Hey, Has Anyone Seen My Running Mojo?

Two weeks ago I ran a hilly 6 miler, and it felt pretty good. I even had some fun the last .5 after a neighbor offered me a cabbage which prompted some funny looks from passers by. It’s not every day you spot someone running with a water bottle in one hand and a cabbage in the other. I joked that some people get medals for running a 10k, but I got a cabbage.

run cabbage

I wore my new Hoka Clifton 3s and my new Sparkle Skirt, both of which felt good. Love the leg pockets on the skirt!

Two weeks ago was the last time I saw my mojo. I’ve gotten the majority of my miles in since then, not all, but I have had the internal battle each time. “I don’t want to run/don’t feel like running/feel old/feel creaky/have too much to do/it’s too hot/tired of the treadmill/etc/etc/etc vs I have to run/it’s good for me/I know I’ll be happy when I’m done/feel better when I’m done/be proud of myself/I signed up for this race so I have to train/I signed up for more than just a race WHAT WAS I THINKING/running is fun…

The constant internal battle is exhausting, so if you see my mojo, please tell it to come back because I miss it. Thanks!

New Sneaks New Training Cycle

It’s that time once again, since back in April I (insanely) decided to register for another race. Actually, 3 races…two shorter events on Saturday and a Half on Sunday. I have so many incredibly amazing running friends who eat endurance events for breakfasts, and I wanted to be like them (and the medals from last year were WAY cool).

Most of my amazing friends could go out and do the three events I registered for without breaking a sweat. But for me, every mile is an effort, and it takes me a long time to build up enough umph to make it through a Half, let alone adding a good chunk of miles the day before. Unlike the Half in April, my goals for race weekend have nothing to do with speed, and everything to do with getting to each finish line. It will be a bonus if I can get to the finish line of the Half and feel human!

Whether it was a good idea or not, I registered, so here I go with the 14 week training plan again. I am going to stick with the same plan I used for the April event, but I’m bumping the Fri/Sun miles to Sat/Sun to get used to running longer back-to-back miles. We’ll see how that goes and whether I’ll need to do that on alternating weeks in order to save my legs…and sanity.

Just in time for the new training cycle came new sneakers. You all may remember my Sneaker Rant a few months back. I was very unhappy, and I wasn’t the only one, about the changes that Hoka One One made to the Cliftons when designing the 2’s. Well, the 3’s came out on July 1, I bought a pair that day, and they arrived a week later.

clifton 3s

Thank goodness Hoka went back to a lot of the things I loved about the original Clifton. The sneaks immediately felt good when I put them on. I’m pretty sure my feet were actually telling me they were happy! I’ve since run in them twice. The first time was a 5 miler on the treadmill. Outside of a little heat on the balls of my feet towards the end, they were great. The second was a outdoor 3.6 miler and again, overall great, just a few little things that I think will work themselves out.

Speaking of that 3.6 miler, it was yesterday morning. I woke up a little late and started talking myself into just heading to the dreadmill in the basement. This, of course, was after I had to talk myself out of ditching the run completely. In the end, I got my rear in gear and drove to my usual running spot.

It was an incredibly beautiful morning and I was so very glad I pushed myself out the door.

mm morning run

It was a morning for running outside. It was a morning made for reflection on the seemingly insane world we live in. It was a morning for me to try and appreciate running alone, which is not one of my strengths.  It was even a morning for a few hill repeats.

A Beautiful Friday Morning Run

I have one of my running partners back as of a few weeks ago. It’s been great to have her company again. I have spent way less time on the treadmill in the last few weeks and therefore, more time appreciating being outside as the sun comes up.

This morning was perfect in every way.

sunrise run

sunrise run 2

We even had a greeter at the memorial park where we run.

mm doe

mm deer

I was happy the greeter kept her distance while we logged 3.5 lovely miles.

Hoka One One released the Clifton 3s today and I ordered a pair. I have been impatiently waiting. They are supposed to much more like the original Cliftons. I have beat my Cliftons into the ground, so I am REALLY hoping the 3s work.

Half Marathon Race Report

It was an amazingly beautiful day. It was a day filled with in-person and virtual support beyond what i anticipated. Although hubby is on the injured list for running, he brought his bike so he could find me several times on the course.

spectator hubby

I have an amazing group of online running friends, one of whom lives close enough to where the event was located that she came to cheer. Not only did she arrive to cheer, but she brought a sign, with messages from the other amazing ladies in our group. BEST. SIGN. EVER!!!


Another bonus was spending time with a high school friend, both at the expo on Saturday, and before/after the race on Sunday. I’ll get back to her later in this post.

It started out on the chilly side, temp around 40, but was supposed to be crystal clear with bright sun and warm up into the 60s. A little hard to figure out what to wear. In order to try and avoid being too hot later, I dressed for the warmth, but boy, was I freezing at the start. So cold, that my leg muscles were feeling pretty tight. Luckily I’m such a slow runner that I felt I would be okay in terms of my muscles warming up once the starting gun went off.

It is an overall great course, with great volunteers and spectators. The worst part of the course (in my opinion) is an early out-n-back on roads with very cambered (slanted) surfaces. It’s not a flat course, lots of hills, most shorter and steeper, and I knew where they all were from previous times I participated. I felt like I was keeping a reasonable pace, pretty much on target for my PR, even with the hills, up until mile 10ish. There were quite a few hills in the beautiful parkway area of the course, and though I didn’t realize it, I must have lost some time in there.

Hubby was amazing and found me multiple times along the way, which really helped and made me happy. He was also my own personal course photographer. Here are two of my favorites, where you can see the beauty of the middle course miles .

beautiful course

course creek

In the past, I have had IT Band issues on this course, due to the cambered surfaces and the steeper downhills. I was able to make it to mile 12 before it happened this time. I was close enough to the finish that I pushed through and kept running. It’s a long last half mile-ish at the end, where you can hear the announcer and see the stadium, but it doesn’t seem to get closer as fast as you think it should be getting closer.

I had spent time during my miles thinking about my family and friends and using them as inspiration. I made sure to thank first responders, race volunteers and even some spectators. I knew I wanted to finish strong with or without a PR (I had figured out around mile 11 that the PR was not happening). Just about when I was ready to fade, my high school friend showed up. She had finished (a lot) earlier, ran her own PR, and stayed to wait for me. Not only that, but she ran back along the course to find me and run me in. Her timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

last hill

That’s her on the right in the blue, and my running friend clapping on the left. They both ran with me up the final hill into the stadium while hubby took the pics and cheered. I felt so many warm fuzzies! I did finish strong and I felt the best ever after a finish. I missed a PR by 1:04, but ran my best time in 7 years by almost 3 minutes.


The quads and IT Band are sore, I’m feeling the ouch today, but I am using that as a reminder of a great day. I feel so lucky that I was able to spend the weekend with my parents, get cheering and props from my girls, have the support of my hubby and my amazing friends, and have my hard work this training cycle pay off.

I also may have registered for another Half at the expo…as well as a 5k and a 10k the day before…uh oh!

Thank you to EVERYONE who was part of my support crew, near and far!!