Insta Friends to Real Life Friends

So I started this blog over a year ago and last year the post went a lot better than this year. I don’t know, I just feel I’m not as interesting. I promise to change that as the year goes on. 🙂

We all have those friends that we know by their user name and come to look for interaction with. I have met some really awesome and wonderful friends, who I have not met yet because we met on social media but I hope that changes sooner rather than later.

I don’t know exactly when we became friends, friends, but I do know this past January I was IG stalking one of my most come to be known awesome friends as she was getting ready to run the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World. Stlrunnergirl! I feel like that’s a superhero name! Anyways, I direct messaged her for her last name asking for her last name so I could track her during her races. I know, stalker right? But by this point I had followed her training and told her that she had this, and all of this too! She kindly obliged and I tracked all of her races. Not to mention, she did phenomenal! And I’m totally jealous that she has done Dopey! It’s on my bucket list. Not to mention we found out that we have the SAME first name spelled exactly the same way!!! That NEVER happens!

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A few weeks later here in Virginia, we got SLAMMED with snow. I was dog sitting so I had to clear the driveway and sidewalks so the family didn’t get hit with some fines. Mind you we got 36ish inches of snow. And yes, you read that right, 36ish. While I was over at this house we were talking constantly through the direct message from IG. We quickly learned that neither one of us were harmful and I shared my number with her. I shared lots of pictures of the snow, and boy there was lots of it to share. It literally took weeks to melt and took several days for some roads to see plows. But I still talked to my friend @stlrunnergirl.

It’s been a few months and since then and we continue to text daily! And by daily I mean that we are talking throughout the day. From sun up to past sun down. I know right. I even somehow convinced her to sign up for the Marine Corps Marathon Lottery. Which we both got in, and that will be the first time that we actually meet in person! I’m so excited for that. Kristin has been an amazing encourager and supporter for all of my events throughout the year so far. I mean she event told me that she was going to run 10 miles virtually while I ran my 10 mile race without training!!!! Who does that?

I’m so grateful that I’ve met Kristin. She’s been one in a million with encouraging me and helping me through my tough running times. I’m so grateful that she agreed to come out and run the Marine Corps Marathon with me. She’s a true friend and I can’t wait to meet her in person.

Do any of you all have a friend from social media that you can’t wait to meet?

 

Run with Santa 5k Recap

I had one busy weekend! I survived! On Friday, I posted about how I was going to be extremely busy, well yeah that totally happened along with 2 epic naps.

My swimmers had a great meet! Girls won and boys lost…but that’s ok. I’m happy with the way our team has started the season and can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

Sunday was my first 5k since the surgery and marathon. I have not done anything to prep for the 5k. No running, I did one OrangeTheory workout last Monday and that left me sore for 5 days. I was nervous about this 5k. I didn’t know how I was going to feel since I had not been running and didn’t know what to expect. I laid out my outfit on Friday while looking for my coaching outfit. I know last minute for the coaching outfit.

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My alarms started going off at 5:45am on Sunday morning. I kept hitting snooze until 6:45am. I was having one of those mornings where I just did not want to get out of bed. After my pick 21 hour day on Friday and work Saturday, I just was not feeling it.IMG_7259

I got up, got dressed and headed towards Reston to the race. I put on my compression sleeves for warmth and to keep my calves from cramping since they are not use to this since I have not been running. It was good call my end. I’m one of those people who needs to get there early and then my nerves will be ok. So I got there and waited in my car since it was a chilly 29 degrees out. Around 8 I got out of my car and made my way to the festivities to start getting ready for the race. I randomly met me 2 friends there and another family! So glad to see them!

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I didn’t have any expectations and if I did, I expected to walk a lot of the race. I started running, things were feeling good. I could definitely tell that I had not worked out in the last month and that’s ok. My body need a rest and a reset. So that’s ok. I did not even have the intervals set up on my watch because I did not want to feel the vibrations of when to run and when to walk. So I just had it in mile mode. The first mile I ran was good, I felt good. I was walking up the hills and running every other segment along the course. Or at least trying to. I did pretty good. I saw my friend and her son along mile 1 and that was great motivator. A few other friends ran by and said hi! That was also great! You don’t realize the friends you make when you start running and seeing everyone at the same races or cheering you on from miles away.

I looked down at my watch and the first 2 miles were done in under 10:30! Wow! The 3rd was a little difficult. But I managed. I did run across the finish line and managed to get progressively faster going up the hill towards the finish. That was encouraging!

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As always, PR Races put on a fantastic race. This was my 3rd year running it and had a blast. It’s always fun seeing other people out there in sparkle skirts and christmas outfits. It’s awesome! I ran more than I thought I was going to. I came in around my usual times for 5ks which I didn’t expect. IMG_7273

This was my last race of 2015 and my first race of 2016 will be on New Year’s Day! Can’t wait to get back at it and start working towards half number 10! WOW!

Did any of you all race this past weekend?

National Running Day 2015

Today is National Running Day! I never thought I would still be running after these years and the trials and tribulations. Here’s a few questions about why I run and a little more about what I take with me.

1. Why do you run?

I run to keep myself healthy. But I also run to push myself and keep pursuing dreams that I never thought I’d have.

2. How do you plan to celebrate National Running Day?

I plan on running, since I’m currently training for my 2nd Marathon. The NYC Marathon. Woohoo!

3. How many miles have you run so far this year?

A measly 179 miles

4. What big events do you have on the race calendar so far this year?

I will be running the NYC Marathon on 1 November

5. Before I leave for a run you must have:

My phone, roadID, Garmin Forerunner 220, Sparkle Athletic Visor, Headphones, and Camelbak depending on mileage.

6. Do you have one favorite app to track your runs?

I use the Nike+ app and the Garmin Connect

7. Who is your favorite running partner?

I have a group of ladies I run with on the weekends who are awesome! My coworker who runs with me during the week and then my good friend M who also keeps me healthy!

8. What races have you ran so far this year?

2-5ks, 1-10k, a 10 miler, 4 Half Marathons, and a 4 miler coming up

9. If you had to give someone one piece of advice about running what would it be?

Listen to your body and take a break if you need it. It’s ok.

10. Describe your relationship with running in one word:

Love/Hate

VA Wine Country Half – Half Marathon #9

I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be still on this crazy half journey. When I started running in 2011 I thought I was crazy and totally didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I’m so grateful to be on this journey as much as I curse it sometimes…ok…most of the time.

Yesterday was half #9. It was a great morning for a run. I was nervous since the most miles I had up until that point was 3 on a training run. And in fact, I almost canceled. It was one of those things that I just knew it wasn’t going to be any record breaking personal bests or close to it. I just wanted to finish. I met up with T and D as it was their second half of their journey. It was great to share this experience with them. I’m so happy to share my experiences and what I’ve learned as they train for their first marathon this fall. The first part of the race was great! I had to stop and readjust my shoes to make the laces a bit tighter. Then they were almost too tight but they were ok. It was humid, but we had an overcast so it wasn’t humid and sunny which would have been worse. Around mile 5.5 we hit the gravel road. I thought I was going to be ok ok the gravel but oh no, I wasn’t. I ended up walking a lot of the gravel. And hills…holy hills. Around mile 9 we hit pavement again and that was awesome! It was so nice to be back on the pavement. My left hip took a hit with the unevenness of the gravel and so I’m stretching and dealing that today. I’ll be mended in no time 😉

I finished in just under 3 hours, I started my watch late oops. I’m honestly afraid to look at the results to see what my time really is. I’m disappointed in myself for not training better, but glad that I finished. It happens and we move on to the next race.

The medal was great! The bib was even better! One of the most unique bibs that I am now in possession of. It was very fitting that the run started and finished on the premises of a winery. I know cool right!

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The after party was awesome, and so glad to have some other wineries around to taste. I came home from the run and after party and showered, well got food too, and slept. I took a good 2.5 hour nap. I was even in bed early at 9. It was a long/short day if you know what I mean. It was a great day, it really was. I was happy to see the smiling faces at the finish line.

I hope you all have had a great weekend thus far and it continues to be great today!

Cheers!

My Running Favorites

I was tagged my my friend over at Erin Runs Happy to answer 7 questions about my running favorites. I was so lucky to finally run into her, well she ran into me, during the DC Rock and Roll Half this past March. We had seen each other at other local races, but never said Hi to each other. Who knew it would take 30,000 other runners for us to find each other. So anyways, here it goes…

  1. Location:     Trail, Road, or Indoors?
    Roads all the way these days. When I started running I was a strict indoor runner. Now I will run outside any chance I get.
  2. Time of Day:     Morning, Noon, or Evening?
    I am a Morning person. But I also know that if I don’t get my run in, then it doesn’t happen (most likely) So for me it’s better to do it in the morning.
  3. Weather:     Sunshine, Mild or Hot?
    I’ve run in all kinds of weather, just not snow. I love running on a cool, crisp morning with no humidity and the sun is shining.
  4. Fuel:     Before, After, and Sometimes During?
    Depends on how long I’ll be gone for. If it’s a long run, then I’ll take something before mainly my EnergyBits since they don’t mess with my stomach. Then I’ll have some GU or whatever I’m training with that day. After I’m not that hungry especially after a long run. It takes awhile to get my appetite back so I’ll have some Skratch Labs to get my hydration back.
  5. Accessories:      Music, Watch & More? 
    What don’t I run with!? I have my iPhone (Music galore), Garmin watch, Jawbone Up24, my #streakingwiththeCOOLKIDS bracelet, my roadID bracelet, definitely my sparkle visor, my camelbak, and if I need an extra set of umph, then I put on a sparkle skirt.
  6. Rewards:     Food, Wine, or …?
    Wine! Definitely have some wine or beer after a good long run.
  7. Type of Run:     Long, tempo, intervals, hill repeats, progression, or recovery/easy?
    Oh this is tough. I would have to say either recovery/easy runs or my long runs. I still have to work on my mental attitude to get over the hump and push through on my runs regardless how long they are. I have some great running buddies though that help me push through and make the miles fly by.

So there are my 7 things! What do you find that works or doesn’t work for you?

Friday = Rest Day

This week has been good so far training wise. I did a whopping 6.8 miles over the last 3 days and I have faltered already. I know! I can feel all the beady eyes looking at me so you all can stop now. I haven’t cross trained the last 2 days like I had planned. BUT it’s the first week so I should be ok. I was very cautious about stretching and foam rolling regardless how much I actually ran. I don’t want to get injured again. I have had some issues with ITBS and Plantar Fasciitis. Both are not fun by any means. I wouldn’t wish those on anyone in my wildest dreams.

Thursday morning’s run was a real struggle. I didn’t want to get out of bed and go work out. I kept telling myself that I would do it later but the chances of that happening are slim to none so I should just get up early and do it. So reluctantly I did get up and do it. But let me tell you that mental struggle was real on those 1.5 miles. WOW! I know my mental toughness isn’t what it use to be but I was able to power through and had to keep psyching myself out of what was going on on the treadmill. The mental part took more than I could handle yesterday. I was drained after my run for sure.

I have a virtual 5k to run tomorrow. Sparkle Athletic is running the Ragnar So Cal relay this weekend for the girls who can’t. They are raising money for Rett Syndrome. It affects mainly girls and robs them of the ability to walk, talk and play. This year they set up a virtual 5k to help fundraise for the Girl Power 2 Cure foundation. They will be running 200 miles and started this morning so hopefully they will have a fun time and enjoy each of those 200 miles. So I’m running tomorrow to join them, virtually of course and I can’t wait. I will also be running the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. I can’t believe that the time has already arrived. It seems like yesterday that we were signing up for the lottery. The trees should be out and it should be a great weather day. I’m really looking forward to it. As well as running with a fantastic group of ladies.

It’s going to be a good weekend and I can’t wait to conquer these miles.

Cheers! 🌸

Day 1! NYC Marathon Training!

Well I made it the 1.5 miles and actually went 1.65 miles! Go me! I started the run out really rough and huffing and puffing and the doubt started to creep in about how I didn’t know how I was going to make it the next 29 weeks. I know, I know, when my mind goes…it really goes off the deep end. Haha. Luckily I had one of my running buddies with me and we were able to talk, well me struggling to talk and he talk like our run was nothing but a walk. OK….So I’m not cut out for this (right now) and thank goodness I’m starting out with these measly miles before it really kicks off.

I did wear my sparkle skirt and visor this morning. I was laying in bed willing myself to go back to sleep and that I’d do the run after work or at lunch instead. But glad that I got up and run this morning instead because chances are I wouldn’t have done it later. With it being the first day of marathon training, I had to do something to kick it off. So sparkle it was. It definitely made me smile and I hope that others don’t think I’m too crazy wearing my sparkle skirts during my training runs. Sometimes you just need that little extra magic that the sparkle gives you.

So I made it the 1.65 miles and then came back to my office where I was able to use my foam roller and stretch, and don’t worry I am lucky there are showers too! I am desperately trying to get better about those 2 things this time around and hope that they will help me recover and remain injury free. I also did a 30 second plank so that I could strengthen my core and back to help with everything else. And all I could think about was the song by Ludacris “Rollout“. Haha. The things we end up remembering. Anyways, I was able to start today off on the right foot. I hope to do some PiYo tonight and then keep the running trend going tomorrow. It feels good to get back on a schedule, but I always hate the first few weeks getting back on that schedule.

I hope everyone has a great day today! Get outside and enjoy these nice weather days too! 🏃💨

2015 Rock n’ Roll Half Round Up

I FINISHED! And I finished faster than what I did last year! Double Yay! But let me start from the beginning 🙂

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My bib!

I woke up at 3:40am is…so not my intention. My alarm was set for 4:11am and I wanted those extra minutes to sleep. But to no avail. I got out of bed around 4:20am so I could get myself ready and make some coffee. Eat something and psych myself up for this run. I kept looking at the weather to see if we might get a reprieve from the impending rain. I got my things together to go pick up my running buddy. My mom even sent me a text at 4:55am to wish me good luck! She rocks!

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My Outfit!

We got to the metro and loaded up. It wasn’t long before we were headed into Washington, DC for this half marathon. We got into DC and it was still raining. BOO! It wasn’t too cold, but still chilly. I heard from K and he wished me good luck! It  was so awesome to have his support even during his busy weekend! It wasn’t long before the race began and I felt good. I was running 4 minutes and walking a minute and I was able to keep this up for a good wile. Through mile 6. Then the hill came! Mile 6 has this huge hill and I’m not going to lie…I walked up the hill and then had to walk some more to get my muscles back. I did a round later and was back running. It wasn’t bad. The rain kept me cool and around mile 8 I saw the racing Presidents from the Nationals. So cool to see them all out supporting us and taking pictures with us. I couldn’t help but stop and take a picture.  I stopped to walk and sent the picture to K and my mom. K responded and asked me if I was really running. Just wait until I do Disney Wine and Dine in 2016 with M 😉 I won’t be running too much and taking all the pictures I can!

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Me and the Racing Presidents!

At this point my legs were starting to fight me. I hadn’t trained properly and got a run in here and there, dealt with plantar fasciitis and some sickness. This is where I knew I was only doing 13.1 miles and kept going. I felt bad because my BRF was ahead of me and I didn’t want to keep her waiting long. So I kept it up as much as I could. Around mile 12 my phone starts ringing. I had my headphones in and accepted the call. It was my BRF and she just finished. I had maybe 10-11 minutes left of the race and would be finished soon. She was awesome! Before I knew it they were telling us the marathoners were to continue on the right and the half marathoners were to move to the left to finish. It was fantastic. I was almost done!

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The bling!

I came around the bend and was on my way to finishing. YAY! The finish line is in sight. It was all I could do to keep my feet moving. I crossed the finish like and smiled. I did it! 2 hours and 35 minutes later! I did it in the rain and cold and wet feet. There was a back up to getting out medals and there were some great military people there handing everything out. So glad to see them and be able to thank them for their service. I got my picture taken and headed off to find my BRF and another friend who had just finished her first half marathon.  Go R!!! You rocked it. My other friend M was running her first marathon and finished in 5 hours and 17 minutes! She was a rock star! It was just a year or 2 ago that she was saying that she hated running! That’s 2 people I’ve converted! Who’s next 🙂

Little did we know we were standing feet apart when I called them to tell them where I was. So funny how in a crowd you can be feet apart and not know it. We made our way back to the metro for the ride back to VA and warmth and the car. It was SOOOO COLD! We shivered the entire way home and it was all we could do to make it into the car and turn the heat on full blast warm!

It was great and we certainly enjoyed the race. The cold an shivering not so much. The race was marked very well and the spectators were amazing to be out there in the cold and rain with us. I’ll definitely run this again but I would have to make the conscious decision to make sure I trained better. It was a great day in all and can’t wait to go to VA Beach next weekend for another half marathon! Woohoo! Be prepared for Sister pics! It’s been awhile since we’ve run in the same event.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Cheers!

Snowy Thursday! So let me share my race outfits for March!

I’m lucky today and get to spend my day at home with the snow that is falling outside. My office closing with inclement weather is a rare occasion. So I get to spend my day in the warmth of my own home. Yay me!

image1So with that being said, and with getting into the TCS NYC Marathon still sinking in, I thought I would share my DC Rock and Roll half marathon and my VA Beach Shamrock half marathon outfits! Of course there’s sparkle involved and I can’t wait to run.

Ok, so I haven’t quite decided which race legs I’m going to wear. It’s quite possible I wear one for one race and other set for the other half. The visor, arm warmers, skirt and race legs all came from Sparkle Athletic. Go Team Sparkle! The tank top I got off Etsy from RainDancerClothing. Both shipped very quickly and were here in my hands in plenty of time. It’s going to be so much fun to be wearing these outfits.

I can’t wait to run next weekend in the DC Rock and Roll half marathon with my BRF. I was sick and still ran this race last year. I’m getting sick now (oh no) and i’m trying to beat it before next weekend rolls around. It wasn’t my best half marathon time by any means last year and so this year I just hope to finish faster than I did last year. It’s a great race and a great course. You get to see things in DC that you don’t always see. The race this year will be like interval training and so it will be a different type of race for me and more like a training run. I’m not looking forward to the hill at mile 6 getting off Rock Creek Parkway.  That’s one killer hill!

The following week I’ll be down in VA Beach running the Shamrock Half. Who ever thought that running another 13.1 miles after just finishing one 8 days before was a good idea never told me. That would be my smart planning! HAHA It will be a challenge and one that I’m ready to take on! I’m super excited to be traveling to VA Beach area. I’ve never been down to that city and I’m looking forward to seeing a different part of Virginia. Any suggestions for places to eat? My sister, her boyfriend and one of his friends along with myself are all going down to run. I’m sure I’ll post pictures on Instagram while I’m there and share some here when I get back from the trip. I’m looking forward to another half under my belt.

Here’s to staying warm today! Cheers!

5 of My Favorite Things

Hi Everyone!

Last week I shared 5 non running things about me here, this week I’m sharing my 5 favorite things as of March 2015.

  1. Starbucks offering coconut milk for their drinks! Such a difference this has made! I love that they are offering this to their customers now.
  2. York Peppermint Patties minis! OMG! Such a great find. I know it took me awhile but wow! A must for my snack drawer!
  3. Trader Joe’s White Cheddar Popcorn! Yummy! Another great find for my snack drawer. I could eat a whole bag if I wasn’t careful.
  4. I love everything by Sparkle Athletic! I now have amassed several skirts, 2 visors, a pair of shwings, 3 sets of arm warmers, numerous shirts and tanks, and several pairs of race legs! You can never have enough sparkle!
  5. My foam roller! Oh my! Ever since I started lifting again. I’ve needed every bit of foam rolling I can get. It’s helped so much with recovery after my runs and so I can’t wait to see what it does for me after lifting. Such an asset to any athlete’s arsenal.

These are just a few of my favorite things! Don’t be afraid to share what your favorite things are! I want to hear all about them!