Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Traveling to Cape Cod for the Zooma Half Marathon

The day started off with me dropping my Fitbit into the toilet.
I turned to the hubs and said I hope that this has nothing to do with how my day is going to end. I had a 5 Hour drive ahead of me and I hope that this was not a sign of things to come.
Next, my boy said he wasn't feeling well, that his chest hurt and he didn't want to go to school. Lovely. 
I thought for sure that I was going to miss my weekend on Cape Cod with my friends, but my husband jumped in and told me not to worry that he would handle everything.
It was almost an hour later than planned when I finally hit the road for Cape Cod.

The drive to Cape Cod is pretty boring. You spend the entire time on 95, and it seems like you are looking at the same trees for almost the entire five hours. I did stop at the Mystic Seaport overlook to stretch my legs.

A lot of my trip was divided into which cool bridge I crossed next. I have a thing for bridges. Don't judge me.

Luckily, I hit very little traffic on my way to Cape Cod. The only real traffic I hit was the final bridge onto the Cape itself.

Once I got onto Cape Cod it wasn't long before I arrive at the Seacrest Beach Hotel where my friends were waiting for me. They were out walking on the beach when I arrived but they had picked up my stuff at the expo for me to save me some time.

What great swag! That shirt is so comfy and the hat looks awesome although I haven't tried it yet. The socks are by far my favorite as they are the only brand I wear. I went down to check out the expo while I waited for the girls to come back from their walk. It was very small and they did not have the one thing I needed which were earbuds that I had left at home, but they did have pretty much everything else!
The girls arrived and we hung out at the room until it was time to have dinner at Red's, the hotel restaurant. Our table had a great view!

While we waited for our runner specials to come out, I checked my Instagram and found out that a pic I posted of my swag won a Zooma Instagram contest. Score! 
Our dinner was amazing!

The portions were huge and we all ended up taking some back to the room! Carol Ann wanted to rest her knee, but I needed some steps, so Eileen joined me for a walk on the beach.

I couldn't get enough pics!

I probably took 50 pictures!

I stopped back at the expo to get my prize for the Instagram contest, which was this awesome headband from Bani Bands. Then Eileen and I headed over to the Honest Tea Mocktail Party.
cucumber lemon lime, yum!

Is there possibly a better end to a day? After the party we turned in early so that we would be in our best for the race on Saturday morning. 

Have you ever been to Cape Cod?

Monday, September 29, 2014

New Jersey Run for the Fallen

I was going to write about my first day on Cape Cod today, but a really amazing thing happened in my neighborhood on Sunday that absolutely cannot go without mention.

sorry about the extra iPhone info, I blew up my original pic and did a screen shot.

I was hobbling about on Sunday morning, all sore from running the half marathon on Cape Cod. The hubs was loading up his dirtbike so he could spend the day out in the woods with his friends. He came rushing in the house telling me to come outside quickly and see what was passing by the house!

It turns out that the New Jersey Run for the Fallen was passing right by our house at about 8:30. I had heard about this run but I hadn't realized it ran right past our house. The run, which is not a race, consists of a large group of soldiers taking turns running from Cape May to the NJ Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Holmdel, a process that took 3 days. 
I am quoting this part from their website:


Although we visibly run one mile to honor and remember each fallen hero from the current conflicts, the total run  represents every service member from New Jersey who laid down their lives for freedoms cause. Thousands have sacrificed to preserve our way of life and as you give tribute to  a particular hero please remember others who have given the ultimate sacrifice throughout history. New Jersey being rich in the foundation of this country has given many of her sons and daughters.

Regardless of war or conflict, branch of service or method of death, we ultimately run for them all, honoring their service and sacrifice, and remembering  that they each gave up a future so that we could have ours. We give tribute to them by name wherever possible and to the sacrifice of the families they left behind. 

Mission Statement:

"The New Jersey Run for the Fallen is an organization of runners and support crew whose mission is clear and simple: To run one mile for every New Jersey service member killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and New Dawn. Each mile of sweat and pain and each flag saluted, is to pay homage to one service member’s life and their family.

The last Friday, Saturday and Sunday of September, we run across New Jersey to raise awareness for the lives of those who fought and died, to rejuvenate their memories and keep their spirits alive, to support organizations that aid the families of those killed, and to aid in the healing process for the native New Jersey residents whose lives have been affected by the war. 

We refuse any political affiliation or agenda, but simply honor those who have fought, and those who have fallen under the American flag."
(Note...the above mission statement was written by MSGT Bubba Beason on 10/23/2010 whilst he was deployed in Afghanistan)

I can barely write this without tearing up. As a matter fact, I'm actually dictating this to my iPhone as I walk to pick up my car. I have to keep stopping to compose myself so that my iPhone will understand what I'm saying! It was the most breathtakingly beautiful thing I have ever witnessed.
The first few pictures I posted were actually the advance team, which drove ahead of the runners, I think to make sure the roads were clear and that they have everything they need as they make their way north. Then came the runners, surrounded by more motorcycles, police cars from all over the state, and RVs filled with more people.

Everyone who ran by or drove by, waved or said hello to us as we sat and watched. It was surely a sight to behold and definitely something I will never forget. Something none of us should ever forget it. We should remember to take a little time every day to think of those soldiers who gave all.

To sponsor or donate to the organization, click here.
To read more about the brave men and women who ran this past weekend, click here.
To stalk their faecbook page, and see more photos, click here.

*****I wrote this post because the event and the organization touched my heart. They have no knowledge (at least not yet, I am going to let them know, in case there is anything they want removed or added), and I am receiving nothing for posting this.*****

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Rock n Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

Gigi and I hit the expo at about noon on Saturday.

We had entirely too much fun at all of the booths! They had Wheels of fortune at a lot of the booths so that you could win prizes!

We got those reusable bags from Geico! 

Gigi won a phone case! 

There was a lot of swag to be had! Eileen arrived and we left to have lunch and then Gifgi went back to her room and we went to ours.

We walked around the Broad Street area and found this delicious cupcake store where of course we had to have a cupcake. Then we went back to the hotel to wait for Colleen so that we can all go to the Melting Pot for dinner.

After that it was bed time so that we were rested for the race! 

We met Gigi and her friends at the Love Sculpture for some photo ops.

It was SO humid out, and we hoped it would burn off quickly! 

We strolled to the start and took a LOT if selfies. Sad but true.

And then we all separated. Gigi and her friends were in corral 23 and were going to be taking their time. Colleen stayed with us until the start and then she ran ahead. Eileen and I had a goal of 2:45. We went to our corral and noticed that no one was even checking. There were corral 23 peeps in corral 10 so we walked to 16, which was 2 ahead of me, and settled there.

We decided to run the first five miles without stopping and then we would run/walk after that. It was hot, humid, and I am sorely out of shape after my 6 week haitus due to injury!

I love the scenery at this race! I wish I had taken more pics but I was concentrating on not dying out there! At around mile 7 I remembered Mr Incredible from two years back and hoped he would be there again!

Love him! I also remembered the bridge. I.love.this.bridge. It is at mile 9 or so, and it's so beautiful. I have a thing for bridges!

 We stopped for a bridge selfie, too.....

Crossing that bridge meant that the race was almost over! I was glad because I was exhausted. My legs were tired and my feet hurt. I was so ready to be done.

Almost done! The last 5k was mostly a repeat from Saturday's race. Which meant that hill again. Ugh. The mile 12 water stop had ice in the water though. That was sweet. I made those cubes last!
And then we were done! We didn't hit our goal but we came close.... 2:52 which made me happy. I haven't finished under 3 hours in awhile, so this progress was nice.

This was just about all there was at the finish. There was some bland cereal, and Power Bars, but they had mint chocolate which I don't care for.
I hobbled over to medical to ice my foot, mostly preventative, a little soreness.

I got my bonus medal and we headed back to the hotel.

Overall I love this race! The expo is great, the scenery is amazing, but the food at the finish was a disgrace! I am hoping for better at future RNR events! 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Flat Mama Friday, Zooma Cape Cod Edition

Today I start the drive to Cape Cod for the Zooma Half Marathon with my friend Eileen and her friend Carol. 

Rock n Roll Philly 5k

On Friday night I drove to Philly at the last minute so that I could run the Rock n Roll Philly 5k with Gigi. I parked in the Convention Center parking lot, thanks to panda parking.com, and headed right to the expo to register for the 5K.
The registration process was superquick, and before long I had both of my bibs, my cheesy plastic backpack, and my tech shirts. 

I walked over to the Marriott where Gigi had her room, and we hung out for a little while until it was time to go to Chinatown for dinner.

After an amazing dinner at Rangoon we walked around Chinatown for a little while and then headed back to the parking garage to grab my stuff.

We got up at about 6:30 for the 5k, and were out the door by about 7:00. We walked the 1.5 miles to the start and stopped for some pics.

The race would start at Eakin's Oval and run towards the zoo and back. Not a super exciting course, but not bad either! The race started on time and we started about 6 minutes after the elites.

The runners spread out quickly and were running in the lane made for the return trip. Someone was riding his bike along the course and trying to get people to stay to the left, but he was pretty much ignored! Of course, when the fasties came before we even hit mile one, the truck leading them was honking and the men were waving and people finally moved over. The winning men finished under 14 minutes and I believe the lead woman was about 18 minutes! Wow!
After the turn around I snapped a few more pics. I was taking my time because I knew I had to run 13.1 the next day! At one point, the road was quite slanted, and it made for some uncomfortable running, but it didn't last long!

I finished in just over 36 minutes, noting the hill at the end, and knowing that I would feel so much worse on Sunday!

The only  food at the finish was a lot of bananas which I cannot eat! I ended up buying peanut butter sliders from the food truck by the bag check. I was disappointed in there lack of food! We were told that there were pretzels, but non were to be found!
We walked back to the hotel to shower and hang out before it was time to really hit the expo!

I will write about the expo in my next post!!

Have you done a race weekend challenge?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wordless Wednesday, Philly edition

I spent the weekend in Philly for the Rock n Roll Philadelphia Remix Challenge with Gigi from Running on Candy. I am still writing my posts about the weekend, but here are some pics that I took around the city.

The last two were taken and altered by my friend Eileen.

Have you ever been to Philadelphia?