Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A look back at 2013...

Happy New Year's Eve everyone!  I, for one, cannot believe that 2013 is coming to a close.  It's been a good year and I am looking forward to the next one.  It's starts off with a bang with Dopey!

Instead of doing a Two for Tuesday post this week, I thought I'd look back at some of the highlights of 2013.


- I announce my resolutions for the year and I do pretty good about sticking to them!
- I try and do the Paleo diet without much success
- I complete my goal of 30 halves by my 30th birthday with the Disney World Half Marathon (recap here and photo's here)


- I announce my next challenge: to run a half in all 50 States by my 40th birthday
- I run the Princess Half Marathon (recap here and photo's here)


- I run the New Bedford Half Marathon, checking Massachusetts off the state list


- I share a secret, I signed up for Dopey!
- I have a training epiphany and decide to try a new training program for Dumbo
- I share some new purchases at Lululemon (which is currently my most read post ever!)
- Disney announces a new event and challenge at Princess Weekend


- I run the Flying Pig Half Marathon, checking Ohio off the state list (expo recap here and race recap here)
- It took some searching but I finally find some new sneakers to run in


- I run the Crawley Brother's Half Marathon (checking Vermont off the state list) and have the coolest race meeting ever (race recap here)
- I spend a weekend with friends in San Francisco and run the SF First Half Marathon (recap here)


- I check in on my new year's resolutions to see how it's going
- At 2/3 of the way through Dumbo training, I start making adjustments
- I run the Boomer's 4M and Queens 10K to simulate back to back racing


- I share my first foray into costumes for Dumbo Double Dare
- I run the Battle of Brooklyn as my last long run for Dumbo (recap here)
- I had to the west coast and run the Disneyland 10K (recap here)


- I run the Disneyland Half Marathon, completing the Dumbo Double Dare (recap here)
- I share my approach to Dopey training
- I run the Philadelphia Half Marathon and reach my time goal! (recap here)
- I discuss how I am going to stay motivated for Dopey
- I run the Providence Half Marathon for the third time! (recap here)


- I run the Hartford Half Marathon, checking Connecticut off the state list (recap here)
- I share my Wine and Dine costume and thoughts on the Disney World Marathon Weekend medals


- I run the Wine and Dine Half Marathon (recap here)
- I run the Philadelphia Half Marathon (recap here)
- I run a Turkey Trot 5K and have a pretty fast time (recap here)


- I start December by running Brian's Run and have one of my fastest races ever (recap here)
- I share my gift wish list for Christmas

It's been a great year and I am definitely looking forward to 2014!

Race Recap: Brian's Run 5M

Brian's Run 5M
December 1, 2013

I've wanted to run this race for as long as I have been running.  It's been around for as long as I can remember (this was the 36th year running).  It is always the 1st Sunday of December, which usually is 1 week after Thanksgiving and too hard for me to come home.  This year however, it was the weekend of Thanksgiving!  I was so excited to participate (finally).

Brian's Run has a great history.  Brian’s Run began in 1978 as a one-time fund raising event to benefit Brian Bratcher, a West Chester Henderson High School football player who sustained a life-challenging spinal cord injury at the age of 15 during a scrimmage. Brian was paralyzed that year, and his friends, their parents and the community as a whole wanted to help.  They organized a race and hoped to raise $500. That first year, 2,000 runners participated and the effort raised $20,000 to help Brian with his expenses. After 1979, Brian felt he had benefited enough from the proceeds and asked to have others benefit from the annual event. The race for years has raised funds for disabled people from the community who need help with physical mobility, seeing and communication.

This year, the race was to benefit the One Fund and Boston, which really made me happy.  I rocked my Boston Strong blue and yellow sweaty band.  The official race shirt, was Boston themed as well (photo at the bottom).

The race starts and ends at the local high school and is a 5M loop through West Chester.  It started at 1pm, which allowed me to sleep in (yay) but did present some problems (I never run at that time).  It started promptly at 1 and off we went!  It was a challenging course with some climbs and down hills.

I wanted to run it as my tempo run (9:09), but I was feeling really strong.  I tried to hold back, but was having trouble, so them I decided to just go for it.  My first 2 miles were under 8, then they creeped up a little and I pushed through and brought it back down to a 7:35 for the last mile!

I won't lie, that last mile was more then a little painful.  I was really pushing it, but I was really pleased with my time.  This is the first time I have gotten under 40 minutes for a 5 miler.  Hopefully, with more speedwork, that pace won't be as tough!


Official: 5.00 miles, 39:21, 7:52 pace
Garmin: 4.99 miles, 39:21, 7:53 pace

T-Shirt design

Monday, December 30, 2013

Training recap week of 12/23 (Dopey Week 16)

We are in the home stretch people!  Only 2 weeks left.  Whoa!  I won't lie, taper has been so nice.  I needed the low week of mileage.  I can't believe that in 8 days, I will be heading to Florida to finally do this.  I *may* have had a mini panic when I started my packing list.  Don't worry, wine helped :)  In case you are wondering, I am using a similar list to my Dumbo Double Dare packing list, just with more running gear.  Let me just tell you, it's a lot of stuff.

Scheduled: Rest or Cross Training
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 5 miles easy pace (10:09 - 11:09)
Actual: 5.01 miles, 50:46, 10:09 pace

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 4 miles easy pace (10:09 - 11:09)
Actual: 4.0 miles, 41:25, 10:21 pace

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 12 miles long run pace (9:54 - 10:29)
Actual: 12.00 miles, 2:00:17, 10:00 pace

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Total miles: 21.01
Total December miles: 141.30

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2 on Tuesday

Happy Christmas Eve!  I can't believe it is Christmas already - this year has flown by.  More terrifying is that in just two weeks, we'll be heading to Disney for the Dopey Challenge.  Yep, just 2 weeks.  Let's move on from that since it gives me a little panic attack.

My boss gave me a great Christmas present that included a jar of Biscoff spread and maple bacon candy.  I cannot wait to make something delicious with the Biscoff spread!  The cookies are my favorite part about flying and I had already pinned a bunch of stuff to make involving Biscoff!  I know what I'll be doing over Christmas vacation!

I was at TJ Maxx this past week (looking for some pieces for my upcoming costumes) and I scored this excellent pair of Brooks glittens (gloves and mittens, yes I just made that word up).  They are gloves that have mittens that pull over and have finger holes so you can use your phone.  I had been needing some new winter running gloves and these will work perfectly.  Score!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Training recap week of 12/16 (Dopey Week 15)

Holy cow - how is it week 15 already?  This week marks the last week of intense training and we are now moving into the taper phase.  I can't believe the race is so close - in less than 3 weeks, this will all be over!  Eeek!

This week marked my farthest runs to date and my most back to back ever.  I won't lie - 20 was rough. I can't believe I am going to have run 6 more miles still in 2 weeks.  Ahhh!

The 20 miler didn't start well.  First of all, it felt incredibly weird to be running in shorts and a t-shirts 3 days before Christmas.  It was 60!  I had trouble settling into a good pace.  This one was also a mental struggle.  I just struggled.  Luckily, I ran into an old triathlon friend around 14.5 and she stayed with me for the next 2 miles.  It was a huge help!  She helped me keep the pace up and pushed me up cat hill.  She kept me moving through the last miles.  So glad I ran into her!

Scheduled: Rest or Cross Training
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 5 miles easy pace (10:09 - 11:09)
Actual: 5.00 miles, 51:38, 10:21 pace

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 2.5 miles easy pace (10:09 - 11:09)
Actual: 2.5 miles, 26:30, 10:32 pace

Scheduled: 5 miles easy pace (10:09 - 11:09)
Actual: 5.00 miles, 50:27, 10:05 pace

Scheduled: 10 miles long run pace (9:54 - 10:29)
Actual: 10.00 miles, 1:39:42, 9:58 pace

Scheduled: 20 miles long run pace (9:54 - 10:29)
Actual: 20.00 miles, 3:18:53, 9:56 pace

Total miles: 42.50
Total December miles: 120.29

Something is seriously wrong with this picture occurring in December!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

First day of winter?

Remember earlier in the week when I said it was snowing?  Well, today it was in the 50's for my run and tomorrow is going to have a high in the high 60's.  Say what?  Did I mention today was the first day of winter?

I have no idea what is going on with the weather.  It did feel weird to wear a short sleeve shirt today and I will most likely be wearing shorts on my run tomorrow.  I don't particular love cold weather, but even this feels weird to me.  It's supposed to get colder after tomorrow, but still.  We might even set a record high tomorrow.

And since it's the first day of winter, that means it's the winter solstice.  Remember how I felt about the summer solstice?  I feel the opposite about the winter solstice.  Despite the fact it's the first official of winter, I love the winter solstice.  Today is the darkest day of the year and from now on it will start staying lighter longer!  It will be a while before I run in daylight after work, but it's still happening.

Spring and summer are on their way!

Friday, December 20, 2013

I may never go to a "regular" movie theatre again...

I am serious.  Like I have been totally jaded from going to any old movie theatre.  I know this is a non-running post, and totally makes me look nerdy, but I'm going for it anyway.  You probably don't know this about me (mostly 'cuz when else would I have talked about it?), but I kinda love the Marvel/Disney movies.  I just can't help it.  I know... nerd alert.

Anyways, I've been wanted to see the new Thor movie and I finally went and saw it last week.  I don't want to ruin it for anybody who hasn't seen it, so let me just say it was awesome.  Plus, staring at Chris Hemsworth (who is shirtless for a portion, thank you Marvel) and Tom Hiddleston (ok, so the Loki costume isn't great, but hello - have you seen him?) for 2 hours isn't the worst either.

Since the movie has been out for a bit, it wasn't in the theatre I normally go to.  But it was at a different one that was closer to my apartment.  When I went to buy the tickets, it made me select a seat.  I've only done that for Imax movies before so I thought it was slightly strange.

But then I arrived at the theatre and discovered that holy cow, this is not a normal movie theatre.  The seats were not only oversized, but nicely cushioned and they RECLINED.  It may have been the best movie watching experience ever.  I set my chair in the perfect reclined position and settled into watch the movie.  It was amazing.  By far the best way to watch a movie.  I don't think I can ever go to another movie theatre again.

And, it was only $2.50 more then normal theatres in NYC (which are already ridiculously expensive).  I'd spend $2.50 more to have a recliner.

Awesome seats
Settled in to watch the movie! (And yes, I still own/wear Uggs)

And if you needed any other reasons... they have the good Coke machine's were you can mix your flavor your self.  Epic win.  

Best Coke machine ever.
AMC 84th Street 6
2310 Broadway

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

My running Christmas list

I know every running blogger has a Christmas gift list post... but I still wanted to share mine.  These are things actually on my wish list for Christmas this year.  Hopefully, I some of these items find their way under the tree this year!

{This is just a post of some of the things on my gift list, I am not sponsored or being compensated in any way for any of these products, although I would not complain if they wanted too =) }

Gone for a Run - Bibfolio - starts at $39.99

I saw these last year at the Philly marathon expo and have been waiting one ever since.  My race bibs have been sitting in a pile in my bookshelf.  The bibfolio's are hard backed with durable rings.  You can also buy protector sheets and even race recap insert sheets.  They have lots of different options for the cover.  I've requested the above design and a 4 packs of protector sheets (I have a lot of bibs!).

Oiselle Flyte Shorts - $32

Everyone who wears Oiselle raves about their products and I love that they are women's running clothing company by women.  All their products are really cute and look great, but also perform great.  I've asked for the Flyte shorts.  They will be perfect for hot summer days and under my Sparkle Athletic skirts for Disney races.

Oakley Women's Unstoppable Sunglasses - starts at $150, price varies based on lens/frame type

I have been wanting a better pair of running sunglasses.  My current are decent, but are over 5 years old now (and they weren't the best quality even when brand new).  These Oakley's are just what I am looking for - great for running and also very stylish!  I want the above combo (although I had lots of trouble deciding!).  They have a bunch of frame/lens color combinations as well as polarized and non-polarized lens options.  This style is exclusive to Sunglass Hut (in case you are looking for them).

That's all I have on my running wish list for this year!

What's on your wish list?  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2 on Tuesday

It's snowing.  Again.  If you are counting this makes for 3 snowfalls in a 1 week period.  This does not bode well for this winter.  I feel like I am in Syracuse again.  Except I can't wear sweatpants to work everyday like I could with classes.  I'm going to have to do tonights workout on the treadmill because it is really gross out and the temp is dropping.  I'm afraid it is going to be super icy in the park and it's not worth the risk so close to Dopey.  Anyway...

These are my absolute favorite item from Trader Joe's.  Oreo's with crushed peppermint in the filling?  How could they be bad?  I seriously wish they sold them all year long.  I may or may start hoarding them once they appear in store.  They are best cold, so put them in the fridge!  They also make for a delicious milkshake with some almond milk and vanilla ice cream.  Hmmm, now I want a milkshake.

I have a seriously love of brussel sprouts and butternut squash so this recipe was right up my alley.  Quinoa, roasted brussel sprouts and caramelized butternut squash.  So simple, yet so delicious!  I left out the pepitas and it was still excellent (only because my grocery store didn't have them).  I even made it for my works Thanksgiving potluck and it was a big hit.  I also discovered while making this recipe how to make my own brown sugar (I was out and too lazy to go to the store).  Just mix regular sugar and molasses (yes, I had molasses on hand).  I think I will be making this a lot!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Training recap week of 12/9 (Dopey Week 14)

This week was rough.  Coming off my back to back long runs last weekend, my right hamstring was really tight.  I did stretch and roll (but I skipped the ice bath, which I probably should not have done).  I ended up taking it really easy on Tuesday so I could recover.  This was also the first week I really struggled with motivation.  I did not want to go out for my 8 mile tempo run.  My hamstring was still a little tight, it was cold and dark, etc, etc.  But, I forced myself to do it and, let me tell you, I was really glad that I did.

While being properly training for Dopey is of course incredibly important, I think more important is going to be the mental aspect of it.  And I think this week I pushed through it mentally.  I had the excuses in my head of why I could bail on it, but I made myself do it.  I am starting to feel truly prepared for this race - both mentally and physically.

Looking to next week, it will feature my last long runs and my first 4 day in a week schedule.  I am slightly nervous to do 10 and 20 back to back, but I know coming off my 9/19 miler last weekend, I can do it.  And then, after that, it's taper time!  Holy cow!

Scheduled: Rest or Cross Training
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 5 miles easy pace (10:09 - 11:09)
Actual: 2.00 miles, 32:11, 16:13 pace

My hamstring was really tight and it was slightly painful to run, so I ended up walking for 2 miles to get some miles in, but still allow myself recovery.  

Scheduled: 8 miles tempo pace (9:09ish)
Actual: 8 miles, 1:16:55, 9:37 pace

My leg felt better, but I didn't want to push it too much.  As I said, I had some trouble motivating for this run, but once I did it, I was happy I did.

Scheduled: 5 miles easy pace (10:09 - 11:09)
Actual: 5.00 miles, 49:37, 9:55 pace

Scheduled: Off
Actual: Off

Scheduled: 13 miles long run pace (9:54 - 10:29)
Actual: 13.00 miles, 2:09:59, 10:00 pace

It was snowing during this run.  While snow can look magically, I don't particularly love running 13 miles in it.  It was also pretty windy.  I felt like I was in a snow globe for a large portion of the run.  

Scheduled: Cross training
Actual: 3.00 miles, 31:24, 10:28 pace

I decided to make up the missed 3 miles from Tuesdays run.  I probably could have let them go, but I really want to get them in (see - motivation back!).

Total miles: 31.01
Total December miles: 77.79