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!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Race Recap: Hot Chocolate 15K

Hot Chocolate 15K
April 4, 2014

This was my second year of running this race.  Same as last year, it was the first weekend of April, but this year that weekend fell on Easter so the race was on Saturday.  Fortunately, they allow someone else to pick up your bib and swag, otherwise I would not have been able to do it!

Kasey picked up my stuff for me (thanks Kasey!) so I was able to come in after work on Friday.  This race may be a little more expensive for a 15K, but you get a really nice jacket with it (wearing in photo's below).

The race started at 8am so we didn't have to get up too early to get there.  The start was right in front of the art museum.  We were able to get a cab there - for about 3/4 of the way.  Then the roads were closed off for the race, so we walked the rest. 

Temperature wise, it wasn't too bad.  The wind however was something completely different.  It was crazy windy!  Kasey and I spent some time huddle under the merch tent trying to stay warm/out of the wind.  It was a losing battle let me tell you (the wind at least).

Pretty soon it was time to line up.  They were great about starting the race on time.  We were a couple of corrals in (I think the 3rd) so we didn't have to wait long to get started. 

The course is pretty simple.  A short out and back away from the art museum and then you head to the water for an out and back.  They have water stations throughout the main out and back as well as chocolate and marshmallow stations.  I actually took a couple of marshmallows this year - they surprisingly hit the spot!

I wasn't doing this race for time and Kasey had run the Love Half Marathon the weekend before so she wasn't running hard either.  It gave us an opportunity to catch up with all going that's on in our lives.  Because of this, I don't really have too many intense details about the race. 

Due to the wind and the out and back course, about half of the race was into a headwind.  Fortunately, it was the first part.  So coming back in, we had a nice headwind, which always helps. 

The finish line is right in front of the art museum, which does have a small hill heading into it.  Because I am a meanie, I made Kasey sprint to the finish with me (just kidding, she was up for it).  After crossing the finish, Kasey and I collected our medals, grabbed some water and headed to get out stuff.  Once we stopped running we got cold really quickly. 

And of course, the real standout is the chocolate bowl you get afterwards!  It is so yummy after a run.  You get some hot chocolate, dipping chocolate, a banana, marshmallows, rice crispy treats, wafer crackers and pretzels.  The hot chocolate is so yummy and perfect after a chilly race.  Kasey and I total ate it while walking back to her apartment. 

All the delicious goodies!
Overall, this was a really fun race.  I am glad I came and did it another year!  I like that they changed the jacket up so I didn't get the same one again.  In all honestly, I probably would not have done it again if it was the same jacket. 

I also was a big fan of the medal they added this year.  I mean, a gold chocolate bar?  How can you not love that!  It definitely was a big plus for me. 

Official: 9.3 mi, 1:30:59, 9:47 pace
Garmin: 9.39 mi, 1:31:00, 9:42 pace

So much fun!
Anyone run a Hot Chocolate race?  What did you think?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

2 on Tuesday

Who out there watched the Boston Marathon yesterday?  I may (or may not) have been following along at work.  It was an exciting race.  The Americans did pretty well with Dathan and Desi leading their races for a while.  And of course, Meb continues to show what a champion is.  I loved how he grabbed the hand of the elite woman who was finishing at the same time.  It is my dream to run Boston one day and watching yesterday just makes me want it more.  One day!

Did anyone read the article in Harper's Bazaar about the women who wears a "work uniform"?  I found the story really interesting and it made me think.  I wouldn't stay I have a work uniform, but I definitely have a style I lean towards.  I usually spend time every morning trying on different outfits and ending up in the same types of pieces: skinny pants/jeans, blouse (sweater in the winter) and flats.  Sometimes I throw a skirt or dress in the mix, but that's usually how it goes.  I don't think I'd ever be as committed to the work uniform as she is, but I definitely would like to get some more of those staple pieces I tend to gravitate too.  Can't say it wouldn't be nice to have one less thing to worry about in the morning.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Training recap week of 4/13 (Pixie Dust Challenge Week 15)

Ummm, where has time gone?  These past couple of weeks have gone by crazy fast and I have so much to do, but can't see to get it all done.  This past weekend (while fun) was super busy and wasn't really able to relax (which I probably should have done).

I took my runs easy all week and delayed cross training until the end as my legs were really tired from Raleigh.  I was sore until Wednesday and even on my long run on Saturday my legs were still tired.  I didn't want to skip my cross training (or skip a planned Wednesday speed session), but I decided that it wasn't worth it to do them and delay my recovery. 

I also totally feel off the wagon on my planks and sleek arms challenge.  I am going to pick up the arms challenge this week.  

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest
Cross Training: 1:04 second plank, Sleek Arms Day 13

Scheduled: 3 miles easy
Actual: 3.15 mi, 33:18, 10:34 pace
Cross Training: 1:05 second plank, Sleek Arms Day14

Scheduled: 6 miles easy
Total miles: 6.03 mi, 59:50, 9:56 pace

Scheduled: 4 miles easy
Actual: 4.01 mi, 39:46, 9:55 pace
Cross Training: Tone It Up Beach Stretch and Release

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 10 miles long
Actual: 10.01 mi, 1:38:06, 9:48 pace 

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest
Cross Training: Refine

First time at Refine in a while!  Felt good to get back in a class.

Total miles: 23.20
Total April miles: 73.13
Miles until goal (1,250): 908.75
Cross Training: 2/4

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

2 on Tuesday

Does anyone else struggle to drink enough water?  I am the worst at it.  I've tried various ways of tracking (FitBit, My Fitness Pal, using my planner to check off a certain number of cups a day), but they just haven't worked for me.  I always do it but it wouldn't force me to drink.  But one of my Oiselle Flock-mates recently introduced me to a new app which has been working really well for me.  It's called Plant Nanny.  You download it, fill in some info (height, weight, activity level) and it recommends a level of water.  It does recommend a lot of water, so I had to adjust my activity level until I got a lower amount (if I'm struggling getting water in, I wanted to at least make it an amount I can do).  You mark off how much water you drink and your plant grows.  It'll notify you if you haven't drank water lately.  If you don't make it, your plant dies (or wilts, I've been doing good and haven't missed a day so not sure).  It does remind me a little of one those Tamagotchi things from my youth (did I just age myself?), but is is making me drink more water.  So that is a good thing.  And I'm kinda a nerd so I like watching my plant grow.


Registration for the WDW Marathon weekend events for Annual Passholders opened today noon.  Fortunately, I am an AP holder and get to take advantage of this perk - if you are not an AP holder, don't worry, they only open a small percentage for passholders and the rest will be available on April 28th for general registration.  I was able to log on at noon and register.  The process was surprisingly easy - not sure if Active is finally ready to handle runDisney registrations or if less people were trying to do it vs. Wine and Dine.  I am doing the Half again in 2016.  I won't lie, there were a couple of times during this past fall where I actually missed training for the full and thought maybe I would do Goofy this year.  In fact, a couple of my travel buddies for this race are going to be doing Goofy.  But, I decided to only do the half (and I feel quite calm about my decision).  Coming out of the PR this weekend at Raleigh, I am leaning towards racing Rt 66 to try and PR.  And honestly, I am just not sure how I would feel having to continue doing marathon training for Goofy (they are only 6 weeks apart).  I think I made the right decision for me and am excited to do the half again!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Training recap week of 4/6 (Pixie Dust Challenge Week 14)

Let's just say that this week's training recap is not at all what I thought it was going to be about.  I thought it was going to be about a pretty normal training week with a half marathon thrown in.  Which I used as part of a Pixie Dust Challenge progression training build (Friday, Saturday and Sunday runs).  But, if you follow me on Instagram, you already know that was not quite what happened - I got an unexpected, pretty big, PR!

I'm still a bit in shock - PR'ing was in my goals for the year, but I did not think it would happen yesterday.  I wasn't planning on it and spent several hours on Saturday tasting my way around Raleigh's breweries and eating lots of barbeque.  I didn't get enough sleep Saturday night.  The course was hilly (oh so hilly).  But somehow, it still happened (maybe Tinker Bell visited me while I slept and gave me some Pixie Dust?).

I'll have a full recap of RnR Raleigh soon (and I promise, I want to write it while I still remember everything!), but it was just one of those days were everything comes together.  It was magical.  It made me so appreciate the times I dragged myself out to do runs in snow, sleet, freezing temps, etc.  It definitely would not have been possible if I hadn't put in the work, that much I know.  More to come in my recap this week!

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest
Cross Training: :45 second plank, Sleek Arms Day 6

Scheduled: 5 miles easy
Actual: 4 mi, 38:54, 9:43 pace
Cross Training: Tone It Up Bikini Arms, :50 second plank, Sleek Arms Day 7

Scheduled: 7 miles easy
Total miles: 7.06 mi, 1:07:04, 9;30 pace
Cross Training: Tone It Up Mali Booty, :55 second plank, Sleek Arms Day 8

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest
Cross Training: New Balance Girls Night Out - The Sports Barre, 1:00 second plank, Sleek Arms Day 9

Tonight was the first Girls Night Out of 2015!  It was another fun time and challenging workout!

Scheduled: 1 mile easy
Actual: 1.00, 9:30, 9:30 pace
Cross Training: 1:01 second plank, Sleek Arms Day 10

Scheduled: 3 miles easy
Actual: 3.1 mi, 29:27, 9:30 pace 
Cross Training: 1:02 second plank, Sleek Arms Day 11

Scheduled: Rock and Roll Raleigh Half Marathon
Actual: 13.19 mi, 1:47:39, 8:10 pace (based on my Garmin)
Cross Training: 1:03 second plank, Sleek Arms Day 12

Total miles: 28.35
Total April miles: 49.93
Miles until goal (1,250): 931.94
Cross Training: 3/4

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Training recap week of 3/30 (Pixie Dust Challenge Week 13)

How is it Wednesday already?  It was Monday, I blinked and now it's Wednesday!  This week has been crazy busy and I got behind in posting my weekly recap.  

We had some nice weather last week, but it has turned chilly again.  AGAIN.  I know I'm beating a dead horse, but I am so over this winter.  Hopefully then end is in site.

I slacked a bit last week in terms of cross training, but I was still able to get 3 in (plus I'm doing a plank a day and the Blogilates Sleek Arm Challenge, but I'm not considering those part of my 4 a week goal - they are bonus!).

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest
Cross Training: Dirty 30 (21 Day Fix), :10 second plank

Scheduled: 5 miles easy
Actual: 4.5 mi, 42:35, 9:28 pace
Cross Training: :15 second plank

Scheduled: Speedwork - 5 x 0.5 mile @ Half Marathon Pace, 0.25 mi recovery (plus warm up and cool down)
Total miles: 5.8 mi total
Paces: 8:12, 8:11, 8:13, 8:01, 7:56
Cross Training: :20 second plank, Sleek Arms Day 1

Scheduled: 5 miles easy
Actual: 5.00 mi, 50:43, 10:08 pace
Cross Training: Yoga Fix (21 Day Fix), :25 second plank, Sleek Arms Day 2

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest
Cross Training: Total Body Cardio Fix (21 Day Fix), :30 second plank, Sleek Arms Day 3

Scheduled: Hot Chocolate 15K
Actual: 9.39 mi, 1:31:00, 9:42 pace 
Cross Training: :35 second plank, Sleek Arms Day 4

Scheduled: 1-2 miles easy
Actual: 1.39 mi, 15:45, 11:18 pace
Cross Training: :40 second plank, Sleek Arms Day 5

Total miles: 26.08
Total March miles: 102.36
Total April miles: 21.58
Miles until goal (1,250): 960.29
Cross Training: 3/4

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Race Recap: Princess Half Marathon 2015

Here it is!  Don't forget to check out my expo and 10K recaps as well!

Princess Half Marathon
February 22, 2015

State: repeat (Florida)
Lifetime: #52

As is the norm for all Disney races, it was another early morning wake up call.  I had laid all my clothing out the night before, so getting ready was a breeze.

I was running the race with my cousin Colleen (who I ran it with last year) and two of my cousins-in-law, Amy and Mary (married to two of my cousins, both of whom are Colleen's brothers).  Colleen had made us adorable matching shirts that said "Once Upon a Run".  Colleen and I opted to pair ours with Sparkle Athletic skirts!

The girls were in a connecting room and we said good bye to our moms and Mary (who luckily got to go back to sleep!).  The weather was much warmer then the day before, but still slightly chilly.  Mary and Colleen had brought throw away clothing, but it was Amy's first half and us seasoned runners forgot to tell her to bring throwaway's.  Oops!  Fortunately, I had an extra heat sheet from the day before Amy could use (and it was so much warmer then Saturday which helped a lot!).

The line for the bus wasn't too long (we got on the second one) and hit minimal traffic on the way to the start.  Once we got there and made it through bag check, we met up with Abby and her sister who were also running.  We chatted a bit, used the bathrooms and then headed to baggage and the start.  As I said, this was Amy's first half and she was feeling a little nervous and wanted to get to the corrals a bit early.  I've been there before and know that feeling so I understood.

I was in corral B but the other girls were farther back, so we could start together.  We were in the J corral.  We hung out in the corral for a while and then it was time to start.  Fortunately, they were sending the corrals off pretty quickly (more quickly then I feel like they did the year before) and we only had to wait about 25ish minutes, which I felt was quick for Corral J.

Colleen and I had planned to run together.  Mary likes to run by herself (plus she had a baby in July and this was her first race back), so she went off on her own.  We actually stayed in the vicinity of her the whole race and would play leap frog when we stopped for photo's and the bathroom.  Amy didn't really have a plan, but she stayed with us until about mile 5.5.  Colleen and I stopped for the bathroom, but Amy wasn't sure she'd start again if she stopped (know that feeling as well!).  Similar to Mary, we saw her several times throughout the race.

The first 5 miles went by pretty quickly - Colleen, Amy and I chatting and catching up the whole time.  It was a bit crowded at the beginning, but it did start to thin out right as we passed through the parking toll booths.

We passed several characters on the way (Captain Jack Sparrow, the Princes and the Villians) - the lines were pretty long so we skipped stopping.  I let Colleen decide which ones to stop for, as I've basically stopped for everyone at this point!

Near the speedway, we saw Vanellope out.  She didn't have a crazy line, but we decided not to stop for a picture.  Colleen's kids like the movie (but we didn't want to wait), so I grabbed a photo of Vanellope from the side.

Kinda looks like she is dancing...

After Vanellope, we headed towards the Contemporary and into Magic Kingdom.  Time for my favorite part!  Main Street was packed with spectators and as usual, never fails to give me chills!  We stopped for a group photo with the Castle in the background.  Amy almost didn't stop (as she was afraid she wouldn't start again), but she jumped in at the last minute!  So glad she did, it turned out to be a great photo.

Love it!

We continued into Tomorrowland, where we saw Buzz Lightyear.  We didn't wait in line, but I grabbed a photo from the side again.

To infinity and beyond!

Colleen and I stopped at the Tomorrowland bathrooms and Amy continued on.  We'd catch her on the road back to Epcot.  Right before we headed through the Castle, we saw Anna, Elsa and Kristoff on the balcony.  In previous years they have had the trumpeters out, but it's a good spot for those 3.  Could you imagine the lines if they were on the actual course for photo's?  No Princess Minnie and Prince Mickey out this year.  Usually, this is where they are out but there was construction going on, which is why I am guessing they weren't out.

Where's Olaf?

We made our way through the Castle - second favorite part of this race!  It's a feeling that never gets old!

As we continued on, we passed Buddy in Frontierland before heading out of the park and then Aurora and Prince Phillip.  I managed to snag a great shot of Woody - wasn't planned, sheer dumb luck!

Hey dude...

The journey back to Epcot from the Magic Kingdom was pretty typical.  I felt they had a good amount of characters out (can't really remember if I thought it was more or less then the Marathon Weekend) including Mary Poppins, some men in tux's with a glass slipper and some others.  We didn't stop for any of the photo's but they were still a good distraction from the race!

They did have one character out that I had never seen before - Vacation Genie!  I would have loved to have gotten a photo with him, but the line was ridiculous.  Even if I had been alone, I would have not stopped as the line was probably 15 minutes long.  But that didn't stop me from getting a quick picture from the side!

Love it!

Usually on the way back from Magic Kingdom, the Princes' line is much shorter and you can get a quick picture.  The line was much shorter then on the way in, but still longer then we wanted to wait.  Since we had a photo of those guys from last year, we skipped it.

The rest of the route to Epcot was pretty standard.  I know we saw the Green Army man from Toy Story on the on-ramp hill, but honestly, the rest is a bit fuzzy.  Colleen and I were chatting away and I wasn't really paying attention (which, btw, is a great way to pass a race!).

Last year as we made the turn into the backstage area of Epcot (right before you actually head into the park), they had Sophia out.  Colleen's daughter is in LOVE with Sophia right now, so were were keeping our eyes out for her.  Luckily, she was out in the same spot and there was only 2 people in line!  A quick pick of Colleen and Sophia and into Epcot we went!

No line = success!

The out and back in Epcot is not quite as spine tingling as going through Magic Kingdom (usually because we are like .5 miles from the finish and I want to be done, lol), but it's still awesome.  They had the comic Fairy Godmother out with a mic which provided some good entertainment as we came through.  The gospel choir was also in it's normal place right after you leave Epcot.  They are another one of my favorites - my body just knows by now when you hear them the end is near!

Colleen and I tried to pick it up a bit as we headed into the finish, but then we saw Prince Mickey (or King, I'm not sure, I like Prince better)... with no line... so we just had to stop for a photo!  I had gotten Princess Minnie at the Expo and now have a matching pair with Prince Mickey.  I am so glad we stopped, this is one of my favorite photo's from the race!

Prince Mickey for the win!

From there, we headed to the finish!  Our finish time was 2:16:20, which considering we made a bathroom stop and a couple of photo stops, was pretty good!  We were just running this for fun, but still beat our time from 2014 by 4 minutes.

I was tracking Amy and Mary as well and after getting our medals, I checked my phone and realized they would be finishing any minute as well!  Amy came in about 2 minutes after us and Mary 1 minute after that.  Colleen needed a bandaid (her sock had been rubbing) so we stopped by medical which was enough time for us to see Amy and Mary get their medals and meet up with them.

We all picked up some water, Powerade and headed for photo's.  I separated from the girls to get my Glass Slipper Challenge medal and photo, but they were waiting for me on the backside.

They had put out a finisher background (with race photographer) which was larger then the ones before the food.  It was perfect for large groups, so we stopped to take a photo as we definitely needed a group finisher photo!

Overall, I had a great time at this race.  Disney races don't disappoint and this one was no different.  I do wish they had had more Princesses on the actual course though - I think I only saw 1?  Seems a bit off for the Princess race and would be my one issue.

Another great race and can't wait to come back in 2016 and do it again!

Official: 13.1 miles, 2:16:20, 10:24 pace
Garmin: 13.4 miles, 2:16:18, 10:11 pace

Official finishers!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Goals: March recap and new April goals!

Gratuitous sunset shot
Didn't anyone else spend all day trying to figure out if the emails you were getting today were real or an April Fools Day joke?  Some were pretty obvious, some actual made me read it twice.  I did really enjoy Google's Pac Man maps.  Basically, I got to play Pac Man on the streets of my neighborhood.  I definitely took some time to play it.

But today is also the first day of April, so time to talk monthly goals.  First a recap of my March goals.

Run 100 miles - A
I ended the month at 102 miles - yay!

Complete the 14 Day Yoga Shred Challenge - A
Did this one as well!  For someone who doesn't really like yoga it was a good way to ease into it.

Do core work 4x/week - B
Did pretty good on this on.  There was one week which I didn't make it, but otherwise I got core in 4 days a week.

Lose those extra "winter" pounds - B+
I only have 1 pound to go, so this was good!

Do my taxes - B+
Done, but I did wait until the end of the month, so only giving myself a B+ on this one

Overall, I did pretty good this month.  I really like setting small monthly goals as they are more manageable to digest sometimes.

Now, on to April...

Run 100 miles
Would like to break 100 miles again this month

Complete the Blogilates 30 Day Sleek Arm Challenge
A friend shared this with me and I thought I'd give it a go this month.  It requires not weights so I can do when I'm traveling this month.  It starts small and builds from there.  Tank top season is coming after all!  Who wants to do it with me?

Complete 1 full round of 21 Day Fix
I've already started doing these workouts as part of my cross training.  I'd like to do 1 full 21 day round at some point during this month.  I just found out that I am going to be going to NOLA the first weekend of May (yes, the weekend before Tink so it's going to be a busy couple of weeks!), so between that and Tink I'd like to ramp up my workouts a bit.  I know I'll be in a bathing suit at least a little, so can't hurt right?  Plus, probably should counteract all the calories I know I'll consume in NOLA =)

Lose that last 1 pound
Continuation of my March goal, so close!

Average 7 hours of sleep a night
I track my sleep on my FitBit and lately, it has not been good.  I'm averaging in the 6-6.5 hour range which is not great.  Would like to work on bringing it up to to 7 (more then 7 would be good, but let's not go crazy here).

Share some of your goals for the month!