Tuesday, December 23, 2014

TotR: A Year in Pictures

April from Run the Great Wide Somewhere, Patty from My No Guilt Life, and Erika from MCM Mama Runs host Tuesdays on the Run.

This week is about a year in pictures.  Today I'm doing my running year, but I'm thinking about doing some non-running pictures in a different post!

10k PR
Disney Princess Weekend 10k
Shamrock Run - racing anniversary!
Beaufort Twilight Run - best picture
Run the Bluegrass - first half!
Red Shoes Run - with out of state family
Nike Women's Half DC
Big Nasty Mud Run
Sunbury 5k - 2nd place age in age group
Disney Wine and Dine Half
First Turkey Trot
Space Coast Half - Ray's first!
Bridge Run 15k - 5k and mile PRs!
What was your favorite race this year?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

TotR: Gift Guide for Runners

April from Run the Great Wide Somewhere, Patty from My No Guilt Life, and Erika from MCM Mama Runs host Tuesdays on the Run.  This week we're talking about holiday gifts for runners!

In non-running related news, I've done almost all of my holiday shopping this year, so that's very exciting!

In running related news, here are the top items on my wishlist!

1. Garmin 220

I currently have my Garmin 10.  However, I'm trying to get more in tune with calories in vs. calories out, so I wear my Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor as well.  I feel juuuuusssttt a little dorky wearing both those watches at once.  Plus, it's a lot of things to start just before a run, because I use Nike+ on my phone as well (I like the social aspect of it!).  I got my boyfriend this watch for his birthday, and I like it overall better than my 10.  This is first on my wishlist!

Currently, all of my bibs are in a shoebox on a shelf.  And scattered in my car.  And scattered in my apartment.  There's probably one in my purse too.  Who knows?  Anyway, Gone For a Run has super cute bib folios, and I think it's a great way to keep them!

I don't usually keep a training log, except for the smiley faces that dailymile and Nike+ let me choose.  I believe Garmin usually keeps the weather information, and of course pace/distance/time.  But this log looks like it lets you put a lot more detail into it, and I think it would be really good for me to have!

These are my 3 major running items.  I'm hoping to get some smaller stocking stuffer type items as well, such as Honey Stinger chews, great running socks, and maybe a hat or two!

What's on your running list?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Wine and Dine Weekend

This past weekend, my boyfriend (Ray), roommate (Austin), and I headed down to Orlando for the Wine and Dine weekend!

Here's a recap of before and after the race, and I'll get to the race next!

We arrived Friday night and checked in.  We were staying at Port Orleans Riverside, and it was GORGEOUS! I'm absolutely in love with this resort, and hopefully we can stay here again sometime.  It was a little pricier than the value resorts we normally stay in, but I loved every second of being there.  It was a great atmosphere, and all the Disney details were perfect!

This is actually Saturday morning, shhhhh

After getting settled into the room, we headed off to the Polynesian.  We have a #runnerslove meet-up, where I got to see Meg, Lauren, and Kristy again (so exciting!) and a few other bloggers I hadn't met before.  I so wish I got to spend more time with all of these lovely ladies, but there was so much to do!

After that, we headed up to Kona Cafe for dinner.  Here you can see my #runnerslove headband, and my lovely pineapple.  It's the Lapu Lapu, and I've been wanting to try one since Princess weekend.  They're expensive, but this time I decided I was having it!  We also had lots of great sushi and food.  I was absolutely stuffed by the end of it, but I think it was a good day/night before the race dinner.  Nothing fried or heavy.

Saturday morning we woke up early to get to the expo before it opened.  We went to the food court at POR for breakfast.  I had a ham and cheese croissant, chocolate milk, and got a pain au chocolat for later!  We were able to get in to the expo early, which was super exciting.  There was no line at all to get my bib.  The official Disney merchandise was cleared out of the Field House by that time, it was just bib pick up and a photo opportunity.

We headed over to the Josten center, and truly got into expo mode.  I headed straight for the official merchandise, before too many people got to it!  The maroon jacket I really wanted was only left in XL's, which was kind of sad.  I did end up getting a grey I Did It shirt, a purple hoodie, and a magnet for my car.  Ray was sweet and bought me a purple tech shirt as well.

Austin was able to get a few things for his girlfriend, who was back at home, so that was sweet of him!

I also got 3 SweatyBands, 2 SparkleSkirts (one for my costume that night), one of Jeff Galloway's books (now signed by him), an orange hat for my costume, and probably a couple of other things I can't remember now.  Everything is in various states of being unpacked, so no pictures for now!

After the expo, we dropped everything back off at the hotel, then hopped on the boat to Downtown Disney.  I think this was a really calm and relaxing way to get there, even if it took a little longer!

We went to Raglan Road for lunch.  We got parmesan garlic truffle fries as an appetizer, which is one of my favorite Disney foods.  I had a grilled chicken breast sandwich (I don't remember what else was on it), and ended up bringing half of it back to the room as my pre-race food.

After lunch, we did a little bit of shopping.  I got a couple of presents for friends at home, and a Disney Vera Bradley backpack and matching wallet.  So, I'm no longer using my matching wristlet in my Disney Dooney purse, but my OCD will just have to live with that, since now I get an actual wallet with card slots, etc.

We hopped back on the boat and went to the resort to rest for a bit.  I was going to try to nap, but that didn't end up happening.  I hydrated as much as I could, rested, and tried to stay calm!  That didn't go very well, but I tried my very best.

I ate the other half of my sandwich around 4:30, I think, which ended up working well for me.

Around 6:30 I started getting ready, and was on a bus around 7:15.

The rest of the race will come in another post, but for now we're going to time travel to Sunday morning!

We woke up way earlier than I wanted to, but we had to check out and get back over to the Polynesian.  Side note, the Polynesian has now become the Pomeranian in our apartment, thanks to a forgetful roommate!  I had made reservations at O'hana, because I'd heard so many good things about it!  Let me tell you - nothing disappointed!! I'm absolutely in love with this place, and I got to have Mickey waffles for the first time ever!  Everything was perfectly cooked and absolutely delicious!! And I loved seeing the characters.

We stopped at the Florida mall on the way home so I could stop at Lush, and that sadly ended our wonderful weekend!

Have you been to O'hana? Were you at Wine and Dine?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Big Nasty Mud Run Recap

So, I was waiting on this recap because I was hoping my boyfriend would get his GoPro video up and on YouTube before I posted, but he keeps forgetting.

September 20, Ray (boyfriend), Carly (co-worker/friend), Austin (roommate) and I ran the Big Nasty Mud Run just outside of Pooler, GA.  It's 4.7 miles and I believe 33 obstacles.  Ray and I chose to just walk between obstacles, and Carly and Austin would usually run and then wait for us to catch up.

It was long.  It was tiring.  I will say this - Vibrams are the way to go for a mud run!  I did one last year as well wearing sneakers, and they felt like they weighed and extra 20 pounds each.  Plus, my arch didn't hurt at all, despite walking on all completely uneven terrain, which it normally starts to around 6 miles or so in "normal" shoes on the road.

There were some obstacles I couldn't do, because I didn't feel I had the balance and/or strength.  Some I freaked out about but did anyway.  Anything I have to go up and over,  I have a hard time with mentally.  For instance, there were walls about 4 feet high that we had to go up and over.  I lifted myself up, looked to the other side, and freaked out and let myself back down.  With the encouragement of my little crew (and some strangers!) I was finally able to do all of them - about 5 or 6 total I think.  Same thing with the less stable under/overs which were more just random slats of wood.  They terrified me, but I did (most) of them!

A lot of obstacles were in the water - fine by me, I just swam when it got too deep to walk.  That was way easier anyway!  Some places were more a swamp or just a few inches to a foot of water.  Then I worried about alligators and water moccasins.  We never saw anything, but the thought was always in my mind!

I did manage to accomplish a lot more than I thought I would, and I only skipped maybe...2 and a half obstacles total?

Until the fall.

At one point, there was a cargo net that you had to climb up, then roll/climb across another (horizontal) one, then slide down a fireman's pole.  I watched other people.  They made it look easy.  Ray told me not to do it.  I thought I'd be fine, from all the other people making it look easy.  Spoiler alert - I wasn't fine.  I reached out with both arms and grabbed the pole, like they told me to, then put one foot out around it.  The nice volunteer coaching me through it at the top told me to just wrap the other leg around the pole too, then squeeze as tight as I could with my upper thighs.  It didn't work.  I want to say it was maybe 20 feet high? I'm not entirely sure.  All I can tell you is that one second I was standing on the platform, and the next I was on the ground and couldn't move my right leg.

Most of the pain was just shock and wore off fairly quickly.  My right knee just felt bruised after that.  They offered to get an ATV to take me to the finish, but I said I would walk it.  In retrospect, I should have asked how far the finish was, but I decided to walk.  I knew I wasn't injured, just bruised.  So I continued along the course, my knee literally instantly visibly bruised and swollen, and finished just fine.  I didn't do the rest of the obstacles, but there were only a few left, and it was less than a half mile to the end.

We rinsed off, changed, got some food, and got home.  And yes, I walked up to our third floor apartment just fine.  Well, we were sitting and watching the footage, and I noticed my LEFT knee (the good one) was sore.  This had to be around 3 hours after me falling.  I figured it was just because my legs were up on the coffee table, and they sometimes get sore when I do that.  So I bent them on to the couch like I always do to fix it.  It didn't get less sore.  And by the time I went to get up to go the bedroom, I couldn't straighten it.  By the end of the night, I couldn't bend it more than it was or straighten it, or put weight on it.

Of course, I freaked out.  I decided I tore something, I wouldn't be able to run at Wine and Dine or Space Coast, or probably ever again really, and I was going to have to have surgery.  Of course, this was me being completely dramatic.  I started icing it (I had put Biofreeze on before and it did literally nothing to help) which helped some.  Ray and I were supposed to stay in a hotel downtown that Saturday night (a birthday present from my parents), so I was a complete mess because I ruined it.  I was crying because of that, because of pain, because I felt stupid for trying when Ray said not to, etc. It was a pretty bad night.  Sunday and Monday I stayed on crutches as much as possible (especially to keep weight off of it walking around campus) and this seemed to help for the most part.  Tuesday both of my knees were sore in a way nothing has ever been sore on me before, and I'm not quite sure how to explain it.  This lasted through probably the following Monday for it to really go away.  Yes, I did a 5k during that period, and yes, it sucked.

I still have some residual soreness once in a while, especially if my knee goes sideways at all, and my calves are still pretty tight, I guess from compensating.  And for a while, I had a pretty nasty bruise.

Overall though, the Mud Run was a great experience.  I learned that I can accomplish more than I thought, I do need to strength train, and sometimes I really should trust my gut.

These are the few good pictures that were up of us, and my bruise, at least 5-6 days after getting it.  I'll let you know when we finally have the video up!

On my very upper thigh

Have you ever done a mud or obstacle run?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tunnels to Towers Recap

Last Saturday, September 13th, we ran the Tunnels to Towers race.  You can see the history behind the race in my recap from last year here.  It's a really great race with an awesome cause.  Lots of military and firefighters are involved, in various amounts of gear.  

We tried to dress as patriotically as possible, like last weekend, but our roommate apparently didn't get the memo.  I suppose he can be excused since he is military.  I recently joined Team RWB, to support military and veterans.  I haven't been involved all too much with them, but recently got my shirt and got lots of love and support on the course! They're a great group and have lots of local chapters.

My original goal was to beat last year's time which was 41:22.  That didn't happen at all.  We ended up coming in at 43:04 and it was super difficult.  For some reason I've been nauseous on and off for almost two weeks now, especially after I eat.  Well, even with my very first running interval, I could feel the nausea setting in.  I tried to push through it the best I could, but it made for a very difficult race.  It was still really inspiring and a great experience though!

Did you have any 9/11 related races?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pooler 5k Review

Another race put on by ERS, Endurance Race Services, is the Pooler 5k.  It's part of the Pooler Patriot Weekend, which is an event celebrating our military with events like a golf tournament, a festival, fireworks, a food tasting.  The 5k is mostly associated with it, but they're trying to bring the two events more together.

This is an out and back course that goes through some of the neighborhoods of Pooler that I'd never seen before, so that was interesting to go through!  There's also a really mean part of the course where we went through the 10k finish line at less than halfway through the 5k!  There was a water stop about halfway through.

I felt pretty accomplished in this race.  At one point, around halfway, I ran for 2 minutes straight.  1 minute is usually a struggle, so I really pushed to get through the 2, and it made me feel great when I did it!  Also, there's an older gentleman who power walks a lot of the 5k's we do, and he always beats us.  But! At this 5k, we beat him for the first time!  We felt accomplished because of that.  Also, I had an unspoken goal of 42 minutes, and as we were coming up to the finish line it was reading at 41 and change, so I sprinted faster than I think I ever have to get to that finish line and passed right at 42!  I smoked Ray at the end too, so that was exciting ;)

My only complaint about this race is that it does go over a set of train tracks.  While I don't think anyone in this race was stopped by the train, one did go through during the awards ceremony, so that could have been troublesome.  I think they were talking about changing the course next year, possibly for this reason? so we'll see what happens.

Also, as a 2 year anniversary present, Ray got me the Newton Energy's that I've been wanting for a while now!  They're not quite as extreme as the Momentums I have now, and I wanted to start rotating shoes.  I haven't tried them yet but I plan to this upcoming week!

Have you gotten running gear as an anniversary present?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Milestone 10k Review

We have a local group in Savannah, Endurance Race Services, that put on quite a few events each year.  The races are affordable, a really good size, and generally have pretty good courses!

On August 30th, Ray and I did the Milestone 10k.  They put this 10k and half marathon on as a 'milestone' to check if you're on track for the Savannah Rock n Roll (November 8).

This course is in Pooler, GA, about a 30 minute drive from our apartment.  It's flat, as is everything in this area, and a semi-closed course.  There were 2 water stops for the 10k, both with water and Gatorade and great volunteers.  The races generally are raising money for a local charity, and I believe this one was getting a liver for someone in need.  Or a kidney.  I feel really bad for not remembering, I just know it was a vital organ! Anyway, the second water stop, at the turn around, were involved with the cause, so that was cool.

The race director, Dan, actually runs most of his own races, so it's always cool to see him on course.  He's fast, but unlike most of the "elite" people who are very in their zone, he's always tossing out encouragements to those he's passing on the way back!

One complaint I did have was that everyone got race belts (little pouch and bib clips) instead of t-shirts.  I actually do wear my race shirts so I would have much rather had one, and I don't believe this was advertised anywhere.  Also, the race started at least 5 minutes early, so I was basically running out of the portapotty trying to get my Garmin to find signal.  It didn't find it until we had crossed the start link and I felt super rushed since I was counting on a few more minutes to get myself together.  Side note - the portapotties were fully stocked with toilet paper so that was definitely a plus.

There were finisher medals for everyone that finished, 10k and half, which is great for someone who never places!  However, for those who did place - they didn't have age group awards for the 10k (I think they did for the half but we left before then), they just called out the top 3 in each age group instead.  I do understand that it's a small, local race company, but it was just kind of odd to me since all of their other races have age group awards!

Just a few small pet peeves though, you have to have the bad with the good!  Overall their races run great, packet pickup is usually at a local store, and it's just a fun environment.

That night, we went to this little tiny bar on one of the islands to see Ray's stepdad perform as Elvis.  Someone was having their birthday party there and requested Elvis.  This is something he does regular at different venues.  It was so much fun, even though we were some of the few people under 45 or so.  Of course we got dressed up!  Our roommate missed the 50's theme just a little bit and went as Magnum PI instead, but at least he had fun =)

I'd never gone to a themed event really, outside of Halloween of course.  Have you?