Sunday, December 28, 2014

5 Things I am Loving Now!

It's been exactly two weeks since I ran the Honolulu Marathon!  For the sake of not overdoing my training, and to prevent myself from getting bored of running, I decided to take two full weeks off from running.  I almost made it, I did pretty well and managed to do 12 days off.  I caved in after the second unseasonably warm day we were having in NH, and went for my first post marathon run this past Friday
  The 12 days off were hard mentally because I was missing a lot of the endorphins you get from running, I walked a lot and did some strength exercises- it just wasn't the same!

  So what's in store for 2015?  Right now, I am signed-up to run the Mid-Winter Classic 10 Miler  on February 1st, and the Wallis Sands Half Marathon on May 15th- both already sold out!
   I love the 10 mile distance, and while I have never done a 10 mile race- I think this one will be really fun.  Wallis Sands I've done almost every year- as a plus, it goes right by my house!

Since I have had 12 days of non-running time with not a lot of running-related subject matter to talk about,  here are 5 (mostly) non-running related things that I have been into lately!

Serial Podcast-  I started listening to this podcast (a spin-off from 'This American Life', on NPR) on the way home from Hawaii.  I was hooked from the first few minutes- so much so, that I only allowed myself to listen to the first 3 episodes in the series, and to finish the rest for when I returned to running.  I listened to episodes 4 and 5 on today's run.  So good!!

2.   Athlesisure-  I think I should start a fashion blog centered around "athleisure."  It's a big trend right now, and anything that allows you to look stylish and comfortable, is alright in my book.   Athleisure consists of things like: leggings, sweatshirts, retro sneakers and clothes you can work out in (but wouldn't really.)  I had to buy this sweatshirt (pictured above) from Under Armour because it was retro looking, and super comfortable.  

Disclaimer**** My family, and my best friend from middle school, Jennifer will attest that I wore sweatshirts every.single. day in 7th grade, rotated between Champion, Stick People, the Gap, the Limited (logos, of course) and Umbra.   With my Adidas Sambas.   It was 1994.   I am making a promise now that this will not be the case.  ***

3. Gel Nail Kit-  Confession.  I have NEVER had a professional manicure in my life.  I have probably painted my nails maybe 8 times in my entire 32 years on Earth.  I keep my nails really short, and low-maintenance.  I heard about the gel nail kits in a magazine I was reading- it promised at home manicures that were easy and lasted around two weeks!  I was in need of a pick-me-up (lack of running endorphins), and ended up buying the kit (in link above.)    Last night, I did my first "manicure"-  it WAS easy!  So far, no chipping, and I feel a little more girly!

4.  Un-Fancy Blog-  I love reading blogs- however,  all of the ones I subscribe to are all running-related.  This changed when my friend Nicole turned me on to this blog a couple of months ago. The writer, Caroline Joy,  has a great sense of style, and a really cool idea of doing a 37-piece "capsule" wardrobe each season.  I really loving getting outfit ideas from her site

5.   The Saucony Triumph ISO-  As if I needed another reason to be a Saucony fan for life after their generosity,  support  and general awesomeness for the Saucony 26 Strong program!!  Before the program, I had bought a few Saucony shoes for running (the Kinvara and the Omnis.)  While the Omnis were too bulky for me, I have been a long time fan of the Kinvaras.  This year, I was able to try the Ride 7 (love them), the Kinvara 5, and both the A6 and the Fastwitch for races- also love them both, however, I prefer the A6.  In early November,  Saucony also graciously sent everyone in the program the Saucony Triumph ISO.  From the first run on, I have really been really into this sneaker.  It feels like, and does have a lot of cushion;  at the same time, it feels light like the Kinvara for tempo workouts.   While in Hawaii, Saucony gave us two new pairs of sneakers which will be released in late January.  I cannot wait to review these once I get a chance to run in them!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Honolulu Marathon!...and Stitch Fix #10?

Are you ready for lots of pictures??  I am back from Honolulu/Waikiki, and have so much to share!  I had a ton of fun, and will forever be a fan of Saucony after all they did for our group!
  Where to start...?

Friday morning, Angela, her husband and I met at the Manchester airport for a flight to the Newark Airport.  At Newark, we grabbed some lunch and Jamba Juice to fuel up for our 11 hour flight to Honolulu.  We ran into Michele and her sister, Nicole who were also going to be on our flight.  We boarded the plane in Newark at 930am- it was definitely the biggest plane I've ever been in.  My seat was right next to a guy who was very sweet, but talked the ENTIRE. time. I know his whole life story.
At the end of the flight, he told me I was his 'ride or die chick.'

We were greeted at the airport by a shuttle coordinator, and were lei'd- only our leis were pucca shells.  Then, we got on a shuttle to our airport.  Since it was 3:30pm on a Friday in Honolulu, the traffic was pretty bad, it took us 90 minutes to get to our hotel 6 miles away!  I had a huge headache from talking for the past several hours, and was getting car sick from stopping/starting.

   We got to the hotel at 5pm, checked-in, and freshened up to go to a Saucony meet and greet at 530pm.  We got to meet most of the other girls that were in Hawaii (some were still traveling due to delayed flights) and the three representatives from Saucony and Competitor Magazine who had been involved in the Saucony 26 program.  Upon walking in, they gave us all a Saucony backpack with two new pairs of shoes, a Saucony keychain and two new shirts.  I felt like a running princess!!

Saturday morning,   we were all awake at 5am because of the time difference.  We went to get a light breakfast at Starbucks, and sat out on the beach to watch the sun rise (and do yoga.)  Although, you can clearly tell that Angela is the one that actually does yoga.

Then,  at 830am, we all met in the lobby for a photo shoot and a shake out run to breakfast.  Here are some more pictures!

We  only ran a mile and a half to breakfast, but it felt like a struggle after the long flight and the heat. I felt that these pancakes would be the right idea.

Then, Angela and I walked back to our hotel, and then to the Honolulu Marathon Expo.  It was unique!  Most of the booths and the people participating in the expo were Japanese (Japan Airlines is the major sponsor of the marathon.)  Everywhere, there were people shouting in Japanese, large cartoonish mascots walking around, and people giving out fish crackers. ugh.  It was so funny- I wish I took more pictures in the expo!

After the expo, I met up with my friend Katie and her husband Brendan.  They just moved to Hawaii and it was so good to see them!! Katie is due with her first baby in a matter of weeks- she looked gorgeous!  We went for crepes in their town, and drove around the coastline.

After lunch w. Katie and Brendan,   I went back to the hotel room and got my outfit laid out for the marathon.  I kept forgetting that I was running a marathon- I was still in shock that I was in Hawaii!  Angela, Ron and I went out for dinner at the Yard House, and I enviously stared at everyone drinking beers.  We were all in bed pretty early as we had to meet our team at 4am in the hotel lobby for the 5am start.

   Race morning,  Angela and I ate our bagels and almond butter that Angela had managed to find from walking around town (thank you!)  We debated back and forth about what to wear, the weathermen were saying 20% chance of rain and there was a wind advisory.
  When we got down to the hotel lobby, it finally sunk in that I was going to be running 26.2 miles in less than an hour.  I was super nervous!
  We all walked the 1.5 mile to the start.  We arrived right about 4:35, and I of course, had to go to the bathroom.  Unfortunately, there seemed to be about 28 port-a-potties available for 20k+ people!!  I wasn't able to make it through the line, and did try going in the dark behind a tree, but chickened out...

There weren't any waves with the 20k+ people running, so Angela and I just tried to stick ourselves wherever there were the fewest people.  Fireworks went off (literally, not figuratively), and the race started!

  It was really, REALLY crowded, so Angela and I tried to weave through all of the people.  The spectators and energy of the crowd was so awesome, even for 5am!

I'm not sure if it was the wind, or the fact that I was jet lagged, but I really struggled with the first 13 miles.  My asthma seemed bad, I was low on energy, and was already hot! Plus, the 20% chance of rain turned into 100%.  
  Luckily, by the time we got to the 16th mile, the wind was at our backs, and I was feeling a lot better. I had been drinking Gatorade, and was taking in Gu's every 5 miles.  Watching all of the spectators, fellow runners,  and of course, running w. Angela made the time go by quickly!  I felt great, and then Angela didn't feel well.  She was still running, but I could tell that she didn't feel well- she got really quiet, and seemed nauseous.  Then, unfortunately, her calf kept cramping up.  The two of us managed to pull each other through the last 10 miles, doing whatever we could! It was so fun to run w. a friend and a fantastic coach!  We told each other stories and talked about all of the alcoholic drinks and food we were going to eat/drink after the marathon.

Finally, we got to the 25th mile (after a seemingly 25 million-mile high hill), and saw Brandon, Sean and Erin from Saucony and Competitor there to cheer us on!  The rest of the way to the finish line was downhill- again, literally.

This was actually before the race!

I AM A MARATHONER!!!  After 18 long weeks of pushing myself and working really hard, I was so excited to finally be able to give myself that title!!  Best of all, I got to cross the finish line w. Angela!  Thank you so much Angela for coaching me, and being a supportive friend!!!  Thank you as well to Neil and my parents for your support!!

  I kept remembering that when I ran my first HALF-marathon, I was SO tired, and just wanted it to end.  I remember crossing the finish line at the half, and swearing that I would never be able to run 26+ miles, yet alone, another 13! But I did!!  So what's next?? Maybe an ultra??

The finish line was a blur, there were thousands and thousands of people, my phone, which had been in my Spibelt during the race, had self-disabled from me butt dialing it repeatedly.  I was stressed out because I couldn't see anything on my phone or make any calls for 30 minutes!   I grabbed my race t-shirt, medal and a delicious Hawaiian donut.  By that time, I was able to call Neil!

We walked back to the hotel, showered, changed and went to the hotel bar for lunch and a margarita.

Finally...a margarita

Then, we all took naps, and at 430pm, met up with the Saucony team for dinner!  We all got to catch up and talk about our marathon experience.  Then, it was time to say goodbye, as most people (myself included), were flying home the next day.

Angela and me with Brandon, Erin and Sean- the nicest (and tallest) people, and our Saucony/Competitor magazine coordinators

Saucony gave us all these necklaces- I got misty-eyed!
The next day, Angela, Ron and hiked up Diamond Head Volcano - so gorgeous, but after walking to Diamond Head, up Diamond Head and back from Diamond Head- I was EXHAUSTED.

The volcano is alive, with the sound of music...

I went back to the hotel room, showered, packed and got ready to leave on my flight back home for NH (sniff sniff.)  The flight back went well,  I was able to sleep the entire way back to Newark (or most of it), and didn't have to speak to anyone.

   I had a great weekend, I had a ton of fun w. Angela and Ron, and met lots of new friends from all over the country! I am forever grateful for the energy, detail and thought that Saucony put into making our weekend so special!  

Stitch Fix # (I can't remember what number I am on!)

This will be a short review, because I blabbed on about my marathon for the majority of the post.  I got my Stitch Fix while I was in Hawaii, and normally, would have had to return the clothes I didn't like while I was away on vacation- however, Stitch Fix's customer service was really nice, and extended the send back deadline by four days!
  I tried my clothes on Tuesday night when I got back from Hawaii- I received a gold bar necklace (sent back, not a huge fan of gold jewelry),  an open back sweater (really, when am I going to wear an open back sweater?? Sent back), a graphic sweater w. large squares (I swear I owned the same sweater in 1989- sent back),  grey skinny jeans (I kept those) and an olive green utility jacket (kept that as well.)

Then, the next day StitchFix sent me this journal in the mail for the holidays!! It was so thoughtful, I am going to use it as a running journal to plan my ultra- marathon (haha.)