(Anyone else have the song “Heat of the Moment” stuck in their head now? N0? OK, I’m old…)

As you know, I’m a Skirt Sports Ambassador. I’m an ambassador because I love their skirts and I’ve been running in them for years. In the warmer months, you’ll find me in my Happy Girl skirts.  As it cools down, I move to my Lotta Breeze Capris. But now, it’s cold. Some days it’s really, really cold.

So, what’s a skirt girl to do? Skirts with tights, of course.  I’ll be the first to admit I’ve thrown a Happy Girl skirt over a pair of running tights. I love the warmth it gives my tush. But lately, I’ve been enjoying the Heartbreaker.

Heartbreaker Skirt

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TOTR: My worst race and what it taught me

by MCM Mama on January 27, 2015

I’ve run a lot of races. I’m not sure the exact number but I know I’ve run 2 marathons and 38 half marathons and lots of other distances. So, the opportunity to have a truly awful race has arisen more than once.  In fact, I had a hard time deciding what was my worst race ever to write about for Tuesdays on the Run with Patty and April. After all, I’ve run races where the pouring rain nearly washed my contacts out, races where the hills chewed me up and spit me out, and races were I was completely undertrained for the event.

So, what did I decide?

My worst race was my very first half marathon: ZOOMA Annapolis in 2008. Was it my worst due to the race itself? No, absolutely not. It was well organized for an inaugural race and Annapolis is a lovely place to run. (In fact, I was a ZOOMA Ambassador in 2014 and had to decline my ambassadorship in 2015 because of Jones’ orchestra schedule.)

Zooma2008

What made it my worst race? The heat (we all know I’m really sensitive), my dehydration going into the race, and my own inexperience with racing long distances.(I’d run the Army 10 miler once. All of my other races were 10K or shorter.) If you’d like to read about that train wreck of a race, feel free to check out my ZOOMA Annapolis race report.

Lessons Learned from my Worst Race

1. Respect the heat – I’m not a fan of hot weather running, but spring races in particular can be really hard.  A race on the first hot weekend of the year is not a time to try to PR.  If you’ve been running in cold weather and your body isn’t adapted to the heat, it’s time to slow it down and run for fun. Even if you enjoy running in the warm weather, heat and humidity will make it harder to run at any given pace.

2. Everything is better with friends – I’ve run hot races since then (and races that were awful for other reasons), but if I have friends on the course with me, it’s going to be an ok race. I pretty much never run an entire race with anyone, it’s enough to know that there are people out there who will meet me at the end and/or commiserate over the awfulness.

3. Stupidity can trump a good training season – You can put in all the runs. You can hit all your paces. But a few stupid choices can totally negate that. Things like starting a race too fast, starting out dehydrated, ignoring the toll the heat and hills are taking on you, etc. can make 13 miles feel like an ultra. There are lessons to learn from every single race you do.

4. Appreciate the positives – OK, I admit, I didn’t appreciate this lesson until well after this race. I was too invested in finishing fast to wrap my head around being proud of finishing. Sometimes you need to just be happy you didn’t DNF, that the race course was lovely, and that the volunteers had smiles.  I’ve learned that every race I finish upright and smiling is a good race.

5. We are stronger than we think we are – There are moments in many races where I’m not sure I’ll finish, much less finish fast. But I’ve learned that if I dig deeper, I have it within myself to get to the finish line. I just have to keep my mind from telling me I can’t do it. Most of the time, if you can get your brain on board, you can succeed.

I also learned (and this still holds true for me) that Gatorade is a lifesaver for me when I’m running a hot race.

What have you learned from your worst racing experiences? Is there a product that can make or break a race for you?

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Weekend update + MotivateMe Monday

January 26, 2015

How is it Monday already? I’m pretty sure someone stole some of my hours this weekend.  Today I’m linking up with Tara with my weekend update and Rachel and Janice with my plans for the week. My parents got here on Thursday afternoon, so I had a running partner for my Friday run. And running with […]

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Five things about my childhood

January 23, 2015

TGIF! It’s been quite a week. The boys were off for two days, I missed out on an 8 mile run because I took a 2 hour nap, and my parents are here visiting. Busy, busy. But it’s Friday and that means a beer and some relaxing with the family.  It also means Friday Five […]

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Day in the Life of MCM Mama

January 20, 2015

Ever wonder how everyone else juggles all the crazy things in their lives? Want a behind the scenes look at the life that bloggers share a teeny bit of each time they write?  I know I love to see how other people balance everything, so I’m linking up with Katie and a bunch of other […]

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TOTR: Running in the dark

January 20, 2015

It’s winter. Not only is it cold, but it gets light later and gets dark earlier. Unless you are on the treadmill or able to run in the middle of the day, you are going to be running some part of your runs in the dark. And by dark, I mean dusk, dawn, a cloudy […]

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12 Easy weeknight meals + training plans

January 19, 2015

Selective amnesia is a scary thing. It’s the reason that we are able to have more than one child. It’s the reason we run more than one marathon.  The euphoria we feel takes the edge off the memory of how hard or painful it was. I’d already forgotten how much time training takes. Never mind […]

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How to safely become a streaker

January 16, 2015

You know I’m referring to run streaking, right? I mean *I’d* never do something as crazy as go streaking. Nope, not me. But I am run streaking.  I’m on day 17 and so far, so good. It’s helping me rebuild my workout habit. 4-5 days a week are part of my training plan for my […]

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Thinking out loud Thursday: Marathon Musings

January 15, 2015

Or, more accurately “How crazy is she and how many races marathons will she run?” I’m joining up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for Thinking Out Loud because I need to do a mind dump and today is as good any. 1. My *A* race this year is Marine Corps Marathon. Barring something stupid (aka not […]

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TOTR: 2015 {crazy} race schedule

January 13, 2015

Today for Tuesdays on the Run, we are all sharing our 2015 race schedules. Stop by Patty and April‘s blogs and check out the linked blogs. And don’t forget to share your fun plans! 2015 was supposed to have a quiet spring. My plan was to do the Marine Corps Marathon in the fall and I’d […]

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