having to fight against the wind was tough. It slowed me down because I was using most of my energy to push against the wind. If it had not been so windy I could have probably had a better time. I still finished with a great time of 32:48. Lately, it's less about getting a certain clock time and more about just enjoying the race. The Hartwell race is by far one of my favorite races of the year.

I had to leave right after the Hartwell 5K to get to Lake Lanier for the 5K Foam Fest. I was still a little late getting to the Foam Fest because I didn't clearly realize the time it would take to get there. I also had to make a stop to pick up a few folks along the way. We were supposed to be in the 11:45 corral but they were nice and let us in to the 12:00 corral. The start was full of foam and I did every obstacle after that with ease. There were short walls to climb over, a cargo net to climb over and some spider webs to crawl through. There was also three mud pits to crawl through. I'm the kind of girl that likes mud so those were fun. I slipped and fell in to one mud pit and got mud all in my nose. Only I can manage something like that. There were three water foam slides which were a blast. The first one I ran so hard that I hit the water headfirst and got the breath knocked out of me because it was so cold. We had to get in part of the lake to get over some tubes floating in the water. Those were fun, you basically just had to get over them the best way you could. My favorite obstacle by far was the huge waterslide at the end. It was a rush coming down that big slide. I wanted to do it again once I hit the water. Overall, this obstacle race was not hard at all, just lots of fun. I could have ran the whole thing again. I actually wanted to do it again when I got to the finish line. At the finish, we received a medal and a beach towel. I like that they handed out beach towels instead of t-shirts. This race is on my list for next year.

Next weekend, we have a 5K and 10K back to back. This past week we registered for the 2018 Disney Princess Half Marathon and 5K at Disney World. I have not stopped talking about it. I have already decided on the characters I plan to dress up as. We have a lot of neat stuff coming up within the next year that I am looking forward to. There is no slowing down now, we are just getting started!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A Run Through Music City

Growing up, I wanted to be a country music singer. I had the boots, a hat, and a microphone and thought I was all set to make it happen. Fast forward twenty years and I still love country music but now I only try to sing in the car where no one can hear me! As you can imagine, Nashville was like a dream to someone like myself. Especially when there was country music playing in every honky tonk we passed and a boot store on every corner. Can you believe they had bands playing at 7:00 am along Broadway? I have never seen anything like it.
We picked up our packets for the Rock N Roll Nashville 5K on Thursday when we arrived in Nashville. Rock N Roll always has pretty cool expo's so I have to check out all the cool running gear while I am there. It's not like I need another pair of running shoes but it doesn't hurt to look, right?! I really liked the race shirts we picked up at the expo. They are bright yellow, so they stand out.

Race Day
Our race was moved to 6:15 AM Saturday morning, since it was supposed to be humid. They were not kidding about the humidity, I was sweating standing at the start line a little before 6 that morning. I have always heard Nashville is famous for some hills. They were not kidding about that either. We started the race going up a hill and then it was up and down the rest of the way. We started right in front of the Country Music Hall of Fame and right behind the Bridgestone Arena. From there, we ran past the marathoners and half marathoners that were lined up to run down Broadway. They were all cheering us on. The really cool thing about this race was every mile there was a band that was playing. I made it almost to the mile and a half point before stopping. I was extremely lightheaded and a little dizzy from the heat throughout the race. I apparently did not hydrate well and having very little sleep did not help either. I did the run/walk method the rest of the way to the finish. The finish was beside the Nissan Stadium where the Tennessee Titans play. There was a bridge that connected downtown Nashville to the Nissan Stadium that we ran down to the finish. I was so happy to see the stadium. I could have made it farther but I would have been struggling. I am so glad that I did not sign up for the half marathon. I don't think I could have made it the entire 13.1 in the heat. I finished the 5K in 38:30 and have never been so glad to see a finish line. The Rock N Roll series always gives really cool medals at the finish, so I was excited to get that medal.

We had an awesome trip and will certainly do this race again next year. This was my first time ever visiting Nashville and it was a blast. I got to check off a few items on my bucket list. One visiting Nashville, two running through the streets of Nashville, and three standing on the Grand Ole Opry stage. I am already planning when I can go back again!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Easter 5K & Warrior Dash Recap

"Warriors are not the ones who always win, but the ones that always fight".

This past Saturday was full of running, obstacles and of course mud! The first race of the day was the Frank Baccus Easter 5K in Monroe. This is one of my favorite races because of the flat course and I really like the Cross pottery awards. The course is on back roads and I always have a good clock time here. I finished in 32:27 and placed second in my age group. A lot of the running family was here at this race which is always a blast! We get to run with a great group of people every weekend. For this race, we had some out of town guest join us. Always nice to meet new people and have them join in on our running addiction.

As soon as this race was over, I rushed home to change in to my obstacle clothes. From there, the RQ Racing gang jumped in the car and headed to Covington for the Warrior Dash 2017 obstacle race. Going in to the race, I knew this one would be easier compared to the grandfather of all obstacle races, the Spartan that we did several weeks back. Knowing this, I was not as nervous/anxious as I was at the Spartan. We started off with some trail running and the first obstacle was climbing over staggered wood planks. Next we crawled under a trench and out to the other side. Nothing to it so far. We did more trail running and I honestly don't remember a few of the smaller obstacles in between all this. My favorite obstacle was walking across a net and holding on to monkey bar style rings to balance. The goal was to not fall through the net. Again nothing to it. We came up on an obstacle where you had to crawl through a net that was off the ground. I am not one for heights but there was no way to fall through the net so I was good. As I was crawling through the net, I heard a guy on the net beside me say wait until you get to the second tunnel. I was thinking to myself, it looks just like the one I am on. As soon as I went over the bar to the second tunnel, I basically did a belly flop. Using my legs I kicked off and got back up. I was laughing at this point because I could only image what my face looked like when I dropped. Coming in near the finish line was the fire pit. There was a line backed up at the fire because of a little boy. He was so scared to jump over the fire. He kept standing there and after what seemed like a good 15 minutes he jumped over it. I know he was just a kid and scared but I was so pumped up to finish that having to stand there took away the rush. Finally I made it to the last obstacle, the mud pit. The mud is by far my favorite thing about an obstacle race. I grew up playing in the mud and digging holes so I don't freak out getting a little dirty! I always had a little tomboy in me, I guess it's why I try to hang with the best of them. This time though, I didn't get extremely muddy like I wanted for a few reasons but it worked out. I lost my shoes in the process. I wanted that medal so bad I left them on the side. They were old anyway. I am actually running out of old shoes. I guess at some point, I will have to start buying cheap pairs to do these races in. I really enjoyed the Warrior Dash and will certainly do it again next year. I am starting to build upper body strength so maybe by this time next year I will be able to conquer these races a little better and faster.

RQ Racing is headed to Nashville next weekend for the Rock N Roll 5K. Really looking forward to this race and visiting Nashville.  I'm only running one race this coming weekend, because I will be hitting the road for a concert in Alabama. I hope to see all my running family Saturday morning.

Happy Running!