Wednesday, December 12, 2012

If you find my Motivation, please return it!

This month has been horrible for my family and I. We have experienced so many sicknesses and injuries. I am just counting down the day's December is over.

I have been out of running since Thanksgiving. I am truly missing it and, finding myself slip into lack of motivation mode. I signed up for the 100 miles in Winter challenge to help with my motivation, but here I am halfway through December and have logged a big goose egg.

Right now my number one priority is getting myself and my boys healthy again. Hopefully, this is our last chain of sicknesses and we can move forward.

I wanted to update my blog just so that I can promise myself, (When it's in writing I do better at keeping it) once we are all better, I am going to hit the ground running.

My running group and I have signed up for the Cherry Blossom lottery. I am hoping we get in so I have something to work towards. There is a pace requirement and I will be running on the edge of it. I want to be able to work on speed so that I won't be swept!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving Wattle Waddle Fun!!

Thanksgiving morning I woke up bright and early to head out to run a Thanksgiving 5 miler. Some may think I'm crazy for running on Thanksgiving. However, I think otherwise. I have so much to be thankful for this year. Besides my family and friends who I am the most thankful for, I am very thankful I am able to still be running. When I started my journey with running I was struggling with getting to a 5k finish line. Here I was waking up to run a 5 miler for fun on Thanksgiving. I have accomplished a ton this year towards my running goals.

After waking up and getting my gear ready, I headed to pick up one of my BRF's. (Best Runner Friend) We drove to Emmitsburg, MD. where the race was taking place. It was freezing out. Probably one of the coldest day's since last winter. Brrr. I wasn't ready for it. We met up with some of our other BRF's at the race start. It was great to be able to run with everyone again. I absolutely love these ladies.

I had run this race last year so I wasn't really nervous or worried what it would be like. There were only about 100 people there. It was small but a very nice crowd. We knew a lot of the people there because it was one of the 16 races in the Steeplechaser's Grand Prix series. Which a lot of us are apart of.  Once introductions and prayers were said we were off to run. I stayed pretty consistent with my pace and, was near the rear of the pack as I usually am.  Wow, I had no memory of how many hills were on this course. With a mix of the cold and not having ran a run since the OBX I was struggling. Thankfully, I had my BRF with me and we chugged along. We finished at around 1:09. Not a PR for me but... hey I got off the couch that morning and, I was able to eat a piece of pie later and not feel guilty about it!!
One of the most amazing things about this race is even though the majority of the runners are done between 30 mins to 45 mins. Everyone waits until the last runner comes through before starting the awards. As a slower runner myself this is very awesome. I have come in quiet a bit of finishes where no one is around or cheering you in. Every single runner/spectator at the Emmitsburg Wattle Waddle was there cheering all the runners in. Right down to the very last runner. Awesome!!

It was a challenging race for me but, the atmosphere was fun and I loved being there with the rest of the ladies!
The race volunteers were amazing too. They were very motivating. They could have been still asleep in their beds, but they made the trek out to help. That's pretty awesome!
I will most likely be doing this race again next year!
We look cold right?!? Lol.

The course was on the roads around Emmitsburg Community Park and Town.

My BRF and I coming in to the finish!

Three Things Thursday

It's the last Thursday of the month. Where did November go?  I am not ready for December to be here.

1. Product Reviews/Giveaway  

Check out all these amazing products!!! I was very fortunate to get some awesome sponsors to help fill this AMAZING Swag bag I gave out to the wonderful ladies in my running group for our OBX weekend. Great news...I will be posting my review of all the products inside and will be sending one lucky reader their very own bag! Exciting right!?!
So, if you haven't already...make sure you are following me somehow so you know when the Giveaway will be!

2. Germs

My family has been hit with sickness overload. All of us have been sick off and on all month. I am hoping we are all well for December. There are so many activities planned for December. It will be busy.

3. Motivation  

Since I have been battling sickness and taking care of my sick boys, I haven't run since Thanksgiving. I feel so lazy and sluggish. I have signed up for an online challenge in hopes it will help keep me motivated through the winter. The challenge is to run 100 miles in December through February. If you'd like to join me go see the details over at The Running Mom.

Friday, November 16, 2012

3 medals, 2 races, and a PR!! OBX Half Marathon Recap

This past weekend some of my girlfriends and I took a trip to Outer Banks NC to participate in their Gateway Banks Outer Banks Marathon weekend.

Outer Banks is about a 5 hour drive from where we live so we knew we would need to add a day of driving there, and a day to drive back to the schedule. We decided leaving Friday and returning Monday would be the ideal plan. The Marathon weekend included so many events you could choose to participate in.

We all met up at our friends house and loaded up the car. We made for great timing only stopping once to take a bathroom/lunch stop halfway. We chatted about past races, future races, PR's, playlists and so much more. The drive down seemed to go pretty fast. We made a stop at the Expo to register before checking into our hotel. 

The expo was a lot smaller than I had imagined it to be. We went on through and picked up our race bibs (with timing chips attached) and, race tee's. I also purchased a 13.1 magnet for my car. I have ran two half marathons already before this past weekend, and still hadn't gotten myself a magnet. I guess I was trying to prove to myself it wasn't just a one time deal.
After we were all settled in and unpacked we headed out to go grab a bite to eat. We were starving and it was getting late. Not but 5 minutes after we had stepped out of the hotel, the hotel and surrounding area had lost power. We figured it was just someone had hit something, or something along those lines and it would be right back on. We decided to drive farther down the island to try and find an area with power.  My friends and I were super bummed after we drove around for 30 minutes realizing it had spread through the whole island. The radio broadcast had told us it was a "Massive" outage. Oh, great! Now what? We headed to the only grocery store we found with a generator and bought some snacks from there to hold us over. We had signed up for the Rum Runner's Challenge which meant there would be a 5k race on Saturday morning and, a half marathon race on Sunday morning. We started to worry this would effect the 5k run in the morning. Sure enough not even 10 minutes checking out of the grocery store the island got it's power back. We headed out to find somewhere to eat. 3 hrs later we were headed back to the hotel. We had the worst experience at dinner. Optimistic that things would go up from here we headed off to bed.

The beach! Ahhh!

The crowd getting ready for the 5k.

Saturday morning we headed over to the Buccaneer 5k run. It was held at the First Flight High School track in Kill Devil Hills. They had an 8k event that was going on before our 5k event. The 8k event was like our 5k event. You could either run it as a single race or you could run it with the half or Marathon race on Sunday to make it considered a challenge. We opted to do the 5k/Half Marathon challenge. The race start was located on the high school track. There was tons of entertainment for families located inside the middle of the track. Bounce houses, slides, face painting, temporary tattoo station, rock wall climbing. It was a very fun atmosphere. My friends and I walked around taking pictures and, enjoying some of the stations.  After a restroom stop we were ready to run our race. The weather was a little warm at a 10am start. The race course was an out and back course wrapping around the school and neighborhood. There was some rocky, sandy and, grassy terrain as well as, blacktop and, the track. My ankles hated the uneven terrain and my PF hated the rocks digging into my heels. I was surprised to see so many children signed up for the race. My friends and I decided to take it easy and not full out run the course, since we were running again the next day. However, I had to hightail it out of there at the start. There were so many people walking this race we had to weave in and out. I know that a 5k race is where a lot of beginner runners start out, and they don't know the etiquette of where to go when walking and how to let others pass you. But, I felt there was no common sense from a lot of people on how to slow down on the outside of the course. I had to stop myself from tumbling over people who had stopped right in front of me countless times, so that I wouldn't barrel them over too. Thankfully, I found my slower rhythm and was able to relax a bit and settle into the race. We stopped for our friends at the end of the race and finished together as a group. It was fun finishing together. 

Group picture at the 5k. Picture provided by Shannon Doughty
Cheers to our finish of the 5k! On to the next!

The other half of our group was meeting us down there a day later than us. We met up with them Saturday night to enjoy a nice dinner at Kelly's Restaurant. We had some amazing meals and, enjoyed each others company. Kelly's was super accommodating and, even allowed us to sit at a private table on a  private floor. Very nice people running that restaurant! 

Our group at Kelly's Picture provided by Tonya Wise
At the start of the half marathon. Picture provided by Jenni Gilroy.

Sunday morning we woke up early to drive to the start of the half marathon. There were quiet a lot of runner's there already. We took our bags to bag check, took a restroom stop and, took some group pictures before lining up in our corral's. Must of us in my group was lined up in corral E. We heard the announcer announce that the start would be coming up in a couple minutes. We then heard a cannon sound off. It was a little surprising but got my adrenaline pumping. The announcer started counting each corral down to start. My corral was let out of the start only a short time after the 1st corral. The course was very beautiful. It ran around some of the ocean, scenic neighborhoods, and along the highway. The weather was gorgeous but, a little hotter than I had thought it was going to be. Whenever I hit the highways the sun beamed down on me. I struggled finding my pace and breathing the first 3 miles of the race. I seem to do that a lot. Once I hit the 4 and 5 mile seems were starting to look good for me. I took a gel and upped my pace a bit. I caught up to one of my friends and ran with her for about a mile before taking off again. I was feeling wonderful. The best I had ever felt during a half. I wasn't regretting my decision of signing up at all, unlike last time. My feet were feeling great too. At about mile 10 is when things starting to change for me. The race course as of yet had been pretty flat. I knew that there was a bridge that others had talked about. They had mentioned it was a big hill and a lot of people struggled on it. I had forgotten all about it. When I hit it, I almost thought it wasn't real. This was a pretty massive bridge. I was a bit scared I wouldn't make it. I scaled the hill in what I call turtle pace. I was run/walking but felt like I was making no progress. Once I finally made it to the top, my legs took over and ran down the hill. I was exhausted and still had a little under 2 miles left. 

Part of the bridge at mile 10.  Picture source
I had a time in my head of where I wanted to finish. Looking at my Garmin I knew I wasn't going to make my time if I didn't full on sprint it. I tried to run as fast as I could but my legs were so week. My breathing was all off again. According to my Garmin I only had the .1 left of my half. However, every bend that I made thinking it was my last, kept getting longer. I felt it was never going to end. Finally I could see the end in sight. I ran as fast as I could to get there. Coming down the finish chute I saw part of my group on the side waiting and cheering me on. 

Coming into the finish. Picture taken by Jenni Gilroy

After the half!

I crossed the finish line and seriously felt as if my legs were going to give. I was super excited I finished. Once seeing my time I was a little sadden I didn't make my goal. However, I still managed to shave 4 minutes off my last half marathon time. I met up with the rest of my group and waiting for the rest of our group to come through. One friend of ours was running the Marathon so we waited for her to come through too. If you've never seen people come to the finish line at a marathon, it is very motivational. You see all kinds of people come through. Some people are in pain, some are crying out of happiness, we saw old runner, young runners, we even saw military runners running with full gear.  It's pretty amazing. We also got to see a world record being made by Team Extreme. They had the 1st woman to finish a marathon in a Gas Mask. That to me is super impressive.

Team Extreme coming to the finish. Picture courtesy of Tonya Wise.

After everyone had finished we walked to get our bags and race goodies. We then hopped on to the shuttle bus which took us back to our car. We refueled with some lunch on our hotel's gazebo on the beach It was an amazing lunch with great friends. We then dipped our feet in the ice cold ocean and took pictures! Who needs an ice bath when you have the Ocean in November. Lol. After than we enjoyed a dip in the hot tub. It felt amazing on our sore muscles. I don't know how I will ever run a race and not use the hot tub afterwards again. It was beyond amazing. After showering and getting ready, we enjoyed our final night together as a group. We went to Pamlico Jack's for dinner. Again, another amazing place to eat while in the OBX. Amazing management and delicious food. 

Taking an ice bath for my feet in the Ocean!

I was super sad to say good bye to the OBX and, my wonderful friends but, was eager to see my boys at home. I can not wait to do it all again next year. I see the OBX Half Marathon being in my future for a long time.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I survived the Zombies!!

This past weekend my girlfriends and I participated in one of the most entertaining races yet.
 Yep, that's right...The Frederick Maryland  Mud Dog Run: Zombie Edition. I have been talking it up for the last couple weeks. I was super pumped but, really nervous too. This was my first mud run as well as first zombie run.

After meeting up with the ladies, we headed over early to the farm to get bibs and pictures. Everything went really smoothly at registration.  In Maryland this past weekend it was freezing. Thankfully, they had fires going for all us runners to keep warm while waiting around. I thought that was super thoughtful. After some pictures and dropping off our coats at the car we were ready for some fun.

We lined up among the sea of people, all excited to see our first Zombie. The race director started the race and we were off. What I thought was going to be an easy run/walk with some obstacles came to a screeching halt. The first obstacle was among us, tons of hay bales scattered among the course with a lot of Zombies coming at you. I screamed and ran as fast as I could. Dodging zombie left and right , as they reached for my flags. (Think flag football style.)  Some were hobbling and others were full on running after your flags. If you weren't running sprinting  from Zombies, you were doing an obstacle. The obstacles were pretty fun. Some were pretty challenging too. We faced a spiderweb of ropes to weave through, barbed wire to army crawl through with water underneath, chest deep water to stomp through, a slide to slide down, huge haystacks to climb over, fire barrels to go around, a couple walls to climb over, a balance beam log to walk scoot across. Then we finished with a jump over logs on fire!! Of course all the water ones were my least favorite because of the freezing temps. My fingers and toes were frozen when I was finished.Even with the freezing temps, it was the most fun I've ever had at a race before.

Pictures credited to: Key 103, Malleus Combat Sports and, Crystal Raines

At the end of the race you were corralled into two different finish lanes. One was for if you finished with flags, the other was for those with out. I somehow ended up in the alive. Ok, so technically I should never have finished with that flag, but somehow one got stuck up my shirt and well...the rest is history!

After the race you were given a Flying Dog beer glass. Which of course I was super stoked. I love Flying Dog beer. It's one of the best recovery drinks ever! Inside our glass was a token for a free beer and a coupon for a free sandwich or soup. Really?!? How did they know I was super hungry! We went and got our sandwiches. The after party band was pretty amazing. I was also pretty surprised to see the party tent was heated.

We followed Mud Dog's advice and packed an extra set of clothes. After we wrangled those wet muddy clothes off and warmed up in out sweats and sweatshirts all was good in the world again. We were adrenaline rushed and toasty!

Overall a fantastic time, I would run it again!! My girlfriends and I talked about doing the regular Mud Dog in the warmer weather next.

Check out this video that Key 103 posted on their Facebook. They had 5 or so people participating with us. They were with us for the most part. You can see us in the video a bunch of times. The dude with the head cam on even knocked one my friends down on the water slide. Lol. Too funny!

Check back for more pictures!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Marine Corps Marathon Weekend! OORAH!

To all who ran the 10k and Marathon this past weekend at the Marine Corps Marathon, Congratulations!!

I participated in the 10k event because, we'll let's face it...I'm no marathoner. Although I had a really great time, I had some boughts of  bad luck and, emotional moments.
My morning started out by hearing my alarm clock go off. I looked over at it and saw 5:00 flashing. I looked over at my phone which is next to my clock and saw it flashing. Immediately I freak out. At some point my alarm clock messed up and instead of going off at 4am it went off an hour late. My friends had been calling me wondering what was wrong. Did I get in an accident, sick or, eaten by Zombies? Nope, freaking overslept. Thankfully, I have super awesome friends and they came knocking at my door. I threw clothes and shoes on and, grabbed my bags in record time.
Along the way I realized I had forgotten my fuel belt water bottles and, my honey stingers. I was bummed but, figured this was just a 6 mile run I would be ok with the race water and Gatorade. We picked up the rest of our friends and were on our way.
Maryland had been under a state of emergency because of a Hurricane due to hit land some time on Sunday or Monday. We saw no real signs of "Sandy" except a bit of wind and cold weather. It was actually great running weather.
We arrived at our parking garage and, made our way to the start of the 10k. The start was at the corner of 12th and Madison on The National Mall. It was still pretty dark out but, everything was so beautiful. We could see the Capital and Washington Monument.

It was pretty crowded but not too bad. We went to bag check and successfully dropped off all our bags. The bathroom lines were ridiculous. We started to wait in line until a nice man told us that we could go to a public restroom no one was at.

The crowd from our bathroom line.

My friends and I in the Bathroom line.

We made it to the start just in time to hear the National Anthem and take off.

In our corral. 

The starting line! Picture taken by a friend.

The race course was very nice. You were able to see a lot of DC area landmarks. It was a bit industrial but, you kind of expect that since you are in DC. There was tons of race spectators along the way. Alot of support groups were there ringing their bells and holding signs, cheering us along. I got quiet emotional while running a couple times along the course. I saw so many runners running in honor of falling Marines, wounded veterans running, and even runners with prosthetics. Of course then there were the Marines. All of which were there cheering us on too. Smiling, extending their arms for high fives. Everyone yelling "oorah" and "Semper Fi" every time I thanked them. It was amazing.

Somewhere along mile 3, I landed wrong on my sore foot causing it to send intense pain up the back of my heel into my calf. It was one of the worse pains Ive ever experienced running. It made me stop a minute and stretch it out. I wanted to call it quits right there and then but, kept seeing all these runners running for bigger reasons and said to myself could I really stop right now. There is no excuse, I must finish. The last 2 miles of the course were so brutal for me. I pushed so hard to finish. I wanted to beat my last 10k time but, sadly knew I wasn't going to make it due to the time I took stopping to stretch out my foot. The last hill of the course was almost my breaking point but, seeing so many people cheering you on and Marines holding their hands out to get you in case you need help just made you suck it up and push through. I finished my race and continued through the finish corral to get my medal. At the end there was a line of Marines holding medals. The Marine who was in my line looked at me, put the medal around my neck and said "Congratulations" he then saluted me and, I saluted back.

After receiving my medal, I met back up with my friends. I let out some more tears of pain and sucked it up. We got our water and Gatorade and walked to go find our bags. Our bags seemed miles away from the finish. We were freezing and wanted to change. Once we found our bags, changed, went to the bathroom, warmed up and even got FREE massages, (Which were the real deal and amazing) we headed back to the finish line to watch our friends finish the Marathon.

I had never watched a Marathon finish before. Wow!! What an emotional event. So many people crying, being helped to the finish, holding hands. We saw men and women pushing chairs with quadriplegic partners inside. It was amazing. We saw two of our friends accomplish something they worked so hard for. Seeing them from the start to finish was something else and being there to cheer them along . I was and am so truly proud of them. I joke so much here on my blog and in person about never being able to run a marathon but, seeing them accomplish something they set their hearts on really makes me have hope that one day maybe I will be able to run a Marathon too.

After meeting up with our friends who ran the Marathon we headed back home. Unfortunately, everyone else was too. The Metro was backed up, the line was wrapped around two streets. We decided to walk to the next station. However, we had no clue how long that walk would be. Once reaching the metro, I was beyond exhausted. Running the 10k and the 4 hours of extra walking around really irritated my foot more. I was so happy to be on my way home. All I wanted was ice of my foot and to lay down!! :)

All of us before heading home!

The best and the worst:
The best was: All the race support and, of course the Marines!! Also it's one of the few 10ks around you get a medal for!
The worst: All the walking around to get to your bags and family meetup. The traffic to get home was a bear. Lastly, there wasn't a water stop until mile 3 and, when I finally got to one I got the smallest bit of Gatorade I've ever gotten. (There was only 2 water stops on the course and no fuel stations.)

Would I do it again?
I really am not sure. That night I swore to never run it again due to the bad points but, now that I am reviewing it. I really did enjoy the atmosphere!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Virtual Running

Have you ever participated in a virtual run/race? If not you're probably wondering what one is. I'll admit before last year I had no clue what one was. I had seen a couple tweets come up on Twitter about virtual races but didn't pay much attention to them. That is until one of my favorite bloggers Run with Jess posted about one on her blog. A virtual race is a “race” that can be run anywhere you are, no specific starting time or starting place. They occasionally have specific dates, or sometimes the dates will range a week or two to give you time to finish it.  Just pick your favorite course and run.

Last year, Run with Jess posted on her blog that she would be planning a race in her hometown a 5k with cupcakes at the finish. YUM! I wanted to run. However, Jess lived to far away for me to come run with her. She decided to allow others in other states to run with her "virtually". All you had to do was email her your time and you'd be considered a finisher. You could run the race at anytime during the week of her race. I thought it was a great idea. I decided to sign up. She had two options to join. You could join for free and be entered in the raffle or pay a small fee and, receive a race tee. I opted to receive the tee. 

Last year, I went out and ran it alone..came home and devoured my cupcake. It was a great way to get myself motivated to run alone. 

Last weekend, my Run, Mama, Run! running group decided they would all participate in Run with Jess Cupcake Classic 5k. We would all meet up and run it together. Then receive our cupcakes after. What fun!! I loved the idea of doing it with friends this year. However, I am in the process of training for some longer races coming up and, had 9 miles on the schedule for that weekend long run. My running buddies and I decided we'd run 6 and then meet up with the rest of the group and run the 5k. So we would get 9 miles in.

The first 6 miles went really great. I was in the zone. I was in minimal pain due to my PF but, I felt good. After the 6 miles we had to stop to meet the group. We waited about 30 mins. before the 5k started. I have no clue how some people do two a days. The 5k race hurt me like no other. I was in such pain. I think part was due to the cold weather and the stiffness of my muscles. Other was my PF was flaring up big time. One of my running buddies and I kept it slow and steady. We finally finished. Exhausted!! 

One of the ladies in the group had brought cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes, one of the most delicious cupcake shops around where we live. I opted for the red velvet of course. Yumm! It was heavenly!

This year, Run with Jess had a medal option you could purchase. I did not order a tee or medal this year. I'm disappointed I didn't, they were super nice.

Virtual Run's are a great idea if your looking to do something as a group or solo... yet, don't have the time to do it on a certain day. You have the freedom to get it done when you can.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

How does one train for a Zombie Run?!?

Once I finally decided to run this Zombie Mud Run, I thought to I ready? How would I train for a Zombie Run? After asking on Twitter I got some interesting tweets. Some were super helpfully telling me I need to practice walking in water, practice landing my jumps, walking up ropes, working on my upper body strength. Others were more humorous in their comments telling me to run in groups and not be the slowest, and, forget practicing and buy a machete.

I already go to the gym 5 days a week. I think I'm pretty up on my fitness. I'm not the strongest but, I think I'll be able to manage. As far as my endurance...well, I did just run a half a couple weeks ago. I think I'm good on that too. 

Along my journey of finding the best way to train, I found some amazing tools that one might find useful. 

* 1st is my ultimate favorite. I loved the idea and the reviews so much I purchased it for myself. Look for a review soon. It's a fitness/game app available on both Iphone and Android markets called Zombies, Run! If you have the Nike + app it's similar to that. It's a voice over program that makes it feel like you're in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse. You pick up supplies and weapons along the way but when you hear the Zombies are near you have to sprint to get away. Make sure you don't lose you supplies or get caught and turn into a Zombie. For those who lose interest in running this is a fun way to keep you running. You want to get out there a continue the game. Each run gets your closer to the final. The price for the app is a little pricey. ($7.99) However, I think it's a great price if it gets you running more. I am always running with the same music by mile 4 I'm bored, and don't want to run anymore. Which is why I like to run in groups. I am hoping this will help motivate me to run more solo runs!

* Another find was Zombie Fit! Zombie Fit is a website that lists WODs (Work out of the day's) that get you in tip top Zombie apocalypse shape! They also dabble in a bit of Parkour. For those who don't know what that is, it's a form of getting over obstacles. Running, jumping, climbing, vaulting etc. Zombie Fit even has classes. Unfortunately, non are around me! They sound fun. I think I'd try it out!

Even if you aren't able to do any of these or aren't even in the best shape, I think you'll be fine at this event. It should be lots of fun. I will be doing it for the experience and fun not for time!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mud Dog Run: Zombie Edition

If you haven't read my previous post, I'm running a 5k Mud Run with 16 different obstacles. Think that sounds tough? (I do) Add in some Zombies grabbing at flags attached to you. Yep, that's right...Zombies!!!
If you survive with all flags you will be put on the "survivors list", but fail to keep your flags you become infected and join the Zombies!

If that doesn't sound fun then I KNOW you'll love the "End of the World" party. Food, Flying Dog Beer, and over 8 hrs of music from bands/DJ's. Sounds amazing, right? Still not impressed? How about some awesome goodies? Mud Dog Run will be giving you as package built in to the price of the tickets that will include:

Mud Dog Run gifts (Including a T-Shirt)
$5 in Mud Dog Bucks to use on food

Since I know you are super exited along with me, I am providing my blog friends some coupon codes!

First step, Go here! Then decide if you want to be a runner, zombie or a spectator. Once you have decided register for the correct registrant. When asked for the coupon code type in hamilton. This code will give you a discount of $17.00 to be a runner! If you are interested in being a zombie or a spectator type in ZOMBIE5

If you are attending the event let me know so we can meet up for some pictures!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Have you run from Zombies?

Image provided from Mud Dog Facebook
I have this picture in my mind of how I would be during a Zombie apocalypse. I'm bad ass and, tough like in the movies. However, to be honest with my readers I know I'd be running away like a complete wuss. For those who don't know me very well, you should know I hate scary movies and, being in scary situations. Haunted houses are not on my to do list during Halloween.

For some reason the human population is completely infatuated with all things Zombie right now. In the running community, Zombie runs are all the rage. During these runs people are dressed as Zombies and try and capture your flags as you run. People who have made it to the finish with their flags still intact have survived. The ones who haven't...well, they're now Zombies.

Another popular run right now is a mud run. These events consist of running along an obstacle course with mud. You have tons of different obstacles to overcome. Climbing, crawling, sliding, and jumping around the course. They all usually end with some kind of "party" where the runners and spectators come together and drink fantastic beer, listen to music and veg out on turkey legs! 

Image property of Mud Dog Run

I have been really wanting to partake in one of the mud runs. My hometown has been hosting them for a couple times now and, it really looks fun! I finally decided I'd run the next one!!

But, wait!!! The next one I saw in my hometown was a race that combined these two!!! A ZOMBIE MUD RUN!!! Are you serious? Part of me was super stoked, the other...super scared!
I'm going to do it!!! I know I will scream like a little girl and maybe even cry out of fear but, what the hell!

Who's with me???

Check out below!! Also, come back tomorrow and see me for a special coupon code to participate as a runner or zombie!!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fall Running Tips

(Photo Source)

Who doesn't love fall? I know I do!!

I love everything about fall...the weather, the colors, the sports and, especially all the fun fall activities. With the fall weather, I find that I enjoy running outside so much more. I wanted to share with beginner runners some tips to follow while running during the fall months.

1. Dress the part: As the temperature drops you need to start adding layers of clothing on. Not too many as you will most likely be way to hot, as your body temperature rises as you run. I would add a light layer underneath a tee or over top. Something you can remove easily if need be. I list my fall favorites here.

2. Check the weather: This goes in hand with the above tips. During the fall months the weather can be very sporadic. One day it can be beautiful, the next it can be cold and snowing outside. You don't want to get stuck out on a long run in a tee shirt and it starts snowing. Brrr!

3.Watch your step: Wet leaves can be very hazardous. You don't want to slip and fall and cause injury. Leaves can also be covering a hole or ditch in the ground. Make sure you are watching where you are running.

4. Take a camera: The landscaping is so beautiful during the fall. If you don't mind lugging a camera around or your cellphone do so!! You'll enjoy all those pictures later!

5. Protect your Skin: Just because the Summer heat is gone doesn't mean you can't get sunburned. I remember last year during one of my races in the fall, I got a very bad sunburn on my face. I never even thought about it in the fall. It is still possible to happen. 

6. Sign up for a race: The fall months are GREAT for training time. You can get in more time with the cooler temps. Maybe sign up for that Half Marathon you've been wanting to do. Or go all out and sign up for a Full!!

7. Stay hydrated: It seems like when it's hot and humid out we are more prone to drinking water and staying hydrated. Then when the color temps come we forget about how important it is. It is still very important to stay hydrated even in the cooler temps. I am one who gets dehydrated fast so I carry a hydration belt. It is a belt worn around the waste that carries bottles full of water. The one I use specifically is a Fuel Belt.
However, there are other options out there from backpacks to handhelds. Also, make sure you are getting enough water days before leading up to a big event. Not just during.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fall Running Favorites

My very favorite time to run, is in the fall. I love the crisp cool air, the color's of the trees, and that there are a ton of race events planned.

The transition from Summer, hot sweaty running to the fall is an easy one. If the temperature range is about 50 I usually opt for just a dri fit tee and capri's. 30-50 range I throw on a moisture wicking long sleeve shirt under my tee. I really like the ones with thumb holes in the sleeves. For some reason, I end up always picking those up. (Lululemon has a bunch of these types.) I like to layer so that if it does heat up a bit I can throw off a layer. Sometimes those chilly morning runs I need to start out with a pair of light running gloves. I seem to be the coldest in my hands but, they're also the first to warm up. For my feet in the fall I really like a wool running sock. It keeps the moisture away as well as keeps them toasty.

Of course we can't forget the Garmin. Mine is the 405. I love it and have had no problems with it since I received it a year ago. I wear it almost every time I run!

The picture on the left is from the Baltimore Zoo Zoom 5 miler last November. It was a pretty chilly morning so, instead of capri's I opted for long pants. The best advice is to always go one layer less than what your are comfortable with when you 1st step outside. If you feel warm and toasty you will probably be too hot once you start running and sweating.

My favorite products included in this picture: Moisture wicking long sleeve tee from Target, knee length capri's from Target,  Dri-fit tee from Nike,  Light weight Running Gloves from Under Armour,  Wool Socks from Thorlo, Garmin 405. Of course all of these can be found in different styles and brands. These are just a few that I currently use and love!

Check out my Fall running tips!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

DC Color Run 5k Recap

Color Run: The happiest 5k on the planet!! Yep, I'd have to agree!!

Since the last big National Harbor racing event in DC, The Hot Chocolate 5k/15k was a complete disaster, (Read about it here) my group and I decided to leave early as to not run into traffic again. To our surprise and delight we ran into absolutely NO traffic. We even managed to find a parking spot on the lower level of a parking garage very close to the start!

We went to registration where we were one of the 1st to register. We got our goodies which consisted of a Color Run tee, a Color Run sweat band, a Color Run tattoo and, a Red Bull! They also had a small merchandise table set up where some of my friends purchased way cool Color Run knee socks! I opted to purchase a pair of pink and black sunglasses. The prices were pretty reasonable.  
Since we had arrived early than expected, we had plenty of time to walk around. We checked out the harbor scenery and grabbed a warm drink at a local coffee shop. It was a brisk cool morning, and the hot chocolate I had was not only delicious but also hit the spot and warmed me right up. We then went back to our cars to drop off our stuff and then met up with the rest of our Run, Mama, Run! group to take a before picture!

After our picture we all lined up in the sea of white outfits. There was hundreds of people lined up. We ended up in Wave 3. The DJ was spectacular and really pumped us up for the run. As my group and I danced, took pictures and, videos, we watched the 1st wave start the run. About 10 min. later the 2nd wave went off. It was now our turn at the starting line. The DJ continued to pump us up and, throwing free merchandise out to the runners! He called the start for our wave and we went off.

I was still extremely sore from my half marathon the day before, so I started my run out slow. My group was super sweet and decided to run slow with me. Unfortunately, I was more sore than I thought and had to slow down even more. I had never ran at or had been to the National Harbor before, so I had no clue what type of terrain it would be. The terrain ended up being gravel which was horrible on my sore foot and calves. One of my friends in the my group slowed down with me and we went on our way. The race claims you will get a burst of color at every kilometer. I would say the 1st color was indeed about a kilometer. Truthfully, running through my 1st bit of color was nothing like what I expected. I am not really sure what I expected. The color is a cornstarch and food coloring mix. It didn't really stay on your clothes, as we ran more and more it just kind of fell off. However, it was so much fun running through each color. The volunteers and music at each color station was so exciting it pumped me up each time!! We ran through a Red color station, then an Orange, then a yellow. I was super excited for the next color BLUE!! The color was so vibrant and pretty!! I MIGHT have even rolled on the ground to get more color. 

After running through the blue I got somewhat disappointed. I could see the finish yet, I hadn't seen green or purple. I wasn't entirely sure we were even supposed to see these colors but, for some reason I expected them. It also seemed extremely short of a 5k. I did not wear my watch so didn't get an official length of the course. I did end up texting our friends that ran ahead to wait for us so we could finish together. They did, it was pretty easy to spot them too. I was happy to see the spectators weren't overwhelming at the finish.

After finishing we went to meet up with the rest of our group to take after photos! What a blast of a race!! We couldn't resist jumping into the after party group where they were throwing more color into the air. The DJ was playing more music and throwing more merchandise out. It was intense! I felt like I was at a concert except we would get a blast of color dust every couple minutes. The huge color burst were intense, a couple times it ended up in my mouth. I wouldn't suggest bringing children in to the after party unless they have eye protection as well as a mask/handkerchief to cover their noses and mouth. I was happy to see they did hand out handkerchiefs to the runners in case they did need them.

Overall a fantastically ran event. I didn't see any hiccups at all! I was impressed with the DJ as well as the volunteers. I was impressed with the photographs they took. After all was said and done, I wasn't even disappointed about the lack of color or distance.

Now for the worst part of the race, the cleanup! We didn't want any color in our friends car so we stripped out of our colored clothes and changed into our clean clothes. We used baby wipes to clean up in the parking garage. It was a mess. There was color everywhere under my clothes where it soaked through. My hair was covered. It wasn't really a gross feeling but, unclean for sure. We still walked to get lunch even though we weren't clean all the way. We figured there were more like us out there anyway. When I got home and finally showered it still didn't all come off. I had to scrub super hard to get it all off. The clothes I wore mostly came clean with a regular wash and some borax. However my shirt was ruined with color and never came out. I suggest wearing clothes you don't mind ruining. They say you can preserve the color, however all my colors were mixed and it wasn't really a color I wanted to preserve.

Would I do this again? Heck Yeah!! I also think Big C would have a blast so maybe next time I'll bring him along!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Run 4 Shelter Half-Marathon Recap

My friends and I drove to Chester, MD to participate in the Run 4 Shelter Half-Marathon this past weekend. After signing up for the race online I received immediate welcoming and support from one of the race directors on my Facebook. He helped answer questions about the race course, and helped me set up a team for the event. He even offered us a discount code!

The trip to Chester, MD was only a little over an hour and, we hit no traffic. It was a beautiful morning with a nice breeze in the air. We went to the registration table at about 6:30 and picked up our packet. I had no problems with my packet. One of the ladies I was with received the wrong size tech tee, however they switched it out for her with the right size. I thought that was super nice as, most events will not do that.

We got geared up and, took our trip to the port-a-potties. There was quiet a lot of bathrooms lined up at registration. The lines weren't bad and there was two hand washing stations. So far everything was wonderful. The event coordinator got on the microphone and announced the start was almost near. She rolled off the sponsor information and some details of their organization. I was happy and surprised to hear that this specific event brings them almost half of their goal funding for the Shelter. She then asked the pastor to come over and say a prayer for us to have a safe and fun run. The national anthem was played and we were asked to take our places at the start. My friend and I took our places among what seemed like 100-200 people. Right at 7:30 the race started. At this time the weather had warmed up a touch and the humidity had started to rise. My friend and I went off on our way.

My 1st couple miles were pretty great. I felt I was at a pretty good pace too. I always seem to hate the 1st 3 miles of any long race and this one wasn't much different. I huffed and puffed until I got into my rhythm. The course was beautiful with overlooks onto the bay. We ran through some parts of a wooded trail and, even a community park, and what seemed to look like a high-school football field. 

As the race went on some not so fun things started to happen. The heat started to get hotter. The breeze only happened every 20 mins or so. I was always happy to see the water stops. Which by the way had very nice volunteers and never ran out of water/Gatorade or Gu's.  We ended up going off of  the paved trail onto a gravel and seashell trail around mile 7. This my ankles and Plantar Faciiatis were hating me for.  It seemed like we were on this for several miles. Then, when I thought it couldn't get did. I had to run across unpacked sand. My feet were digging into the sand with it all kicking back up at me into my shoes. I thought about stopping to dump my shoes but at this time every second counted if I wanted to make my goal.
I finally got back onto the blacktop trail at around mile 9. Here is where I started to hit a small wall. I started to cramp up in my left foot and calf area. I drank some more water and ran/walked along. At about mile 10 the volunteers were so supportive. They kept me going with their comments! Another runner kept me going as well. Then the worst part of the run for me was mile 11 and 12. I wanted to stop and lay down. I was overly hot...the sun was beating down on me at this point. I think I passed a photographer and looked at her like really?!?! right now you want to take my picture. HA! I can't wait to see that one! Even though I felt like passing out I could still see my friend right in front of me. I really wanted to catch up with her to finish with her since it was her 1st. Unfortunately, I did not catch up. I finished right behind her 4 minutes slower. I was disappointed at first but, truthfully I felt this course was super hard. My body wasn't used to the terrain or the humidity. 

I was super excited about the medal we received at the finish. It is my favorite so far. After finishing and receiving our medals we got a bottle of water. I looked around and noticed everything was packed up. We finished way ahead of the course time limit yet, no one was there cheering us in. I didn't even see a clock up to see my time. I was super disappointed. Then when I realized there wasn't anymore refreshments I was annoyed. I just ran 13.1 miles I needed to refuel badly. What's worse I saw no medics at the finish. What if I had needed one. I mean I did  just run the longest I've ever ran in my life. Who knew what would have happened.

Overall, I really liked the race and it's cause. I was impressed with the wealth of information from their Facebook and race management. I wasn't impressed with the course terrain or that I only saw one bathroom on the course and, was very unimpressed with the lack of care/support for the "Slower" runners on the course. To make matters worse about that last complaint, I made sure to let the director know about the lack of care/support for the "slower runner's" on their Facebook, and they did not apologize or comment back with an excuse. It was ignored.

Will I run this race again? Maybe

One for the books!

What an AMAZING weekend full of running and, family fun!!

I did it!!! I finished my 2nd half marathon. (The Run 4 Shelter in Kent Islands) The course was beautiful but very challenging. I enjoyed celebrating my friends goal being met as she got her 1st medal!! Look for a recap of my run coming up!

After my half, I came home to attend Big C's very first baseball game. He is playing on a kid pitch team. He did awesome for his 1st time. He managed to hit a few balls, run/steal a few bases and even managed to get some runs! I was truly excited for him.

On Sunday, I participated in my 1st Color Run!! WOW! What a fun event. I think this run had to be my favorite of all run's. I attended with some wonderful friends and RMR ladies. We had such a great time. I was very sore from my half but it definitely did not hinder my ability to finish the run and have a great time. I will also be posting a recap of that event!

My foot was in a lot of pain after all the events this past weekend but, I iced it, took some Advil and, elevated it. It feels a lot better today. I really think it helped that I didn't plop down on the sofa all weekend and get my body all stiff. I even managed to get to the gym this morning and lift some light weights and a short elliptical walk. My muscles feel so much better after that work out!

Now, I am looking for another half to run. As well as, am looking for some more FUN RUNS!!  I am signed up for the 10k at the Marine Corps Marathon in October but, would like to add more to the list.

There are a couple 5ks I am looking into running. I just need to decide on which one!!

Any suggestions? Right now the list of interested events consists of :
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