Sunday, April 23, 2017

Something you DON'T Want to see on a Run

If you all got a chuckle out of Wednesday's post on what I though I saw, then you're gonnna love this post!

This week was my week to get back at it! I could tell my chest was still a little tight so some full out running was not going to happen (until Thursday). Instead, I dug out my fitness tracker from ifit and gave myself some new goals to work towards. I would try to get 10,000 steps in each day.  I know a lot of you do this every day, but boy it can be a challenge, especially if you are not running(or walking) at least 3 miles a day.

My sister kept me company on a 5 mile walk/run (but mostly walk) on Monday, and then again for 3.6 miles on Tuesday.  Wednesday and Friday I walked and Thursday I ran. It was a challenge but I did get 10,000 steps in each day.

Okay, now back to the Thursday's 3 mile run on the Island.  This time of year the Island Park is just swarming with visitors. Soccer is in full gear and there are always games and practices going on in the fields and kids playing at the playground. The inner paths are filled withe walkers, runners, people with dogs, kids with bikes, etc.  Us serious runners, often deviate from the inner path out to the North and South trails which are in the woods. They are clearly marked as trails and people have been using them for years. Just to be clear, there is no mistaking these are walking/running paths.

Well, I did my first mile on the inner trail (I got my pace down to a 9:12 which I thought was pretty good for me for my first run in a while) and then decided to run the South trail in the woods. The south trail runs along the water, comes to a point, and then I loop and run up the opposite side of the island.  As I was running I could see that some Spring clean up had happened. Trees were trimmed, a lot of brush was cleared out, and some trees were cut down leaving just stumps for now.

Not the exact spot but a picture from the Island Trail.

As I got half way down the other side of the island, I could see further ahead that something was blocking the path. I couldn't quite tell what it was. Maybe a stump? As I got closer I saw a turqoise color and what looked like a plumbers butt.  Had someone fallen? Was someone hurt?  OMG was someone being attacked??

This is NOT a picture from this day, but this is almost exactly where the "incident" occurred and I wanted you to see the path I was talking about.

And then I saw what was happening. Eeek! It never occurred to me to give them privacy and turn myself around. All I kept thinking in that short amount of time was how I would get around them as they were clearly RIGHT ON the path (and this is a dirt path at this point).  The most discreet thing for me to do would be to run below them, but that only gave me a narrow path that is banked into the river and at this point I was running pretty fast and didn't want to take a chance of slipping.  So I ended up running above them. Thank goodness I had my sunglasses on  cus I looked directly down and just kept running.  The man heard my feet shuffling when I ran passed and he quickly got up and I heard them both start to giggle.

I got to the end of the wooded area and turned back around to run the loop in the opposite direction.  I was not deviating my running plan because of these two.  As I ran by them again, they had put themselves together and were standing upright. As I ran by I mentioned to them that this would be my last loop running by and just smiled. They giggled and said I was just fine. Darn right I was fine!  What do they think they are doing????  I am not condoning what they were doing but geeze, they could have at least took it off the path into the grass area. There is a grassy lawn area right above the path that is still secluded with tress and no one ever walks up there, that could have been their spot! For that matter, there are many other "hidden" spots around the island they could have found to be alone.

Clearly these people where not locals or they would have known how busy these paths get (even the wooded ones). My case in point,  shortly after I passed the couple for the second time, I passed another runner coming in that direction.

So, that's my best running story for the week. Heck, it might be my best running story all season. We will see!

Anyone have a story quite like this to share? -M

We are linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Spring Races to Run

I messed up last week and I posted my pampering post when I should have posted about Spring. If you’d like to read about the Chocolate Spa at the Hotel Hershey, you can check out this post HERE.

So now I guess I’ll talk about Spring!

I can’t believe how fast Spring is going already. Heck in another week it will be May! I also can’t believe how many good races are available in this short window of time. I know many people can plan a full race schedule for each season and not think anything of it. I am not one of those people. I can really only plan one long distance race and maybe a few mid distance races per season.  As you know, I’m just building my confidence and strength back up and I don’t want to do too much!  This year already I’ve done the NYC Half in March (would you consider that a spring-ish races?), and the Hershey 10K in April, and I may do one more mid-distance race in May before our Spring ends. That is enough for me!

However I’ve been keeping a running list (no pun intended),  of Spring races I’ll want to do in 2018. Since so many of them are around the same time, chances are I won’t get to do them all, but it’s good to keep a list for the future.

1. The Lucky Charm 5K/10K- I’m hoping to have this race in March be the first race I do next year. I think training for a 10K is a good and reasonable goal to have for over the winter months.

2. The NYC Half??? – Scott said I should do this one again since we had so much fun last month. Even though I LOVED this race and will claim it as the best courses I’ve run so far, I’m not sure I want to jump right in and do it again next year. I had such a great training cycle this winter, we ended up having great weather on race day, and just everything worked out wonderfully. Even though I didn’t PR, it was a really great race for me and I just want to leave it at that! End on a high note if you will.

3. Atlantic City April Fools – This is one of my favorite race weekends! I’ve done this race the past four years but this year opted not to do it in exchange for doing the Hershey 10K instead. Usually the Hershey race and this race are on the same weekend in April but this year it wasn’t for some reason but I didn’t realize this until I had already made other plans. I’m hoping to go back and run it again next year!


Hershey 10K ???- I really LOVED being in Hershey! I loved Chocolate World, I loved the Hotel, and most of all I loved the Chocolate Spa! I had a chest cold while running the 10K race and I found it to be way hillier than I would have liked. There was a lot of time ran in the park (which was also hilly) which was nice. The medal was great as was the shirt and post race swag! I’m not really sure how I feel about this race but giving it another chance is not completely out of the question (as long as it is not the same weekend as the Atlantic City race).

4. Pittsburgh Half Marathon – Gotta get that "Runner of Steel" medal at some point. Plus I want to try the new "flatter" course".  I ended up giving my registration away to Gretchen from Gretch Runs, so I am happy that she will be running it this May as I virtually cheer her own! 

5. The Kentucky Derby Half Marathon- This race has been on my bucket list for a while now but this may have to be a full out Race-cation for me since it is not close.  

As always, so many races in such a short period of time.  I won't get them all done in one year, but hopefully I'll do them.. What Spring races have you wanted to do but haven't got to do yet? -M

Thursday, April 20, 2017

My silly IRONMAN (the race) story

 Because of the holiday weekend our blogging schedule is a little off. So instead of doing posts Monday and Wednesday, you are getting them Tuesday and Thursday this week (and we will still be doing the Friday Five).

So since it’s Think Out loud Thursday, I wanted to share a little story with you about my commute to and from work recently. Disclaimer: Please don’t judge me for my judgement but I do hope you get a laugh out of this.

I don’t know if I am just more aware lately, but I’ve noticed that I’ve been seeing an increasing amount of Ironman license plates and stickers on cars.

I found this odd because I am not aware of any Ironman events in my area. So why do so many people have these stickers and license plates?

The second thing I noticed  (and I don’t mean to judge or profile anyone) but the vehicles that had these stickers and license plates on them were not exactly vehicles that I would think overly athletic /ironman type people would drive. Now I know this sounds completely like I am profiling, but a lot of these vehicles were bigger type trucks, almost like farm trucks.

And then one day I saw it!  These weren’t Ironman stickers and license plates at all. In fact, they had nothing to do with running or anything athletic.

What I thought was the symbol for Ironman (as I passed it at 65 MPH going down the highway), was actually the symbol for International Harvester, a Tractor company (and other agricultural equipment)!

So that completely explains why these symbols were on all the big trucks!  I do realize that now that  I see them side by side that there is no mistaking which is which and that the symbol is clearly not an ironman. But hey, I did say I was passing them at 65 MPH.   Ha! Honest mistake I guess.  

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Things to consider when planning a Race-cation

A lot of our races have been race-cations so I'd say we know a thing or two about traveling for races.

With that being said, we thought we'd mention a few things that racers might consider (or reconsider) while planning their race-cation.

1. For some people their race-cation may be their "family Vacation" as well. This is common when doing Disney races. If it is your first Disney race, you may want to reconsider bringing the kids, the in-laws, and other relatives.  The race weekend is YOUR weekend. This is not a time to be worrying about coordinating everyone else's schedule. Race weekends can potentially be stressful enough (but in a good way) and sometimes worrying about family can add to that.  I am thankful that I come from a family of runners, so when we go on race-cation they are running with me. If they are not, they at least understand about the early bedtime and the "running routine".  If you do not have runners in your family, consider going with a running friend.

2. This is one mistake I've made more than once (especially at Disney). Reconsider doing your sightseeing or park hopping before race day. I know when we go to Disney we want to make the most of our time and get our monies worth out of our Park tickets but sometimes it's just not worth it. I've shown up on race morning not being able to move my legs at the start line because I walked around all day at Disneyland the day before. Huge mistake!  We've learned our lesson and now there are times we go to Disney races and don't even bother to purchase park tickets. When I visited NYC last month there were a ton of things I wanted to do, but I knew better than to do all that walking before race day.  Plan accordingly.

3. This one is a no brainer but if you have to fly to your race-cation, ALWAYS pack your race gear in your carry-on. Enough said.

4.  When booking a hotel for your race think Location, Location, Location!  Splurge on the hotel if it is close to the start, finish, or transportation. Being in the area you want to be in is well worth the extra $100 or so and can cause a lot less stress for you on race morning.

Any other suggestions?

We are linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The night before Boston.....

Twas the eve before the Boston Marathon

I only went for two dog walks this past week and in my mind that does not a Weekly Wrap make! So instead I am looking to the week ahead and will post this poem I created about the Boston Marathon

We have some friends running the Boston Marathon on Monday and they were our inspiration for this post....
Boston Marathon poem

T'was the eve before the Marathon and all through the town, 
the runners were restless and couldn't calm down.
Their race gear was laid out all in plain view, 
shirt, shorts, socks, shoes, and compression sleeves too!

The "Flat Runner" picture was taken. This was getting real!
 Minus the bib number of course (they didn't want anyone to steal). 

The race belt was filled with all sorts of fuel,
 Stingers, Chomp, Clif Shots, and Watermelon GU.

One last check of the weather was done.
They hoped for sun yet cool enough to run.

After carbing up and belly's were fed, 
they did some last minute foam rolling before heading to bed.

As runners fell asleep they dreamed of the race. 
Would they do well? Would they keep pace?

They thought of the course and how they'd get through.
They believed in their practice and to their training plan stayed true!

They hoped they wouldn't stumble, trip, or fall
but having to take a potty break would be the worst of all.

They pictured Hopkinton, Wellesley, and Heartbreak hill,
They knew when they were over it, it would be such a thrill.

The spectators would be out all holding their signs.
Some would be inspirational and some would be rhymes.

Some would hand out candy and the college kids would give beer. 
Some would just smile but all would cheer!

As they take the last right on Hereford and left on Boyeston,
their race would come to an end.

The race might be over but the pride will live on.
This wasn't just any race, it was the Boston freakin Marathon!

Good Luck Runners!

We are linking up with Holly and Tricia for the weekly wrap. Since I am posting from my 
 iPad I am unable to post the weekly wrap badge but I will try to add it later. Sorry.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Chocolate Spa at the Hotel Hershey

After the Hershey 10K race, we returned to our Hotel and had a spa day at the Chocolate Spa. I was so excited for this day because I had never been to the Chocolate spa before. 

When we arrived at the spa, we got a tour so we knew what all we could take advantage of during the day.  We were given lockers to store our things and big comfy robes to wear all day.

1.   After we changed we waited in the "Quiet room" until it was time for our appointments.  While there, they had coffee, tea, water, muffins, fruits, trail mix, chocolate, etc. I had only an apple since I didn't eat anything after the race. 

2.  I wanted to get something other than a basic massage that I could get anywhere and wanted to have one of the specialty chocolate services so I got the Chocolate Sugar Scrub. My mom was getting the reflexology. Note: The spa fills up very fast (especially on the weekends). We had to make these appointments months in advance.

I was lead to a special room for my service. 

 When I inquired about the service I asked if I should wear a swim suit and was told it was fine. When I got into the room, the lady working on me told me I should take everything off because the scrubs would stain the suit. I was told to take all my jewelry off and then showed how to wrap my top and bottom in towels. When I was covered, the lady came back in and performed the service. The lights were actually dim when she was doing it. I feel like I chose a great service because it was like a massage and pedicure in one. I was massaged with a yummy smelling sugar scrub, then while still on the table, I was rinsed with warm water. I was then wrapped in towels and then she did another massage treatment with the cocoa moisturizer.  It was fabulous!

3. After my treatment, I met up with my mom again and we headed to our lunch reservations at the Oasis (in our robes)! 

The Oasis is a restaurant that is only for spa guests and everyone eating lunch in there was in their spa robe! 

4. After lunch we spent some time in the Steam Room. This steam room was a wet steam and was 110 degrees.  Since we had the room to ourselves, I decided to lay down on the "hot" bench. After a while a burst of steam was coming right from where my head was. All of a sudden the entire room was filling up with steam and I couldn't even see in front of me. I decided to move up to the upper bench, and then finally I had to open the door to get a breathe. Finally I could not take it anymore so I said that was enough of that!

After the whole steam room experience, I was completely wiped out and exhausted. We then finally got to spend some time in the aroma therapy room to relax( this room is very popular). I was told there was a lounge that we could nap in but I thought that would be a little silly (even though it sounded like a good idea at the time).  The aroma in the room was thyme and eucalyptus. 

5. Lastly, we were able to use the showers where we got to shower with the chocolate body wash, and chocolate mandarin shampoo and conditioner. This spa has everything to completely pamper you, you do not need to bring ANY toiletries or beauty products.  They even had hair dryers and curling irons at each of the vanities. 

Even though my race was only so/so, I had a fabulous time at the spa and would not hesitate to return to the Hotel Hershey! -M

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Bye bye PGH

Now that I've completed all the Disney races that I've wanted to run, One of my new "intentions" this year was to run some bigger (notable) city races.

I've already checked a big one off my list this year, the New York City Half. Earlier this year, I mentioned a few other cities that I wanted to run. Among them was Pittsburgh, only because I wanted the coveted "Runner of Steel" medal ( for obvious reasons to those who know me).

I also mentioned earlier this year that my husband's company is a sponsor of a particular race and that  I was invited to run it in May. I did not mention the race by name because at the time I was unsure if I would run it or not.  The race was the Pittsburgh Marathon and half marathon. I of course would sign up for the half marathon.

Even though this is a race I wanted to do, I didn't want to make any decisions until after I ran NYC. After all, I've been having a pretty good "no injury" streak going on here and I wanted to see how I felt after the race.

Turns out, after Running NYC, I felt fine and eager to tackle the city of Pittsburgh! I heard that the course had changed since years past and now it is much flatter!

Well a few things have changed over the past few weeks. As you know, (besides the 10k race I just ran this past weekend), I've taken a bit of time off running to try to get over this cold. I am in no shape to pick up half marathon training again this week or probably even next. Also with a race date of May 7th, it makes a very tight schedule for my family as there are other travel plans involved and would just make for a hectic weekend. Quite frankly, I'm just too tired for all this right now.

With all this being said, I still have the free registration. It can be used for either the full marathon or half marathon. Who wants it? -M