Race Recap: Mighty Mac 11k Bridge Race

IMG_3611

Photo taken of the Mackinac Bridge while we were driving over from Mackinaw City to St. Ignace where we stayed for the race.

My family and I were part of the second annual Mighty Mac 11k Bridge Race on Saturday. It is by far one of the most unique races I’ve done in Michigan. I’m a little bummed my training schedule for next year won’t allow us to make a trip up there for it again. But, I hope to have the opportunity to do this race again in the future because last year and this years race were a blast! The cool part about this race is that you don’t have to enter into a lottery to ‘win’ a spot like you do for the bridge run in May. You just have to register like any other race.

fb IMG_3633

Mackinac Bridge view before the start of the race. Photo taken from the Michilimackinac parking lot where the race started.

We stayed at a hotel in St. Ignace on Friday night. Packet pick-up was 5-8pm at the St. Ignace Visitors Bureau, so we stopped for dinner in Mackinaw City and then drove over the bridge to St. Ignace to get our packets and to check-in at our hotel. The race packets included a reusable shoe bag filled with a visitors guide to St. Ignace, a drink koozie, credits to use at the Kewadin casino, pre-race dinner coupons, the cotton long sleeve race t-shirt, and some other various things.

IMAG67312

Race ready: Shoes – Brooks Adrenaline, Top: TekGear, Shorts: Old Navy, Compression socks: Tiux

The morning of the race we all got ready in our rooms and then drove over to the Star Line parking lot, where the finish area was with the post-race food/drink tent. They had a roped off section by the tent to form a line for the bus pick-up. They had school busses come pick up the race participants and take them across the bridge to Mackinaw City for the start of the race in the parking lot at Michilimackinac.

fb IMG_3642

The race was supposed to start at 7am, but it started a little late. They were still setting up the cones, so it was a little delayed.

fb IMG_3643

Setting up the cones on the bridge.

It was a small race, so they didn’t assign waves but they did release people in waves of about 25 people at a time. My mom, dad, both of my sisters, my brother-in-law, my husband and myself were all in the third wave which started at 7:17am.

photo 1

photo 2

The bridge is 5 miles long. By the time I reached the peak of the bridge, I was pretty darn happy I had some downhill to enjoy until exiting the bridge. They had timing mats out to see what your time was to the top of the bridge, as well as a photographer. Free race pics! I had wicked ‘race face’ in most of them and was a little bummed my husband was barely visible in the pics. But, at least they were free.

8M5A1600

I’ll be the first to admit, hills are tough. Even if they’re gradual. But THIS gorgeous view made that climb oh so worth it!

fb IMG_3657There was a coast guard helicopter flying back and forth by the bridge during the race. I love this pic my dad got of the sunrise with the chopper.

After exiting the bridge we ran through the toll booth and headed off to the right where they had a water station set-up. I passed on the water but did walk through there. You can see one of the school busses in this picture heading back to St. Ignace.

photo 3

After the water station there was a little downhill slope into a trail. This trail was not as nice to run through as it was last year. Last year it was a lot smoother and looked and felt like it had just been groomed. This year there were larger rocks all over the path that made the footing a bit uneasy at times. It wasn’t a terribly long stretch though (less than a mile), so it was at least a cool change of scenery. When we reached the trail, my husband and I parted ways.

photo 6

Here’s my husband heading into the trail portion of the course.

photo 4

There were a few more little hills through some neighborhoods after getting through the trail section. Then a super short but steep hill down to the finish by the shoreline.

finishline

water

The race results were printed and posted quickly on the wall under the pavilion by the finish line. I crossed the finish line with an official time of: 01:04:56 (9:30 pace). That is 31 seconds per mile faster than last year! I finished 7th out of 29 in my age group. Pretty happy with that!

photo 5

photo

In the food/drink tent we talked to a runner who ran the race with his dog, Ginger. She was such a well behaved sweet dog! She even had a number and received her own race medal. This dog has run a marathon with his owner! How crazy is that?! She loves to run!

dog

We got back to the hotel to shower, pack-up, and relax for a bit. Then we headed back out for an early lunch and hit the road to head home! It was a great quick trip up north and another memorable race. Definitely add this one to your race schedule for next year if you haven’t already. It’s such a cool experience!

Weekly Workout Log – Sept. 20 – 26

This was my 9th week of half-marathon training. Instead of going up in miles for the long run, I went down due to another race weekend.

Sunday – Rest day at it’s best. Seriously the laziest day ever! The bottoms of my feet (heels) were so sore after Saturday’s 11 miler, so I basically sat on my rear for most of the day haha! Really the only active thing I did was take a short walk (20 min) with my family.

Monday –  Biked 13 miles + ran 1 mile + walked the dog for 30 minutes.

IMG_20150921_124512

Tuesday – LAST DAY OF SUMMER! Ran 4 miles (9:46 pace) + 15 minutes of weights (still easing back into it!), walked the dog for 30 minutes.

photo 2 photo 1 photo 3 So sunny out! Not a cloud in the sky!photo 4

Wednesday – Beautiful first day of fall! 40 minutes of yoga (20 min. runners yoga video + 20 minutes working on various poses — learning that fallen angel pose is harder than it looks! I’ll post a picture when I get it — or even close to it haha.) + I walked the dog for 30 minutes. Today was supposed to be a swim day for me, but I drove around the parking lot forever and couldn’t find a spot so I went home and changed it up.

IMG_8344

Thursday – Ran 3.1 miles (9:20 pace) + walked the dog for 30 minutes.
IMAG6702

Friday – Rest day, but squeezed in a 30 minute walk with the dog before hopping in the car to head up to St. Ignace for a race.

Saturday – Mighty Mac 11k Bridge Run (6.8 miles). Race recap coming soon!

8M5A1608

Weekly Workout Log – Sept. 13 – 19

Just completed week 8 of half-marathon training!

Sunday – Rest Day. Today was my sister’s wedding on Mackinac Island. It was a beautiful day!

Monday – Ran 3 miles. I squeezed in a quick run before getting packed up and boarding the ferry back to Mackinaw City. I absolutely love running in places I don’t get to see all the time. Variety is the spice of life! 🙂 I stopped to snap a few pics along the way.

IMG_2545 IMG_2544

IMG_20150914_115339 IMG_2547 IMG_2543

Tuesday – Biked 10.5 miles.

IMAG6621IMAG6616

Wednesday – Ran 3.1 miles….HOT HOT HOT day for an afternoon run! I was planning on 4 but the heat was getting to me and I called it quits early. You win some, you lose some!

IMAG6630IMAG6632

Thursday – Swam 800 yards. Quick afternoon swim followed by a 30 min. walk with my dog.

photo 2photo 1

Saw this on my walk — maples already changing color!!

IMAG6634

Friday – Rest day.

Saturday – 11 very happy miles!! I haven’t run 11 miles since April this year, so to do it and feel as good as I did made my day! I had a little hip soreness throughout, but it wasn’t terrible. I just wanted to take it easy and go slow and steady. Well, my idea of slow and steady has certainly changed over the years. I am still in shock at how I felt doing a double digit distance run at a 10:07 pace. It’s huge victory for me in “turtle” land ;). I ran on the GVSU campus.

IMAG6644

I’m an FSU alum, so I laughed when I saw this sign for the GVSU vs. Ferris football game that was that night. I’d like to think my presence on campus gave the Bulldogs their edge last night haha! #foreverabulldog

IMAG6642

Now, it’s time to get race ready again! 11k Bridge Run on Saturday with my family. Have a good week!

Race Recap: Mackinac 8 Mile Race Weekend

Another memorable 8 Mile race weekend in the books! This was my 7th time running the race, but we’ve been coming to the island for the race for 17 years! My mom started doing the race in 1998, and slowly the entire family started participating too. It’s such a pretty course, so it never gets old!

IMG_2506

This years 8 mile weekend was very unique. My sister, who has been living in Germany for several years, and her husband got married on the island! Well, they legally got married in Germany and did a U.S. ceremony here for family. It was beautiful! The day before the wedding was the race. Her husband sported a tuxedo t-shirt with the Germany flag colors on it, and my sister wore the Oiselle Runaway Bride dress. It was so cute seeing them come in at the finish together!

133538-060-015h

fb IMG_8100fb IMG_8086

The race starts in front of Mission Point Resort and goes into downtown and around the perimiter of the island. I love running through the downtown area. It’s so cute and who doesn’t love the sweet smell coming out of all the fudge shops! Sure beats the BBQ smell during the Country Music Marathon & Half haha! It was definitely one of the largest 8 mile races I can remember. I never remember having to weave around people and although it only happened a few times, it was a first for this race! Space wasn’t bad going through downtown, it was when you get through there that it got a little crowded at times.

IMG_2504I was definitely pushing myself! Maybe even a little too hard in the beginning. I ended up taking a few quick walk breaks after the half-way mark. But, it all worked out in the end! I ended up finishing over 6 minutes faster than my previous PR from last year!! I was hopeful to be in the upper 9’s, but wasn’t sure how I’d feel so I was thrilled when I crossed the finish line and realized what I did! Official finish time: 1:17:57 (pace 9:44). No knee pain during the race either. Great day!

Gault Race Mgmt. had free race photos this year! This was my finish line pic haha! I always have some really funny race face pics. Really kickin’ it into high gear there ;).133538-027-003hThe finisher’s medal:
IMG_20150912_124448

After everyone finished and got cleaned up, we went out to the hotel balcony overlooking the lake and enjoyed a glass of wine! And I did tree pose for the #stopdropandyoga I was tagged for on Instagram. Beautiful place to practice yoga too! I would have done more if I brought my mat ;).

IMG_2496

I’m looking forward to coming back to the island for the Great Turtle Half Marathon! A lady on the hotel porch told me, “It’s very hilly. Just when you think the hills are done, they keep going.” haha awesome! 😉 I can’t imagine it being any worse than CMM, but I really don’t know. It’ll be the last of the 3 island races, and after completing it I’ll receive a 4th medal for completing the ‘trio’ of races in the same year. It’ll be my first trail race too, so I’m looking forward to the new experience (hilly or not)! But, in two weeks we’ll be in St. Ignace / Mackinaw City for the Mighty Mac 11k Bridge Run. So, we’ll be in that area a lot this fall! No complaints here :).

Weekly Workout Log – Sept. 6 – 12

Just wrapped up week 6 of half-marathon training, which included a race on Saturday. It was pretty ‘light’ as I took an extra day off for our anniversary, but not a bad thing going light the week of a race.

Sunday – Rest day. Summer isn’t over yet! 😉 90 degrees called for a day relaxing in and by the pool!

IMAG6499-1

Monday – Labor day! I biked 15 miles. My hubby hooked up the bike trailer to his mountain bike for our daughter to ride in and I got to take my new road bike out. We rode into a nearby neighborhood and I did a bunch of loops. Very much enjoying my new ride :).

IMAG6503

Tuesday – Rest day. It was our 8th wedding anniversary and my husband took the day off work so we could spend the day together, and drop our daughter off at school for her first full day. Check out the card I found back in June when we were on Mackinac Island…love it!

IMAG6471

Wednesday – Swam 1,500 yards + a long walk with my dog (forgot my gps so unsure of distance). She is already soaking up the one-on-one time with me now that my daughter is in school.

IMAG6552

First time being able to swim during the afternoon hours. Loved it!! It’s always hard to head to swim in the evening after a long day (props to everyone who works out at night! I feel so lucky to have a choice), so I can already tell this is going to make it more enjoyable :). I used my new bag that came all the way from Germany. My sister, who lives there, got it for me.

IMAG6538

Thursday – Ran 4 miles (9:20 pace) + a 2 mile walk with my dog.

IMAG6556

IMAG6567

She loves her walks! 🙂

IMAG6566

Friday – Rest day.

Saturday – Ran the Mackinac Island 8 Mile race with my family! Recap coming soon!

IMG_2509

Weekly Workout Log – August 30 – Sept. 5

Week 5 of marathon training is all done! Here’s what it looked like:

Sunday – Ran 9 miles (10:02 pace). Soooo humid!! I ran to a school campus and then back through some neighborhoods. My knees were bothering me during the run. It wasn’t ITB pain though. They just hurt! So that was frustrating, but other than that I felt good.

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 10.08.40 PM

Monday – Rest day.

Tuesday – Swam 1,250 yards. Felt really good!

IMG_20150901_204848

Wednesday – Ran an easy 3.1 miles on the treadmill. I had to share this pic of my dog. Love that face! She insisted on sitting on the lounge chair with me as I cooled down from my run.

IMG_20150902_103159

Thursday – Biked 45 minutes on the trainer with my new bike!

Image-1

Friday – Rest day.

ryan-gosling-memes-02

haha pretty much did that Friday night. Ryan knows best!

Saturday – Ran 10.5 miles. I had full intentions of driving to my parents house and running around there, but the weather had me change things up. I got my new Asics in the mail yesterday. So I was really excited to try them out on this long run. They were the correct type of shoe and the correct width (supposedly!)…and bonus, they’re my favorite colors!

IMAG6477e

This was one frustrating run. Between the weather and my new shoes, I’m ready to move on. I woke up at 5:45 to get ready and it was raining (not expecting that). At 6:45 I opened the garage door only to see the sky lighting up. I swear mother nature is plotting against us Saturday long-run folks ;). I went back inside and waited it out. At about 9 I decided to do a half mile easy run for a warm-up on the treadmill. Shoes felt super cushioned.

IMAG6482Then I took off for my run from our house. I got about 1.75 miles out and my feet were starting to go numb. Yep, the shoes were a no-go. Too narrow. I knew Asics ran narrower, but I guess I was just hoping for a miracle with it being a 2E. So bummed out! Needless to say, those are being shipped back. So thankful for the trial period because otherwise I’d have a giant stack of unused shoes in my closet. So, I turned around and headed back home to put my Brooks shoes on. I was also having some shoulder pain from carrying my water bottle. I’ve been putting off getting a hydration belt or some alternative for the longer runs and I’m definitely going to get one now. I ended up just dropping my Nuun filled water bottle at home when I changed my shoes.

IMAG6485

My feet are so much happier in the Brooks, that’s for sure! I got into another neighborhood and the sky started to look kind of scary, so I turned around and headed back home AGAIN. It started down pouring when I got to our street. I was really close to 6 miles when I reached our house so I just ran a few loops in front of the house to get there haha (doesn’t everyone do that?). The rain felt good, but I was really nervous about the lightning returning so I decided to play it safe and run on the treadmill for the remainder.

IMAG6489

I got in and I was feeling a little drained, so I quick grabbed one of my Honey Stinger energy gels and headed down to my treadmill. I listened to some music and sure enough I could see the sun coming out while I’m running. I was not about to go back outside though! So I just stuck it out to finish the last 4.

IMAG6492 That has got to be one of the most broken up runs I’ve ever done. So irritating, but there are always good runs and some bad too. The positive aspect of this run was that I didn’t have knee or ITB pain! Next weekend is another race weekend (8 miler). This particular race has always been incredibly difficult for some reason. It’s pretty darn flat so I, nor my parents who also run it, can’t figure out why none of us ever hit our goal time there. I think it’s just the really long straight stretches of road that mess with you mentally (at least for me). I got a PR for that course last time, but it wasn’t anywhere near where I thought I’d come in. This year I’m going to change that! 🙂 Moving onto week 6 of half-marathon training.

The Bike Reveal!

Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 7.32.14 PM

My bike had a serious makeover! This bike needed some help ;). It was considered a “unisex,” so the handlebars were way too wide for me. The stem was too long. It had nasty red cables and grip tape, the most uncomfortable saddle on the planet…..I could go on! 😉 I wanted to love this bike. I tried so hard haha! We even swapped out the stem for a shorter one but it just wasn’t enough. After I took a spill on it, my husband found me a smaller women’s specific Trek bike that we ended up buying. We knew the white frame was my “proper” size according to the bike shops, but I was terrified riding it. My confidence went up as I rode it, but it still scared me. It had potential for being perfect with some changes though. The smaller bike got me out there and made me love cycling! It even got me through my first sprint triathlon. But, I was having some pain during longer rides so I figured it was time to try the bigger frame. Cue my handy husband!

He took the good parts off my Trek and used them on the white frame to build me the most beautiful bike! We still have to add the water bottle cages, pads on the aerobar, and my bike computer, but here are a few pictures:

IMG_7848crop

IMG_7865

It felt like Christmas day seeing it all put together and getting to ride it! Feeling pretty darn lucky right now!