Training Day: Week One mixed with some Kobe

Hello Friends!

What night in sports last night huh? Red Sox won. My Penguins crushed Zach’s Rangers in game one of the playoffs 😉 Naturally Steph Curry continued to blow my sports loving mind with his 400th three of the season. BUT CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT KOBE’S LAST GAME??? That damn man is such a legend. To go out with 60 points in your final game after such an incredible career, totally fitting. I mean do you throw a piece of garbage into a trash can without yelling “Kobe!!!” because I certainly do not. Plus I think we can all agree that any day that Jay-Z decides to show up on your final day of work you know you’ve lead a ballin’ life. #mambaout

Anyway, as I mentioned in my previous post I was signed up for a half marathon last Saturday but due to being 100% not ready I did not participate. The night I made the disappointing decision I got online and found a new race to train for The FaxonLaw Fairfield Half Marathon in Fairfield, CT! Zach is from Fairfield and his parents actually live right on the race route which will be fun to pass (unfortunately for me towards the end where I’ll probably be dead). It looks like a great half to explore the beautiful coastal town so I’m really exctied. I love running races in different cities, so far I’ve run races in 5 states and I’m looking forward to tacking on more!

Race Photos

Colorado 10K. Vermont Half Marathon. Georgia 5K (aka a time I was heavy into tanning)

So the race is June 26th and I’ve given myself a solid 12 weeks of training for this one because knowing my schedule I want ample time to get myself into gear. So here is how it’s going so far…

Thursday 4/7: 2 Miles in 23:00.

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Nothing planned but I did get my 10,000 steps in on my Fitbit which was my goal.

Sunday (done on Monday) 4/11: 2 Miles in 24:00. My plan has my long run day on Sundays which is normally one of my days off but this week I worked so I pushed it to Monday. It was a chilly afternoon outside but it was a good run around the neighborhood.

Tuesday 4/12: 1 Mile in 12:00. I planned for 2 but I forgot my socks at home and running in sneakers on a treadmill without socks lasted all of 12 minutes.

Wednesday: 20 Minutes on a Treadmill. This wasn’t a planned run but I got done work and didn’t have enough time to head back home to catch the 2nd period of Penguins game so I headed the treadmill to watch. I ended up running a mile and then walking on an incline but I have no further details because I literally just wanted to watch the game and get to 10,000 steps on my Fitbit.

Here is my plan of attack for this next week:

Thursday: TEMPO: 2 Miles @ 11:30 with 1 Mile warm-up/cool-down.

Friday: BOSU workout.

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: LONG: 3 Miles

Monday: Yoga @ Sangha

Tuesday: EASY: 3 Miles

Wednesday: Rest

Anyone else training for anything? How’s it coming along?

Did you guys catch any of the awesomeness in sports last night??

 

 

Advertisements

Fun Facts Friday: May 15th

Aloha Friends!

Let us get to the fun facts shall we??

1. I ran my first 5K of the year last night!

Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge 5K

I ran with some coworkers in the Vermont State Corporate Cup Challenge and it went pretty well actually! I was expecting to run it around 37 minutes and came in at 35:30 final time which I was veryyyyy happy with given that I just recently started pounding the pavement again. The weather was perfect, a little chilly at the start but once we got going I was happy to have a cool breeze. There were about 4000 runners/walkers that participated which meant for quite a bit of congestion throughout downtown Montpelier. My goals were to just keep good form, use my yoga breathing and not stop to walk, thankfully I hit all of them!

2. I met my first blogger friend in real life!

The lovely Rachel of the blog Darlin’ Rae aka the other badass Vermont blogger and I knew we would be running in the Corporate Cup but weren’t sure we’d be able to meet up before it given the craziness of the event. As luck would have it I had just taken a spot in line at the start and noticed a bright and shiny new pair of birthday sneakers that I recognized from her blog (cause I’m a creeper and remember that kind of stuff). We got to chat a bit and give our well wishes for the race, she is such a sweetheart! If you haven’t checked out her blog before I don’t know what you are waiting for!

3. I tried an awesome new beer that I must find more of!

Foley Brother's Brewing

After the race we headed to The Reservoir in Waterbury for a little post run food & drink. I decided to try the Foley Brother’s Brewing “Fair Maiden” double IPA and was not disappointed. It was perfectly hoppy but smooth and probably way too easy drinking for it’s own good. If you have a chance to try it out I highly recommend it.

4. My dress for baby sister’s graduation came!

Loft Scallop Dress

The Loft was having a sale online a few weeks back and I snagged this awesome dress marked down from $89 to $33! I’m really digging this color for summer and it surprisingly goes with my current pale complexion though I hope a few rounds of self tanner will give it a little more pop next week 😉

5. Grey’s Anatomy Though?!?

Grey's Anatomy

All the feels for this stupid television show that I’ve never missed an episode of 11 years running.

Judge me as you feel necessary!

Have you ever met a blogger friend in person?

Are you part of the terrible television show watching club?

Things I’m looking forward to in May…

Hello friends!

I can’t believe we are already a week into May, where is the time going?? I don’t know about you lovlies but Vermont has decided to crush it lately in the weather department and I couldn’t be happier about it! Today I thought I’d share a few things that I’m looking forward to doing this month because while it will definitely be a busy one it’s shaping up to be fantastic.

1. Finishing Classes.

I can’t even explain to you how happy I am to have a break from classes for a little while. I really wish I could just purchase Rory McIlroy PGA Tour for Xbox and play until I can’t feel my fingers (damn you July 14th). I’ve been watching so much golf lately it’s not even funny. I hope I can get out at least to a range this weekend if it doesn’t rain… this is going to be my season I can feel it!

Golf @ Arrowhead

2. Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge 5K Race.

Next Thursday evening I’m joining some coworkers in Montpelier for a fun 5K race that I’m so excited to be a part of. We are actually sending 3 teams down to participate against tons of other government agencies, companies and non-profit organizations from around the area. I was supposed to run it last year but had to take the boy to the ER after an unfortunate spill on a ATV. This will be my first 5K of the season and lets just say based on my “training” I’m glad it will include dinner and drinks immediately afterwards 😉 P.S. I’m loving my new sneakers, they are very different than my Asics but so far so good. Full post on them coming soon!

Saucony Sneakers

3. Baby Sister’s Graduation!

Meggie Liz is graduating college Memorial Day weekend and I couldn’t be more proud of her! I’m taking a few days off prior to the weekend to drive straight to Tennessee to see a few of my own college friends in Knoxvegas i.e. go shopping, drink margaritas at Soccer Taco & get my hair cut from my dear sweet hairdresser that I haven’t seen in 3 years! I haven’t spent much time in Lexington where Meg goes to school so I’m really excited to head up Friday afternoon to see the sites and hang out with the family to celebrate this huge occasion!

Meghan's High School Graduation

4. Craft Brew Races @ Stowe

I’ve been eying the Craft Brew Races since last summer and this year I am forcing it upon my friend group because it just seems too fun to pass up! It’s $55 for the 5K followed by a brew fest with live music, unlimited samples from more than 20 breweries plus delicious food vendors… oh and did I mention a souvenir glass?? I’m not sure which part I’m most excited about! May 30th friends, mark your calendars and go to Stowe!

Speaking of brew fests I pre-registered for Vermont Brewers Festival tickets last week and got them! Easily one of my favorite events of the year I can’t recommend it enough especially if you go with super fun people 🙂 Regular tickets go on sale May 15th and last year they sold out in less than 10 minutes!

Meredith & I VT Brew Fest 2013

Miss. Meredith and I at the brew fest a couple of summers ago (hope you are reading this and know that I love & miss you dearly).

So that’s a little glimpse at May for this girl, I hope you are all enjoying spring so far! 🙂

Do you have anything you are looking forward to in May?

How have your races been going?

Training Day (3: The Mini-Vacation)

Aloha!

Welcome to training day, where I share how my training is going and become incredibly concerned with my ability to run 13.1 miles in just under a month. KIDDING! Sort of?

Thursday: I ran 3 miles on the treadmill during my lunch break- there isn’t much to say about it except it seemed like it took forever. My brain is so fried from work this week I can’t even remember why I had to do it on the treadmill vs going outside. Regardless I finished the 3 miles and only did a few walking minutes to break up the time.

Friday: My long run of 4 miles was supposed to be Sunday but I knew I would be on a mini-vacation in Stowe so I decided to do the 4 miles in the morning before we made the trip down there.  The 4 felt solid, well 3 felt good and the last one was definitely a struggle but I completed it.  I did not pace myself well for the first 2 at all, similar to the way a dog freaks out when it runs by people, I freak out as well and tend to speed up. When I figure out how to stop doing this I will be MUCH better off.

Then we checked in for our long weekend at Top Notch and all I can say is, damn!

 Top Notch

Saturday: Planned rest day so no real exercise, oh unless you count a family reunion with 150 of your favorite people. Do you understand how many people you have to hug?? It’s ridiculous really. We played a 3 hour family softball game and I was more tired after that even than any race I’ve ever run.

Reen

We roll deep.

Bobbing

One of our more random family traditions is bobbing for apples.  Seems normal enough however you bob for an apple, drop said apple and then dip your soaking wet face into a bin full of flour to “bob” for hidden poker chips.  I literally have no idea how this started- but of course I will keep it going.  Above is my older sister having a mini-meltdown trying to get the apple, I wish that were the hardest part of this whole thing!

Baby JoshuaThis is adorable baby Joshua, he’s the youngest of the bunch at 10 days old.

Fun fact: In our family we all have numbers, you get a number from either the day you were born or the day you married into the family. We start with my Grandmother and Grandfather as 1 and 2 and go down the list.  Just to give you some context my dad is the 11th kid so he is #13.  My sister Katie is #52, I am #82 and my little sister Meghan is #98. Joshua above is rocking #213- no joke there are 213 of us.

FamilyA family that bounces together, stays together.

Reen FamilyLove these humans 🙂

Sock tanThis is my brother’s foot. That has got to be the worst sock tan you’ve ever seen right???

Anyway, back to training…

Sunday: Rest day/had already completed my long run on Friday. We were still in Stowe and went to an amazing concert that night, more on that later though.

Monday: Easy 3 miles.  I had just enough time after we got back to Burlington and before work to run a quick out and back on the bike path.  I decided I would go further out on the bike path so that I could just walk casually back up the hill when I had hit 3.  I was in no mood for hills that day!

Tuesday: Rest day.

Wednesday: I did a spin class at lunch but did not run.  I’m still happy that I got a workout in though!

So there you have it, week 3 in the books. I literally need a vacation from my long weekend vacation but it was definitely worth it.  The next two weeks I have virtually nothing going on so I promise to make these posts much more interesting and running oriented, my bad!

Do you come from a big family?

Have you ever seen a worse sock tan???

How is your training going?

Training Day (2: Two down, 13 to go)

First post of the week and it’s already Thursday, oops!

This week’s training was fairly easy as I had set it up to be. I was much more concerned with sticking to a plan than my mileage/pace times and fortunately it worked out.

Thursday: Rest day (I did play pinball so that was obviously high impact)

Friday: Unintentional rest day, it was supposed to be 2 miles but I had to work both jobs on Friday so I decided I would be happier if I pushed it back to Saturday.

Saturday: Hit the pavement for 2 miles to get the legs moving, the run went well and I did it in 22:15 which I was just fine with! Post-run I stopped at another place on my “Indie Coffee Passport” called Barrio Bakery and fell in love with it.  My dream life would involve me waking up early for work and spend an hour just hanging out over there before my real day starts, it is such an adorable little North End coffee shop!

Sunday: I ran 2.5 miles and shaved off a few minutes on the day before which felt great. I also got a manicure with my lovely mother which was basically the best way to spend a Sunday ever…

 ManicureI’m an almost exclusively red nail kinda girl.

Monday: 14 hour day… no way was I putting on the running shoes.

Tuesday: I ran 2 miles during my lunch break at work, I normally do the same loop when I’m at work right along the bike path but I switched it up and incorporated a few neighborhoods with some hills and they were tough! Necessary but tough! The weather has been cooling off a bit around here and it makes it that much easier to get out for a run.

Then our softball team suffered our first loss of the season (in the last regular season game- go figure) but we still had a blast!

Softball teamSliding is not recommended on this field… hence the bloody towel.

Wednesday: I was supposed to run another 2.5 miles yesterday but I tweaked my knee a bit in one of the softball games and it just didn’t feel right.  Instead of running Zach and I went fishing and I ate a bag of gummy bears, because what’s fishing without snacks??

I am happy to report that the knee feels great today and I’m glad I didn’t push it yesterday!

Overall I was supposed to hit 9 miles total for the week and came in at 6.5.  It doesn’t seem like much but I almost stuck to my plan so I think it was a success.

This week is when it starts to get into real mileage and try to be more mindful of the times.  I’m not exactly a time snob (something I have accepted by being pretty slow) but I do like to push myself and I’d love to get a little faster of course!  That’s all for this week’s training day, stay tuned for next Thursday’s update 🙂

What is your go to nail color?

Do you have a favorite bakery/coffee shop?

How important is your mile time to you?

Training Day (1: The Sign Up)

Yesterday I spent almost the entire day in bed. I can’t remember the last time I felt that sick/tired and I know it was entirely self-induced by how busy I’ve been keeping myself.  It was a pretty big wake-up call for me to slow down and be more respectful of how I’m feeling and what I’m taking on.  With that said I took a hard look at my schedule and saw that I have plenty of time for me in the coming month.  My favorite things to do when I get some down time are to catch up on sleep (duh!) and running regularly on a schedule.  What better way to run on a schedule than to sign up for a race?

So I will be signing up for the Maple Leaf Half Marathon in Manchester, VT on September 6th! I know what you are thinking, 6 weeks is not exactly an appropriate training period but in the last two weeks I’ve run much more frequently and have even gotten up to 6 miles a few times so I feel very confident.

Schedule

I was on the fence about this race knowing that the 2.5 hour trip there would mean I’d have to stay over night the prior to the race #brokeproblems but thankfully (and selfishly) a friend of mine accepted her first teaching job in Bennington so now I have enough of an in to sign up!  I’ve never really spent much time in southern VT so I’m excited to get down there and see what it’s all about!

I thought I’d share three things that I do before almost every run…

1) Brush my teeth. Weird? Probably. Regardless of how long ago I ate anything I cannot get myself motivated to head out on a run with any taste in my mouth other than the minty freshness of toothpaste.  If I’m in a pinch (as in have forgotten my stolen hotel travel-sized toothbrush/toothpaste) I will substitute gum but it doesn’t do the trick as nicely.

2) Create a killer playlist on Spotify and name it “Ballin” cause I am not cool.  As I mentioned in my LP Half recap I am a music runner, I wish I was able to run without it but so far no dice.  My playlist is incredibly random and scattered like my personality and I love it that way!

Side note: one of the reasons I miss living in Knoxvegas is because I miss the Atlanta hip-hop influence on the radio/at bars.  I’m probably one of the only people in Burlington that can successfully do the “Wop” and rap all the lyrics to “Racks” by YC.

*If you know anyone in VT that can do either of these things, I want to meet them!*

3) Plan it out! I’m an avid MapMyRun user both prior to a run and during.  I will almost never lace up my sneakers without knowing exactly where I’m going be running to, it helps me mentally prepare.  In contrast, I will almost never look at a course map (unless there are known hill sections) for any race that I run. Probably not the best plan of attack but I just don’t like knowing.

I am so excited to be running in this race! I will definitely keep you posted on the training 🙂

Do you have any pre-run habits? Any weird ones?

What kind of music do you like to listen to while running?

Not an Athlete but a Runner

I’ve never been much of an athlete. I have always played sports, I have always loved sports, but an athlete is definitely not the word I’d use.

BabyI have always been a baller though… case and point.

I was the kid that knew enough about the sport and was definitely decent enough to probably not mess anything up but I was never going to knock your socks off. In early high school (weighing in approximately 40 lbs more than I do today and 60 more than my lowest weight) I thought running was the worst punishment you could ever make me do. I would try anything and everything to get out of running…

“Sorry coach, my ankle is really bugging me- 2 miles just isn’t in the cards today.”

“I’ve had a stomach ache all day.”

I never really had to push myself, I just sort of let myself stay in this mode for quite some time because in my mind I was always going to be slow and I was always just going to be decent. I joined the track team (lol) and literally only did the 100 meter sprint because it was usually the first event of the day and once I finished I could just socialize with my friends for the rest of the meet (I’ve always been a talker, what can I say?) Then this funny thing happened, I joined a friend on a “long run” of a few miles… and I didn’t die. I was slow but I was doing it and I sort of even liked it.

Cut to senior year, still not in the best shape of my life but working towards it slowly. I completed runs without excuses and embraced the conditioning at field hockey practice. I would “run” frequently and it basically meant I would run and tell myself I could stop when I hit a specific mail box or when I got to the end of the road I could rest for a second. I just kept doing that on the same loop until I was finally able to run the whole thing without needing to walk or rest. I accidentally agreed to run half of the Vermont City Marathon about a month and a half prior to race day. I’m pretty sure everyone I told thought I was insane, I sort of thought I was insane. I knew I wasn’t “prepared” but I was just crazy enough to think that even if I cross the finish line walking, I still did it.

I completed my first half marathon on May 25th, 2008. It was hot, I was cramping, I was tired, my iPod fried itself on mile 7 when I ran through some mist (damn you, Apple) but I somehow became a half marathon finisher and that part was freaking awesome. Here is how I celebrated completing the race…

Senior PromSenior Prom with Meredith

Yupp- I went to my senior prom.  I danced until midnight, and then went to a post-prom bonfire and thought I was never going to be able to move from my folding chair. There isn’t a hot tub in the world that could have saved the way I felt the next day… except for maybe a hot tub time machine… I could go back and actually train 😉

Since then, I have had and up and down battle with getting myself motivated to run and be healthy. The next year I moved to Colorado and got into the best shape I’ve ever been in, eating well and working out daily and actually enjoying my very active lifestyle. I even ran another half of the Vermont City with Heather that summer.

VCMSecond VCM Half complete 🙂

The next few years I moved to Tennessee and kept the “shape” for a little while but lost all ability to be healthy. Eventually the weight gained and the running stopped altogether. Just over two years ago, after a “series of unfortunate events” I made the incredibly random decision to move back to Vermont. I thought back to my lifestyle growing up here and figured that I would just jump right back in to good health and being active but that did not happen. It took a few months for me to be able to learn how to run for longer than 5 minutes, I knew I had done it before but I just could not break the barrier.

Then, just as it happened before, the 5 minutes I was struggling with became 10 and just kept going from there. The biggest thing I’ve noticed in these last 6 years since my first race is how much more mentally tough I am and how much I appreciate that. Why I let myself go in these waves with running I really don’t know, it’s certainly something that I’m trying to make steady. Running is something that I care enough about to maintain but it’s also something that I’ve learned no matter how hard it gets, whether it’s a week since my last run or 2 years, I can and will pick it back up.

I have never considered myself much of an athlete, but a runner I am.

VCMIf I can do it, you can do it.

Were you a natural runner?

Have you ever struggled to start running again after you have stopped?

And for my first trick… A Race Recap!

Aloha People! (Or person… I don’t really know how this is going to go)
I had a tough time deciding if I wanted to do a race recap as my first post- in theory it would have been last week when the race actually occurred but then life got in the way. Oh well, here it goes!

On Sunday June 8th I ran in the Lake Placid Half Marathon in the beautiful Adirondack mountains of upstate New York. I was so excited to do this race because I hadn’t completed a half marathon in over 5 years and this one would be extra special as my Nana’s front porch is literally situated directly on the route. Built in fans, that is how I like to roll!

“Training”

 I had completed a few 6 mile runs and one 8 mile run prior to race day, not exactly what I was hoping for but I decided that those had gone over well and that I would manage. I also purchased new Puma gear for the race so I just assumed that would add 5 miles right there.    That is how that works right?

The Day Before:

 I was super lucky to have my little sister make the trip with me to Lake Placid. We arrived Saturday afternoon and headed right to the Convention Center for race packet pick up. I filled out all the forms, stared down the competition and purchased an incredibly overpriced 13.1 sticker… because I needed it. After that I had a great pre-race meal and got to bed super early.   I was going to fake this til I made it!

Race Packet Pick Up!

Race Packet Pick Up!

Pre-Race:

 My lovely Nana was sitting in the kitchen when I bumbled down the stairs at 6 in the morning for my FAVORITE pre-race meal of an English muffin with peanut butter and bananas on top. Literally I have never eaten anything else the mornings of races, it’s my comfort run food. Outside the kitchen window I watched a man clearly doing a warm up run at which point my Nana said “Well he’s not going very fast” and I explained to her that if I could run as fast as he was “not”, I would be elated.

The Start:

I have no idea why I'm lifting my shirt so oddly.

I have no idea why I’m lifting my shirt so oddly.

 After having a casual photo shoot in the gas station parking lot (see above) my sister dropped me off to begin the race. The starting line was placed right in the middle of town and I thought the announcers did an excellent job of organizing everyone. They also warned of the dreaded black flies who had taken over Lake Placid in recent weeks and would no doubt make an appearance on all of us. 5 minutes to race time a gentleman who was giving us a “pep talk” over the loudspeaker popped the question to his lady friend AND she said yes so props to you sir!

I started my perfectly organized playlist appropriately titled “Ballin” and was off!

The Race:

I started out slowly but maintained a 10 minute average pace through the first 3 miles.
Just after mile 3 I passed by the same window I ate breakfast in hours before and got a good laugh over the poster my sister had made for me which you will see below!

At mile 4 I realized that the couple wearing bright orange shirts, were not stopping to rest at each mile marker but instead stopping to do cross fit moves! During the half marathon?!?! Other runners noticed too and everyone was taking tons of pictures of them, I don’t know who you crazy kids are but DAMN.

At mile 5 “Borderline” by Madonna began playing and I’m pretty sure I laughed through the entire song thinking about how much my boyfriend LOVES that freaking song!

At mile 6 I started hitting some hills and decided to try out the 60 second rule I had just read about. Once I hit the mile marker I walked for 60 seconds and then continued on running the rest of the mile until 7 and then repeated the 60 seconds of walking. I did this for the rest of the race and it really helped mentally get me to break the race down into one mile at a time. In past races I have definitely tried to overdo it and ended up costing me quite a bit of time and more importantly unnecessary effort.

Everything was going great through to turn around at mile 7.5 and right through mile 10. Mile 11 had one fairly nasty hill, mile 12 I passed by my Nana’s house again feeling MUCH more exhausted but still going. Halfway through mile 12 was when a massive hill hit and I definitely struggled. I still felt oddly strong and I knew that I was going to finish but that last bit was tough I am not going to lie.

The finish:

I came into the oval following behind an older gentleman who’s grandson had run out on to the course to finish with his Grandpa… Cue the waterworks because I’m already an emotional monster. I held it together and crossed at 2 hours and 37 minutes with my amazing sister Meghan and cousin DJ standing right at the finish line. I felt like a rockstar who could no longer feel her legs. It was awesome!

Lake Placid Half Marathon Finisher!

Lake Placid Half Marathon Finisher!

For those of you who don’t know me, my celebrity crush (like of all celebrities ever) is Rory McIlroy so this sign could not have fit me any more perfectly!

Best Poster Ever

Best Poster Ever!

Overall:

The race organizers did a great job, from announcers to volunteers everyone I crossed paths with were so nice. I made sure to say thank you to everyone who would listen for cheering us on and spending the hot day out there supporting people. The course was beautiful, I mean when you have the opportunity to run in such a historic little town and see some of the most incredible views you have no choice but to feel lucky. It was so cool to finish directly in front of the high school my mom graduated from. It was absolutely heartwarming to have family there to be able to share my accomplishment with.

Favorite little sister on the planet!

Favorite little sister on the planet!

Thanks for reading my rambles ❤