Hot Chocolate 15K Recap

On April 6, I ran the Philadelphia Hot Chocolate 15K race. I wasn’t super ready for the race, but I was as ready as I was going to be! My only goals were to have fun and enjoy the run. I figured I’d run a 10:30-10:50 mile pace since that was a little faster than my long run pace had been. I had struggled even on short runs at less than a 10:15 pace, so I wasn’t expecting too much.

I took a short 2.5 mile run on Friday before happy hour. Then on Saturday, I took a rest day. Saturday night, a few friends got together to make homemade pizza. I took a couple of beers with me (just 2!), and we chowed down and hung out. I went home about 10PM, and I was up early at 6:30AM.

I walked to my meet friend Rob, and we walked to the art museum just in time to see the 5K race start at 7:15. It was CHILLY – like 38 degrees, but it was sunny. It took me a little while to figure out what to wear, since it was over 50 when we finished. I ended up checking my coat and wearing an old sweatshirt to throw away right before we started. Otherwise, I wore my super cute new Ellie leggings, a tank top, and one of my trust black Under Armor long sleeve tops. I was warm at the end, but otherwise – I was okay. Rob and I waited around for the race to start, trying to stand in any sliver of sun light we could get.

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We started running down the Parkway towards Logan Square, around the circle and back to the museum. Then, it was an out and back on West River Drive.  I’m not sure what I did when I registered, but I was corralled almost at the back. I ended up starting up several corals with Rob, which was a little fast for me,  but I think it was a really good idea. I was certainly passed by people at the beginning, but I wasn’t running that much slower than them, and quickly fell into pace with people around me. I even passed quite a few people in the last few miles.

At mile 4, I paid attention to the mile clock for the first time, and I checked my RunKeeper. I was running slightly over a 10 minute mile pace! I felt good, so I made my goal at that point to finish under 95 minutes. It was a little ambitious, but I thought that I could do it. I only let myself look at RunKeeper every 2 miles, but was able to keep my pace on track with the mile clocks.. I thought I’d hate the out and back thing, but turn around was actually about mile 5.5, so well over half way. Mile 5 was actually my slowest mile, but I picked up the pace and mile 6 was my fastest!  My pace for the whole race was pretty consistent, and the last 3 miles were all right around 10:05.

During mile 7, I was so tired. I wanted to slow down, but I pushed through. That’s the point where I really think that my Sgt Nate training really started to help. I kept telling myself that I had pushed through the last 20 minutes of class so many times. By then, I was pretty warm and was getting sun burnt, and I’m so proud of myself for pushing through and not slowing down at all.

When I was in sight of the finish line, I heard Megan cheering, which helped me get across that finish line! My official finish time was 1:34:13, a 10:08 pace, though my RunKeeper had my a little faster than that.

Rob also did an awesome job – he finished in 1:26:31 at a 9:18 pace! I’m so proud of us both! Megan met us at the finish line with some Fireball for our hot chocolate (stellar idea by the way. Mummers, anyone?), and then we trekked over to Silk City for some delicious and well earned brunch.  I’d definitely run this race again next year!

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Completed: Nutrition Challenge!

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For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been doing a Nutrition Challenge. It went pretty well! I cheated a little (some wine, 1 small cup of icecream on the snow day, a salad with some fruit in it), but I didn’t have grains or dairy or beer. It was hard to eat out, but not that hard to stick to it at home. I missed fruit in my smoothies (CANNOT wait to make one with fruit), sushi, beer, and the occasional wheat and cheese goodness. BUT, it wasn’t that bad, and really did meet the goals of resetting my eating habits, breaking the bad habits, and losing the holiday pudge.  Most importantly, I feel so much better than I did 2 weeks ago!

Results:

This was successful.

  • lost 5 pounds (3 pounds were fat)
  • -1 inch from my shoulders
  • -0.25 from my bicep
  • -1 inch from my waist
  • -0.25 from my hips
  • -0.5 from my thigh
  • overall body fat percentage loss: -0.6%

As you can see from the pictures above, a little bit can make a pretty big difference! In the end, it’s all about balance. There’s no way I could stay on this diet long term and not go crazy, BUT I learned a lot about not needing the extra carbs or dairy, and the importance of healthy fats and nuts that will keep you full vs other crap that doesn’t. I experimented with some new recipes that make the no grain thing not so hard.

Moving forward, I’m going to continue to limit my wheat (and try to stick with rice based products, quinoa, etc) and dairy consumption (after I eat some pizza tonight!), as well as be more aware of the amount of alcohol I consume.

I’m also going to stop weighing myself again, except for weekly checkins. Because I’m so much happier without that number staring me in the face.

 

[sidenote: I continued to exercise as normal (5-6 days a week – combination of yoga/lithe/Sgt Nate). The frequency/intensity of my workout routine basically stayed the same.]

Anyone want to share any favorite wheat free/dairy free recipes?

Oktoberfest Half Recap

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Ready to run!

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And we’re off!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, another half marathon is in the books. I ran it with my running partner, Matt. Even though he didn’t PR , we had a great race and it was a perfect day. Better yet, my knee help up!

For those of you that aren’t up to date – I ran the Oktoberfest Half in Pennypack Park in the Northeast. If you live in Philly and have a car, you should go to Pennypack Park immediately.

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The course looped around the entire park. We ran up the main bike path for about 6.5 miles, and then onto a flat trail for 2.5 miles which looped back to the bike path at mile 9 and we retraced our steps (and hills) for the last 4 miles.

 

The first 6.5 miles were super smooth sailing. We kept between an 11:00 and 11:30 pace, trying to be pretty conservative and tackling the hills in the first 3 miles without any major difficulty. My sister came to see us at mile 6 also, since that was the only other place you could drive to besides the beginning. It was good to see her there, and she took a couple great shots!!

 

 

 

Half way point!

Half way point!

At mile 6.5, we got onto a trail section that lasted 2.5 miles. It was flat and relatively easy to run. Not a ton of rocks of branches. There was one big tree down in the middle of the path at one point, but nothing crazy. It was absolutely gorgeous! I lost Matt a bit on this part. It was hard to run together, so I went ahead and then stopped to stretch to my knee while he caught up.

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The trail portion

 

 

At mile 9, we reached the trail back where we had started. We managed to make it back up and down all of the hills (those hills from the beginning seemed a lot harder the second time around.) We ended up walking a good portion of the last 2 miles. Matt was flagging and having some weird numbness stuff. I think he felt bad, but I set out to run the whole thing with him, and I didn’t really mind. At this point, my knee hurt. Not unbearably, but it hurt. So walking wasn’t so bad.

Most of the race, there was a couple from Virginia doing a run 3, walk 1 method right in front or behind us. When we rounded the last corner, the guy from that couple had come back (after he finished) to finish running the race with us! It was something that would never have happened in a large race – but when there’s only 450 people racing 13.1 miles with you, the atmosphere and camaraderie is different. His energy certainly helped get Matt across that finish line looking strong.

Of course, after the race you get german potato salad, brats, and sauerkraut. And we had plenty of Oktoberfest beers back at Matt’s to celebrate.

 

This week I have taken off from all intense exercise. I went to yoga on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and will go to a yoga class this evening. Next week, I’m going to attempt to get back to Ranger Training and do a run or two, but I want to be sure to give my knee/IT Band enough time to heal. I am trying to be kind to my body, and to give it time to heal and rest when necessary. It’s sort of a new thing for me.

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Finishers with our cheerleaders – Morgan and Jess\

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Race Recap: Sloppy Cuckoo

 

Sisters Pre-RaceI ran the Sloppy Cuckoo trail race a couple of weeks ago and haven’t posted about it! It was on September 22 and was a 6.55 mille trail race in Pennypack Park. It was a perfect day, couldn’t have asked for better weather. Jess and I ran it along with my running partner, Matt, and “The Captain” from Ranger Training. There was a half marathon at the same time (2 loops of the course I ran), as well as a 12 hour race going on (intense- as many loops as possibly in 12 hours).

The first couple of miles were quick and painless, and then it got REALLY MUDDY. It ended up going straight through the puddles, because it was too tricky to try to go around them.

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Also, it’s just A LOT harder running on a trail! It was absolutely gorgeous though! Right about mile 4, I slowed down a lot. It was a tough mile. I walked down a super steep incline and walked through the water station. After that, it was flatter, but with this crazy switch back path that lasted well over a quarter mile, I think. Maybe a half mile. It just went on forever.

Around mile 5, I sped up, but then I fell on rocks, which hurt, but I was okay. I had some pretty impressive bruises on my shins for a week or two.  The last mile and a half, I chatted with a 12 hour runner behind me, and she really kept me going. I felt WAY better finishing the race than I did at mile 4.

My time wasn’t amazing, but good enough for a trail race, and GET THIS! I won 4th place in my age division (of 11, but still!). And I won a little German weather house! Read Matt’s Recap here.

After the race, we  got to eat brats, sauerkraut, and german potato salad. YUM! Then, we did a pumpkin beer tasting (of 17 beers!) at Matt’s House which was amazing.

I’m running the Oktoberfest Half with these people in a couple of weeks. I did it least year, and it was great! Looking forward to it! This race was definitely a good training race.

This Week’s Reasons Why Life is Good

I’m a little overdue for a “why I love life” kind of post. Lots to say.

1. This is so spot on. I wish more of us (me included) took this advice to heart. My favorite part: “Just eat food. Eat real food, be active, and live your life. Forget all the diet and weight loss nonsense. It’s really just that. Nonsense.” Read it immediately. Also, here’s another good article about the “f-word”.

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Birthday Fun!

2. I had a blast on vacation, but I’m really , ridiculously happy to be back in Philly and hang out with all of my friends. I missed them!

3. I had the pleasure of celebrating two of my friend’s birthdays on Saturday. I love being part of people’s celebrations just as much, if not more, than I love celebrating my own accomplishments.

4. Mini Recap: My sister and I also went to Philly Dance Day on Saturday. It is one of my favorite fitness activities done all year. Organized by Philly Dance Fitness, it is super fun every year. Classes are mostly 45 minutes each. This year, Jess and I took Swing Fit first. It’s like Zumba, but with different music and movements. We did a little partner stuff at the end, but I sweat the whole time and thought it was an absolute blast. Then, we went to the YMCA on Christian St (It’s pretty nice there, by the way) and took a Hip Hop class followed by Cardio Pop. Hip Hop was super duper fun, and Cardio Pop left me a little sore the next day. Think: dance and fitness follow the leader intervals. They have a big evening party, but I’ve never been able to go to that. Maybe next year!

5. I took a run with Matt on Thursday. My first in awhile! It was a great day to run the bridge. It’s not a secret that I don’t like running, or exercising at all really, by myself. I clearly suck it up on occasion, as I did for most of my vacation workouts – but I’m happy to be back running with him again. We are *soon* going to be officially training for a couple races: The Sloppy Cuckoo (short distance) and The Oktoberfest Half. Run with us!

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Taken by me, from cute little bleacher style seating, made comfy with lots of pillows.

6. If you haven’t been to this adorable pop up beer garden on Broad between Pine and Lombard, go immediately. I love it here. It’s super cute, cozy, and I never want to leave.  They serve good, local beer for $5 a pop. GO IMMEDIATELY! (Unless it’s raining, in which case, you might want to wait.)

7. My closest friend in the world (not including my sister) – Ingela – recently moved back from Savannah to Harrisburg. I’m super psyched that she’s only a couple of hours away.  Now, I just have to get her to come visit my sweet new digs.

8. Have I said how much I LOVE my new apartment? And we have a COUCH now. It has seriously changed my life.

9. I had 2% greek yogurt (instead of 0%) for breakfast with my usual granola and blueberries. OH MY GOD it’s delicious. And I wasn’t starving all day. Coincidence? I think not. There’s no turning back from here.

10. Due to my vacations, I took a month off from Rangers. I took some Lithe classes when I was home and ran on vacation. Yesterday was my first day back. We started with walking lunges down the green to a far tree, running back – 4 times. Then we did 360 pushups, split up in sets of 5-10-15, etc with running in between each “station.” We repeated that with flying jack knives. Then, we did a mile run. I survived. It felt great! I’m SORE today!

11. I am taking this pretty awful teacher training class. (Made for new teachers, and I’m going into my 6th year. *sigh*) In order to be a little more positive during the day, I went to yoga class Tuesday morning and am going again tomorrow. It definitely helps! At least after this class and one more year of teaching, I’ll qualify for my instructional 2 certificate!

12.  Speaking of my lovely sister, here is a lovely picture of us. She’s a perfect example of why life is good.

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Taken by Pam, July 27, 2013

Be Well Boot Camp Recap!

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Be Well Boot Camp logo

This past Saturday, I went to the Be Well Philly Boot Camp that was put on by the folks over at the Philadelphia Magazine’s wellness blog, Be Well Philly (which, in my opinion, is an awesome blog with a ton of helpful, funny, and interesting information!)

The tickets were $25, which I thought were TOTALLY worth it! I seriously had an awesome time. The earlier you bought the tickets the better, since some of the sessions that took place in the exercise studios required advance sign up. Other workout sessions were outside under a huge tent with a nicely padded type of mobile flooring.  There was a stage with chairs and a separate classroom for cooking demos and nutrition talks.

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