Friday, April 29, 2016

Packing for a Race with Eagle Creek and #RocknBlog

I had a chance to try out some pack it gear from Eagle Creek to make traveling for races easier! This is my first video review! Thanks to my friends at RocknBlog for the opportunity!
Check it out here

Packing for #RnRNashville with Eagle Creek

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thursday Training Update

This was a great week for training, as long as by training you mean running. I did a lot of running. I really need to get back into my groove, but it's been kind of nuts here, so I am taking what I can get!

So Thursday... I met up with someone from my development and we did 3.5 miles. It's getting hot and sticky here so my times are showing it. This run is right on track for my NYC goal, though, so it's all good. Some days the hills feel easier and other days I want to die. I'm hoping this changes soon.

Friday I ran another 2.27 miles with the Zombies Run app. I can't believe I don't have a pic! Blogger fail! 
Saturday was our Earth Day cleanup. Nobody really came. I cleaned the thread trail alone, and I was so glad I brought ear buds so I could listen to music. I was out there for 90 minutes, filled two bags of trash, and basically think half my neighbors are a hot mess. 

Sunday we took the dogs for a 2.6 mile walk and then sat on our butts at the National Whitewater Center. It was Tuck Fest, which meant live music, food trucks, and people watching. Specifically the people who were kayaking and rafting on the rapids. We had a prime spot that involved watching people succeed.... and watching people go for a swim. It was a perfect day!

Monday I was back at it. Another quick run with the Zombies Run app. I am loving these short runs while they last, once official training starts, these lovelies will end. 

Time to test out my new Zooma gear! Tuesday I tested out my New Balance kicks and they pass the test. No PF insert either! Not sure if I will continue to run without it, but no pain so far!
Also on Tuesday, I started mentoring at my local Fleet Feet Sports, for the No Boundaries 5k program. It was Magic Mile night and I was the cheering crew. I ended up covering the mile as well, but I didn't time it. Some of it was spent cheering them on at the hills.

Wednesday was supposed to be 5 miles, but I waited too long. And by too long, I mean 9:30, to start my run. By the time I decided to stop, it was past 80 degrees, and I was fried. The walking I did before and after brought me to 5 miles, so that will have to be enough. I also tested a new shirt for Nashville this weekend and it passed the test.

Not such a bad week! I am up to 63.6 miles for the month so far, and the half will bring it up to 76.7 which makes me very happy. I am visiting my parents this week coming up, but I will get some runs in and will be doing a local 5k while I am there. Once I get back I will start working some yoga and some other classes into my schedule.
How were your workouts this week?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Some pics from last night's opening night of the training program at my local Fleet Feet. I am mentoring the No Boundaries 5k program, which basically means I hang out with the runners and give them encouragement, and form tips, etc.
Last night was the magic mile. I'll be missing the next 3 workouts due to a race and family obligations, but I can't wait to go back!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Manic Monday

Today was a crazy day! Lots of fun mail, a quick run and a bearded dragon.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Four days ago, my neighbor up the street posted on our development's Facebook page that their bearded dragon had escaped.
This afternoon, my corgi found it. After about 20 minutes in the hot sun, the Boy and I captured and returned it to the family. They were so happy!
It really is the little things!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Earth Day Cleanup

We have a beautiful trail that winds through our development in SC, called the Carolina Thread Trail. Today I walked the trail and gathered two bags of garbage. It was roughly 3 miles of trail. Gross, people. Clean up after yourselves!
Happy Earth Day everyone, let's try and make it earth day everyday! What do you do regularly for our environment?
We recycle and we compost every day, and we try and maximize our trips in the car so that we aren't driving somewhere every day!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Come See Me Half Marathon Recap

Last weekend I was supposed to run the Runapalooza Half Marathon with my Jersey runner besties. Because I have been traveling so much, and will be traveling more in the weeks to come, I decided to run locally instead. I chose to run the Come See Me Half in Rock Hill, just a few towns over and part of a large week long festival they have every year.
The packet pick up was the night before at their local YMCA. I had to do some pretty serious research to find that out. There were no emails prior to the race and there was no info on the race page. I posted at my local MRTT page and was told the info could be found at the website of the timing company. Ummmmm ok.....

Anyway, it was a very nice facility and a pretty decent drive, and while I  was there I even hit up a few Little Free Libraries. They were mostly at Elementary schools, so I got rid of about 20 books, but only ended up taking 2. 

The actual packet pick up was very organized and the swag wasn't too shabby, so I was optimistic about race day!

On race morning I got up way too early and made the drive to Rock Hill. The start was at a high school and we got to use real bathrooms at the football field. Score!
It was about 5 minutes to race time when I realized we had to walk over to the tennis courts to start. I must have missed the announcement! I rushed over and there were about 100 people ready to start. I tried to power up my Garmin, but it wouldn't start. I didn't have time to bring it back to the car, so I just left it on my wrist. Dead. Sad. 
I hate running naked. Ugh!
The race started 7 minutes late because they were timing the start with the train schedule so we would not get stuck at the tracks. 
And then we were off. This race was hilly! And speedy! I ended up being last for the first 10 miles people. For real. Check out the top right photo in the collage. Those guys were my besties and they were breathing down my neck for ten.long.miles.
So let's talk about those miles. They had signs at almost every other mile. Mile 2, mile 6, mile 8, and mile 12 had signs. Mile 4 had a timing clock. Mile 10? Nada.
The water stops were every 2 miles and there was a volunteer at every odd mile. They sort of clapped and gave a half hearted "you can do it". It was disheartening to say the least. The police officers at the turns were very nice and all very enthusiastic. 
The cows, horses, and goats were a nice change of scenery from what I'm used to. The farm smell? I'll get used to it eventually! It's not unpleasant but it's not the ocean either!
My goal entering this race was to beat last week's time at Raleigh. Under 3 hours would have been ideal. I couldn't find any time limit listed so I was hoping that I would finish in time.
At every second Mile I would check my fit bit to see if I was on pace for that 3 hour finish, and it seemed as though I was doing well. There were a lot of curves and for much of the race I felt very alone. Every once in awhile the road would straighten out and I could see that there were 4 people that were not too far ahead of me.
I had a mission.
Catch up with those 4.
Beat those 4.
Last would have been fine with me, but that mission kept me going.
For ten miles.
At around mile 8, I started to catch up with the man. We leap frogged for about a mile or so, and then I started to pull ahead for longer stretches. By roughly mile 10, I was ahead of him and catching up with a very tall woman. We chatted a bit. She was very funny. It made the time go by a bit easier. I noticed at about this time that the two girls I had been leap frogging with were gone. 
By mile 12 I was alone again, with 4 runners behind me. As I approached the football field, a cyclist started waving me on and riding ahead of me, my very own escort. No chance I would walk now. He kept me going right up to the track and my final lap. 
I was very happy to see the finish.
Very happy to see the clock still started with 2.
Very happy to receive my medal.
Very sad to see that all they had at the finish was small cups and a water cooler. 
No food.
And they were taking down the tent. 
Four people still behind me.
I went to my car and got my clothes to change.
I was starving and thirsty and glad that I had a power bar and some iced tea in the car. 
Luckily, some volunteers who used to live in NY stopped me to comment on my Giants cap.
When I mentioned lack of food, they pointed out a small table hidden in a corner behind a truck. When I went over, the volunteers offered me a stale piece of everything bagel. They kept all the other food closed up,and I was too tired and annoyed to ask for some mini muffins. I did ask for a bottled water though which I was grudgingly given.
The four behind me left with nothing.
I paid $65 for this race. Not much compared to some, but I have paid way less and gotten far more in the past. Needless to say, I will not run this race next year.
That race I blew off? I paid less for it, and they have an expo at the finish. Tons of food, drinks and finisher photos as well as some course photos. 
Just sayin.
But hey! It was my fastest time in a year, so there's that little ray of sunshine for my day!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thursday Training Update

I totally missed last week's update, so sorry! I'm getting back into training mode, finding new running buddies, and getting my schedule in order. I want to be sure that I don't schedule any races of the wrong distance for my training. It's all about NYC, people. 
Wednesday I did a mission on Zombies Run! The app said 3 miles, but it may have been off by a bit. I have the zombies turned off because I am not doing intervals right now.  I'd rather schedule them in, anyway! I'm still on season 1, but I'm loving it!
Thursday I wanted to try out my new Garmin, so I did another short run with the zombies. Runner 5 to the rescue. 

Friday was a rest day, I had a half marathon the next day so we just walked the dogs to get in my steps for the day.
Saturday was the Come See Me Half in Rock Hill, SC. I will post about that tomorrow. Let's just say I finished, and I beat my RnR time, and leave it at that for now. about this race and it isn't all good!

Sunday was a rest day, but I got in my steps. We went mattress shopping and a few other errands, which helped. 

Monday I did a 3 mile run with a new running buddy. Ali was amazing and we are running together again tomorrow morning. I took no pictures and didn't sync my watch, but we did a 3:1 and I was surprised to finish with a 12'39" average after that hilly half. Ali has offered to run with me as I train for NYC and I couldn't be more thrilled. She reminds me of my dear friend Eileen, who pushes me to run faster.
Tuesday was a rest day, so I took a hike with my Zombies Run app, and tested out my new tank from the Always Keep Fighting movement against depression. 

Wednesday, well, it was a bad Facebook day. I defended someone on a Facebook page who was being attacked for being a newbie. They then turned on me. It was ugly and unnecessary. I decided to weed the garden and then haul rocks from the woods behind our house to line said garden. An hour outside and I felt better!
Today I am meeting one of my buddies for a run. I just wanted to leave you with some tidbits before I go.....

Under 200 days, people! Holy heck!

Medals for RnR Virginia Beach. So bummed that the 5k is run at the same time as the half. I want both.
Leaving this for you again.....

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Rock n Roll Raleigh Half Marathon

Wow, I cannot believe it has been so long since I ran this race. Ok, 10 days isn't a lifetime, but I try to write my recaps while the race is still fresh in my mind! I hope I do not leave anything out. 
Raleigh was my first event as a Rock n Blogger, and I was super excited. I did pay for Raleigh before I was chosen, but I signed up for the 5k afterwards, as part of my Tour pass.  Anyway, back to the race.
After I ran Hot Chocolate, and it was sort of a train wreck, I entered Raleigh with absolutely no expectations. I am so blessed to be able to run these amazing races, Rock n Roll races are super back of the pack friendly, especially when there is a marathon going on as well. I was hoping to finish in under 3 hours but, honestly, I just wanted to finish. My Plantar Fasciitis has been giving me almost no trouble at all, and I cannot even remember the last time I had pain during a race. I have been walking barefoot in my house with no pain as well.
Raleigh is hilly. I cannot stress that enough. Hills Hills Hills.
We woke up on race morning, at the butt crack of the butt crack of dawn, and I got dressed for the race. I was nervous about wearing my new, super cute, VS sports bra because you should never ever ever ever ever wear new gear at a big race. Ever. There are reasons for this that will become clear later.
It was FREEZING out. I don't just say that lightly, it was legit 29 degrees out. I walked to the start at the designated, way too early time, and no one was there. For real. No one. I heard there was insane traffic if you waited too long, so I am super glad we got there early, but brrrrrrrrrr.
The hubs parked the car and texted me his location, and I went back and sat with him until it was closer to go time.
Fifteen minutes before the start we walked over, but it was still way too cold and I was in Corral 19. We noticed a lot of people in one of the hotel lobbies so we joined them. Sooooo warm! Lo and behold, there was Brandi, a fellow Rock n Blogger. We took a few pics, and then headed to our corrals. I found a folded up blanket left behind and I totally snagged it. I'm not ashamed. It was cozy, and I held onto it until the first half mile.

I lined up in my corral, and as the hubs was taking a pic, my friend Gigi popped up behind me. We chatted for a few minutes and then she headed over to the other side to maximize her first turn. She was headed for a PR and she was not messing around! (She got it, too! Way to go Gigi!)
The hills were no joke. They were fast and furious and everywhere. I had to pee, which is never good this early on, so I started looking for a potty with no line. I found one shortly after I saw these happy characters.
Just after I peed, which was soooooo worth the 2 minute stop,  we ran under this awesome drum line. I popped out my ear bud so that I could listen. It was also on a downhill, so stopping to take this pic was a little painful, but I just had to do it!
I ditched my throw away gloves around here somewhere. I believe it was between miles 3 and 4. There were just so many hills. Are you sensing a trend? Good! It was hilly.
The on course entertainment was on point as always. I really enjoyed them all. After about mile 5 I started having doubts. Let's call it "poor me syndrome". You know how it goes. I can't do this. I'm so stupid. Who does this? In NYC, I will have to do this twice. Oh look! A Starbucks. I should stop, there's an app for that. Hill!
I noticed a fellow Skirt Sports Ambassador up ahead and we stopped for a photo and then I continued on my way, feeling a little lighter, a little speedier.
Around mile 6 or so, I passed by these ladies. They were with a group playing Classic Music, Oldies but Goodies. They all wanted to be in the selfie. There was a downhill with a great Raptor and some other scary stuff, which I loved, but I just couldn't stop again so soon for a pic.  
Somewhere around mile 7, I started to feel the burn. No, not the "I'm running a half marathon" burn, or even the "wall". It was my sports bra. I was pretty sure at that point that my shower was going to be excruciating. It was rubbing a bit, and I tried tucking my shirt under it, but that kept slipping out so I eventually sucked it up and left it alone. After about a mile, the pain went away, and that was good.
Mile 8 I saw this amazing sign. PLEASE, if there are any nasty, ugly, disparaging comments about this sign, I will break my own rule and delete them. You can disagree all you want, just keep it clean folks. My daughter is in theater, so we have many friends and loved ones who are constantly effected by things like this. It was not the only sign, but it was the best one I saw. 
After passing some shops, and some hills,  we passed some really amazing buildings and monuments. It was nice to run past some of the places we had driven by while visiting Raleigh. I was feeling pretty good here, and my goal pace was starting to seem possible. I decided that I would be happy with 14 minute miles. This is a far cry from my PR of 11 minute miles, but with the hills, lack of training, and fear of PF, I have learned to let that stuff go and focus on what I can attain. My NYC goal is 13:30 miles, so 14 seemed reasonable considering the time I have left to train.
Woohooo! Who doesn't love seeing the Brooks Rocker out on the course? You know what this means, don't you? Mile 10 baby! This is that point where you can say that you are almost there. What's a 5k between friends, right?
I'm not gonna lie, though. Things got a little ugly before they got better. Did I mention hills? Plus, the marathoners were passing me now. We merged around mile 11 or so. They looked just as tired as me, but they had run twice as far! Yikes! The hills were intense, but there was this one hill. It was a total beast. I turned to a volunteer and asked if it was the last one. She thought about it and said "no, but this is the worst one, and I promise that you will smile at the top of it."
She was right, of course, but only marathoners got to run under the arch. It's ok, they earned it!
After that monster hill, it really wasn't so bad. The hubs wasn't where he said he would be, but he did text me to let me know he was at mile 13. I was feeling great at this point. I knew I did well, I knew I hit that 14 minute average, and I knew I was almost done. The hubs was at mile 13 and he ran the last tenth along side me, which was super cute.
I got my bling, chugged my milk, grabbed some food, and asked a volunteer where to find the bonus bling. They pointed me in the right direction which involved, can you guess? Hills!
Don't I look overjoyed? We had a long drive, and I wanted to shower, so we skipped the after party.
And the shower? I cried like a baby. It only took a few days to heal, but the chafing was about 3 inches long right under my.... well it was a sports bra. You know where it chafed.
Thanks RnR, for another amazing race. You never ever fail to put on a good race! I am looking forward to another new location: Nashville! Less than two weeks to go!
Are you jealous? You shouldn't be! You can run RnR too! Use my discount code for $15 off of any half or full marathon, but if it is introductory prices, the code won't work because the deal is already amazing! I'm seriously considering signing up for Raleigh again next year so that I can PR!

Will I see you in Nashville?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Rock n Roll Raleigh Expo and 5k #RocknBlog

I love RnR Expos! They are always amazing and Raleigh didn't disappoint. I met some friends there and we spent two full hours at the expo.

I bought a tee from Brooks, and one from another vendor that had my new state on it. I also bought some throw away gloves, since the weather was supposed to be cold at the start on both days. I may have also bought a little SC magnet for my car. And what would a trip to the expo be without a pic with the Gecko? And a spin of the Success Rice wheel? The hubs and I both scored a free box of rice!
We went back to the hotel where I made my flat mamas. Neither one ended up being accurate though!

I realized when I was making my flat mamas that I grabbed an extra tech shirt instead of a sports bra, so I only had one for both days. I didn't have time to buy one before the 5k, and I didn't want to wear something new for the half. I would be thinking about this problem for the next 20 hours or so.
Morning came and we headed over to the 5k start. The hubs dropped me off and then went for some breakfast while he waited for me to finish. I gave him a time line but he wasn't really focusing on what I was saying, so he thought he had way more time than I told him.  Anyway....
I met up with a fellow Rock n Blogger, Brandi, and we hung out until the start. We may have taken a few pictures before we separated to our corrals.  

The race started right on time, and they really kept it moving, so I started faster than I thought. This race was hilly. It took place at Dorothea Dix, and the grounds were amazing. Lots of old houses and plenty of... hills.
I spent the first half mile arguing with an 8 year old about costumes at Disney. No lie. This kid had very compelling arguments about humans dressing as characters. I'm pretty sure I lost that argument. And then he ran off. I spent another mile admiring the race etiquette of a 6 year old running with his grandparents. This kid was awesome.
Before I knew it I could see the finish! I couldn't believe it! I finished in about 39 minutes, which was a minute faster than I hoped and about 10 minutes faster than I planned. So much for taking it easy! Brandi got some pics of me finishing and we took some more selfies before she went to the shuttle buses back to her car. The hubs wasn't at the finish because, again, he thought had had more time. All was forgiven when he gave me a carrot cake donut from Rise.

After a quick shower, we hit the Science Museum and I took some obligatory medal pics. Then we hit the mall where I spent way too much at Lush, and bought a new sports bra at Victoria's Secret. Will I  regret that new sports bra? Stay tuned....