Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween Everyone!!! This is my absolute favorite holiday, well I love all the Fall and Winter Holidays but I love candy and pumpkins and dressing up so this one might just be my favorite!

Last night we carved our pumpkins! Another one of my favorite things to do but I always feel like I am going to cut myself with the knife! Cutting into the top is not the easiest thing to do! But I love our pumpkins they are lit out on our front steps right now waiting for trick-or-treaters to come however I don't think any will :( 

Lastly this was my Halloween makeup! I didn't do anything just stayed home but wanted to try out doing this makeup so I did! I think Luke may have thought I was insane wearing this around the house but I don't care!!

Oh and one last thing my new bike came!!!! 

My house looks like a mess in this picture however setting up this bike was my number one priority when I got home! I already went for a quick mile spin and I'm in love! Hopefully this will get me out of the running rut I am in!!! 

I will write more about my running rut and the race I did last weekend later on. Now off to watch scary movies for the rest of the night!!

QOTD: Does anyone have any good bike workouts that I should try out?! 

QOTD 2: What were you for Halloween?!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

B.A.A. Half Marathon Recap!!!

A few weekends ago I ran the B.A.A. Half marathon being the third half marathon I ran in three weeks. This race was super organized and very fun and here is my recap about it! 

First off this is a somewhat difficult race to get into. It is a lottery system but you have to get online the second the registration opens and normally it fills up with in a couple of minutes. My brother went on 15 minutes after registration opened and it was already full.  So that is one thing to keep in mind if you do want to sign up for it. Get on right at the time they tell you to and make sure you don't have a slow internet connection! 

Once you do your registration you then will get and email saying that have received your registration and you will hear back shortly to see if you have gotten in. They then send you a conformation email that you are officially in. 

 So I did this back in July, and then didn't hear anything until about a month or so before the race. I hadn't looked anything up about getting my number or really what to do so I was glad when I got the email to confirm my address because they were sending my number and race information! I love when I don't have to go somewhere extra to pick up my number. I love running expos but getting your number sent to your house and the only thing you have to do is go to the race is great!

Info Packet!

Course Map, a bit hard but not too bad!
This is the stuff that came in the packet, it explained basically everything you needed to know about the day!

Finally it was race day, I got up around 4 and got my stuff ready and left by 5:30 to head up to Boston. I was planning on parking in the UMASS Boston parking lot and then taking the shuttle bus over to the race. There is limited parking over by Franklin park so this is what was recommended to do. My brother ended up getting a number from someone so I was going to meet him and his friends there, they were getting dropped off at the start.

It only took me about an hour to get up to Boston and parking was super easy to get to. I got right off the highway and then there where signs to park. I parked hung out in the car for a bit because it was cold and then hopped on a bus to head to the start line. The bus ride was about 15-20 minutes long. After we got dropped off I headed to the bathroom before the lines were too long and waited for my Brother. I could pick my t-shirt up before or after the race and decided to do it while I was waiting and then check my bag. The T-shirts are very cute and comfortable however they are unisex. I got a small and it is still very big on me but nice because I can wear something under it. 

I went over to bag check they were handing out white  plastic Adidas bags to throw your stuff in and then you were to put it under this tent that was marked off by number corrals. This was a bit strange and didn't seem super guarded, and everyone's bag looked exactly alike and there were tons!

I met up with my brother and his friends and then we headed over to the corrals. They were by time so you were to just get in wherever you felt comfortable. We headed over a little late and had to slip through the gate that was holding all the people in. I would say for anyone doing it try to get to the start line when they first start calling you or you will have to climb the gate or find a spot you can fit through.  However it ended up being fine.

There were four waves we were in the third and ended up starting about five minutes after the first start. I was very worried about this because it said in the race packet you needed to finish in 2:30 and that time started when the first runner crossed the start line. That is not true though the time was around 2:25 when I finished and there were many runners still behind me so don't let that scare you.

Then we were off! The race announcer kept saying as we crossed the start line take it easy in the beginning because there were hills at the end you needed to save yourself for. For once I listened, I took it easy starting out not letting the people around me intimidate me. The beginning of the race was pretty easy with lots of fan support. You headed along one road for about four miles and then went around a cone and headed back down the other directions then veered off. It was kind of run to run one way and have runners run the other way. I thought this was going to stink but I liked it. It happened later on in the race again too. It keeps you motivated to keep going.

Continuing on I didn't notice any serious hills just gradual ones, but taking it easy in the beginning was a good idea. I headed along and before I knew it I was at the dreaded mile ten which ended up being fine I felt great and pretty soon we were headed into the zoo which is close to the end. One part of the race I DID NOT like was when we were in the zoo we had to circle around and head out. At this point we had to all shuffle down this little dirt path. There were a lot of people so all of a sudden we came to a complete stop. Not the best thing! It shorted out quickly but wasn't the best when you are in a groove and almost done. Once you headed out of the zoo you hit the 20k mark and then an 800 yards to go mark and then a 400 yards to go mark. Between 800 and 400 yards seemed like a mile though not my favorite! But then we were done! Yay my 5th half marathon since May finished! I was so excited!

Then we got our awesome medals!

This is a terrible picture but I will add it anyway! After the race you enter an area that has some water, Gatorade and food, however once you leave that area and go to get your bag you are not allowed to enter it again. I thought this was a bit strange since you wanted to get your stuff to stay warm but that's ok. I grabbed a few waters and Gatorade and headed to get my things. In the bag area there was only one way in and then once you got your bag they checked your number on your bag with your bib on your way out.

I then met up with my brother hung out for a bit and then started to  head back to my car. 

The line for the bus back was wicked long so my brothers friends nicely offered to give me a ride back so I can't say how long that took to get back. 

Over all I loved the race and will do it again next year. However in 2014 I plan on doing the distance medley. They have a 5k, 10k and half and you get a medal for completing all three, and you know how I like medals! Now off to watch the Red Sox!

Go Red Sox! Boston Strong! 

QOTD: Who do you want to win the World Series??!!



Saturday, October 19, 2013

Six Things Saturday!!!

I had hoped yesterday to do a Five Things Friday however it just didn't happen! So today I will write a Six Things Saturday!

First off I just completed three half Marathons in three weeks!!!! Something I never in my life thought I would ever do. Making it 5 total since May! I never thought I would run one half marathon let alone three back to back! It is something I am incredibly proud of!

I have now come to realize though I am burned out and need a small break! I am not one for taking day's off that are not scheduled days off, however it has been brought to my attention by myself, my legs (ha-ha!) and my friends that I need to take a couple days off from running! So I have decided to take this ENTIRE weekend off, and I might try to find a spinning class to take next week and start a new running schedule!

I have recently moved (only across town!) and this is what my morning runs look like...

If knowing you are going to run by this for about a mile in the morning or afternoon doesn't make you want to get up and go then I don't know what will!

How can I do a six things without talking about my sweet Bella!

I was watching TV a couple of nights ago and looked down to see these little legs sticking out from the blanket! If only I had a video of this because that little tail was wagging like crazy! She just melts my heart <3

Next, I LOVE this time of year! Fall and Halloween are beyond my favorite! If everyday were Halloween I would be a happy camper! I mean not only can you dress up and wear crazy makeup but hello all that is just amazing! I wish I lived in the movie Hocus Pocus (minus the witches trying to kill the children but you know what I mean!) I also love Pumpkins and the chill in the air where you don't have to wear a huge jacket but a nice comfy sweater, and the changing colors of the leaves it is just great! Everything about fall is my favorite!

Lastly Swirlgear is offering 10% off until October 31st! Also 10% of all proceeds and sales will be donated to Bright Pink. Bright Pink is a national non-profit organization focusing on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women while providing support for high-risk individuals. Use Code "Pink" at Checkout! Also you do not have to buy something pink the offer is good for all items! 

There clothing is so cute and comfortable so go get it and help out a great cause!!

I will be doing a recap of my past race the B.A.A. Half marathon soon so check back!

QOTD: What fun things are you doing this weekend?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Harwich Cranberry Harvest Half Marathon Recap!

This past weekend I ran the Harwich Cranberry Harvest Half Marathon in Harwich, Ma. Let's just say this was by far my worst half marathon to date. I started out way too fast and then just felt awful from around mile nine to the finish. I decided last minute to sign up for this race and although it went bad I am glad I did it. This half marathon is part of the Cape Cod Half Marathon Trilogy which also includes the Hyannis Half Marathon, which takes place in February and the Johnny Kelley Half Marathon which takes place in May and both are in Hyannis.

I decided to sign up for this race last minute because I was not going to do it at first I had a half marathon the weekend before and the weekend after so I thought it would be too much, but then thought just do it! I kept checking the website to see if I could get a number the day before the race at number pick up and finally found out I was able to. I headed down to number pick up on Saturday which was at the Harwich High School just off the highway very convenient. I had read that if you signed up the day before then you were not guaranteed a t-shirt however when I got there I was able to get one. My number was 776 which I was surprised because I thought there would have been more runners.

The following day the race started at noon. I wasn't too excited about that because it kind of took up the whole day but hey, what else would I have been doing ha-ha! I headed over around 11:00 with my mom got there around 11:30 and was able to park right near the start and finish line. I headed over to the start around 11:45 as to stay out of the cold as long as possible. We ended up starting within minutes, no standing and waiting for an hour which I like!  There are no assigned corrals, just pace markers so you go in the corral which you think is the best for you. I always try to move towards the front so I can start right when the gun goes off.

The course started off looping around a bit, we went up this road and then turned around and ran back down then looped around a bit more and were headed down another road that was pretty straight for a while. It was a bit hilly in the beginning, it seemed like we would go up a small hill and then flatten out and then go up some more, there wasn't much down hill. The course stayed like this for a while, there was nothing to crazy but it was a bit boring. There were not too many spectators, just a lot of people in cars angry because the race was holding people up on. Hopefully no one missed too much of the Patriots game!

I had started out too fast in the beginning like I had mentioned before which started to hurt me later on in the race. I realized after a few miles I was going to fast but a lot of people were passing me so I freaked out you know the "Oh god, I am going to be the last one to finish this can not happen!" was running through my mind. Once I got a grip I started to slow down a bit and take it easy. But then I hit mile 10, about three quarters of the way through I passed a man saying "Mile 11 at the top of the hill!" I was thinking we aren't even going up hill yet oh no! I had been warned of this hill however and thought it can't be that was I wrong! Going up the hill I kept thinking to myself I am going to DIE! Now had I started off at a normal pace this hill at this point would have been challenging but wouldn't have made me feel awful! Once I got to the top of the hill it was smooth sailing to the finish however I really needed to slow down. I kept thinking "Just walk for a minute it is fine you will feel better!" then I would tell myself "NO! YOU CAN NOT WALK! YOU ARE ALMOST DONE! NO WALKING!" I ended up not walking and just slowing down A LOT! which was probably slower then a walk ha-ha but I picked it up for the finish and finished strong!

I heard my mom yelling for me a the finish and then the announcer gave me a shout out which is always nice. Of course my mom's phone died as I was coming in and she was unable to get a photo.  Once I crossed the finish line I was handed my medal then there was some small bottles of water and Gatorade as well as some coconut water to take. My mom found me easily there were not a ton of people, once I found her I wanted to leave. I had seen my time when I finished and was not super happy 2:18....I took some pictures with my mom and then headed home.

Once I left I realized my time wasn't horrible, yes it was my worst time however I finished and that is all that matters! Overall I was happy I did the race but small town races are much different then larger races. It ended up being a bit more challenging then I had hoped it would be but that is ok. The harder it is the stronger you get right, and now I have a new medal to ad to my medal holder!

Tomorrow is the B.A.A. Half Marathon which I am so looking forward to but am a little nervous! Wish me luck! 

What races are you running this weekend?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Weekly Update!!

Happy Monday...well it is almost over thank god Monday's are the worst! So I wanted to do a weekly update of last weeks workouts and such.

As you may know I had a half marathon last Sunday the Rock 'n' Roll half marathon so I was going to take it easy this week. I ended up running 5.5 on Tuesday which went well I ran really fast but was pretty tired at the end. I was toying with running a local half marathon this Sunday (yesterday) so I wanted to take it easy with my runs for the remainder of the week. I then ran 4 on Wednesday which felt about the same as the day before and then decided to take Thursday, Friday and Saturday off. I was going to run 3 on Thursday but thought that three miles isn't going to do anything for me I am still going to be able to run the half on Sunday.

On Saturday I decided for sure to sign up for the local half that I had been thinking about, the Harwich Cranberry Harvest Half Marathon.  I laid low on Saturday preparing for my race Sunday afternoon.

The Race Started at noon on Sunday which I will do a recap of in a few days but I will go over something I learned from this race, since this was not my best race at all...In face I felt pretty bad when I finished by I finished and that is all the matters right...

Things I learned....

1. Don't start too fast! This was my biggest down fall during this race. I started off running way too fast, and was not feeling too hot around mile 10.

2. You are not going to be the last person so stop thinking that! I always freak myself out and when I see people passing me I think "OH MY GOD! I AM GOING TO BE THE LAST PERSON TO FINISH!" I will never walk during a race so I know that I will not be the last person in. 

3. Run your own race! I know I am not going to win...well I might...haha...however I am not going out there trying to be the best one. I am running for me and only me and doing the best I can.  I need to remind myself of this because sometime I get carried away in how other people are running around me or oh that person is running faster then me I should speed up. It is not about them it is about me, and no matter how I finish or what my time might be I finished and that is all that should matter.

Two more exciting things from last week....

My boyfriend finished my medal hanger! Note I did the painting and the lettering and all the glitter but he helped me with the knobs and hanging it on the wall and I couldn't be happier about it and can't wait to fill it up with more medals!!!!!!

Lastly I woke up this morning to a nice surprise on twitter....I was picked as the Swirlgirl of the week by Swirlgear! 

I was so excited!! What a great way to start a Monday! Go check out Swirlgear, they are a great company and their runnings clothes are so comfortable! 

That is it for now Harwich Cranberry Harvest Half Recap coming soon!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Providence Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon Recap!!!

I ran the Rock 'n' Roll Half marathon in Providence, RI this past weekend. This was my third half and I think I am ADDICTED!!!! Here is my recap of the race!!

The race was on Sunday, packet pickup was on Saturday with the expo but I wasn't able to make it. It said on the registration that there was no number pick up the day of, however there is a solutions tent by the start line where you could get your number the day of the race if there was no way to get there Saturday and they even had blank waivers if you forgot that.

Sunday morning I left at around 4:30 with my friend Liz, she was running the 5k so we decided to go up together. The morning was very foggy and when we arrived in Providence it was still dark and there were not many people around. We ended up parking right at the bottom of the hill before the finish line and walked up to the lawn area where everything was set up and headed to the solution tent to grab our numbers. We picked up our numbers which was super easy and got our t-shirts and goody bags and then decided to go check our clothing it was FREEZING out so I had on many layers!

These were the shirts for the half marathon which I loved! And they had woman's sizes!!!

Next we headed over to bag check which was also so simple we used the Rock 'n' Roll drawstring bags they gave you put our things in, tied it up and we were good to go! I love when things are easy! After that we headed over to the port-o-potties which where pretty much everywhere and then headed over to our corrals because we were going to start soon!

Pre Race photo!

I was in Corral 6 they did the corrals by the first number on your bib, Liz was in Corral 3 so we parted ways, we were about to start!!!!!

The race started at 7:00 and I crossed the start line around 7:10 and was in corral 6 so they got everyone moving pretty fast which was nice because waiting around is the worst! The 5k runners were all mixed in with the half marathon runners which I liked.

The race started uphill everyone around me was complaining and then someone said "just wait this is nothing!" Now I don't mind hills but I got worried after hearing that! At around mile 2 the 5k runners headed in a different direction and we were off to finish the half, and then the hills came first gradual and then there was a HUGE one I thought to myself is this ever going to end, I can't make it but after that it was smooth sailing!

 As you may know there is  also band at every mile of the race which was so nice, it was something to look forward to. Also the water stations seemed to be right after the band so you always knew there was one coming up soon if you had just passed a band. There was also a lot of supporters through out the route cheering you on which is so nice during a race and really keeps you going. 

Once we got around mile five we were pretty much passed the hills except the one up to the finish line and at that point too the relay runners were switching which I had none about but forgot. This was a cool part of the race because first you get to run with a drum stick but also if you didn't feel like you could do the half yourself you could be part of a team which was really neat.

The race went by really fast and before I knew it I was finishing I felt pretty good most of the race but at mile ten got a pretty serious cramp but worked through it and felt great finishing. There were tons of people at the finish line, and once your crossed the finish line there was tons of water, chocolate milk, powerade, power bars and bagels. Then all the runners (21+ of course!) got a free beer!

After I crossed the finish line I went to go get my checked bag which again was super easy! Then headed over with Liz to get our well deserved beer!

Overall it was a great race I ended up getting a PR of 2:12:29! Everything was so easy to get to and the number pick up was not a problem at all if you couldn't make it to the expo. Parking was a breeze as was bag check! I was very impressed with the organization of everything! I will be back next year to run again for sure!

Local Harwich Cranberry Half Marathon this weekend recap to follow!!!!