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Check In: Spring Races and Orange Theory

We're at the halfway point of the 8 week transformation challenge at Orange Theory. The last 4 weeks since I weighed in for the starting weight included Easter, where I ate all the things but tried to contain it to just one day and a week of federal jury duty in Philadelphia. Jury duty messed with my eating and workouts. In order to travel to Philadelphia, I had to leave the house too early to make it even to the 5am Orange Theory class and I got home long after the last class. I took the train through so I tried to make up for it with tons of walking. I had about a 10 minute walk between the train station and the courthouse, I moved as much as I could each time we had a break, and I did lots of pacing up and down the platform waiting for the train to get home.

I also had a few races this spring. I ran a PR at the Shamrock Marathon on March 18th, which I was so happy with. I trained so hard to run a PR last year and ended up just being happy to finish, it was my slowest marathon, by A LOT! This year, the weather was amazing and my mental game was strong. Training probably wasn't quite as strong as last year but it was certainly my day this year.

I ran a pretty successful 5 mile race April 7th at the Manna on Main Street Race to Help End Hunger. Given the placement between marathons, my goal was to keep it swift but not too fast. I wanted a finish time somewhere between 50 and 55 minutes. Not my fastest, not my slowest. The course starts and ends at an elementary school and goes through a few neighborhoods with some easy hills. I finished in 52:56, which was good enough for 3rd place in my age group. One week out from marathon #6, it was exactly the run I was hoping for.

After the race, I got to participate in the "Shopping Cart Challenge" where teams run a relay with a shopping cart full of food. Different teams enter and raise money for Manna on Main Street. A good friend works for Manna so I've run with their relay team the last two years and it's a lot of fun.

On April 14th, I ran marathon #6 at the Garden Spot Village Marathon. It's a local race and I have done the half marathon the last two years. This year, I decided to go for the marathon. I later learned that this was the last year for the marathon. Next year, they're planning a half marathon and 10km, so I'm glad I conquered the marathon course for the last chance. This is known to be a really challenging course. The best way to explain it is "hills for days". So many hills. At mile 21, you go straight up a long steep hill, that was probably the biggest challenge. The race was hard and my finish time was not fast but I was not expecting to run fast. I had a lot of fun and the weather was amazing, probably too hot for a lot of people but I loved it. Laying in the grass felt pretty good after finishing!

Yesterday, April 28th, I ran the Race Against Racism in Lancaster. My company was a sponsor and we had a team of about 40 people made up of employees and their families. At this point, it's been quite awhile since I even tried to run fast. We do quite a few fast bursts at Orange Theory but not for 3 miles in a row, typically 30-90 seconds at a time. I'll say I was cautiously optimistic, I certainly hoped I could run a decent race but I also wan't sure since the last 4 months have been longer slower runs. The first mile, I went out fast, my fastest mile ever at 8:20. I wasn't sure if I could hold the pace especially since there were some up hills coming. I slowed a bit but I held on for a finish time of 28:14, an overall pace of 9:06. Good enough for a 30 second PR.

I'm so excited about yesterday's run. Since the start of the transformation challenge, I'm only down about a pound, which is a little disappointing but I feel so much stronger and my clothes are fitting better. I feel like yesterday's PR was proof that I am getting stronger and faster and that is exactly what I hoped to get out of Orange Theory when I signed up.

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