Monday, May 18, 2015

Training recap week of 5/4 & 5/11 (Pixie Dust Challenge Week 18 & Recovery Week)

Hi!  I'm alive.  Sorry for the bit of radio silence, came back from Tink last week and got crazy caught up in work.  Sometimes I wonder if vacation is worth it?  Just kidding, vacation is always worth it! 

Since I am a bit behind, let's do two weeks in one?  Tink went really well!  I actually managed to set a PR in the 10K which makes me very happy (it even included photo stops).  My 10K PR was pretty old and not reflective of my current speed.  Hoping to maybe find another 10K I can actually race and see what happens.  I'm hoping to get all my race recaps up in the next 2 weeks (fingers crossed!). 

The week after Tink basically became a recovery week.  I wasn't planning on it, but my body was clearly calling for it, so I decided to listen.  Especially since I have another half this weekend!

In terms of cross training, I did not do so well.  Hoping to get back on the cross training bus this week!

Week of 5/4 (Pixie Dust Challenge Week 18)

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest
Cross Training: 21 Day Fix - Lower Body Fix

Scheduled: 3 miles easy
Actual: 3.07 mi, 28:46, 9:22 pace
Cross Training: 21 Day Fix - 10 Minute Fix for Abs

Scheduled: 2 miles easy
Actual: 2.03 mi, 18:31, 9:07 pace
Cross Training: 21 Day Fix - 10 Minute Fix for Abs

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: Neverland 5K
Actual: 3.12 mi, 27:02, 8:40 pace

Scheduled: Tinker Bell 10K
Actual: 6.30 mi, 51:48, 8:13 pace

Scheduled: Tinker Bell Half Marathon
Actual: 13.36 mi, 2:00:33, 9:01 pace

Total miles: 27.88
Total May miles: 32.92
Miles until goal (1,250): 835.25
Cross Training: 3/4

Week of 5/11 (Pixie Dust Challenge Recovery Week)

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 4 miles easy
Actual: 4.02 mi, 39:05, 9:43 pace

Scheduled: 8 miles long run
Actual: 8.16 mi, 1:20:06, 9:49 pace

Total miles: 12.19
Total May miles: 45.11
Miles until goal (1,250): 823.06
Cross Training: 0/4

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend Race Costumes

Happy Tinker Bell half weekend!  I did this race the very first year and loved it, so I am excited to do it again.  When I ran it the first time, I did not dress up.  I wore a sequined lime green headband and called it a day.

If you've been following this blog for a while, you'll know that I spent many, many hours making my Donald shirt.  I didn't really talk about how long it took me, but trust me, it took way longer then I wanted it too.  There were several times during the process that I wanted to throw something.  In the end, it was worth it, but man was it frustrating.

After that, I decided costumes should be easy.  For right now, the most I am willing to commit to is doing an iron-on.  And yes, I continued that commitment for these costumes, so they were quick and easy to pull together!

Since I am going all three races, I needed three costumes ideas.  Tinker Bell has always been one of my favorite characters (and Peter Pan one of my favorite movies), so I decided to do all costumes from Peter Pan.  Given the theme of this race weekend, I am sure I will not be the only one in any of these costumes!

Let's start with the Neverland 5K!  I'm going as Smee!

Fortunately, I already owned the tank (I picked it up a couple of years ago from Gap Body) and the Sparkle Athletic skirt from a previous costume.  The only item I needed to pick up was the red hat, which I got from Amazon for a couple of bucks.

For the Tinker Bell 10K, I decided to go with the man himself - Peter Pan.

Unfortunately for this one, I owned nothing.  I was worried about finding the shirt, but I was able to get one from Amazon for like $7.  It's technical too!  I'm pairing it with a kelly green Sparkle Athletic skirt and red feather.  I also ordered a matching sparkle visor, but decided to get it too late for it to be delivered in time.  I'll be picking that up at the expo.

And of course, the main event - the Tinker Bell Half Marathon.  I think it should be no surprise to anyone that I am going as Tinker Bell!  She is my favorite after all :)

I ordered the wings and lime green skirt from Sparkle Athletic.  For the shirt, I ordered the tank on Amazon and did an iron-on from Etsy show DesignsbyMKC (same person who did my Anna and TOT iron-ons).  The tank and skirt colors do match - it just seemed to photograph weird.  I order the bow on Etsy as well - they are from miniPanda (a fellow runDisney fan and blogger).  I also ordered some white pom poms from Sparklet Athletic for my sneakers that I am picking up at the expo.

So those are my costumes for Tinker Bell weekend!  I am a little nervous about the wings, but I am sure it will be fine.

What is everyone else dressing up as for Tinker Bell weekend?  Share your costumes in the comments below!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Crank Arm Brewing

On our walk to The Pit for lunch, we passed by a brewery with outside seating.  A quick stop (and closer investigating) informed us that this was Crank Arm Brewing - one of the breweries downtown that we had found online pre-arrival.

Michelle and I both enjoy a good beer, but what I think sold us on this particular brewery was that it was cycling themed!  Both Michelle and I ride, so a visit was a must!  So after stuffing ourselves as The Pit, we headed over to Crank Arm.

When we arrived, it was still pretty empty.  The outside tables were full, but inside the brewery it was almost empty.  We grabbed a seat at the bar to enjoy our beers.

The entire brewery was cycling themed.  There were bikes handing on the walls, bike artwork and chains on the wall.  All of the beers were also named after cycling terms (Unicycle, Rickshaw, Whitewall, Peloton, etc).

The bartender was very friendly (and helpful!) and I started with the Whitewall Wit, which was a wheat beer.  Similar to a Hoegaarden or Blue Moon.  I love wheat beers and this one was no exception.  It definitely was one of my favorites.

While we were drinking our first beers, we realized they did samplers of some of their beers.  Both Michelle and I decided to get that next as it was a good way to taste a bunch of their beers.

The sampler wheels got you 5 of their most popular beers - Whitewall, Unicycle, Rickshaw, Flying Scotsman, Dunkelbiken.  I am not a beer connoisseur (I just really like to drink it), so I can't give you full descriptions of everything.  Personally, my favorites were the Whitewall and Rickshaw.  I am not a huge fan of dark beers, but I didn't hate this one.

By the time we were ready to leave, the brewery had gotten packed!  And a lot of other runners had the same idea, as we saw many of the Rock'n'Roll backpacks there.

If you liked craft beer and are ever in Raleigh, a visit to Crank Arm Brewing should be on your to do list!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Training recap week of 4/27 (Pixie Dust Challenge Week 17)

This week was pretty good.  I had to cut a couple of runs short due to time constraints, but I was still able to get them all in.  I even got a run in while in New Orleans, so calling this week a win!

I am not sure what happened - none of my runs from the week saved on my Garmin.  It was very weird - I have never had that happen before.  I knew my distances because I also write them in planner, but I don't have any of the details.  Type A Sarah is pretty annoyed by this!  Anyone else having issues with Garmin this week?

This weeks cross training included some Tai Cheng (one of the Beachbody on Demand workouts).  It' is Tai Chi, but I am also doing it because the first 15 minutes of every workout includes stretching and foam rolling.  Definitely can use more of that in my life!

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest
Cross Training: 21 Day Fix - Total Body Cardio Fix

Scheduled: 4 miles easy
Actual: 4.00 mi, 39:00, 9:30 pace
Cross Training: 21 Day Fix - Upper Body Fix and Tai Cheng

Scheduled: Speedwork - 6 x 0.5 miles @ 10K pace (with 2 min recovery) + WU and CD
Total miles: 5.23
Paces: No idea :(  Stupid Garmin...
Cross Training: Tai Cheng

Scheduled: 3 miles easy
Actual: 2.5 mi, 24:00, 9:36 pace

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 6 miles easy
Actual: 5.04 mi, 44:33, 8:50 pace 

This is when it started to go a little crazy.  I definitely did not run an 8:50 pace (at least I don't think so!) so I think it didn't have my GPS right.  It was in the range of 5 miles though...

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Total miles: 16.77
Total April miles: 113.70
Total May miles: 5.04
Miles until goal (1,250): 863.13
Cross Training: 3/4

Friday, May 1, 2015

Monthly Goal Recap - April/May

First street fair of the season!
How is it already May?  Winter seemed to drag on, but summer seems to be quickly approaching.

Since it's May, let's do a check in of April goals.

Run 100 miles - A
As of Sunday, I had run 101.97 miles and I did probably another 10-11 miles this week!

Complete the Blogilates 30 Day Sleek Arm Challenge - B-
Yea... didn't do so hot on this one.  I started great, but petered off around Day 16.  I'd like to finish it off though, so maybe try again for May?

Complete 1 full round of 21 Day Fix - F
This was just a poor goal for me to set.  I know better.  I've talked about it before.  Oy vey.  Granted, I was planning on starting it the Monday after Raleigh, but that was before I PR'd.

Lose that last 1 pound - A
Completed!  I actually lost 1.5 pounds, so yay!

Average 7 hours of sleep a night - A
My FitBit tells me my current average for the last month i s 7 hours, 2 minutes.  I just barely made it, but that doesn't matter!  I still did it!

Now, onto May goals!

Run 115 miles
I made 100 miles the last two months with no issues, so want to challenge myself to get an extra 15 miles in.

Complete the Blogilates 30 Day Sleek Arm Challenge
Bringing this one back.  I really want to do this and complete it!  Think I am going to start from Day 1 again.

Cross Train 4x a week
I know cross training (strength training and core) were one of the things that helped with my PR.  It's a long term goal for 2015, but I really slacked this month, so want to focus on getting my 4 workouts in.  I'm a big fan of 21 Day Fix and Beachbody (the people who created it) now have a streaming video library.  They are offering 30 day free trials, so I signed up.  I have discovered I really have workout ADD and can't do the same thing long term, so this will give me the opportunity to try different programs.  Expect to see lots of random workouts in my weekly recaps, but hopefully this will help me get my cross training in!

Complete the Neverland 5K and Pixie Dust Challenge
Since this is a big one and I've been training for it all winter/spring, figured I should include it!  Will be an easy one to check off, at least!

Check a state of my list
This should be another easy one as I'm already registered for the Madison half at the end of the month!

Share some of your goals for the month!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Eating in... Raleigh: The Pit

I love traveling with friends and it's always great when their eating goals align with yours.  When Michelle and I went to Raleigh, we both agreed that barbecue was a must for us.  Michelle had done some research and found The Pit.

It was within walking district of the hotel and after our visit to the expo, we made our way over there.  It was a short 10 minute walk and gave us a chance to check out more of Raleigh.  The fact that it was gorgeous out, didn't hurt either!

We could actually smell the restaurant before we could see it.  We were probably about 2-3 blocks away when the smell of barbecue hit us.  And let me just say, it smelled delicious!

We had made a reservation, which I wasn't sure we needed to, but I figured better safe then sorry.  Turns out it was a good idea as the restaurant was packed and there was a lot of stand by guest waiting for a table.  Since we had the reservation, we were seated within about 2 minutes of checking in with the host.

We started with a small beer from a local brewery.  I had the Shotgun Betty, which is a Hefeweizen style beer from Lonerider Brewing Company based in Raleigh.  It was really good!  Nice and light - perfect for an warm spring afternoon.

Michelle and I decided to split an appetizer and went with the Barbecue Fries.  Here is the description from the menu: hand-cut fries with melted pimento cheese, chopped cue, chives and barbecue ranch dressing.

I can't speak for Michelle, but I thought they were delicious!  The cheese was so rich and tasted great with the meat.  The barbecue ranch was also so good.  I probably could have liked the small bowl it was in.

For my entree, I went with the Double Combo (basically you can pick two of their meats and two sides).  I got the pulled pork and fried chicken with the brussels sprouts and mac'n'cheese.  The fried chicken was fried perfectly: crunchy on the outside and moist in the middle.  The pulled pork was also very good.  It was Carolina style which means it comes dry and you add the sauce yourself.

The sides were also very good - I am pretty sure the mac'n'cheese was made with the same pimento cheese that was on the fries.  It was so good!  I liked the brussels sprouts (they are cooked in bacon!) but were not my favorite item on the plate.  That honor goes to the fried chicken.  I would have eaten of bucket of it!

We were so full from our meals, we decided not to get any dessert, although they looked really good!

If you are in Raleigh, I recommend you check out The Pit!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New Balance Girls Night Out

A couple of weeks ago (right before Raleigh), I attended the first New Balance Girls Night Out of 2015.  I was attended one back in September and it was so much fun!  Girls Night Out events are free of charge, you just need to register in advance.

They always feature a workout (or run option) and afterwards there are drinks and snacks to enjoy.

I arrived shortly after 6:30 (the workout starts at 7) and after checking in and dropping my bags at baggage, claimed a spot on the floor.  I think they were hoping it was nicer out then it was (it was still pretty chilly) because the class was held in the store.  I think a lot of people didn't do the run due to the weather, so it was a little crowded.  But we pushed some racks aside and made it work!

Ready to go!
The workout this time was lead by Danielle and Jacey from The Sports Barre.  I had actually never heard of The Sports Barre before so I wasn't sure what to expect from the workout.  I thought it would be like a barre class, but it was definitely more of a HIIT-type workout.  We did lots of squats, leg lifts, jumping jacks and the like.  It was definitely a tough workout and one I really enjoyed!

I would love to take a regular class at The Sports Barre, but they are located in Jersey City.  Which is great for people in Jersey City, but I honestly don't think I'll get out there for a class.  Jersey City ladies, if you go, let me know how it is!

Afterwards, we grabbed a beer and caught up (I had a couple of friends who went as well), but I didn't stay too late as I still needed to pack for Raleigh.

New Balance treats the attendee's really well and in addition to the class, food and drinks they also gave us a gift pack!

The gift pack this time around included a cute bag (which will be great for the gym or beach) and inside was a Bobble bottle (which makes me happy because I've been wanting one for a while), a sample of Mio muscle rub (they were there doing sampling at the event), a hair tie and some coupons.

The gift bag also included a super cute tank top!  It's very soft and I can see myself wearing it to classes or the gym a lot.

They have not announced the next Girls Night Out in New York, but I hope I can attend.  It's a really fun night and I love getting to try out some different workouts!

Has anyone else every attended a NB Girls Night Out?

{Side note: I registered on my own to attend (it's free for all guests) and was not invited by New Balance or asked to write this post, I just wanted to share my experience.  Even so, all opinions are my own.}

Monday, April 27, 2015

Training recap week of 4/20 (Pixie Dust Challenge Week 16)

I am at a little bit of a loss at what to do with my training schedule - at least in regards to speed work (I still need to do my progression runs).  I had it build around Tinker Bell, even though I wasn't planning on racing it.  But then I went and PR'd during Raleigh which has thrown me off.

I don't think I need to do as intense speed work as I was originally planning for these last couple of weeks.  I don't want to burn out before marathon training starts as I am starting to think I will try and race it (nothing is set in stone though).  I still want to do some as I don't want to lose the speed... but I probably don't need to do it.

So this week, I decreased my planned speed and didn't push the pace quite as much.  Felt good though, which is always nice!

This week also included my final progression run before the Pixie Dust Challenge and it went really well.  The 12 mile run on Sunday started a little rough - I was tight and stiff for the first two miles, but once I loosened up, felt really strong.  Think I am ready for Tink weekend!

I've really been slacking on cross training these past couple of weeks.  I gave myself permission the week after Raleigh, but I had no excuse this week.  I know all the core work I did helped with the PR so I need to get back into it.

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest
Cross Training: Tone It Up Beach Bombshell , Sleek Arms Day 15

Scheduled: 4 miles easy
Actual: 4.18 mi, 41:57, 10:03 pace

Scheduled: Speedwork - 4 x 0.5 miles @ 10K pace (with 0.5 mi recovery) + WU and CD
Total miles: 5.61
Paces: 8:05, 8:09, 7:59, 8:08

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest
Cross Training: Refine Method

Scheduled: 2 miles easy
Actual: 2.00, 19:34, 9;46 pace

Scheduled: 5 miles easy
Actual: 5.01 mi, 47:16, 9:26 pace 

Scheduled: 12 miles long run
Actual: 12.05, 1:52:16, 9:19 pace

Total miles: 28.84
Total April miles: 101.97
Miles until goal (1,250): 879.90
Cross Training: 2/4

Friday, April 24, 2015

Race Recap: Rock n Roll Raleigh Half Marathon

Here it is!  My PR race recap! 

Rock'n'Roll Raleigh Half Marathon
April 12, 2015

State: #20 (North Carolina)
Lifetime: #53

I thought the easiest way to do this recap would be to break it into segments.  I actually wrote a large chunk of this on the plane back from Raleigh so I wouldn't forget the details!

Waiting to start

The race started right outside our hotel, about a block away.  It made for an easy and quick race morning!  The corrals were pretty small and were starting every 1-2 minutes.  I started in Corral 4, and I remember thinking I should probably have moved back since I was taking it easy.  By that point it was too late and we got ready to go.

Miles 1-3

The first couple of miles took us around downtown Raleigh.  I knew I was going faster then I had thought I would in mile 1, but it was slightly downhill so I figured that was why.  My legs felt nice and loose and I decided I would run how I felt for the next couple of miles.

Miles 2-3 passed uneventfully as well, except my pace picked up even more.  This section was still downhill and I was letting gravity do it's thing.

Paces: 8:37, 8:11, 8:12

Miles 4-6

During mile 3, I had realized the 3:45 (marathon) pace group was right near me.  I did some quick math and figured out a half at that pace would put me pretty close to a PR (or at least one of my faster times).  My legs were still feeling good, so I decided I'd try and stick with them as long as possible.  I knew the courses split well before the Half finish, so it wouldn't be the whole time.

The pacers were great, they chatted and kept me distracted during these miles.  After a bit more downhill, there was a long (close to a mile) up hill at mile 5.  Even still, our pace was about 1 minute of so ahead when we hit the mile 6 marker.  They kept saying we'd slow down on the big hill that was coming, but by this time I had started to think a PR might be possible and those extra seconds were going to be needed to do so.

Paces: 8:25, 8:13, 8:26

Miles 7-9

Just past the 10K mark, there was a water stop.  The pace team decided to take it slow through the water stop since they were slightly ahead of the pace.  My legs were still feeling really good and I didn't want to stop.  I could tell the PR was in reach and didn't want to risk doing anything that would cause a delay.

There was another long (almost a mile) climb in mile 7.  This was the big hill the pacers had been talking about, but I didn't realize it until it was over.  Since I didn't know it was "the hill", I just put my head down and push through.  The flat when the hill was over felt so good.  We went made a loop around a neighborhood and then it was time for the Half and Full to split (about mile 8).  At this point (mile 8), I was rapidly trying to do the math on what pace I needed to make to PR.  I thought it was possible, but just to be sure, I tried to pick up the pace a little starting at mile 9 (which was on a slight downhill, so that helped).

Paces: 8:12, 8:29, 7:59

Miles 10-12

These miles were a bit rough.  I had picked up the pace and didn't feel horrible for mile 10.  There was a pretty big section of downhill, which felt amazing then, but on Monday my quads were hurting.   It was during this mile I caught up to the 1:50 pace group, which I knew had started in the corral in front of me.  I knew if I stayed in front of them, I'd be fine.

Mile 11 brought on another hill.  It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't pretty either.  I had some thoughts go through my head that maybe I had picked it up too soon.  What if I died in the last mile?

Mile 12 was by far the worst.  There was another hill.  It wasn't as long as the earlier ones, but it was pretty steep and to be honest, my legs were hurting.  I remember making a left turn and seeing the hill and saying (out loud), "Are you kidding me?".  There was a part of me that just wanted to stop and cry during that hill (but don't worry, I didn't).

I think this section was a big mental game for me.  I said in my 2015 goals, I wanted to work on mental strength and learn to push through the pain and I think this race showed that I am getting stronger on that front.  For these last miles, every time I crossed a mile, I'd start to do the math of "I have to run at least an ___ minute per mile pace to PR".  Every time I'd do this, I'd force myself to stop.  I didn't want to think that way because I felt like I was giving myself an excuse to slow down because it hurt.  I'm not kidding that in mile 12, I wanted to stop and cry on that hill, but I pushed through.  Mile 12 wasn't pretty, but I am pretty proud of myself for that mile.

Paces: 7:44, 7:52, 8:02

Mile 13-Finish

By the time I made it to the last mile, I was an odd combination of emotions.  I was completely spent, but knew I still had a mile to go.  I was so happy that it (the PR) was going to happen.  I was in shock, since I hadn't planned on this at all.  Basically, I spent the entire mile 13 trying not to cry.

Every time we made a turn, I'd look for the finish line.  For the last 0.5 miles, I was counting down the tenth's of a mile.  Okay, only 0.5 to go.  Only 0.4 to go.  And eventually, we were at the State Capitol building, which I knew was right near the finish line.  And when I made that final turn and saw the finish... I honestly can't even think of how to describe it.  I think relief is the best way.

The finish was here and I was going to do it.  I was going to PR.  And not just PR a little, PR by a lot (by 2 minutes and 22 seconds to be exact).  Passing the mile 13 marker, I started sprinting to the finish line.  I wanted to know I had given it my all.  Crossing the finish line was awesome.  I was definitely crying, but they were tears of joy (mostly, there might have been some tears of pain in there as well).

Paces: 8:02, 6:28 (for .19, according to my Garmin)

After crossing the finish line and collecting my medal, I made my way through the finisher's chute.  I made sure to pick up a water and a Gatorade as well as some food for later (I am a weirdo and can't eat right after I race.  I use a recovery shake as that's about all I can get down).  Fortunately, the finish chute ended right in front of the hotel so I made my way inside to get some recovery in before heading to the beer garden (I figured I deserved my free Mich Ultra).

Final Thoughts
Basically, I loved this race.  And it wasn't just the PR (which we'll talk about below), but it was the race itself.  Rock n Roll puts on a good race and this was no exception.  From arriving at the start to the finishers chute, it was well run.  The corrals were organized, the course was challenging but gorgeous (Raleigh sure is a pretty place).  If you are looking for a North Carolina race, I'd recommend this one.

Now about that PR.  Basically, anytime you PR, it's awesome.  But this wasn't just a small PR, this was a pretty big one (2:22 minutes!).  It's been about a year since Nike DC and I've spent some time since the race thinking about the two races (Nike vs Raleigh).  Even though I was dying at end of Raleigh, I actually felt much better then during Nike last year.  I remember crossing mile 13 (at Nike) and thinking I could not move any faster.  I had really want to get sub 1:50 at that race and missed it by 2 seconds.  I just could not get my legs to move faster.  That was not the case this time around.  I still manage to sprint the last 0.1 to the finish.

Nike DC was also much flatter then this race was, which is crazy to me, because I don't usually run hills very well.  So I am extra happy that I PR'd on a hilly course.  Which (of course) makes me think that I might even be able to run faster on a flat course.  But that's a discussion for another time.

Official: 13.1 mi, 1:47:39, 8:13 pace
Garmin: 13.19 mi, 1:47:39, 8:10 pace

Anyone else run Raleigh?  What did you think?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Raleigh Half Marathon Expo

We headed to the expo on Saturday before lunch.  Luckily, our hotel was directly across from the convention center, so it was super easy!

They had live music playing outside all day and the expo was very organized.  Our first stop upon arriving was number and shirt pickup.  There was no line for either and we moved through quickly. I am a big fan of the shirt - both the color and the design.  In the words of Dug (from Up) - SQUIRREL!

And the squirrel is playing the banjo!
Apparently Raleigh is the 'City of Oaks' as oak leaves and acorns were also a theme for the weekend.  Either way, I was a big fan!

From the shirt pick up, we headed to official merchandise.  I hadn't planned on getting anything except my customary pin and guitar bottle opener (it's a RnR race tradition for me), but the merchandise for this event was just too cute too pass up!

After looking around, I ended up picking up a cute racerback.  It has an oak leave and a small outline of North Carolina on it.  Perfect souvenir for a 50 State race!  The material is very soft and comfy.  I am already thinking it'll be a great shirt to bring to Disney to wear in the parks (in addition to running it it!).  It's wicking material, but doesn't look like a normal tech shirt.  It'll be great on really hot days!

I also picked up a baseball cap.  It's not technical or wicking, but I just thought it was so cute.  During the summer I like to wear baseball caps running errands or when on the beach.  It's probably one of my less practical purchases, but I just thought it was so cute!

There's that oak leaf again
And of course, I picked up my standard pin and guitar bottle opener.

After official merchandise, we made a loop of the rest of the expo.  It was pretty standard expo vendors and we picked up some postcards for other 50 State races we could do.

After making a loop and checking everything out, we headed to lunch!  We ate lunch at a very yummy barbecue restaurant in Raleigh.  More to come on that!