Tag Archives: Travel

Broad Street Run 10 Miler – Race Recap / Review

Totally tried to get this up yesterday but it just didn’t happen for me. Too much fun this weekend made for a SLEEPY Monday. Also, it’s raining and cold here which doesn’t facilitate getting pumped up for a Monday. This weekend Mike and I participated in the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia. I jump at the chance to run races in Philly because that is where my best-friend and lady-life partner Sarah lives. Over the past three years of her living in Philly and me in DC, we’ve gotten really good at making the trip and I feel like her friends in Philly are my friends now too! Friday night, we made the trip up I-95N. Saturday included breakfast at Schlesinger’s, a good stretch out at Philly Power Yoga (post coming later this week), a trip down to Lincoln Financial Field to get our race packets, watching the Derby on South Street, and dinner on Rittenhouse Square. Also, Juno was on TV. Whoot whoot! Sunday was, of course, RACE DAY. Here’s how it went.

The race didn’t start until 8:30 pm but you had to take the Broad Street Line subway to get to the start. Races that involve taking public transportation make me nervous (I had an almost calamity at the Baltimore Half Marathon) so we were up and on a train at 6:15 am. We arrived at about 6:40 and then just waited around for almost two hours, which was not my favorite part. Add to that… it was FREEZING and WINDY. Also, they claimed that bag check closed at 8:00 am so I had to part with my warm layers (I should have just done throwaway clothes) for a whole 30 minutes before race start.

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The starting area was CROWDED. Huge lines everywhere, massive crowds trying to move around, and people were getting restless / feisty. It wasn’t my most pleasant pre-race experience. At one point, I was trying to get to my corral and I just stood, stuck in a massive, unmoving crowd for legitimately 15 minutes. I never actually made it to my corral. I saw a break in the fence and just hopped in. The corrals were not being strictly enforced at all anyways, and I was getting cranky so I needed to RUN.

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Mercifully, I finally crossed the starting line and got going. However, at that exact moment the clouds broke and the sun starting beating down hard. By mile one, I was baking in my long sleeved jacket. I knew I was going to be miserable if I kept it on so I pulled over for a quick minute to remove my layer (I was wearing a tank top underneath), quickly re situate, and get back on the road. I ended up losing about a minute and a half of time, which is fine but kind of annoying. The race course and the crowd support was EXCELLENT. You start all the way up Broad street in North Philly and run a straight shot down Broad, around City Hall, through Center City, and down to the Navy Yard in South Philly.

You know how some days are just great running days? This was not one of those days. My legs just felt tired pretty much the whole race. I was holding a great pace but it felt tough. By mile 5, I was getting tired and I thought to myself “Uh oh, I still have 5 miles to go and I’m already tired.” When I start getting tired during a race, I try and use my ego to my own advantage. I stuck to the outside of the course, so I wouldn’t be tempted to walk in front of all the spectators. Hey, whatever you gotta do right? Coming around City Hall was awesome and I knew that my friends would be on Broad between City Hall and South Street. I saw Sarah (and gave her a high five) but missed Kristy (womp womp). Then it was another ~ 4 miles to go. I was on pace to meet my 10 mile PR from December and, even though I was tired and my knee was starting to hurt a little, I was not going to let up. I kicked it into high gear for the last half a mile and flew to the finish line.

Unfortunately, there was a HUGE backup of people at the finish line, so I was forced to stop completely 1 step across the finish line. Not ideal. I clicked off my watch and didn’t even look at it while I tried to navigate this massive clog of people. When I finally got funneled into the finish area and looked at my watch, I realized that I set a new PR by 4 seconds! 1:31:47 by my clock. However, this is an unofficial PR since my chip time was a 90 seconds longer thanks to my stop to change my shirt. Irritating, but that’s ok. I’ll keep my PR from December for now but I am gunning for a sub 1:30 10 miler this Fall.

I picked up my medal and my finisher food (which was BALLER by the way. Major points for this Broad Street Run. Soft pretzels and a bag of delicious goodies) and made my way into the finish area. If the start area was crowded, the finish area was worse. Mike and I had decided to meet up at the Dunkin Donuts tent. I realized immediately this was a huge mistake, because they were giving out free drink and donut samples. It was mobbed. It took us over 30 minutes to find each other because apparently our bag check bus was late and Mike had to wait for a while to get his cell phone back. After we met up, we took a couple pictures and high tailed it to the subway. Thankfully, that was not as bad as I thought it would be. We got on a train easily and were back in Center City by noon. [As a note, many runners at Broad Street wore Red Socks as a tribute to Boston. It was a really nice touch! And for interested parties, Mike ran approx 1:10. He’s really coming back from his injury and doing great!]

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In summation: Broad Street was super fun and energetic! You really get a taste of Philly and that rocks. Logistically, this race is challenging because of the huge crowds and small start / finish areas. I’m so glad we did it and maybe we will in a few years, but not next year.

After bagels and showers back at Sarah’s, we cabbed up to the Northern Liberties for a post race celebration of beer, jenga, and ping pong at Frankford Hall. I wasn’t feeling 100% (I got an exercise induced headache after the race) so I stuck to soda and agreed to be our designated driver. I didn’t mind at all, we had so much fun! By 7 pm, Mike and I were on the road back to DC. We hated to leave Philly (and Sarah) but we’ll be back again VERY soon!

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Questions for you guys:

  • Have you ever run Broad Street? What did you think?
  • Did you race this weekend?
  • Favorite beer?
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Monument Avenue 10K – Race Recap / Review

I had this post scheduled for yesterday but elected to cancel it in light of the tragic events that occurred in Boston. I am a person first, runner second and I am, as we all are, heart broken over these events. Julie at PB Fingers wrote a post this morning about ways to help for those who are interested. Amid the confusion and sadness yesterday, I was so relieved to hear my friends at Lavender Parking and South Harlem Runner were uninjured (though certainly frightened and upset). My support and love are with the people of Boston, runners, spectators, first responders,  and volunteers. The strength and resiliency of the human spirit never ceases to amaze me, and I have already seen some truly amazing examples in the wake of this senseless tragedy. That is where I find solace today.

I declared this spring was… THE SPRING OF SPEED! I set a goal to get a new PR in the 5K and 10K distances and after this weekend… I’ve done it! I set my new 5K pr in Crystal City and now my new 10K Pr of 55:00 belongs to the Monument Avenue 10K in Richmond. I would link you to my official results but sadly I did not get chipped in at the starting line so my race time is 14-15 minutes off. I’m working with racing officials to get this corrected.

Friday afternoon, Mike and I took off for Richmond. Under normal circumstances, it should take 2 hours tops. But this is DC and the traffic is like the worst in the country so we sat in this for hours and it took us like 4 hours to get there.

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After finally arriving and picking up our packets, we headed to Carytown where were staying (courtesy of AirBnB… if you haven’t tried it but consider yourself a more “adventurous traveler” I’d seriously recommend it. Especially for runners traveling to major races. A hotel would’ve EASILY cost us $200 and be miles from the start line. This was $50 for a night and we were less than two miles from the start). And it came with some quality time spent with the family dog… Squeaker!

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The remainder of the evening consisted of pizza at Mary Angela’s, frozen yogurt from Sweet Frog, and being asleep by 11:15.

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Since the race didn’t start until 8:30 it made for a rather leisurely race morning. We left the house at 7 am and leisurely walked down to the start line. We arrived around 7:40, checked our bag, used the bathroom, posed for a quick pic by the fountain, and made our way to the corrals.

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Confession time… I snuck into a different corral than the one I was assigned! They were like actually checking too so this was more difficult than I was expecting. I do not advocate changing corrals BUT I was going for a PR and I knew I could hold the pace, so I jumped in a couple corrals ahead of my own. And before I knew it… we were off! Mike ran with me again and we were aiming for 8:45 – 8:50 min / mile.

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It was challenging but I held the pace. My legs felt kind of heavy at the beginning of the race but thankfully they loosened up after a couple of miles. The course was awesome… a straight out and back on Monument Avenue complete with beautiful houses, basically pancake flat road, tons of crowd support, and live music EVERY block. Right at mile 6, I realized that I might be able to break 55 minutes if I really hauled it in to the finish line. I managed a really decent kick (in fact, my pace for that .2 miles was 7:40 min/miles) but ended up finishing at exactly 55 minutes. KIND OF wish I had gotten 54:59 instead but that’s ok. I’m taking this 4 minutes PR and cherishing it!

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Mike is, as always, the best racing buddy. I’m really not looking forward to him recovering from this injury… who is going to pace me in for new PRs now???

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The post race festivities were really great! Very family friendly for my racing buddies with kiddos. There were inflatables and characters roaming around!

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We went picked up our bags and let me just say… this is by far the best bag check solution I’ve EVER seen. It was so quick and easy for pick up and drop off. You dropped off in one big group, then the bags were placed around the perimeter of a large fenced area. You just went to the fence that corresponded with your number. No lines AT ALL.

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The post race food was kind of meh (soft rolls instead of bagels… no thank you) but the people from Martin’s were handing out fresh apples and they were DELICIOUS.

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Quick race review – for such a HUGE race, this was so amazingly well organized it’s ridiculous. The corrals were excellent, the course didn’t feel THAT crowded, aid stations were perfectly stocked, and it was AWESOME. I would HIGHLY recommend this race. It is very first-timer and walker friendly as well. You won’t feel alone no matter where you are in the race.

Questions for you guys:

  • Did you race this weekend? Where?
  • What is your favorite race you’ve ever run?

Spring 2013 To Do List

Creating a seasonal to do list has become on of my favorite things. [You can see my Summer 2012, Fall 2012, and Winter 2012/2013 lists] This is going to be a SUPER busy Spring (as evidenced by the fact that I am not posting my Spring To Do list until April 1st… whoops!) so I wanted to streamline my list this season.

  1. Try two new fitness workouts – I still haven’t tried barre and I have my eye on a couple places in my travels.
  2. Set a new 10K and 5K PR – This is the spring of speed! I’m running a 5K this Friday night and I’ve got a good feeling 🙂
  3. Hike Sugarloaf Mountain – I loved hiking Bull Run Mountain last summer and Great Falls this winter. Want to keep it up!
  4. Travel to Boston – One of my best friends moved up to Boston at the beginning of last summer and I haven’t made it there to visit her yet (SHAME). I am committed to making it happen this Spring.
  5. Cook seafood at home twice – I wrote a post after the FIRST time I cooked fish as home. Haven’t done it much since then (except here I think). Want to try my hand at some new and more creative recipes with seafood.
  6. Do 35 unbroken full push ups – I have totally caught the strength training bug and I’m loving the results I’m seeing already! Between working with my trainer and on my own, I think 35 full unbroken push ups is well within my grasp.
  7. Try two new yoga studiosYou’ve all been following along on my journey to find the perfect yoga studio (Reviews here and here so far) I want to give two more studios a try this Spring. I’m thinking Tranquil Space and one other.
  8. Buy my wedding dress – I’ve not been great about keeping you guys updated on wedding stuff so far (if I was a smarter blogger I would because my page views go WAY up when I write about wedding stuff). I’m having a really hard time settling on exactly what KIND of dress I want to wear at the wedding, and I hate being so indecisive. 
  9. Plan more fun adventures with MikeMike and I were on a really good streak for a while of planning monthly “date nights” (some examples here, here, and here), but we’ve fallen off the wagon a little bit. I want to be more intentional this spring about planning special outings together (just the two of us!)
  10. Read 5 books – I’ve been on a big reading kick recently (Some examples of book reviews here, here, and here). I’ve always been a big reader / book lover, but my reading definitely ebbs and flows at times. I want to keep up my current enthusiasm by reading 5 new books this spring (I just finished Crossed by Allie Condie and I’m halfway through Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Trebole and Elyse Resch!)

And this post needs a picture… so here’s some glamour shots of Fig and Little Mac at the vet (not happy kitties)

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Fitness Tour of New York City

This weekend I had the distinct pleasure of making a trip up to New York City to visit my many friends who live there. We all went to college in DC, so I thought we’d all hang here after graduation. WRONG. I am the sole DC survivor. But that’s ok 🙂 It just gives me more excuses to travel! I grew up in New Jersey so I went into Manhattan often. However, I’ve gotten a much different appreciation for the city just going to hang out with friends, instead of going for some special event.

I love working out when I travel because it gives me an opportunity to experience different things. I wrote this post forever ago about working out on vacation if you’re interested. You might also remember that I participated in the Run to Recover in Central Park after Hurricane Sandy. This trip I decided to try out some of the classes I’ve been salivating over reading NYC fitness blogs (including Losing Weight in the City and A Healthy, Happier Bear). Here’s what I thought:

Uplift Studios

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Saturday morning my bff Sarah and I teamed up and went to the 9:30 am Uplift Strength class at Uplift Studios. This is a women only facility, so we left Mike reading a newspaper in Starbucks. I think he was very happy to not be dragged to a class with me. Here’s what you need to know – if you live in NYC and you are a lady (though I noticed on their website they do have boys night) GET TO UPLIFT IMMEDIATELY. They offered a “first timers” discount of $16 which was amazing. We arrived early because Sarah was on the wait list and the women working at the studio could NOT have been nicer or more accommodating. They got Sarah into the class, which made me a very happy girl. They also provided water bottles, towels, coffee, snacks, phone chargers, locker room products, everything! This is a full service facility.

As far as the workout, I think I might still be sore. We had Michelle as our instructor and she gave one HELL of a class. She was super high energy and provided a superbly efficient workout. We worked each muscle group to fatigue but only performed each individual exercise once. I loved that! Every exercise I could say to myself, you never have to do this again so PUSH IT. Mixed into the class were three rounds of high intensity cardio tabatas (Here’s info on tabatas if you’re not familiar… they rock). I love mixing high intensity cardio in with strength because it makes my heart pump and my whole body pour sweat. I ❤ sweating. The very small class size was ideal for correcting form and not feeling “lost in the crowd”. Also, the music rocked.

Final summation: I will be going back to  Uplift every single time I go to NYC. Besides being ridiculous accommodating on every level, the workout was top notch. In the words of Liz Lemon, “I want to go to there”

Soul Cycle

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In the interest of full disclosure, I was a little skeptical going to Soul Cycle. People who attend classes there are SO in love and obsessed with it, I was certain there was no way it was going to live up to the hype. I also was a little shocked by the $34 / class price tag, but I went ahead and signed up for Emma’s 10 am class on Sunday at the E 83rd Street studio. My first impression upon walking in was, “woah, this is a pretty intimidating environment.” However, after I checked in, I felt much more at ease because they guy working there was SUPER nice. He gave me a pair of shoes and directed me to the locker room to drop my stuff. Then began my completely humiliating attempt to figure out how to work their super high tech lockers. I couldn’t figure out which ones were taken or how to work them. Finally, someone helped me. I basically need a babysitter whenever I leave the house.

When I got into the room, I was shocked by how close together the bikes were. I taught Spinning for 5 years and this was new to me! Mercifully, I reserved a bike in the back so I clipped in a prayed to God I didn’t die. Well let me just tell you… this class left me with NO doubt about why people love this so much. At first I was a little thrown off by all the moving around and syncing up as a whole group, but once I got the hang of it I was totally feeding off the energy in the room. It was a dark, sweaty mess in there and I loved EVERY minute of it. Emma was nuts in the  best way possible, dancing all over the place. It was basically a dance party on a bike. I also loved the little strength training part, which we never did when I taught Spinning. It was just something different and I dug it.

Final Summation: Soul Cycle will give you one hell of a workout but it’s going to cost you. If you want to treat yourself though, this class ROCKS. It definitely made me want to check out other cycling facilities in DC too!

Questions for you guys:

– Ever been to Uplift or Soul Cycle? What did you think?

– Do you workout on vacation? Why / Why not? 

Spring 2013 Racing Schedule

I swear that I was planning this post for today on my own. Then Amy put up the EXACT same post today (and hers is WAY more awesome and hardcore than mine b/c she rocks and is running Boston this year). Sooo great minds think alike? 🙂

So there’s this weird thing that I notice almost every runner loves to do… make their race calendar for an upcoming season! I love to run… but more than I love to run… I love to RACE! Mike and I ran 10 races each last spring. We’re all about it! Though we decided that was a few too many for our schedule / budget / desire to still have friends and family who talk to us, and we scaled it back a lot this Fall. I’ve been thinking ahead to my Spring 2013 racing calendar! PS – you can keep up with my race schedule and see all my race recaps / reviews on my Race Calendar Page!

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Obviously the big one is Rock’n’Roll USA Marathon on March 16th! Things will kind of be revolving around that. I’d like to do a tune up race prior to the marathon. Ideally I’d do that 4 weeks out, but that is President’s Day Weekend and I will be in NC celebrating my Dad’s 60th birthday. So I’m looking at 3 weeks out right now. I’m planning on the Colonial Half Marathon in Williamsburg, VA. Purely out of convenience and February races aren’t the easiest to come by. I also want to do the Love the Run You’re With 5K for Valentine’s Day because it’s cute… sue me.

Last Spring I did my marathon late in the season (I had a knee injury up through Christmas last year so I couldn’t train in time for a March / Early April race). I was pretty dead after it (even though I did a half marathon and a 10K within a month of the marathon… my body was NOT pleased with that).

I’d like to take some time off from distance after the marathon, so right now we’re thinking Monument Ave 10K in Richmond and Pike’s Peek 10K in Maryland for the month of April. That’ll keep me running / in the racing game, but also allow me to back off training / rest up. Plus maybe I’ll just blow my speed game out of the water! Who knows 🙂

I’m planning to up my distance again in May. I will be entering the lottery for the Broad Street Run in Philly (which is a ten miler). If I don’t get in there is also the Marine Corps Historic Half in Fredericksburg, VA. I really like doing a “travel race” once a season, but I don’t know if that’s in the cards this Spring. I’m planning a decent amount of other travel (both of my parents are turning 60, I want to visit a close friend who moved away to Boston, visits to Philly obviously, and other fun events).

I’m also going to try and con Mike into a June race. He HATES summer racing, but I’m afraid if I don’t have a June race I’m going to lose stamina for training. I always struggle in the summer b/c there are NO races (and its hot… duh)! Right now I’m thinking the Lawyers Have Heart 10K here in DC. Alternatively, the Baltimore 10 Miler.

I just realized that is 7 races… which is still a lot of races. But they’re shorter races so it’s different? I dunno we’ll see what we end up actually doing 🙂 Who’s racing this Spring?? What’s on your calendar??

Catching Up

Helloooo boys and girls 🙂 I’m sure you’ve all been as busy as us this week preparing for the impending holidays! I have a pretty strict (READ: anal) approach to leaving for a vacation. My food purchasing / meal planning is like a science, complete with a complete refrigerator clean out the night before we leave. Today’s lunch features my classic “use it all up” salad, where I basically dump every leftover in the refrigerator on top of a bed of lettuce and call it a day. Today’s lunch includes romaine lettuce, yellow bell pepper, shredded carrot, cucumber, chopped celery, cherry tomato, chick peas, diced ham, and blue cheese… helloooo nurse. If only I had ANY sort of appetite this week 😦 ho hum. I also have to make a meticulous packing list / take my time or else I will most definitely forget something (I one time packed for an entire weekend in NYC with no bra… not a single bra).

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We are traveling with the kitties this week too so we had to start mentally preparing them to get in the carriers. Little Mac is very intuitive, so if he senses we’re about to travel, he’ll just hide under the bed. Therefore, we have to get the carrier out days in advance and then snatch him when  he is least expecting it. Fig has a carrier, but I also have a leash for him. Little Mac will hide under the bed, but once you pick him up, he basically submits to going into the carrier (he cries a lot though and it’s really sad). Fig, on the other hand, will fight you until the end. I actually cannot get him in the carrier alone. The last time I tried to put him in by myself, he drew blood. By the end, he was crying in the carrier, and I was sitting on the floor of my living room crying and bleeding from my hands. I decided to give the leash a try. He doesn’t walk on the leash, but he does let me pick him up and carry him to the car. I use the leash just as a back up in case he jumps out of my arms.

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All in all… Christmas presents are wrapped, bags are packed, the refrigerator is empty of any perishable food, and Operation Trick the Kitties is well underway. Hopefully tonight goes smoothly (pray for us).

On the sickness front… the week started out abysmal and is ending on a relatively positive note! Mike was the worst I’ve seen him yet on Monday and Tuesday. It was truly heartbreaking to see someone who I love so much in so much pain. Luckily, he went to see his primary care physician on Tuesday afternoon and got a pretty aggressive course of steroids to help with his symptoms (he had such a bad sore throat / swollen tonsils and glands that the poor guy could barely eat, swallow, or sleep!) After only a couple days, he is like a different person! He’s still not 100% and is being careful to rest, hydrate, and get enough to eat. All in all… a lot of R&R at the POTR household this week.

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I was on the verge of a total meltdown earlier this week about my potentially getting sick too (you remember by very dramatic Marathon Musings). I freaked out and went to an urgent care center near my office on Monday at lunch. Luckily, I got an awesome nurse practitioner (I fully support NPs… see them ALL the time and they are amazing) who is ALSO a marathon runner. She did oblige my request to give me a mono test, which, as of Monday, was negative. However, she cautioned me that this didn’t necessarily mean I wasn’t getting mono. She urged me to just relax and try to stay as healthy as possible. I’ve had no appetite this week, and I’ve actually been a little nauseous too. I’ve still been eating relatively normally (me? not eat? surely you jest) but I’m not really enjoying it (except last night we went out for pizza… I enjoyed that very much). I’ve also been pretty tired, so I’ve been budgeting in a little extra sleep every night (I normally sleep 7 hrs per night, this week I’ve been getting more like 8 – 10) I talked to her a lot about training for the marathon and she was very reassuring. Mike read this article that suggested that if you get a mono diagnosis, you shouldn’t run for 10 weeks! This had me TOTALLY freaking out. The NP suggested that I take it easy this week, to not put too much stress on my body. I’ve run some but not as much as my schedule called for. My muscles have been VERY fatigued (on Tuesday evening, I felt like I had just run a half marathon, not a 5 mile marathon tempo run) so I’ve been doing my best to listen to my body. I’m hoping that taking a little rest this week will allow me to come back to normal next week or the week after. She reminded me that I still have PLENTY of time, and encouraged me not to freak out just yet. Sometimes you just need a professional to say these things to you 🙂

Before I sign off… Mike and I exchanged Christmas presents last night! We like to do this privately before we join our families for the holidays. I got Mike this awesome plaque from the Philly Marathon with his finish line photo and his name / time, and I am making him a scrapbook with all of his race numbers. Right now we just have them piled in a drawer. I thought this would be a better way to store them / remember all of the races! Finally, I got him this SWEET camping chair with a footrest. Last year at Bonnaroo, some other people had one and we were all about it.

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Mike came up big for me this year too … because he is wonderful and thoughtful and amazing. I LOVE coffee (as I mentioned earlier this week) and I wanted a french press to make better coffee at home. Well, Mike put on his researchers hat and did me one better! He got me a hand grinder for beans (and a bag of Starbucks Christmas blend whole bean coffee) and this AWESOME Aero Coffee Press. Apparently it’s even better than a french press and makes amazing quality coffee. I cannot wait to use it. I’m tempted to bring it with me for the holidays 🙂

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Gifts or no gifts… I am the luckiest girl in the world to have Mike 🙂 But I LOVED this gift. It’s very me and I can’t wait to enjoy it. I’m going to bring my laptop with me on vacation, but I doubt I’ll be daily blogging. I am hoping to check in a couple times, but we’ll see how it goes 🙂 I am looking forward to some serious R&R, and quality family time.

If I don’t talk to you… MERRY CHRISTMAS! Or if you don’t celebrate Christmas… it’s a great day to go skiing!

Tomorrow is Race Day!

Tomorrow I’m running the Surf-n-Santa 10 Miler in Virginia Beach!! Hitting the road tonight and staying with one of Mike’s grad school buddies who has graciously offered to let us stay at his brand spankin new house!

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I’m really psyched about this race but wanted to spend some time getting ready for it mentally and physically. I felt completely unprepared for the Philly Half even though I obviously finished and did fine. We were planning the weekend in Philly followed by a whole week away with my family for Thanksgiving. Mike was traveling for work and preparing for a marathon. I needed to find a cat sitter and figure out why Comcast wanted $313 from me… the week was insane. I got to Philly and realized I had not prepared for the race AT ALL. I didn’t look up my bib number, I didn’t even look up where the expo was. I brought no fuel with me and didn’t buy any at the expo. Then we got food poisoning and Mike was worried about his ankle injury. Basically, Philly wasn’t about me. It was about Mike and I was fine for it to be that way.

But this time I wanted to be READY, because nothing makes me more crazy cakes than not being prepared. I spent some time yesterday reading the event website, familiarizing myself with the details, and looking at the course. Luckily, a beach race can be counted on to be one thing… FLAT. Woot woot. I set my half marathon PR in Virginia Beach last Spring actually! I don’t think tomorrow is going to be a PR day (My 10 Miler PR is 1:32 from the George Washington Parkway Classic… pictured below) but I’d like to shoot for under 1:40, which I think is very doable.

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If that doesn’t happen though, I really won’t be sad. I am training for a marathon right now so I have to remember that is my ultimate goal! This is also a REALLY fun race because they encourage people to dress up! I put together my most “Christmas-y” outfit last night which includes black capris (duh), optional black calf sleeves (want to see how cold it is), my red tech tee from the Country Music Marathon, a white tank, green and white striped arm sleeves, and a green sparkly headband (I am wearing both in the picture below). Everyone gets a Santa hat but I wasn’t sure if that was before or after the race? I have one that I might throw in my suitcase just in case! You also get jingle bells.

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I kinda wish I had a better costume though. I see people with costumes all the time and think how adorable they are! I might see if Mike can be persuaded to stop at  Walmart on the way down the VA Beach tonight to go in search of some cheap costume extras…

Happy Weekend Blog Loves <33

Run to Recover in NYC

Many people (most of them related to me) thought it was pretty stupid that I went to New York City last weekend. I don’t blame them for having that opinion, but I could not be happier with my decision to go. At the time, we did think the marathon was going to happen. We learned while on the bus to NYC (thank you Twitter) that it was not happening. I’m really not interested in discussing the politics of that decision here. The situation in New York and New Jersey is extremely upsetting. But I will only say this – In times of disaster, sometimes people just need someone to blame. I understand that desire to look for blame. But I was really disappointed to see so many negative comments and statements made towards the people who were going to run the marathon. I think that was just misplaced aggression. Times like these can, unfortunately, bring out the worst in some and that always makes me very sad.

That being said, in trying times such as these, even though I often feel disappointment in how some react, I am always equally if not more blown away by the resilient and enduring nature of the human spirit. I lived through 9/11 in New York / New Jersey. This storm has brought horrible destruction to these areas, but I have never doubted for one moment that they will emerge on the other end of the trial stronger than ever. So I went to New York with a heart full of faith and trust… and I had a blast.

One of the best parts of the weekend was getting to participate in the Run to Recover in Central Park. On Sunday morning, Mike and I walked over to Central Park to join thousands of other runners doing loops of Central Park. Some people were out there legitimately running a marathon (that would be over 4 loops of the park… woof). I have to give these folks SO much credit. If my marathon had been cancelled in the spring, I definitely would’ve just cried and ate ice cream. People were donating clothes, running to raise money for relief charities, and also getting out there and achieving a goal they set for themselves in the face of extreme opposition. I also want to say a big thank you to the people who came out to cheer in the park. That was by far the coolest experience of my life (never have I ever had thousands of people cheering for me during a training run).

I actually had an amazing run, which was just the icing on the cake. I was so pumped up by the crowds and all the inspirational people around me I ended up moving really quickly! At one point I looked at my Garmin and I was doing 8:30 min / miles! That is not something I do. People were also giving me a lot of shout outs for my shirt (which is, let’s be honest, amazing). Thank you New York for an amazing weekend. And for once again reaffirming for me that we are all stronger than an obstacle.

So like I said above, I’m not interesting in discussing the politics of Sandy, the NYC Marathon, or anything like that so unfortunately I will moderate / delete any comments I decide I do not want on my blog. I really try to keep this as a positive and constructive space where I share my life. Let’s leave the negativity behind and come together to support those in NYC and NJ who need our help. If you are interested in opportunities to help out in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy I’ve included just a couple links below:

– Support this Staten Island based running blogger whose family lost their home and all their belongings by donating or helping them rebuild

Support the ING New York Marathon and New York Road Runners Race to Recover

Call Me Crazy

I’m going to New York City this weekend.

That’s right… you heard me. Tomorrow afternoon I am getting on Bolt Bus (that I have been assured is actually operating) and I am going to New York City to see my friends. I haven’t been able to get myself together for a trip to New York in over two years, and I’ll be damned if Sandy is going to stop me. Both people who are housing us this weekend have power and water (they live on the Upper East and Upper West sides, thankfully not downtown) so with a little elbow grease, I think we’re gonna pull this off.

WARRIOR MODE

Here’s how I plan to make this happen:

1. Prepare for a long bus trip. It is unclear what kind of traffic we are looking at so even though the bus is scheduled to take about 4 hours, it could be a lot more. Preparations will include dinner / snacks / drinks (potentially alcoholic hehe) and books / movies to watch. Luckily, Mike and I will be together so we have company!

2. Get ready to walk. It is very possible that we will spend a lot of the weekend walking places since the subway is running on very limited service. No worries for me though… since I’m piling on the miles this month anyway. I’m bringing comfy shoes / clothes and packing in a backpack. Urban hiking at its finest.

3. Embrace the situation. I’m going for one reason and one reason only… to see my friends. My life (like most people’s) is BUSY and there are few weekends where this trip is possible. In the words of Tim Gunn… I’m gonna make it work.

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The NYC marathon is running (so we won’t be the only people crazy enough to go into New York) and I’m gonna be there with bells on, hanging out and catching up with my friends.

Bring your worst New York… I’m coming for you!

A truly restful weekend

They’re hard to come by in my life. No matter how many people say it or how often I think it… I just can’t seem to slow down! I think sometimes I attribute inactivity with laziness, and I don’t like being or feeling lazy. But sometimes, there is nothing better for your soul (and body) than to truly and honestly chill out. This weekend… I was able to do just that and today I feel like a different person than on Friday (to be fair the end of last week was particularly rough, but that’s another story for another day).

On Saturday afternoon, Mike and I packed up the car and drove the ~2.5 hours from DC to Charlottesville to spend a weekend with his family (well his family actually lives right outside Charlottesville but let’s just say Cville for ease). I once again didn’t take any pictures… I guess I’m off my picture taking game so we will have to make do for today. Here are some of the highlights from the weekend:

– Taking a yoga class at Bikram Yoga Charlottesville  with Mike’s brother Dave. Mike had some work to do this weekend so on Sunday morning Dave and I went to his yoga studio. I haven’t done bikram since I was a sophomore in college and it was NOT a pleasant experience (hence why I never returned). I practice in a heated space, but the studio I went to back in the day was awful. The instructor was nasty and it was so militaristic / not welcoming at all. I definitely like this studio better (people were generally more pleasant) but I don’t think bikram is ever going to be my favorite style of yoga. It was really nice to do something different though… shaking things up is important!

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– Sitting outside a coffee shop with an iced coffee, Mike, and my Kindle. Only pictures we took the whole weekend. It was such a great way to just sit and be quiet with the person I love. We talked for a while, but soon we settled into a comfortable silence. It completely rejuvenated my soul.

– Not blow drying my hair or putting on make up the entire visit 🙂 Those who know me well know that I generally like to look put together and I rarely go anywhere without makeup on. Think what you want about that but I feel good when I feel like I look my best. However, there is something so liberating about taking some time away from all of that. It was nice to enjoy the sensation of wet hair and not worry if my eyeliner was smudged.

– Going for an amazing 5 mile run through University of Virginia’s campus on Monday morning. Mike and I went over to UVA on Monday morning because Mike wanted to run the route of the Charlottesville 10 miler (he is training for the Philadelphia marathon right now). He runs that race every year (I ran it this year too!) and loves the course. I ran a modified version of the course to make it 5 miles. Here’s a picture of us from the Cville 10 Miler this spring.

– Getting a massage from Mike’s mom. This requires little explanation I feel. It was a small slice of heaven.

– Taking an Olympic Gold Medal winning nap. On Sunday afternoon, I fell asleep on the couch during an afternoon rainstorm and slept for 3 hours! I NEVER nap, and I certainly do not nap for 3 hours. This was unheard of, and it felt awesome. Fig, however, is the original Olympic napper 🙂

Back to real life…