Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Bottomline's Race for a Cause 5k Recap! (Just three weeks late!)

Wow, September was a fun, but super busy month! I kept meaning to write a recap of this race, but hadn't been able to do so until just now!  (18 days later.)
  September 12th was the 'Bottomline Race for a Cause 5k' - I did this race last year (you can read the write-up here!)

  I love that the 5k is held where I work, and more than that, I love that the proceeds go towards a local charity.  This year, the proceeds went towards Families First.   The course is fairly flat, with the exception of a steady slight uphill at mile 2.

  Going into the race, I wasn't sure what to expect- I had been doing some speed work, but nothing consistent.  Last year, I had run the course in 22:50, I was really hoping to be close or below this number, but wasn't going to be too hard on myself if I was slower than this because of the heat, and for not being in the middle of marathon training.
   The morning of the race, Neil and I met Nicole, Karla and Lenny at Bottomline.  My parents met up with us to watch Max. I didn't get to warm-up very much at all, I think I did maybe a quarter of a mile!
   We lined up to run, and were off by 9:07.  I forgot to start my Garmin, and didn't realize my error until around 1/2 mile into the run.  Up ahead, I could see Karla as the first place woman, Nicole in second and me in third! Visions of finishing 3rd next to two of my good friends filled my head until a girl blew by me and I became the 4th woman.  I could still see the three of them, but there was no way I could speed up and maintain a consistent pace for the rest of the race.
 By the second mile, and after making it up the slight hill,  I was really tired and started wondering why I ever do 5ks!  To me, they feel harder than any other type of run or race! My lungs were burning, and I felt super overheated.   By the time I got to the 3rd mile, I knew I could push it as much as possible for the last 10th of a mile and then I would be done!  When I turned the corner into the BT parking lot, I saw that the clock had just turned 22:20 minutes- I knew I was going to PR! I ran as fast as I could for the last little stretch, and came through in exactly 22:40! A 10 second PR!
   Karla won for overall women, Nicole was the 3rd woman and I was the 4th woman!  Karla got to go home with a brand new FitBit!
Anyways, next time I write I will catch up on Reach the Beach!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Saunders 10k 2015, and Stitch Fix #18!

Mariette, me, Maureen and Nicole! 

Last Thursday was the Saunders 10k in Rye! You can read about my 2014 experience, here!  While racing in the Summer is never my favorite, I love doing this race.  It's close to home, well-organized and you have to "win" a t-shirt! (For the 'Women's Open' category of ages 0-39, they give t-shirts out to the top 30%.)

This year, I felt more prepared than I had in past years;  my 'A' goal was to try and break last year's PR of 48:50 and get closer to 46-47 minutes.  My 'B' goal was to win a t-shirt, and my 'C' goal was to finish, of course!  Tuesday night before the race, I was sick from something I had eaten, but had started to feel mostly better by Thursday.
Thursday, after work, Mariette and Nicole met me at my house so that we could warm-up and jog from my house to the starting line.  We got all the way down my street, and realized that we had left our bibs at my house! Oops.   After we got the bibs, we did a slow run/jog to the starting line...the weather was cool and foggy, but it was super humid.  I was already sweating from an easy 1.5 mile run!
   We ran into Maureen at the starting line, and took a group picture!

The four of us lined up together,  and got ready to run!

Within the first mile, I knew I was going to have problems with the humidity, by a 1/2 mile in, I was already coughing and out of breath.  When I got to the 1st mile marker, I also realized that I had started out too fast (7:23).
  By the 2nd mile, I dropped behind the girls, I couldn't believe how tired I was! (7:30)   The 2nd mile is also the point on the course that is somewhat uphill, so I knew that once I got towards the 3rd mile, it would be slightly easier!
  The 3rd and 4th miles were right around 7:45, and the 5th mile at 7:55.   At the 5.25 mile marker, the race course had a clock - I passed by at 41:35.  I figured that even if I slogged through the last mile,  I would be somewhat close to my goal.  By this point, I was feeling really low on energy and was coughing a ton from the humidity.  I had to stop at 5.5 to catch my breath.  A really nice guy from Six03 stopped and encouraged me to keep running- he was such a huge help, I felt like I was going to pass out and he talked me through the last part of the race.  When we got to the last turn to the finish line, he encouraged us to both pick up the pace.  I saw that the clock ahead said 48:58, so I knew I wasn't going to be quite as fast as last year, but was SO glad to be done.  I passed through at 49:09...and luckily, got a popsicle stick for a t-shirt! I profusely thanked my new Six03 friend for his help.  Runners are the best!!

Coming into the finish with my new friend!

...and now, a quick break from running with...

Stitch Fix #18!

The last 2 Stitch Fix boxes I had received had been a bust.  I was SO disappointed, and really close to canceling.  I had decided that if this month's box wasn't even a success, I was going to cancel completely.   Unluckily for my wallet, this month's Stitch Fix was a win!  

For months, I have been requesting flared or wide-leg jeans, I still love skinny jeans, but I really wanted something with a different cut.  Stitch Fix had sent me cute Boyfriend-style jeans a few months ago, but it wasn't the same.  It's hard to find pants that are long enough, and fit well.  I was so excited to open my box and see these:

The jeans fit perfectly!! I don't know how they do it! They also included a cute military style jacket which I cannot wait to wear in the Fall.
  Here's what else I got:

LOVE this dress! I had pinned a sweatshirt-style t-shirt dress to my Pinterest board that's linked to my Stitch Fix account.   The color and style were very similar to the one I had pinned, but this one was slightly dressier.  

Black and white shell tank-  I normally wouldn't have picked this out on my own, but I ended up liking it quite a bit.  I also love that it was long enough that it fit almost like a tunic.

Bohemian Dress-  At first glance, this was my least favorite of the box, but when I tried it on, I ended up loving it.  The cut was different than I had expected, and it hit just below my knee, so it was something that I could wear to work with a blazer or jacket.

Friday, July 31, 2015

" How I Run" Q & A!

This fun survey was on the Jen Chooses Joy blog the other day;  I am such a dork, and love filling these out! Especially if they are running related!

Here are my answers!

1. Would you rather run along a beach path, or a mountain trail?

Hands down, a mountain trail!!! While I feel really lucky to live so close to the beach, for me, nothing beats being in the mountains.  I just feel happy and relaxed- it's my happy place.

2.  If you could choose the flavor of Gatorade at your next race's aid stations, what would you choose?

I'm not the biggest fan of Gatorade, but if I had to choose a flavor- I would pick the red one? Fruit Punch??

3.  If I gave you a $100 dollar gift card to a running store, what would you purchase with it?

Another pair of sneakers, of course :) I would either get another pair of the Saucony Triumphs, or I would try out the Nike Lunar Glide Tempos...or the Brooks Launch....

4.  Do you prefer to follow a training plan, or wake up and then decide how fast and far you want to run?

I definitely prefer to follow a training plan, one of the things I like about my Garmin watch is that you can load your training calendar to the device.  I just feel more accountable, like a little man inside my watch is going to yell at me if I don't complete my training!

5.  Would you rather start your run with an uphill and end on the downhill, or start your run with a downhill and end on an uphill?

Definitely would like to start with an uphill and have a fast finish!

6.  When you can't run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?

I just started doing Kayla Itsines's 'Bikini Body Training.'  I am not a big fan of the 'bikini body' phrase, but I liked the idea behind the program.  It's not about getting skinny, or about getting the perfect body, but is about getting your body to be strong and in the best shape possible.  I had been getting in a bad habit of mostly just doing cardio, and very limited strength training.  I'm on my 3rd session of the program, and it's hard, but not super time consuming (3 x a week 28 minutes per session.)

My first sport love is with swimming, I always love swimming!

And of course, all bar games....

7.  What is your preference:  out and back, point to point or loop runs?

Point to point, but that's sort of hard to do without an on-call chauffeur, so probably a loop run!

8.  If you could recommend ANY running related to a new runner it would be?

Getting fitted at a local running store- in my area, Runner's Alley for a proper fitting and comfortable running shoe!

9.  Do you see any wild animals while out on your runs?

The majority of my runs tend to be in the middle of the day;  before I had Max, I ran early in the morning and saw: deer, fox, coyotes, rabbits and turkeys- always turkeys.  They scare me!!

10.  Ever gotten lost while on a run?

Yes, in the pre cell phone era, I went for a run during my senior year of high school in some of our town trails by myself for the first time.  I ended up wandering around for what I felt was miles and miles (but it was probably only a quarter of a mile.)  I got really upset and started to panic, but luckily a little while later, a couple walking their dog directed me back to the trail head.

11.  If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days, what would it be?

Lately, it's been so hot that I would ask for a margarita with salt...but that's probably not a good meal. Probably an omelet, a latte and a smoothie, a margarita smoothie.

12.  Capris or shorts, what do you run in the most?

I love the way capris look, but I end up only wearing capris maybe a handful of times during the year.  My favorite shorts are the Oiselle Mac Rogas!

13.  At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?

It depends on the temperature outside, but probably 20-30 minutes into the run

14.  What do you do with your key when you run?

Hide it or carry it in my Spibelt!

15.  If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one?

The Honolulu Marathon!!!  So much fun, some day soon, I hope to do another marathon!

16.  What type of run is your least favorite?

Any run that's on a treadmill-  no matter how little clothes I wear, no matter how many fans I have on me- I get SO overheated. It's probably all mental, but the treadmill feels 5x harder than road running to me

17.  When you go for your run, do you leave from your front door or drive somewhere to start?

During the week, I run from the front door of my office building!  On the weekends, typically just leave from my front door

18.  When running in daylight, are sunglasses a must, or an annoyance?

I feel silly looking in sunglasses, but they do help on sunny days

19.  When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting?

The mean training man in my watch!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

4 on the 4th Race!

Laurie and me post-race!

Today, I ran the York 4 on the Fourth, in York, ME.  I decided to run it a few days ago; Laurie was going to be doing a 12 mile long run Saturday morning, and offered to pace me for the race.  This was my first time running the race, and I'm really glad I signed up! 

The race starts at 8am, so this morning, I woke up at 5:15, ate breakfast and drove Max to my parent's house so he could play with them while I ran.  The race started at York High School, and I was able to pull in the parking lot at 7:10, pick up my bib and use the clean, non porta-potty! Yay for runs that have access to nice, indoor bathrooms!

 Laurie arrived shortly thereafter, and she and I did a 2 mile warm-up.  I felt really good on the warm-up, and really happy about the weather! It was in the high 60s and partly cloudy.
   We talked about my race strategy; the last (and only) four mile race I ran was in 2014 for the April Fool's 4 Miler in Salisbury.  I was pretty happy with that time (30:02), but figured it was because the course was super flat, and the temperatures were really cool.  I was hoping to stay right around 30 minutes, but would be of course excited to get under 30!  Laurie told me that we would stay right around 7:30, and if the pace picked up, she would signal for me to slow down.
As we were getting ready to line-up, Laurie and I ran into one of my Six03 friends, Jeff.  Jeff had a time goal he was hoping to set as well- we wished each other luck, and told each other that we would catch-up afterwards.

When the gun went off, I listened to Laurie and didn't do an immediate sprint so that I was gasping for air by the first 1/2 mile, we kept it comfortable enough, but still speedy (for me.)  The first mile was completed in 7:09!
  By the 2nd mile, I was still feeling good, there were only a few rolling hills, and then the rest of the course was flat (and followed the ocean.)  I made sure to take water at all of the stops, and made sure to listen to Laurie.  I kept looking for the time clock for 2 miles, and hoped that it would be under 15 minutes...and it was! (Mile 2: 7:19)

The 3rd mile was when I started to get super affected by the humidity, I kept telling myself that I was more than half way there, and it was all flat.  There were a ton of spectators which really helped!  Laurie kept pointing out people ahead of me to zero in on as a goal to pass- it worked, but I was definitely tired.  When I saw that the Mile 3 marker clock read 21:50, I realized that had I been running a 5k, I would have probably PR'd! (Mile 3: 7:20)

Laurie told me that I had 1 mile left, and I had time "left in the bank" for staying under 7:30.  I was really hurting, super hot, and just wanted to be done.  I kept telling myself that another mile was nothing, but it really felt like a lot!  By the time we turned into the high school for the last quarter mile, my legs felt like lead, and I felt like I was going to throw up!  I finally got to the finish line and was ecstatic to see my time of 29:45! (Mile 4: 7:27)  

Afterwards, I drank two bottles of water and had like 19 slices of watermelon.  I thanked Laurie for pacing me.  I ran into Jeff and he met his time goal as well!

I definitely did positive splits, but at least it was a 15 second PR!

I checked my results and saw that I was 4th in my age group, 11th overall woman and was 107th out of 825 people. 

I'll definitely plan on running next year!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Bobcat Bolt 5k and Currently!

Today was the Bobcat Bolt 5k in Durham NH;  I love this race, I love that it takes place at my old high school, love seeing old classmates, love the race's organization, love its kid fun run feature, love what it stands for (read about it here), but I do not love that every year (today was my 5th time running the race), I go out WAY too fast at the start, and flounder about a 1/2 mile in!
 This year, I talked to myself and made a pact that I was not going to take the first mile faster than 7:30, especially since the 1st mile is mostly all up hill!

Neil likes doing this race too, so I registered him, as well as Max for the kid race. Last year,  I had signed Max up, but he wasn't digging the race, and ran in the opposite direction.

This morning, the weather and temperature were almost perfect; no wind, no rain, sunny skies and temps in the mid 60s.  The race started at 9am, so Neil, Max and I drove to Durham to meet my parents at the Oyster River High School (they nicely watched Max while Neil and I ran.)  I set off to do a 2 mile warm-up, and at the end of my warm-up was greeted by a crying Max who was angry at me that I had warmed-up without him...so we did a quick warm-up together.

post tears, and post warm-up

At 8:55, Neil and I lined up to run.  I stood by two Six03 ladies who I had not met before; we introduced ourselves.  They looked fast, so I didn't expect to keep up with them, and my expectations were correct! :) 

At the start of the race, I reined myself in, and tried not to look at my watch too much, I did the first mile in 7:35, which was perfect.  I was able to get up the two big hills without feeling like I was going to puke or curse. Every single year, I have had to walk up at least one of the two hills.  By the 2nd mile, I was still feeling good, I was able to pass a few people, and keep a steady speed.  I dropped down to 7:15.  By the 3rd mile, I remembered again why I don't like 5ks, so much pain!!!! I was getting tired, and definitely hot- I kept telling myself that I could make it for a few more minutes.  The 3rd mile was 7:30.  The last .10 of the race is flat, I pushed it as hard as I could and crossed the finish line in 23:25.  It wasn't my fastest 5k, however,  I felt like I had pushed as hard as I could have, and was glad I wasn't a doofus with the first mile!  I ended up getting 34th overall (there were only 206 people in the race...), 2nd in my age group and 10th woman overall.   One of the two Six03 ladies came in 3rd for woman, and the other one got 1st in our age group. 

Afterwards, Max had his fun run, and successfully ran in the right direction! He was a good sport, and even though he didn't "win", he had a ton of fun.  He kept asking to race for the rest of the day, he saw some older boys running the bases of the baseball field, and asked if he could run with them.
Such a proud moment for me, check out his form!

He took a great nap later!

"Currently" Survey

I saw this survey kicking around on a couple of blogs, and wanted to play along! Play along if you'd like!

Current Celebration:  Tomorrow is Father's Day, celebrating dads everywhere!

Current Confession: I am stressing out about potty training Max;  Max saw a commercial for Disney World and told me he really wanted to go.  I told him that you had to be potty trained to enter the park.  He didn't buy it. 

Current Product Find: This  -  Chi Keratin Silk Infusion;  it was included in my purchase of my Chi straightener. I LOVE this stuff.  My hair is super, super thick and coarse.  I just need a bit of it and it helps de-frizz my hair a ton!

...and Lesser Evil Buddha Bowl Organic Popcorn. So good, and I should not be alone with the entire bag.

Current Book:  Just finished "Luckiest Girl Alive" by Jessica Knoll, it was good but I really enjoyed "Behind Closed Doors" by Elizabeth Haynes (read this right before "Luckiest Girl Alive.") So good, and so suspenseful!

Current Purchase:   These (Viscata Escala wedges)- they are so comfortable, and come in a ton of different colors.  I purchased this style, as well as a black crochet style

Current Drink: Drinking a cranberry lime Polar seltzer, wild Saturday night!

Current Show:  I'm excited to watch the new season of Orange is the New Black, but, I am not watching until I finish with Lilyhammer.  This show is so funny,  it's like a funny Sopranos set in Norway.  Now that I am watching the show, I am falling in love with Norway and want to visit! I'm on the 3rd season.

Current Obsession:  Spotify has a new running feature;  you can choose the "running" option on your Spotify app, choose the type of mix you want, and Spotify will custom the beat to fit your running tempo and cadence!  I love this new feature, and have liked all of the songs they have chosen...except for a few.  Check it out!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

National Running Day, Women's Running Magazine Offer and Stitch Fix #15!

June 3rd is 'National Running Day!'  This means get on your gear, and head out the door- or to the treadmill!  In honor of National Running Day, there are a lot of great deals happening through various running-related companies!  Women's Running Magazine, has a GREAT deal going on.  For today only, you can get 6 months of Women's Running Magazine for $5!  I subscribe to Women's Running Magazine, it's a great, fun read that focuses on tips for women's running, nutrition, running fashion and runner features.  Click here to check out the deal!

How are you celebrating National Running day today?? 

Stitch Fix #15!

Yesterday, I received a notification that my Stitch Fix had been delivered, so I came home from work very excited to try everything on.  I panicked a bit (ok, a lot), because my Stitch Fix was nowhere to be found!  Finally, after much searching, I finally found the package wedged between one of our side doors.  At least it was there!
 I was very happy with this Stitch Fix!  I ended up keeping three out of the five items!  Here's what I received...

Pinkish/Reddish waffle sweater-....I love sweaters, especially long, slouchy ones.  I usually wear a lot of red and a lot of pink, but for some reason, this color just did not look good on me at all.  I felt like a Pepto-Bismol tablet.  I sent this back.

White/Black striped sweater-  I feel like I have a lot of striped sweaters, but I really liked the look, fit and feel of this sweater.  It was light enough that I could wear it on a cooler Summer day.  It also seemed to be versatile enough to wear into Fall or early Winter. I kept this one!

Long, gold, leaf necklace-  I rarely wear gold jewelry, and rarely change the jewelry that I do wear.  This was cute, but I couldn't justify keeping it. Return!

Black, bootcut work pants- FINALLY!!! While I really wanted wide -leg work pants, these will definitely work as well.  The length was perfect, the fit was perfect and they will work well for work ,and after-work events. I love them, these were a definite keep!!

Blue/black cap-sleeved maxi dress-  This was a hard decision, I have a very similar looking maxi dress, only the one i have doesn't have cap sleeves.  This dress was slightly more dressier than the other one I have as well.  Ultimately, I decided to keep this, it fit really well, and I love maxi dresses!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Redhook 5k!

Sunday was the Redhook 5k;  it's a local race that's put on by my favorite local running store, Runner's Alley, and is held at the Redhook Brewery on the Pease Tradeport.  It's a really fun, really organized race that has activities for the entire family, and beer afterwards for the adults.  Going into the race, I wanted to get close to where I was in the fall with a time around 22 minutes and change,  but I was secretly hoping to see 21 in the number!  I felt good after the 1/2 marathon the weekend before, and felt okay to race.  

  Going into the weekend, I wasn't feeling 100%, but not bad enough that I couldn't run.  Sunday morning's weather wasn't even that bad, it was warm with a breeze.

The race has a late start (around 11am), so at 10am, Max and I drove over to Pease to meet my parents- they nicely agreed to watch Max while I ran.  I am NOT driving in the picture above, we are parked!

After dropping Max off, I parked my car and met up with my friend Stephanie.  By this point in the day, the breeze seemed to have gone away and the temperatures were getting closer to the 80s.  We did a quick warm-up, and I drank an entire bottle of water afterwards- I was already hot and feeling dehydrated, not a good sign!  

Steph and I lined ourselves up towards the front (right behind an older, shirtless, very tan man with extremely short shorts), and got ready to go!  I knew Stephanie was going to do well, even though she hasn't been running very long, she's already picking up speed quickly!
The gun went off, and we started!  Like a rookie, I did my first mile WAY too fast, or too fast for me at least.  I did 6:40, this was the worst idea ever.  It was super hot by this point, and the course has minimal, if no shade.    I normally don't stop to get water during 5k races, but because I had pretty much used up all of my energy during the first mile, I had to stop at the water stop, and had to stand for a few seconds to catch my breath.  The second mile was a full minute slower at 7:55.  At this point, I knew i wasn't even going to be close to getting 22 minutes!  I was super overheated, and had to stop again at the 2.5 mile mark to sit down for a second.   I watched a guy in front of me pass out, and another kid running by, throw up on the course!
  Stephanie ran by, she was doing great!!  I followed behind her, and barely made it through the last mile in 9 minutes.  I crossed the finish line in 24:15, I was so bummed, but knew I had made a dumb mistake with the first mile :).  Stephanie did awesome, and to add to that, she ran the 5k in longish pants;  based on the heat, that's even more impressive!

   I was disappointed in my time, but not that hung up on it as just a few years ago, I would have been super excited to see 24  minutes for a 5k! I was more frustrated that I know I could have done better, and also know better than to start a race about 30 seconds faster per mile than I should have.

Overall, it was a really fun time w. Stephanie, and hopefully I will get to 21 minutes someday!