April 30, 2013

Training Tuesday: My First Time Spinning

Last week, we visited friends for a few days and while the men were busy playing golf, my friend and I were exercising and enjoying some of the sights in the South Carolina mountains. On Thursday morning, Nancy took me to my first spin class at her neighborhood fitness center.  Having never tried this before, I had no idea what to expect.  We arrived fifteen minutes early for the 8:00 am class so we could get our bikes set up and I could have an extra few minutes on the bike to decide if I could manage it with my hurt foot.

You can tell I am excited!

After the initial warm up, I decided to try the class with 6 others including the instructor, Joan.  The class voted for a 50 minute session, so we started pedaling!  Our instructor was really energetic but she emphasized that you should only adjust your settings to suit your ability.  There was a girl next to me who rides regularly so she was cranking her bike to a high intensity. Others took a more moderate pace and I tried several settings during the ride to figure out what was pushing me and what was too much.  After 40 minutes of riding hard (5 minute warm up did not count!) we started the 5 minute cool down and the class ended.  It was a highly intensive workout, but I loved it.  In fact, if it turns out that my foot has something seriously wrong with it, I may find a spin studio near my home.  With cycling being a non weight bearing activity, it is an awesome way to cross train and stay in shape.

Do you take spinning or other classes?

Winner of the Tervis Tumbler is Shannon Derkachenko.  Please email us within 48 hours to claim your prize!

April 29, 2013

Dirty Girl Mud Run Race Recap

Our Dirty Girl Mud Run race experience started with some outfit selections.  Lacking time or any true creative energy, I turned to Walmart for inspiration and thankfully they didn't disappoint.  They have an unbelievable selection of graphic tees and with my race buddy, Heather's approval, settled on Ron Burgandy 'Stay Classy' tshirts.  I also grabbed coordinated shorts but we didn't end up wearing these and instead stuck with gray compression pants.  Heather had the good idea to get cheap sunglasses in an attempt to keep mud out of our eyes (more on that later).

Ready to rock in my 'stay classy' attire, I headed out to pick Heather up in Virginia Beach.  She changed into her duds and we snapped a few photos before we headed out to the Pungo area of Virginia Beach, where the race was held.  We were about 3 miles from the race and traffic abruptly stopped.  Now for those who aren't familiar with the area, Pungo is farm and horse country...it's not exactly the type of place where you expect traffic.  I assumed there was a short traffic light or something like that.  Nope, turns out it was the backup to get into the Equestrian Center for the race.  Fast forward 90 minutes (no joke) and we finally made it to park.
Our view for 90 minutes - ugh!
But on the flip side, it's really beautiful out in Pungo!
We realized quickly that the traffic back-up was due to lack of on site parking.  We scored a great spot and grabbed our bags to go check in.  Check in went very smoothly and we were easily able to get our bibs.

 Once we picked up our bibs, t-shirt and necklace, we headed to ID check (for our post-race beverage) and bag check.  We snapped one last photo before we secured our phones away from the mud!  Don't we look clean?!

Given that it took us so long to make it to the race, we missed our 9:45 start time, but the race organizers were flexible and were accommodating people in any wave.  We made our way to the start and hung out with lots of other ladies (most were in pink) ready to get muddy!

The race announcer was a very handsome guy - sort of with a beachy look and blonde.  We named him Ken.  When our wave (10:30) was given the green light to get moving, we high fived him and got a great shout out as he yelled "Stay Classy, Virginia Beach" - woohoo!  The first obstacle was called the barnstormer and was our favorite.  Since we passed it on the way in, I was able to snap a photo.  It was essentially a bounce castle that you traversed.

At the beginning of the race, the obstacles were clustered very close together and so there were some bottlenecks when you got to them to wait for people to make it through.  But honestly, it really wasn't a big deal as we probably didn't wait more than a minute or two at any of them.  In the middle of these obstacles was essentially a rectangular pool to walk through.  It was more water than mud, but our pristine outfits were no more!  We were one of the few groups running so we separated from the pack pretty quickly which was great.  We turned for another area of the course and made it up and over rope ladders and through a maze of ropes.  Then there was another inflatable obstacle to go up (similar to the barnstormer above), only this included a slide on the other side...into a mud pit!  I was not so fortunate with navigating this with any grace. Heather, on the other hand fared well and didn't end up with head to toe mud like I did!

Then we were off and running to another section of the course and pretty much every obstacle included some sort of mud. Luckily we hit a water station for some cleaning up...mostly our hands and faces and headed off toward the finish.  The final obstacle is a large mud pit to wade through just before the finish.  The girls in the group in front of us wrestled each other to the ground and immediately Heather and I looked at each other and said "truce."  There was no way we were doing that to each other.  We got out, jogged to the finish line and got a few photos taken.  One of the professional photographers mentioned he loves Will Ferrell so maybe we'll get some good ones!

After we snagged our finish line beer, we headed back to get our bags so we could start cleaning up.  Yes, we were really muddy!
Muddy buddies!
The changing tent included a dry area and a 'shower' area that basically included hoses...cause basically we needed to be hosed off!  We cleaned up as much as we could and dropped our shoes in the disposal area...there was NO way I was trying to salvage those guys.
The before and after 
Overall, we had a really great time at this race.  I can't remember the last time I have laughed that hard in a race (or ever) and it was great to spend the morning with one of my dearest friends.  Hopefully this will start a trend of us racing together!

More detailed thoughts on the race:
Parking: F. Complete and total failure.  If they run this event again next year, they definitely need to plan for a larger venue or off site parking.
Organization: B+.  We got some informative information via email twice before the event and I was comfortable with the level of information we received as compared to other large races I've run.  And packet pick up was easy and very organized.
Swag: B-.  The t-shirt we got is very cute, but it doesn't include any information on the event...no mention of Virginia Beach or the date.  I probably won't wear the necklace but I did add it to my medal rack and will have lots of great memories when I see it.
Value: C.  Regular race registration ranged from $65-$100, which seemed a little steep to me.  Heather's registration was $85 (the mid-point for the cost/time structure) minus 20% from my blogger discount.  We both agreed that we would be willing to pay somewhere on the order of $40-$50 for an event like this in the future.
Race Experience: A+. We laughed our way through this event.  If you can register early at the lowest cost, I'd definitely recommend it, assuming you're up for the cost.

If you haven't already, check out the Hampton Roads Magazine article on the event in which I was featured here.

And finally, thanks to all who provided awesome tips for a mud run.  I'm planning to compile these in another post in the future.


Disclaimer: As a blogger ambassador, I was asked to post twice about the event in exchange for a free race registration.  All opinions are my own.

April 28, 2013

Weekly Roundup - April 28th

This was a fun week of workouts for both of us and Christine had a low key race on Saturday...more on that soon!  Christine PR'd her 10K during a workout on Monday night and we enjoyed our canine workout buddies this week.  Lulu had her first yoga session and Paddy enjoyed her neighborhood run.  Don't forget to enter our giveaway for a Mickey Tervis Tumbler - it ends Monday!

Sunday, April 21st
Pam: Jillian Michaels DVD, walked 3 miles
Christine: 30 min yoga, lower body workout

Monday, April 22nd
Pam: Ran 3.70 miles (6 X 400, descending 7.5-8.0 pace), walked 2.62 miles, Jillian Michaels DVD yoga
Christine: 6.2 miles on treadmill - 10k PR!

Tuesday, April 23rd
Pam: 30 minutes stationary bike, weight machines
Christine: Rest

Wednesday, April 24th
Pam: Rest
Christine: 3.5 mile run easy through neighborhood, 1 mile with Paddy

Thursday, April 25th
Pam: 50 minute spin class
Christine: 30 min stationary bike, abs, leg weights

Friday, April 26th
Pam: Walked 30 minutes
Christine: Rest

Saturday, April 27th
Pam: 30 minutes stationary bike, weight machines, 500 meters rowing machine, plank
Christine: Dirty Girl Mud Run (recap coming soon!)

How was your week?

April 26, 2013

Journey to 26.2: Prep work (002)

After registering for the Marine Corps Marathon, I've been quietly working through my training plans.  I plan to start training full time in June.  Until then, I have a few things I'm doing to get ready to start my training.

1. Get strong.  I've had some nagging IT band/hip pain since right before the Shamrock Half in March.  I have talked to other runners and the trainers at the gym and concluded I have some muscle imbalances and need to get stronger in quads, hips and glutes.  I have added quite a bit more strength training to my workouts and I can really tell I'm getting stronger which is awesome.  I've also gotten more diligent about stretching and foam rolling.  My goal is to be very strong and fit when I start training and I feel like I'm on my way!

2. Get motivated.  I was digging through all of the race flyers and whatnot that I picked up at the Shamrock Half expo recently and noticed I had grabbed a map of the Marine Corps course.  What better visual to see every day to keep me on track and motivated?  Seems like a perfect thing for the fridge, yes? 
Check out that Cookie Monster magnet...I know you're jealous!

3. Get gear.  I've ordered some nuun, stocked up on my favorite fuels - Gu Jet Blackberry, Clif Shot Bloks and Sport Beans.  I also have my eyes on a really really ridiculously cute outfit by Saucony.  It's pink and green heeeyyyyy!  Additionally, I also got a new pair of sneaks to add to the rotation - Brooks Adrenalin GTS 13.

Don't forget to enter our giveaway here!  Happy Friday!


April 25, 2013

Running with Paddy

Every once in a while, I'll grab the dog to bring along on a training run.  She usually will join me for a mile or two and I'll drop her off at the house and head off for a few more miles.  As we were out tonight, I started wondering what she thinks about on a run. 

So when she's not doing this...

Or this...

She's a crazy and rambunctious puppy running around the neighborhood with me!

Here's what I envision goes through her brain on a run...

"Mama, this is so fun, thank you, thank you."

"Let's go fast!"

"Faster, faster!"

"Why is that little dog barking at me?"

"Why are all the neighbors looking at me?  Is it because I'm so pretty?"


"Mama, why are the mean doggies always out?  Why can't all doggies be nice and friendly like me?"
"I'm thirsty"


"Mama, why are we walking now?"

"I'm tired. Why are we going so fast?"


"Oh goodie, there's the house."

Do you take your dog out running with you?

April 24, 2013

Run/Walk for Boston in Wilmington, NC

Lots of spontaneous runs and walks have been offered in support of the victims of the Boston Marathon disaster.  Try Sports in Wilmington, NC, my neighborhood store, was hosting a run/walk Monday night. I grabbed two of my neighborhood friends and we headed down to participate as walkers.  Actually, both Kathy and Pam have signed up for their first 5K and this was a trial walk of 2.62 miles.  We were delighted to find a sea of people when we first arrived at the store.  Soon, Adam Rose, store manager gave us instructions, the course route and sent us on our way.
Adam stood on a ladder so everyone could hear!

Pam and Kathy, ready for our walk!
The store provided these great ribbons for everyone to wear and show their support.  Many of the Try Sports employees were in attendance as well as a huge group of the local running community and their friends.
View along the course!
Kathy, Pam and I decided to walk the course. It was a relaxing time, chatting and enjoying the cool early evening weather.  It took us about 45 minutes to complete the 2.62 miles which puts the  girls in perfect shape for their first 5K in November, the Jingle Jungle 5K during the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend!

Try Sports is donating 26.2% of all sales at their stores this week - an amazing gesture!  They also took a collection during our event for One Fund Boston and will be announcing the total amount collected.  It was wonderful to see such a big turnout in support of such a great cause.

April 23, 2013

Training Tuesday: Jillian Michaels DVD's

Cross training is an important part of your running base.  I recently picked up two (new to me) Jillian Michaels DVD's at Target.  They are actually older DVD's, 2007 and 2009, but if you ever watched the TV show, Biggest Loser, you know Jillian Michaels can inflict pain no matter what year!  Sunday I tried the 30 Day Shred, level 1 and yesterday the Yoga Meltdown.  Both are fun, but as everything with Jillian, tough and to the point.
Ready to be hit by Jillian!
When I purchased the 30 Day Shred tape, I did not realize it was meant to be weight loss tool.  It is a serious workout of 20 straight minutes with not one second of rest time.  The moves are all basic things we know, but when you combine them together, it gives you a nice sweat.  Doing jumping jacks, butt kicks and squats with hand weights are never my favorites, but since the DVD moves so quickly you hardly notice those exercises that you do not like. Frankly, I am always thrilled when my routine is done.  It was a good workout, but I would include something in addition to it on the days that I do not run.  Since I was also playing golf (walking and carrying my bag 9 holes) that completed my day!

The Yoga DVD is very different than the very few yoga classes I have taken.  It has much more movement with the poses, and was a very good workout.  I started with Level One and felt that it offered some challenges, plus additional work for those with experience.  One note is that there are alot of plank poses, which would be very hard for someone that did not do those regularly.  The two sessions are just 30 minutes each and that was very appealing since it can be used in addition to a short cardio workout.  Lulu decided she wanted in on the action and enjoyed all of the workout and I got extra doggie smoochies!

Lulu loves to play yoga!
Do you use workout DVD's at home?  Can you recommend some to us? We would love to add to our collections!

Disclaimer: I purchased these DVD's and chose to review them for the blog.  As always, the opinions are my own.

April 22, 2013

Tervis Tumbler Review and Giveaway!

Those of you who read our post about Five Favorites Friday know that Pam (and Christine!) is a huge fan of the Tervis tumbler.  We counted and between both of our households, our family has more than 18 in the cupboard.  They make them in so many different sizes and designs that just a few are not enough!  They also have a feature where you can design your own tumbler.

"Customyze" - a gift from one of Pam's friends to celebrate going Goofy!
The 'customyze" option was completely new to us when Pam received this fabulous gift  from a close friend.  Pam's friend was so excited about the cup that she did not even wait for an occasion to give it to me!  It is perhaps one of my favorite gifts ever, because it is personalized and it commemorates my first marathon as well as completing the Goofy Challenge.  Kathy managed to get a photo from my husband and put her design skills to work.

Back to Tervis.....the product has been around since 1946 and headquartered is North Venice, FL where all of their products are manufactured.  The company employs over 700 people and is a family owned and operated business.  Each tumbler is manufactured with a double sealed wall that keeps beverages from sweating, and helps them retain either a cold or hot temperature depending on your beverage choice. The options for tumbers is endless with sizes and designs for your pleasure.  They offer NFL and MLB tumbers, Disney and hopefully there will be a runDisney option in the future!

Here is another style that we love - the water bottle.  Funny enough, Pam's was a gift from Kathy (she knows her well!) and Christine's was also a gift.  We both tend to use this one for our recovery drinks...Pam for her protein smoothies and Christine for her Gu recover drink.  

Our favorite style is the 24 oz tumbler and given Christine's propensity for clumsiness, she always uses one of the travel lids!  Tervis was gracious enough to share this darling  24oz. Mickey tumbler ($20 value)  with a lucky reader.  This guy will be perfect for hydrating during the steamy summer months.

Use the rafflecopter below (US residents only please) to sign up now through Monday, April 29th - good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer: Tervis provided us with a tumbler to giveaway in exchange for our product review.  All opinions are our own.

April 21, 2013

Weekly Roundup: April 21st

What a week!  It started with the Boston Marathon and the horror and ended with some great news Friday night when the second suspect was apprehended.  As you know from our various posts earlier this week, I had a short visit to MA and spectated the marathon with my Mom in Wellesley.  Christine headed back to the pool as she continues her quest to get back into swimming.  It was a good break for her following her PR last weekend at the Dismal Swamp Stomp.  We both had really nice workouts yesterday, probably because the whole Boston situation was resolved.  Christine had a good Friday night lounging with her dog, Paddy, who also doubles as a pillow...

Sunday, April 14th
Pam: eliptical 15 min. stationary bike 20 min. stretching
Christine: 5 mile trail walk, 3 hours yard work (whew!)

Monday, April 15th
Pam:  30 minutes stationary bike, weights, plank
Christine: 2000 yard swim, 30 minutes leg weights

Tuesday, April 16th
Pam: ran 4.09 miles 4 X 800 plus warmup and warm down, stretching
Christine: 1 hour tone spin class at Tidal Wheel in Virginia Beach with my bud, Katie

Wednesday, April 17th
Pam: 25 min. stationary bike, 15 min. eliptical, weights, Bosu ball
Christine: Rest

Thursday, April 18th
Pam: run 4.09 mile #runforBoston
Christine: 4.09 mile #runforBoston

Friday, April 19th
Pam: rest day
Christine: 30 minutes stationary bike, weights, abs

Saturday, April 20th
Pam: 9 miles outside at 9:50 pace
Christine: Swim 2400 yard swim (with 1 IM and 2 butterfly sets) in 50 minutes

How did your workouts go this week?  Did you try anything new?

April 19, 2013

What running means to me

Last night I ran for Boston.  I donned my Red Sox garb and a red and blue star print running skirt and headed out into my neighborhood for 4.09 miles.

I found solace in the quiet of the end of the day.  I finally started truly processing the impact of Monday's Boston Marathon bombing.  It really shook me up on Monday.  I had spent the afternoon panicking about runners and spectators we knew, about the safety of friends of friends, strangers and anyone in harm's way.  I agonized for the runners who just fell short of 26.2 and never made it to the finish line on Boylston.  My heart broke for the injured and deceased and their families.  This is just not supposed to happen at the Boston marathon...a celebration of fitness, health and profound personal accomplishment.  I felt drained, exhausted and quite simply, sad.  I didn't have it in me to run on Monday night...strange, I know.  Instead I headed to the pool.  I worked out hard. I needed to blow off steam and I needed time in my own head.  The pool is good for me for those moments. 

It's taken me a little bit of time to properly discern and articulate my feelings (other than the obvious shock, horror and sadness) and clarify at least for myself why the devastating news from Monday shook me to my core. It's simple. Running is a part of my life and who I am.  It's shaped my life in ways I couldn't imagine.  It saved me from a very sad, dark time in life.  It's part of my DNA now.

I have met and made friends with people whom I never would have otherwise crossed paths.  We care about each other through good runs and bad, PRs and disappointments, chafing and carbo loading.  It's a fraternity of black toenails, hydration and mind-numbing long runs.  They know more about my daily activities (generally including some sort of workout) than some of my best friends. We track each other's races via live race updates and cheer each other on, pretty much daily through the ether on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.  I guarantee they know more about my left knee trouble than my best friend.

Running has strengthened my relationship with my Mom.  We talk more than I remember in the past.  And it may be a simple text sharing a great blog we read, our latest training run, a PR dream, complaints of achy muscles or a virtual high five, but there is constant support.  She may always beat me across the finish line, but it's changed out relationship for the better. She supports me through the ups and downs, always my cheerleader and yet, knows when it's ok to tell me the truth, even if its ugly. 

I've seen new places...on foot.  Before I ran, I hadn't been down most of the streets in my neighborhood.  Now I know the residence of the nice doggies, cute children playing outside and pretty spring flowers.  My neighbors often wave as I jog by.  They seem to know me as the runner girl now.  And I've jogged with friends around Norfolk and Virginia Beach, often noticing parts of the cities that I wouldn't from a car whizzing by.  You could say I've gained a greater perspective into the area I live. 

Running provides me with endless physical and metaphysical benefits.  Its head-clearing powers are unparalleled. It gives me quiet time to think, brainstorm about projects at work, write my next blog post (this one was 'written' on last night's run) and contemplate my next race/baking project/purse purchase.  I've learned to be thankful for the ability to pound the pavement.  I take care of my body so I can continue to enjoy these benefits. Inevitably there will come a day when I can no longer run...whether that's by choice or not, remains to be seen.  But until then, I will take refuge in the physical and mental by-products of my sport.

I've gained confidence in myself as a 'whole' person - physically, mentally and emotionally.  Maybe it's the support network, maybe it's my (mostly) jiggle-free muscular legs, maybe it's the quiet time in my head...I'm not quite sure there is a single reason.  But I am forever grateful that I discovered this sport.  And tonight, I ran for those that could not.

April 18, 2013

Back Home

As many of you know, I was in Massachusetts to visit my Mom. While there, I had the opportunity to spectate at the Boston Marathon.  When I think back on how the day unfolded, it seems like your worst nightmare. The first photo I took at the race included the police on motorcycles and a few vehicles.

Little did we know the police would be busy later in the day.

 Mom and I had a delightful time cheering on all the elite runners, and many of those who were middle of the pack.  In Wellesley, at the junction of Rt. 135 and Forest Street, it was perfect viewing and such a wonderful day for the runners.  We loved every minute of our time spectating and when we left to go home for lunch, we had no idea what would happen later on in the day. After lunch and a nice bit of time off our feet, we left to run a few errands. Purchasing a new sofa bed and a few small items took us less than two hours. When we arrived back at Mom's condominium, I went straight to the gym to chat with one of the other resident's to see how his son had done in the marathon.  Mark was running for the fourth or fifth time and Mr. Perry had planned to spectate as well.  Mom went to pick up her mail while I hurried to hear about Mark.  When I arrived at the gym I was stunned to see the televisions with the breaking news of the explosions. I saw Mr. Perry on the eliptical machine and he told me Mark was safe but shook up.  Thankfully, he had finished the race earlier (speedy) and was reunited with his wife.

Words really do not do justice to how to express feelings after such a tragedy.  I am so thankful for those that remained unharmed, but for those families suffering my heart breaks.  It was meant to be such a joyful day. The running community is strong and we will survive.  Next year, I plan to be back in Massachusetts ready to celebrate and cheer for the runners again at the 118th Boston Marathon.

April 17, 2013

Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon Recap

Earlier this year, I was actively looking for local half marathons to meet my 12 in 2013 goal.  Especially coming off our Disney races in January and February, I definitely wasn't going to be doing any traveling for races in the spring.  I settled on the local, very popular Shamrock half marathon in March and a much smaller local race for April - the Dismal Swamp Stomp half marathon.  I registered in late January and sort of forgot about this race.  And it crept up on me...quickly!

About two weeks before the race, I was getting a little nervous.  After a big PR at the Shamrock half in March, I took some time off running to let my body rest and not to mention, my hips and knees were giving me some trouble.  I did one ten mile run in between the races and the rest of my runs were much shorter.  My mileage was low, but I was still fit and getting stronger with more yoga and strength training in my workouts so I had that going for me.  I forced myself to "taper" for this race even though I didn't have much to taper from.  I ate well, got rest and did quality workouts in the week leading up to the race.  And then race morning was here...

The race was located at the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail in Chesapeake, VA.  I have gone bike riding here before so I knew what to expect on the trail, which was helpful.  The entire course was on a paved road and a very simple and mostly straight out and back course.  I had heard it was fast and very, very flat.
Cool signage
I woke up and the weather was perfect!  Crisp and cool and not a single could in the sky - definitely good racing conditions. I arrived at the race at about 7:10 and had plenty of time to park and walk to the start.  Being a small local race, it was pretty simple - park on the side of the road near the park.  I made my way to the start and got acclimated to the race setup.
I'll see you later!
Yes, the wildlife column says bobcats, bears and snakes - yikes!
I milled around for a bit until we were instructed to head to the starting line.  The race didn't have corrals and instead had pace groups set up so you could line up with people of like pace.  This would certainly not work in big races, but was fine for this race.  Based on the results, it was less than 700 runners, so the crowds were very manageable.  
Pace markers lined up
I took the opportunity to snap some pictures since it wasn't crowded at the starting line and enjoyed seeing Chessie.  
Of course I had to get this photo even though I'm mostly asleep still!

Walking to the starting line...the view didn't really change for almost the entire race!
And before we knew it, it was time. The announcer had us make our way to the starting line and I lined up in the back of the 9:00mm group.  I chatted with some other runners to make the time pass.  One VERY bizarre thing about the start was a special guest that they announced.  They mentioned a "five year life anniversary" for this woman and I expected a cancer survivor or something similar.  Nope...five years ago, she was pronounced dead at the finish line of the race and for some unknown reason, they thought it was a good idea to announce this!  WHAT IN THE WORLD?!  It freaked me out a little and the people around me were all a little confused.  Not exactly appropriate before the start if you ask me.  In any case, we were off on our way shortly and as we started moving, I realized my Garmin had lost its satellite connection.  Uh oh!  Luckily it came back quickly just after I crossed the mat.
Simply a gorgeous day!!
The first half of the race passed pretty quickly and without too much effort.  I stuck to my 9:1 intervals and was holding a pace slightly under 9:40.  At around mile 4, we saw the leaders heading back and man were they flying!  That was a great mental boost and it was fun to cheer for them.  The last half got kind of rough.  Around mile 9, I was starting to feel very fatigued and I can't say I was surprised; I knew my endurance would be in question for this race.  I powered through the last few miles as I was closely monitoring my Garmin watching my pace increase.  I knew I would really have to kick it home for the last mile to still get a PR.  As soon as it came into view, I started to relax and just focus on getting there.  After 2 hours, 7 minutes and 29 seconds, I finished my 7th 13.1, which is another PR for me!

I grabbed water and choked down a few bites of a PowerBar (not my fav).  I texted Mom letting her know my time and headed to grab some food and enjoy the post race party.  The party was complete with pizza from a local joint, a beer truck with Michelob Ultra and Dismal Swamp IPA from O'Connors brewery (also local) and a local rock band.  I LOVED that the race party was full of local food and brews.  
Band stage and the views from the finish line
I hung out for a bit and then it was time to head home for some R&R.

Dismal Swamp IPA
Overall I would give this race a B+.  It was very well organized and a great bargain (I think I paid $60 to register).  The course was scenic, fast and very very flat.  We also got some pretty nice swag.  However, given that it's a closed trail, there were very few spectators which was tough on the back half.  I was also disappointed with the lack of information until 2 days before the race.  I actually panicked that I had not in fact registered for this race because I hadn't received any emails leading up to it.  Luckily, I discovered that they had a verification on their website so I confirmed I was registered and also found their Facebook page which had some good information.  

Very nice race swag - love the fleece top!

Even wore my medal out to dinner with friends!

Well that's it, folks.  Half marathon #7 is in the books, the 4th in 2013.

April 16, 2013

Spectating the Boston Marathon 2013

Yesterday morning I arose delighted to be spending a few days with my Mom and also knowing that soon we would be driving a few short miles to our spectating spot for the Boston Marathon.  It was a perfect morning for racing with cloudy blue skies and cool temperatures. I was so excited to be viewing this event again, since the last time, I was a high school student many years ago!  I had no idea how parking would be so we left Mom's place early and took an hour walk before we looked for a place to watch the race.  Sporting my Goofy Challenge shirt and jacket seemed a perfect way to cheer for all the wonderful runners who had qualified for such a prestigious race! Wellesley has a good portion of course on Rt. 135 and we choose a location on Forest Street and that worked out perfectly.  This is approximately halfway through the marathon and you could get great views of the runners where we stood.
My 87 year old Mom excited to be cheering!
Within minutes, we cheered for a wheelchair athlete and shortly afterward the elite women came through.  As the runners came by we yelled names and clapped for the athletes.

It was a fantastic to see Joan Benoit Samuelson come through in her bright pink top!

The elite men coming into view


As we waited and watched the various groups go by, in the beautiful sunshine, it's difficult to imagine what would unfold hours later at the finish line near Copley Square.  It was a very sad end to our sport's banner event that is not only an athletic event but an event for a city.  The finish line is reserved for triumph, celebrations, happiness, fatigue and reunions.  That was taken away from so many yesterday - participants, spectators, first responders, the injured and deceased.  Our hearts ache for them.  As a running community, we will stand strong.


April 15, 2013

Target Spring Workout Wear!

Christine wasn't the only one who found some great new running clothes for springtime.  I recently visited my local Target and while there, checked out the new C9 by Champion skirts and tops.  Low and behold they have a new skirt that is very similar to one made by one of the more exclusive lines of workout clothing.  I tried it on and sadly my size was out of stock.  After buying the few things I needed at the store, I headed home to see if the skirt could be ordered online.  There it was, ready to ship in both color choices so obviously I ordered both skirts!  Getting a matching top seemed like a great idea too, so I ordered a style that I knew was one of Christine's favorites, a V neck sleeveless shirt.  The clothing arrived this week and I am thrilled with the quality and fit.  The skirts have built in compression shorts, a small zippered pocket in the back and pleated back skirt made with soft nylon material.

Ta Da!

Not only do I love my new skirts, but they were on sale!  The regular price is $26.99, but  all the Premium C9 clothing was discounted last week and I took advantage of the sale so the skirt was just $24.00  Target also offers free shipping on orders over $50.  Make sure to check out the workout clothing next time you visit your local Target store.
 Disclaimer:  This review was given strictly because I like the Target workout wear.  No compensation or material goods were received.  As always, the opinions are my own.

April 14, 2013

Weekly Roundup - April 14th

This was a busy week for Christine and a less busy one for Pam.  After a week with no rest days, Pam took a few extra, especially after a hurt foot/ankle for a few days.  Christine hit a new PR (2:07.29) in the half marathon distance.  She ran the Dismal Swamp Stomp half marathon, a local race with less than 700 runners.  More on that in a future recap post!

Sunday, April 7th
Pam: walked 9 holes golf
Christine: 6 mile neighborhood run

Monday, April 8th
Pam: 1 1/2 hours yardwork
Christine: 30 min elliptical, Leg weights, Ab workout

Tuesday, April 9th
Pam: 4.25 mile run
Christine: 3.75 mi run with 5k PR woo! Stretching, Abs

Wednesday, April 10th
Pam: 35 min. stationary bike, 20 min. weights, plank
Christine: Rest

Thursday, April 11th
Pam: Hurt foot/ankle  9 holes golf
Christine: 3 mile easy neighborhood run

Friday, April 12th
Pam:  Doctor visit and rest day
Christine: Rest

Saturday, April 13th
Pam:  40 minute bike ride
Christine: Dismal Swamp Half Marathon

How was your week?  The pollen has been brutal lately and that can make outdoor running tough if you have allergies.  It should be more mild temperatures this week which will be great!