Tag Archives: race

Long time no see…

I cannot believe it has been over 4 months since I posted anything…I guess that goes to show how boggled I have been!  Lots has been going on and lots is still piling up on my plate.  This is just to post a basic update, and some news for things to come!

Things that have been going on: I did a Tough Mudder with my husband and 4 of his USAF co-workers

IMG_4886 IMG_4889 IMG_4909 IMG_4910 IMG_4911I started classes (FINALLY) and enjoyed my first on-line class and the ‘A’ I received when completed!!! I turned 34 years old and chose to run 13.1 miles, at 6am with my husband, the morning of my birthday! It was muggy as hell and quite humid, but there was a rainbow to brighten the morning!IMG_4984 IMG_4986I organized a group of about 30 gals to take part in the Baumholder’s Shock and Rock Race- An obstacle mud run!  It was a great time and I am happy to say it gave a lot of these ladies the taste for mud and the WANT for more!!IMG_5042 IMG_5051 IMG_5040 IMG_5057I started a group for the upcoming Susan G. Komen race for the cure in Frankfurt, and hope to get at least 30 girls or members to run this event!!!

I am signed up for the Saarbrucken Half Marathon in September and am looking forward to all of the pretty sights I should be seeing on the course!!!!

I signed up for the StrongmanRun in Luxembourg, and am now gathering others to make a team and enjoy the world’s “Largest Obstacle Race”!!!

I am pre-registered for the Spartan Beast that should be taking place in Stuggart next spring…I am praying they go through with it and hold this event, because I really want to do it!!!

Last, but not least, I am registering for the GoRuck Light which will also be in Stuggart next year.  This will be my April race and I believe it will be a great challenge since my biggest obstacle is always my mind and self-doubt…this should crush that!!!

So, my update is all about racing…but that is what keeps me sane these days when I am taking classes, moving to a new house and trying to prep for a much better school year for James!  Whatever keeps us going and keeps us from losing our minds is what matters most.  Of course, some of the best little things that keep taking place are the funny moments with my kids when no one is around to believe the things they say and do, and of course just watching them become miniature versions of myself and my husband!!



Goals for March 25-31, Plus a Tabata Set!

So, I need to seriously up the accountability I have going on. I have caught myself giving in to stress cravings and stressing a little too often lately. Setting some goals and going to make sure I keep notes as I check them off!!

I have to feel good in my body again and get away from the picking and prodding at every little thing. Looking back at my past posts help me remember what I need to be doing!! Ah, so nice to look back so easily thanks to my blog!! So, without further ado, here are the weekly goals!


1. Alter half marathon training plan: Tuesday is a short run (2 fast miles), Thursday is a medium run (4 miles) and Sunday is a long run (6 miles). I’m trying to work on speed with endurance so I’ll see how this goes!

2. Cardio/Strength/Yoga/Tabata: Do one gym cardio session, one shred with yoga meltdown, and one Tabata day with a form of easy cardio.

3. Keep a food journal EVERYDAY: No matter what, keep track. Just do it. Seriously, keep track of everything.

4. Have a ‘boys choice’ art day: Bring out tons of options, lay out a plastic table cloth and just enjoy!!! Don’t worry about a mess, just have fun with them!!!

5. Appt. Goals: Make a doctors appt, a dentist appt, and swap sport massages with the hubby! Our legs are sore and helping each other is a must! He’s up to 15 miles on his long runs, so he will need a deep tissue knuckle rub!

Those are the goals! I PROMISE to post next Sunday with the results and a new set of goals!! Now, onto Tabata!


So, one of the best ways to learn about Tabata workouts is to visit tabatatraining.org. You will get a description, videos, reasons why these are amazing workouts, and proof of what they can do for your health!!! I have incorporated them into my workout routine and have noticed a difference in my speed and my endurance!! 4 minutes of sweat and hard work is harder than you think…I do 4-5 different rounds and am usually DONE by the end. (Done- as in, holy shit, I can’t move).


Here is one example from runninglovingliving

I did a strength training Tabata on Friday for some endurance/resistance work. I use my exercise bands, pull up bar and dumbbells. It was pretty tough and by the time my plank set was done, my arms were jello!!! Here is my set- each round the exercises were repeated for a total of two times each.  I’ll be doing this same one for my goal Tabata of the week!


So now, I have set some goals.  I have talked about Tabata like I promised, and I hope I will get others trying it out and seeing it’s benefits!  There are millions of variations, just make sure you are using a timer (I use Tabata Timer- a free app) and exerting yourself for those 20 seconds of hard work.  It’s pointless if you use those 20 seconds to just march in place or do hip circles.  Do your exercise and really go all out- not to the point of hurting yourself, but enough that you are seriously exerted by the time that 20 seconds is up!!!  It is a great feeling when you are finished, and you really do feel stronger!!! 

Tell me your goals, tell me your Tabata sets!!

Running my way out of 2011….

So despite the injuries, despite the amount of time I have been forced to the side-lines, despite the fact that I have just got to running again this week…I have set one final goal for 2011.

22 Silvesterlauf 2010 SVK

Silvesterlauf 10K Race (photo from 2010 Race)

I am going to run a New Year’s Eve 10K race!  The Kottweiler-Schwanden sports club is sponsoring the 39th International New Year’s Eve Street Run, and so far there are 93 people running (I am number 93).  What better way to leave the year I began running, then by reaching a new goal that I have not met before!  Since I have only been able to bust put 2 mile runs this week, I have my work cut out for me.  I plan on upping mileage as safely as possible and then if I need to interval it during the run, so be it.  I am sure I can do it if I do some tempo training and endurance training (safely) over the next two weeks.  My mileage will come back and I am sure I will be okay!!!  A race with my group, in Germany on New Year’s Eve…that is one great way to welcome 2012!

Not only do I get to meet a goal (although, it will probably be very slow), I get to do it with my running group!  See how our names are registered all in order!!!??!!

                                                                                               88. Marin, Lisa 1972 w W30
                                                                                               89. Eaton Heins, Jodi 1971 w W40
                                                                                               90. Rafferty, Michael 1958 m M50
                                                                                               91. Ramirez, Jeannette 1974 w W30
                                                                                               92. Ramirez, Rob 1967 m M40
                                                                                               93. Groff, Amanda 1932 w W70

Also, notice the mistake I made when registering….It asked for ‘vintage’ (bad translation from Google Translate) which I thought meant my age.  I typed ‘32’, but it meant the year of birth, so I am showing as being born in 1932 and am in the women’s 70 years+ category!  Ha ha, oops!  At least this way I can blame it on my age when I come in slow, by pretending to be a 79 year old who doesn’t exercise!  I know for a fact there are many a women of that age who could out run my as any day of the week! Since Eric will be on night shift, I figure I can tire myself out with this race (get my neighbor to bring James for my finish line ‘high five’) then go home and ring in the new year asleep on the sofa celebrating with my boys!

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve???

Landstuhl Christmas Market Race

So Sunday came quickly and I was debating back and forth whether or not I should attempt this race.  First of all it is the longest distance I have run recently and it was only my second run after my injury.  I made a deal with myself, I would slow down when I needed to slow down, or stretch or walk, or interval.  Whatever I needed to do in order to finish without hurting myself was A-OK with me…no time worries or paces concerns for this race! 


Luckily I had two of my running gals with me for the race, Jodi and Jeannette!  They were kind enough to meet me there as we faced the cold together!  It started off pretty good.  I was okay for the first mile and a half.  I struggled a bit after that, I was feeling really dizzy and light headed.  I think it was the winter hat I was wearing. 


I walked for a minute and then caught back up with the girls.  I got to the 2 mile-ish point and then knew I needed to interval it a bit and roll my ankle around some to stretch it out.  After that I was going solo, which was okay!  I took the hat off and set some small goals to help me keep going.  One was to pass this one guy who kept out pacing me.  I would catch up and then he would speed up, so I was determined to come in before him…


I ended up ahead and then forgot about it.  I just focused on getting it done without getting hurt.  Of course, the last mile and a half seemed like a breeze, my pace picked up and I was huffing it!  I felt really good and really comfortable.  I aimed to finish in 55 minutes because I knew I would be a bit slower than normal, but I finished in 52:25, so that was good for me.  It may have been slow, but it was faster than I was expecting and it was even better because I was not hurt!!  Besides, I had a special boy waiting to high five me…there was no backing out when it got tough!


We then enjoyed the markets, I took some pics with my boys who had matching red noses!!  We got some treats from Nicholas, some snacks for the hungry boys, looked around and then caught up with the other ladies from the race!  I love how my boys were all smiles for every part of the day, except the picture taking part!



The Ramstein Runners all got together and enjoyed a group shot in front of the tree! You cannot beat supportive women to cheer you on no matter what your pace or goals!  There is always someone there to give you a motivating word, or a pat on the back as you struggle!  I wish everyone got to have such great women running next to them, I am very lucky!!!



Any Christmas races coming up for you?  How do you like to motivate yourself during a hard run?  What support network do you have as you reach your goals?

Red Ribbon 5K

Well I just finished my second 5K race for the month, and this one went even better than last week!  I am happy to say I was able to run the whole thing without stopping once…not for water, not for an extra breath, no stopping!  That seems very small in terms of goals, but for me it has been the biggest goal since I was able to start running again 2 weeks ago!  My shins have really been giving me a run for my money, but I am starting to think the process of working in those Vibrams is starting to pay off!


We got to the race site and right away I was a little nervous because it was very cold….like 31F cold!  Did I mention I have never run in a temperature lower than 50F!  I was shaking like a leaf (from the cold, not from nerves).  I started bouncing around as we all waited.  I think others may have thought I was weird, but I would rather bounce and move than stretch before running.  I got my number pinned on, huddled in with the others at the start line and then slowly took off (lots of people) when the gun went off.  I got a great start by high fiving the Darth Vadar that came out to support us (I even got a picture with him and the storm troopers after the race)

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I felt GREAT!  I was smiling almost the whole time….like literally, I think I was smiling almost the whole run.  I had a nice content feeling as I ran.  I was not dying from humidity, I was not over warm, I was feeling really good.  I just kept repeating in my head, “soft feet, strong legs”….this mantra may seem weird, but it works for me!  There were little dogs running, kids, families, and then a HUGE Great Dane, that I was trying to find to get a picture of, but I never found him after he passed me!  He really was a Warrior!!!

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I cheered for the kids I saw, I high fived them as we passed one another, and I really just felt so excited that I was not feeling the need to walk or stop!  Every time I heard my iPod tell me another Km had gone by, I just kept thinking there was no way I would need to walk, and I was so excited to tell my husband that I ran the whole thing without my shins side-lining me!!!  As soon as we were coming up to the finish I started to look for James…he is always there to high five me!  I saw him and I yelled to him, he seemed shy for some reason (maybe all of the MP’s at the finish line) but he came over, and I got my finishing high-five!

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We then enjoyed some of the booths that were set up, the boys got a snack while I munched on my protein truffles (I am now all out and need to make more)!  I got a little bit of swag, met the D.A.R.E lion and then got to see James sign his pledge to be drug free!  He was very proud of this, and even more proud when I told him he could have my Red Ribbon water bottle to keep at school!!! 

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Overall, I am very happy with the race!  The route was lovely with some trees, trails and pavement.  The people were all in great spirits and were super friendly – always cheering one another on!  Best of all, I realized I love to run in this temperature!  My lungs felt great, my breathing was easy, and I loved enjoying the crisp fresh air!!!  Hooray for a great day!!!

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What is your favorite season/weather?  What ways do your kids/family/friends motivate you in your goals?  Have any fun traditions that you share together (like James and I with our high fives)?

Breast Cancer 5K recap….Red Ribbon 5K prep!

One down, another to go for my races in October!  I was lucky to have my husband, boys, and my neighbors come out to support me!  This was my 1st 5K run in 4 months, so I was actually nervous that I was going to crap out or something.  It honestly went very well for only having 11 days to prepare!  I grabbed that shirt and pinned on my “I Run for my Nanny” badge of honor!

P1010422 (424x640)I look like I am a fake head on a huge body…bah, oh well!

James was busy dancing up as they played music before the speeches and beginning of the race.  There were some very nice stories to be heard and some great motivation to be sure we all look out for one another and ourselves by simply doing our monthly exams and keeping on top of mammograms!

P1010425 (425x640)Getting our pep talk before the race

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This shirt says it all!  Men, you need to be on top of things for your women!

Soon, the race was in full gear and we were all shuffling along as we paced ourselves out.  I was eager to give James a bit of silliness before I was out of sight!  He was very excited, cheering, yelling and dancing us on our way!  I felt pretty good.  I was a really nice trail and the weather was great!  Nothing better than a gorgeous fall day in the woods for a run!  I had my music going and was told the trail was about 3.3 or 3.4 miles.  My only goal was to finish exactly 5K in 36 minutes or under…..that seems like a weak goal, but I am not about to sprint it out and injure myself!

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Off I go….chipmunk silly face and all!!

I took a couple of walk breaks so I could get some water.  I brought a water bottle with me and being that I am a genius, I dropped the cap as soon as I took my first sip…so I spent the run trying to keep the bottle as still as possible.  That didn’t work, I had water splashing all over me!  Tee hee, oops!  I was getting some rib cramping (sucky breathing) but kept at ‘er.  By the end I was pissed at my Nike+ because it was telling me the wrong mileage and also at my shirt because it was big and feeling rather long/bulky.  Again…oh well!  As soon as I was coming up to the end I booked it so I could pass the last few people ahead of me (sorry, folks) and there was James with his hand out ready to tag me in!  What a great kid.  Even better?  He stayed and tagged everyone else until it was time to go!

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Long shirt? Check.  Super awesome finishing tag? Super Check!

My total time for the race was 36:08 with a distance of 3.3 miles.  My time was 10:56/mile….that is a whole 1:04/mile less than what I was running one week ago!!  Big improvement!  That didn’t mean I wasn’t out of breath and panting a wee l’il bit…

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This week I have gone on a nice 1.5 hour hike in the hills (hello, glutes!) and then I did a run with Ramstein Runners today!  We had a great group of women of all abilities and paces out for a nice windy run!  We broke up into our respective groups.  I was going to do my E10K (8 minute intervals), but we decided to combine C25K and E10K and do the 5 minute intervals instead!  It was great!  I have never run this trail, and I had horses, cows, hills, and lovely fall scenery to admire!  Plus, I had some great conversations and found out that two women I was running with also have hubbies from small areas in WI…basically right where Eric’s family is!  How weird is that?  We did our intervals, but I opted to walk the last 5 minute interval and then run the 5 minute cool down.  My shins were on fire, so I wanted to shake them out a bit.  Either way I ran all of the intervals and we covered about 3.12 miles I think it was.  Good run, ladies!  Now, I train again Thursday and then do the Red Ribbon 5K on Saturday!!  Wish my shins luck (they are being heated and iced as we speak write)!

Red Ribbon Flyer

I’m a comin’!!!!


Any new trails, new runs to share?  Would you rather go all in or do you like easing into new distances with walk/run intervals?

A day to celebrate my family!!!

This day was a day that really gave me a moment to see first hand what ways I can motivate and lead my children.  I want my sons to feel active, healthy and supported.  I want to show them, through my own actions, how important it is to take care of yourself, lead a healthy lifestyle, and take care of your family members.  Today really helped that message shine through!!

Our Family Fun Run today....James' first race!

We went together as a team and even had a little friend of James running with us!  We only did the mile since James is not much of a runner, yet.  We wanted to make sure he didn’t feel overwhelmed for his first race! 

Before the race

James and Charlie 🙂

James did really well.  He kept taking off at a sprint, so I was trying to show him how to slow down and pace himself a bit (a lesson I am STILL working on).  I had him holding my hand a few times along the way just to keep him at a slow, easy pace.

Hard to tell, but I am giving my "Rock On" pose...tongue out like a rock star 😉

I think James preferred holding Charlie’s hand while running!!  That and stopping for water!

Gotta love having a running buddy!

Speaking of running buddy, I had my awesome Hub!!  This poor guy came out and pushed the (non)running stroller even though he has a broken toe and busted knee!!  He was hurting bad, and I think it hurt him even more that he has been setting PR’s for the last month, and then got stopped by a handle on a man-hole during a night run!  He came out and gave Gavin some fun in the stroller, and showed how much this family run meant to him!

Small strides = less pain???? Not really, but he took one for the team!

We had a great time overall!  When we came around after our first loop (2 loops to get 1 mile) James was thinking he was done….I felt bad telling him he had another 1/2 mile loop to go!

He was sprinting to finish......the first lap 😉

We kept going strong for the 2nd loop.  I made him stick by me and continue to run/jog slowly so he could make the full loop without walking!!  We were so proud of him!!  We made sure to all finish together as a family in order to show him that we are a TEAM, we stick together and finish as one!

Yay, Groffs!!

Now come the medals and the REAL look of pure joy on James’ face.  He loved getting that medal and hearing people cheer him on…he loves the attention (not sure where he gets it….ahem….me)!

Loving that medal!

The Running Groffs post race

Our little team...Gavin was not interested in the photo op 😉

 It was a great day!!!  It was rewarding to see James accomplish a goal and I am hoping he gets the ‘running bug’ so we can do this more often!  We enjoyed some rest for the day, a trip to the grocery store to get my Clean Eating staples and then it was off to Eric’s ‘Hail and Farewell’…pictures will be posted tomorrow.  He received a nice little speech, a super cool plaque and the gift of knowing we will soon be on our next adventure together as a family.  I was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for putting up with the crazy hours and work my husband has been doing for the past three years!  It is nice to get a pat on the back sometimes, military life can be tough on spouses, and just having someone acknowledge it really makes you feel better 🙂  So proud of my husband and all the hard work he did here!  In the military it is pretty well-known that the mission comes first and the family next….my husband always makes sure we feel like we are the ONLY priority, even when we can’t be!  He truly is a hero!

Proud of my Hub and all he does!

 To finish up my night of celebrating my family, I brought the kids home so Eric could enjoy/celebrate his last Beer Pong Battle with the ‘Cryo Boys’.  James and I kicked back and watched some “Jumanji”, I guzzled water and he munched on popcorn.  Gavin passed out and drooled so much I had to change my shirt (love it)!! 

Love cuddles with my boys!

Ending note: I am proud of myself tonight because there were so many yummy foods at this party, so many treats and things I would normally go over board with!  Tonight, however, I stuck to the veggie tray (no dip for me) the fruit tray (lots of fresh pineapple, berries and grapes) and the grilled chicken (no sauce).  I even had cake in reaching distance but instead of eating  the 1 inch by 1 inch pieces of cake, I took one bite only 🙂  I feel good, not weighed down and heavy, so that makes me feel good about passing on the treats!!

How do you celebrate your family?  What new things have you tried (as a family, alone, or with someone else)?  How do you feel after you stick to your healthy plan and not give into the treats?