Sunday, September 29, 2013

Help the HooHahs 5k

Yesterday I ran in the Help the HooHahs 5k at the Trade and Convention Center. I think this is amazing cause, all for GYN cancer awareness. They started up this race because it's kind of a taboo subject for many, and they want to spread awareness. I believe the race director lost her mother to a GYN cancer, and got a bit emotional during medals because the top female ran with a pair of angel wings and gave them to the director. It was really sweet. 

I felt really good at the race! It was so cool outside which is very unusual for this time of year. 
I wanted to get a new PR, under 41:22. In the back of my head I wanted to get under 40, but didn't really think it was possible. I went out to fast, as always. When I hit .45 miles I was at 5 minutes. I don't run 10-11 minute miles! I run 13-14! I definitely slowed down so I didn't burn out and finished the first mile in 12:23. 

The next mile had a water stop and my only pet peeve. They advertised it as a flat course but it wasn't. It definitely wasn't any bad hills, I just wasn't mentally prepared. They may not look like much but for Savannah they're big! The other problem is that it was on the race track, and there were a few sections that were banked and my knee was yelling at me. 
You can kind of see in the second picture where we go around and back down the hill, so that was nice. Mile 2 was 13:46. After that it was pretty flat, a little more banking but I got through that mile in 12:46. All this is flying for me! 

And the total...39:52!! I was unbelievably excited about this! The course had actually stopped at 3.08 so I ran in the parking lot. I had to have my best 5k on my Garmin too! I might be slightly obsessive. 

This was also a good chance to try out my tutu for Tower of Terror. It's actually a bit too big so I'll have to make it smaller and try it again. Hopefully the neighborhood doesn't think I'm too crazy!

I also got a new SparkleSkirt courtesy of my wonderful boyfriend! 

Did you race or get any new gear this weekend?


Friday, September 27, 2013

Five Things Friday

1. Yoga!  I've recently started doing yoga at Savannah Power Yoga.  Most classes are heated to around 90 degrees.  It's been tough!  I haven't done yoga in a while.  I've never done heated yoga.  I've never done power yoga.  Basically, you're flowing the whole time and don't hold poses static like I'm used to.  I usually go to one of those classes a week, and one gentle class (non-heated and less intense).  I plan on going to meditation on Sunday as well.  This has been absolutely amazing for me the past couple weeks.  I've been super super stressed with school, but once I leave yoga I'm stress free and in a good mood, at least for the rest of the day.  I've also actually noticed progress in just a couple weeks, especially with balancing poses, so I'm really excited about that!

2. Avocados.  I just recently tried avocados, and decided that I really actually like them!  I don't like them plain, I will say that, because of the texture.  But I love putting them in all sorts of things, even with chicken mac & cheese the other night.  My boyfriend thought I was weird for that.  Oh well!  I feel like the flavor isn't too overwhelming, and I like getting in the healthy fats I know they have =)

3. Disney.  I've been super into Disney lately, gearing up for Tower of Terror a week from tomorrow.  I'm preeeeetty sure my boyfriend thinks he's dating a child, but it's ok because he loves me and puts up with it ;)  I just really like Disney! haha.  So maybe I am a bit of a child at heart, but it'll keep me from getting old too fast!

4. SparklySoul headbands.  I have a few now (5 I think?) and I try to wear them every day.  They're just so amazing and the first headbands I found that honestly don't slip.  I have so many layers in my hair and bangs that like to sneak out when my hair is up, because I usually don't have time to actually put it up with bobby pins and care.  But SparklySoul keeps all the loose hairs and wispies out of my face through school, yoga, running, anything really!  They're great!  And they sparkle!

5. Life!  I know this is so so cheesy.  And probably because I just had yoga like an hour ago.  But I've been learning to enjoy the good parts of life more.  Sure, some of my classes at school suck and I'm literally failing one...which has never happened in my life.  But I'm learning to look past the bad, and just try to do better going forward.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Past Two Races

I've been slacking with racing information!  I do a lot of races, mostly 5ks, because I find it helps keep me motivated.  I do try to match things up with my training schedule though, so I don't get too off track!

On September 14th, I ran the Tunnels to Towers race in downtown Savannah.  This run is to honor Stephen Siller, a FDNY firefighter.  He was off work when the attacks on 9/11 occurred, but called his wife to tell her that he had to help those in need.  When he couldn't get through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel in his truck, he literally ran towards the towers with all of his gear strapped to him.  Unfortunately, Mr. Siller lost his life that day, and now there are Tunnels to Towers runs in his honor, and for the other 343 firefighters that were lost that day.

Sgt. Michael Schlitz ran with us, who was wounded in Iraq.  Proceeds from the race were going to assist in building his smart home.  You can see some of his story here -

I felt good during this race.  It started out cooler than it has been in Savannah, but warmed up pretty quickly.  I have been working with 1:1 run:walk intervals, as I've mentioned before, but I did manage to run the first .6 miles or so, so I was proud of myself for that!  I ended up finishing with an official time of 41:22, which puts me at an official PR!  For some reason at the end of the race I felt completely wiped out, but after a banana half and a little water I was fine.  I think I didn't hydrate enough the morning of.  I'd love to do this race again next year, for the cause and because it's a nice course. 

Patriotic Minnie Mouse look!
Running up one of the very few hills in Savannah!
Many firefighters from local areas ran in full gear, and competed in teams for the Siller Cup.
Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts lined Forsyth Park with pictures of all of the fallen firefighters.
Coming through the finish line!
All done!
Then this past Saturday, the 21st, I ran in the Tiger Bass 12k in Bluffton, SC.  I wanted to run this so I had a timed 10k+ I could turn in for Tower of Terror.  I finished with an official time of 1:48:58.04, so I don't know if it will bump be up a corral, but it's worth a shot!  I finished dead last overall, but defaulted to 3rd in my age group, so I need to go pick up my medal sometime!  I'm surprisingly ok with finishing last, probably because there were a few times I thought about quitting.

This run was about half trail, which is shown below.  There wasn't a single foot long section of this trail that was flat, and my ankles were not happy with it.  I literally walked the entire trail portion of it, except for maybe .25 mile that was done with small bits of jogging here and there.  This was also my longest race to date, since I've only done 5k's up until now!

I did learn that this whole minimalist shoe deal is not working for me.  I'll probably still use my Nike Free's for short runs and 5k's, but anything about 5 miles or more is killer.  I broke my foot about 6 years ago, I believe.  They think that I also tore a ligament and it healed itself incorrectly.  So now whenever I run 5+ miles, the arch of my foot gets almost unbearably sore.  I think due to compensating for that, I also get knee pain and the worst hip pain!  It's on the inside of my hip, and still hurts now - 4 days later!  I don't want to switch to a new shoe that I can't do a long run in before ToT, so I'm going to push through that race in my current shoes, but as soon as I stop being sore from that I'm going in to Fleet Feet and having them analyze my running, etc.  My other leg, that I didn't break the foot on, is completely fine though.  I'd like to stay with an extremely flexible shoe, etc. but my injured foot definitely needs better arch support.  I'll keep everyone updated on this!

Blurry Savannah Bridge - running up this in December!
Blurry Savannah River at sunrise.
Most of my ToT costume, but SparkleBottoms + tutu instead of SparkleSkirt.
And we're off!
I must admit, the views were pretty!
The bridges on parts of the trail.  They were great to run on.
The trail =( See that soft unpacked sand/dirt? It was like running on the beach.
Highest mile marker I've seen!
Then there were turkeys!
They ran away from me =(
Then decided to ignore me and look the other way! Silly birds.
Overall, I have decided I'm not going to do anymore trail runs.  They just don't work for me personally, as much as I love the idea of them.  I also can't wait to get new shoes!  And I'm so excited for ToT in less than 2 weeks!!

Have you ever realized that something major needed to change in your running?

Monday, September 16, 2013

9 miles!

Over a week ago Friday I attempted 10 miles and failed. 

Tuesday I attempted 10 miles again and failed. I did 9.16 miles. I learned a lot. It was painful. I could barely walk at the end. But I'm more than proud I went that far even if it took me 2:17. 

I fueled well. I hydrated well. I pushed myself way further than I thought I could ever go. 

I did 1:1 run:walk and I think it works well for me, but I need to push a little less on my run. 

My calves were sore on the inside which is unusual but not too bad. I was sore longer than I thought I would be. 

Overall I don't have too much to say. I just hope it's easier next time! 

During (I need to work on picture taking and running!)

In other news I'm in Corral I for Tower of Terror. It goes up to J. I have a 12k this weekend so I'm hoping to get a good time and get bumped up at the expo. Either way I'm super excited but I want more time for pictures!

Did you have a long run recently?

Friday, September 13, 2013

A New and Delicious Food!

On 3 Things Thursday, I'm sure you all saw this picture:
Oatmeal, great, how exciting, right?  But it is exciting!  I like the concept of oatmeal.  It's heart healthy, it keeps you full for a while, complex carbs, etc. etc.  But oatmeal is boring!  And the ones you buy in the store are full of sugars and unnecessary flavors.  I can never finish a full bowl of it. 

I e-mailed the nice people at, and the founder Anthony Collova agreed to send me out a sample.  While I did get the sample from them, all opinions here are my own!

I really like the concept that Anthony has put together with this site.  It's completely customizable oatmeal.  There are many kinds of flavorings, fruits, nuts, seeds, etc. you can get mixed in to your oatmeal.  You can even choose which type of oats you want!  I think a lot of people think that oatmeal is boring, like I did, but honestly makes it fun and exciting.

First, I decided to try my cake batter blend for breakfast yesterday.  It has 5 grain rolled oats with flax, golden raisins, brown cane sugar, and light chia seeds.  Here you can see the packaging and nutritional information.
No, my toaster does not have googly eyes and my boyfriend does not act like a 5 year old!
For the microwave, in case you can't see it above, you "Nuke 2 parts water for 2 minutes on high.  Nix in 1 part oats and allow to sit 5 minutes.  Stir, cover & microwave for 1 minute.  Stir, cover and microwave again for 30 seconds.  Allow oats to cool before eating."  Normally, I don't follow directions.  Maybe that's why I don't normally like oatmeal...At any rate, I followed the directions to a t. (Does anyone understand that saying?  I digress...)
This is about halfway through.
All done!
This oatmeal is absolutely amazing!  I did make sure to shake the bag up before I added the oatmeal to the bowl.  I've read that a lot of times the flavoring sinks to the bottom, but after a nice shake everything in the bag looked pretty uniform to me.  The flavoring is subtle, but definitely there.  It even smelled like cake batter, especially straight out of the microwave!  I love the texture of the oats - they're not too mushy, even though I added a bit too much water, which is usually a biiiiiig problem with me and oatmeal.  I'm a very texture-oriented person, so things have to be just right for me.  There was a big of gelling with the water, I believe from the chia seeds being mixed in, but it wasn't that big of a deal.  And the golden raisins were perfect with the cake batter flavor!
Look how big they were too!

Overall, the only thing I'd really request would be to have a bit more of the flavoring so it's more predominant, but overall I'm a very happy girl, and can't wait to try my other two mixes!  Look for those reviews in the coming weeks =)

And so that everyone else can be heart healthy and have happy tummies too, has provided my with a coupon code for all of you!  If you use healthy15, you can get 15% off of your order.  Don't go in if you only have a minute to spare, though.  You'll want plenty of time to explore all the yummy options!

What's your take on oatmeal?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. I ran 9 miles on Tuesday. I will post a more in depth blog of this experience sometime soon. Warning - it will involve some whining but also much positivity and hope!

2. I received this in the mail today, which makes me feel slightly more like a real runner. 

3. I also received this in the mail. It's from and I'm super duper excited to try it and will have a full write up for you soon! They were very gracious and sent me these samples to review for all of you. You'll also get an awesome discount =) 

How's your Thursday going?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

More outdoor running

I had a 9.5 mile run on schedule for today. Well last night I wasn't doing anything (and had skipped my Thursday run :/) so I decided I might as well do it then. I had also already decided that I was going to do all my remaining training runs outside, weather permitting. 

Just before sunset, I headed over to my parents neighborhood. It's gated and mostly retirees, so I figure the worst I'd have to watch out for is a drunk kid on a golf cart. I got there and about five minutes into my run it was really nice and pretty. 
I started with 2:2 run/walk intervals and got 1.34 miles with that strategy. By then it was looking like this: 
I dropped down to 1:2 run/walk and got another mile this way. The humidity was just getting to me. I finally dropped to :30/2, feeling pretty defeated. I did end up doing 4.42 miles overall in 59:05. That's a 13:22 pace, a lot faster than I expected and than I used to be, so I accepted it. I'm going to try 10 miles again tomorrow night but start out at :30:2 and bump up to 1:2 if I feel like I can. I'm also going somewhere a lot more well lit. There were almost no street lights in the part of the neighborhood I was in! That definitely contributed to my negative mindset. I have high hopes for tomorrow though. 

I got back to my car looking oh so attractive and turned my fan up higher than it's ever been! 
I was also super happy that my water stayed cold! (I put an entire tray of ice in it.) 

I believe this run could've gone a lot better but a lot was also mental, so I know what to work on!

How have your training runs gone lately?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Tower of Terror Packing List!

So, I set out today to put together a packing list for my boyfriend and I for Tower of Terror.  I'd love if anyone could take a look over it, see what I'm forgetting, etc.  (I should note that we're driving down Friday morning, driving home Tuesday morning, and going to Universal on Monday.  And no, we're not going to the Disney parks at all =( )

For him (running the 5k)
  • Running shirt, shorts, socks, underwear, shoes
  • Clothes for Saturday - Tuesday
  • Underwear
  • Bathing suit(s)
  • Shampoo
  • Body wash
  • Deodorant
  • Villian's Bash ticket
  • ID
  • Waiver
  • Phone
  • Phone Charger
  • Headphones
  • Safety pins
  • Universal ticket
  • Hotel confirmations (this is for both of us, I just like putting it on his list so it's not quite so short compared to mine)
  • Snacks (same with this)
And for me (running 10 Miler)
  • Running shirt, shorts, socks, shoes, tutu, compression sleeves
  • Hair ties, bobby pins
  • Running bow
  • Sparklysoul headbands
  • Purple sports bra
  • Clothes Saturday - Tuesday
  • Underwear
  • Bras
  • Bathing suits
  • ID
  • Waiver
  • Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, moisturizer, lotion
  • Phone, phone charger
  • iPod, charger
  • Garmin, charger
  • Kindle, charger
  • Headphones
  • Safety pins
  • Universal ticket
  • Gels/chews/fuel for race
  • Breakfast foods
  • Ibuprofen
  • KT Tape
  • Hairbrush
  • Ice pack if we find out we have a freezer
I feel like these are such long lists, but I've never had a "racecation" before. 

Anything I'm missing?  What do you have as 'must-haves' that aren't on this list?


Sunday, September 1, 2013

First Naked Race

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I set out to Fort Pulaski to run a 5k, the Run for Jane for the Leukemia events going on the next couple of weeks.  We noticed one dark cloud in the sky.  Right where we were going.

But, it's Savannah.  A lot of time rain just lasts 5 minutes and then it's done.  It started raining on the way in, so we thought we'd be fine.  Loaded up my iPod, Garmin, phone was in my pocket, he had his iPhone for music.  And then we're walking the half mile or so (they said quarter, but I think it was closer to half) from parking to the start line.  We're getting dripped on because it's through the woods on a trail, and water is dripping off the trees.  Then we realize it's starting to rain harder and harder, and we have hundreds of dollars worth of electronics on us.  Problem.

Well, it was a pretty small race, and we ended up finding a lady at the food tent who let us stuff our things in her bag.  We went over the timing mat about 2 minutes after everyone else had.  I was without music.  The only times I run without music are rare 30 minute training runs that my boyfriend does outside with me.  Not a full 5k that I'm actually trying to race.  So I knew it would be interesting.

Then the humidity hit me.  So, I'm aware that I live in Georgia and it's humid.  But I guess I didn't realize how much harder humidity made it to run.  I've been bad and doing all of my training runs on the treadmill.  That will now change, because I've learned how much I need to acclimate to the humidity! Especially for running 10 miles in Florida of all places.  It was also a train run and had just rained, so we were running on slick pavement, slick grass, and mud.  Running kind of went out the window, and we walked a lot.

We ended up in front of a group of what I think were soccer moms, and I decided my only goal was to beat them.  We also ended up leapfrogging with an administrator from my high school.  She left there in June and is now a local director for Girls on the Run.  So cool!  I'm considering volunteering with them, too.

Well somewhere just after mile 2, Ray stepped wrong and tweaked something in his back.  He kept slowing down, and the soccer moms were gaining. Finally he gave me the go ahead to keep going on my own (I walk faster than him anyway).  So I powered on running short bits where I could, and ended up finishing in 45:23.  It was a lot better than I was expecting, so I can live with it!

I don't like running without music, though.  It feels like it's a lot more work.  I need to get used to the humidity.  And I don't like trail runs.  Instead of trying to whine, I'm trying to take this as an educational experience!

What have you learned about yourself recently?