Friday, September 26, 2014

City of Brotherly Love treated me right

I did it!! 
I did it!! 
I did it!!

I now have a new PR!!

Thirteen weeks of training finally paid off. I was actually able to see the benefits of all the hard work and dedication for a ridiculously BIG race!!
A HUGE thank you to my handsome fiance who stayed by my side and stuck with me on my journey to achieve a new time! While I know I bored the heck out of him for the last four miles I still appreciate having him next to me and encouraging me along the way. 

Here's my recap of the weekend - 
Friday after school, I made my way down to Norfolk to pick up my rental car for the weekend. As much as I love driving up the Eastern Shore, my little Civic just can't handle the miles anymore. 
I made it to Josh's about 10:00pm. A fairly easy and uneventful trip. 

Saturday morning we got up, grabbed some yummy Pumpkin coffee and muffins at Dunkin Donuts and made our way to the Convention Center for packet pick-up and the expo. 
I treated myself to a race tshirt, a new race bead and race tag necklace. 
The necklace might have been a little overboard but I think it was a nice treat to a race that I felt was going to be so monumental for me. 
Overall, packet pick up and the expo were pretty easy. It wasn't as big as last years in VA Beach, but it was still good and Josh and I were able to pick up a few necessities such as GU, Chomps and Cliff Bars. 
After that it was back to Langhorne to finish packing up Josh's apartment and moving him to his new place in Bensalem. Not my ideal day before a race - but it is what it is and I was happy to help. 
We finished moving around 6 and finally made our way back down to the city to our hotel. 
We stayed at the Sonesta Hotel, and it was awesome. It was a really nice room and hotel with bar in the lobby. It also didn't hurt that it was .70 from the start line. Oh and we totally ran past it during the race. 
We ventured out to find something to eat and because neither one of us are overly familiar with the city - we wound up at Applebee's. Wasn't all that bad and our pasta dishes were actually pretty good. 

Race Day 
Getting up wasn't a problem because we went to bed pretty early the night before. Plus I had laid out all of the stuff I was going to need so I wouldn't have to worry about it. So we geared up and headed out the start line. So when they said it was .70 from the start line, they didn't really take into account the fact that there was still another .50 from the start line to where our corral was located. We were way back in corral 21. Hey - I'm slow - I get it. 

Sometimes race recaps are boring so I won't bore you with the mile by mile break down but here's some fun information - according to my Garmin - I ran a new fastest mile, 5k, 10k and Half Marathon.

While I realize the difference between my Garmin and the actual race - according to my Garmin I ran a 2:44:59 half - which is the time I was actually hoping for.
But since (for me) PR's don't count unless they are certified races my finish time was 2:49:26. Which is still a great PR for me. That's taking 8minutes and 44 seconds off my previous time from the Shamrock Half.

Of course in hind sight I think it was a great race and could totally go out and do it again next weekend!! HAHA - I guess that's the runners high! But honestly the end of the race for me was tough! I just couldn't keep up a decent running pace and wound up walking more then I wanted to. There are few times I thought I was going to toss my cookies. Not sure why - too much water and gatorade? GU not sitting well? Who knows. What I do know is that I finished - in the upright position and with a PR!

After the race we collected all our goodies and made our way slowly back to the hotel. Its amazing what a nice hot shower will do for you after a race.

It was then time for me to make my way back to VA.
It was a long and achy drive - but it wasn't too bad.

Hindsight is always 20/20 so I feel like I could've done a whole bunch of things differently that day. Like push myself harder at the end.
Luckily for me I signed up for the Inaugural Harbor Lights Get Lit challenge and can try again in a few weeks to get another new PR.
Now if only I could re-motivate myself to run!

Here are a few pictures from my weekend.
 Pre -race fountain picture on our way to the start line.
Waiting to get in the corral. 

Post Race Bling Selfie!

Next up - 
Portable Race Bling
Crawlin Crab Shell Yeah Challenge
Harbor Lights Get Lit Challenge

Friday, September 19, 2014


This is exactly how I feel right now!!!

I went for a run Tuesday morning. A good 3.1mi and I was 5 secs off beating my old best 5k time. 
I was stoked.
Great!! Totally prepared for this half!

But then shortly after my run, the arch of my right foot began to hurt!! EEEKKK!!
Not now!! Not just a few days before a race I have been working so hard at training for!
So it's been sneakers for the last few days and here's to hoping the KT tape will help with my plantar fasciitis that has evilly returned.

So for the next two days I am going to feel just like Peg.
At least until the race is over.
Let's just hope that Josh can be just like her AMAAAAZING Cat and miraculously solve my problem!!
Probably not - but here's to wishful thinking....

Wish me luck!!
It's all mental and determination from here on out!
Friday, September 12, 2014

Fall Race Schedule, getting back in the game and getting more bling!!

Who's ready for cooler temps and Fall races??? 
This girl!! 
This past weekend kicked off the start of my Fall race schedule.
Hampton Bay Days 8k was not a race that I planned on running. I ran their inaugural 8k two years ago and wasn't overly impressed with it. It was hot and a little overpriced for a small 8k. I did however LOVE the course! An out and back from downtown Hampton to Ft. Monroe. The course ran within a block of my (now old) apartment, and along the bridges I logged some of my very first training runs back when I first started my whole running journey. So for me that was really neat and special,  but I just didn't think it was worth it do it again the next year.

This year there was a groupon that had the race priced at $20 with a $2 discount. Bonus!! An $18 8k! I'll take it!

Friday after school I swung by the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Hampton to pick up my packet. There was no expo - just packet pick up. I was picking up packets for myself, Josh (that handsome fiance of mine!) and my running buddy Gineff. It was super quick and easy. While I was a little disappointed in the swag bag - non existent, I was impressed with the race shirt. They upgraded from the last time I ran to the same company that J&A uses for their shirt. I have yet to wear it to run but I'm sure it's the same as the rest of them.
That evening, Josh informed me he had to work Saturday AM so it was just going to be me and a running buddy run. I was happy with that as I felt like it had been forever since Gineff and I have ran together.

I worked at the restaurant that night but was home at a decent time. Since I've run the Bay Days 8k before I didn't really get the night before nervousness like I usually do. That and I have been running 4 days a week all summer long in preparation for the RNR Philly Half coming up, so an 8k wasn't intimidating at all. In fact it was 6 miles short of the distance I was supposed to do on that day. (I never did get those other 6 in...but I figured I'm ok.)
 Race morning arrived and picked up Gineff. I thought we were going to be super early and have no problem getting a spot in the parking garage. I am really glad I like to get to there super early because by the time we got there at about 7:30am, we were already parking on the top floor of the parking garage in downtown Hampton! We both situated ourselves with our race gear and headed out to the start area.
I'm guessing that a good part of the Hampton Roads area was a fan of getting the same groupon as us because the place was packed!! I think they said there was close to 1,000 runners. The line for same day packet pick up was massive! There were a bunch of porta-potties scattered around so it was nice to get in a quick stop before trying to find some shade to hang out in till start.
Pre Race Smiles!!

Waiting to head to the start line in front of the Air & Space Museum. 

Some more pre race selfies!!

It was HOT!! Just standing in the starting corrals I could feel sweat dripping everywhere!
The start and finish are both over the big Settlers Landing Bridge. Ugh! Bridges!
But we survived and even though it was hot we stuck to my 3:1 intervals.
Our pace slowed by each mile, just because Gineff hadn't run in awhile and the heat was really getting to her. Neither one of us were trying to get a PR so we were just out to enjoy ourselves.
We finished in 1:09:12 - not the best time, and 3mins slower then what I finished the last time I ran it in 2012, but a finish is a finish and we didn't give up.
I'm sure Gineff wanted too but I'm proud of her for toughing it out.
Once we crossed the finish line we grabbed our medals, quickly exchanged them with each other (it's our thing) and grabbed our water and free banana. It was actually a pretty medal this year!! 
We found a somewhat shaded spot to sit and also grabbed our free beer. It was just one so that was disappointing, but it was really cold so that was a bonus! The guy standing behind us happily offered me his ticket so I helped myself to a second.
Can you blame me? It was hot! I was trying to rehydrate!
Sweaty Beer Picture!!

Gineff show's off the bling!! I show off the brew!!

 After a few sweaty minutes and some good girl talk later we headed out to go back to the car. In awesome Gineff fashion - it became a McKinney ADVENTURE! In a matter of minutes I had my hands on a cupcake from Couture Cakes by Nika and a Snow Cone!

Who doesn't love a van that carries around yummy cupcakes!!

Our yummy yummy treats!!

Two very well earned cupcakes!!

Big finishes to our not so big race!!
We giggled our way through the rest of the festival and back to the car.
The only nice thing about parking all the way at the top of the parking garage is that I got an awesome view of the water near downtown Hampton. It sure was pretty.
Isn't that view just gorgeous??!!!

Time to dig in and enjoy our yummy treats!!
I had the Red Velvet cupcake and Gineff had Pineapple Coconut. 

That evening Josh and I sweated it out at our engagement photo shoot.
Here's a sneak peak at one of our pictures. I can't wait to see the rest of them!!
And I just love our photographer!!

Now it's time to finish up my training and tackle the Philly Half!!

Then next up....

Crawlin Crab 5k & Half - October 4th & 5th (Shell-Yeah Challenge)
Wicked 10k - October 25th
Disney Wine & Dine 5k & Half - November 7th & 8th
Harbor Lights 5k & Half - November 22nd & 23rd (Get Lit Challenge)

Phew....that's a lot of races....and even more bling!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

New PR's in races and love!

Ok so I've been super MIA for the last few months.
And with really good reason. 
That handsome boyfriend I always talk about is now my handsome fiance!!

A few months ago, Josh was coming down to spend Memorial Day weekend with me. I was originally planning on running the Elizabeth River 10k to attempt to get a better time for my corral placement at the Wine and Dine, but at the last minute, I changed my mind and dragged my running buddy to the Chick-fila 5k and 10k at the Mariners Museum. I was still plagued a little bit by my knee and ankle, but I wasn't going to let them bother me and I had all intensive purposes of getting to the PR that I wanted. 
Sadly, I did not make my goal time for the Wine and Dine but I did managed to set a new PR of 1:19:06. (12:44 pace) That's a few seconds off my time from the Wicked 10k back in October. Which is weird because I felt better running wise in October. 

Since we hadn't been running much lately we were opting for a 4:2 combo. Of course we got race day excitement and decided to run the first mile or two and see what happened. The first mile was great. Flat and Fast. It was after that, that things started to fall apart. The course switched to a half gravel/half paved hilly road. Oh, and it got hot. Not a good combo. So we made it to Mile 2.5 and switched to our run/walk combo. We kept up what I thought was a decent pace, but it got hot out, and I think we were just physically not prepared! Story of my life lately. Mentally I was in the game, and just kept pushing. And my trusty side-kick was also trucking along with me! So I didn't make the 12:30 pace time I was hoping for to get a better corral placement at Disney, but a PR is a PR so I'll take it!!

Now onto the good stuff!! 
Josh had driven down the night prior but had already told me he wasn't running the race with me. He said that since I had Gineff with me, he knew I would be ok. I can't blame him. He didn't get to VA till after 1am. I wouldn't want to get up that early either. 

Turns out - he didn't sleep in. He got up right after I walked out the door and drove to my parents house to ask for my hand in marriage. Such a gentleman! And he also knew that I really wanted my Grandmother's engagement ring. She was someone who was beyond words special to me, and it would just mean a lot. He assumed that he would do a slight of hand with the ring somewhere later down the line when my sister could retrieve it from my Mom, but no Mom took him right to the bank/vault and gave it to him that morning. 

It must have been burning a hole in his pocket because when I walked in the door from the race, sweaty and hands full of my race stuff, the ring was sitting on the chair in the doorway waiting for me. I was all confused because you don't normally see diamond rings sitting on chairs when you walk in the door from a race! But I turned around and there was Josh, all nervous and sweaty (the garage was hot!) asking me to marry him! Of course I said yes!! 

So I've been missing in the blog action because I'm trying to wrap my head around the fact that I'm getting married, planning a wedding, wrapping up the school year, and still recovery from whatever injuries that have been plaguing my ankle and knee. 

But I promise to have more to write about soon. 
I can finally get back out there and run....just a little but still's running. 
Plus I'm broadening my horizons and going to different classes at the Y. 
I just tried yoga for the first time last week!! Awesome!

*****So I am finally getting around to posting this...because I finally have more time to write - or at least I hope I do.

I've got a bunch of races coming up so I'm planning on writing all about them!!

Plus I have made some significant gains in my running so I'm happy about that too!!