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!

                                                            or

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

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hershey 10K Race Recap


This past weekend I ran the Hershey 10K race. I was looking forward to this weekend for so long but as you recall, I hadn't been feeling well lately so was worried about how the race was going to go.

Packet Pick-Up

Packet pick up for this race was available the day of the race and the day before. If you picked up the day before, you had to go to the arena which is located to the left of the entrance to Hershey Park. It actually took us a while to find this.  The "expo" wasn't really a big deal but there were a few local running stores there and a some vendors so if you needed some GU or a water bottle, etc, you were covered.

Race Day

When I got up on race day the weather app said it was cooler than what I expected so once again I wimped out and decided to forego the colorful running pants and slipped on my comfy fleece lined tights. I also wore a thin long sleeve and my pink Reebok running jacket which was admittedly a mistake.

We stayed at the fabulous Hotel Hershey and were offered race day transportation. (Note: the two Hershey resorts are Hotel Hershey and the Hershey Lodge), the Hotel Hershey is the closest to the park, attractions, and race.  We left a little after 6:45 am for a 7:30 start. 

It only took us only a few minutes to arrive at the start which was at the stadium just across the highway from the hotel.

I should note that my mom came with me on race day morning to spectate. Spectators were allowed to go into the stadium to watch the runners finish. After I had already walked to the start line (which was on the other side of the stadium) my mom called me to tell me she was not allowed to go in the stadium to watch because she had her purse with her.  I'm glad the security team was so diligent in doing their job but they were also letting people with strollers and diaper bags in, and she said a wheel chair went through that also had a backpack hooked to it but if you were a person without a baby, you were not allowed to take a bag in! I told her to ask if she could bag check it, but they wouldn't let her do that. She ended up having to call our driver that brought us to the race to come take her purse so she could come inside and watch. I thought this was important to note because no where on the pre-race info did it mention that spectators who wanted to go into the stadium could not have bags. 


The Race
The race started just outside the the Hershey Stadium. Just like Disney, there were even Hershey characters at the start. It wasn't all that cold and I knew right away that I was over dressed.  I started my Garmin and then we were ready to go.

The first two miles were around the parking lot. Since I had a chest cold, my chest was burning and heavy and I was feeling cramps in my thighs (something I've never felt before while running).



There were no mile marker flags or signs but I heard a guy next to me tell his friend that we had just completed the first mile. I looked down at my Garmin to see how I was doing and I noticed that it never started. I was bummed! I started it again and just had to remember that I was about a mile off.

It wasn't until mile 2.7 that I noticed that some of the mileage was marked on the side of the orange cones that were along the course.  After exiting the parking area we ran up Hershey Park drive which is quite an incline. Around mile 3 I started picking up speed and then a lady right in front of me decided to bend over ( I don't know if she dropped something or what), I ran right into her bottom with the top of my thigh, which hurt. I did apologize even though I felt she was in the wrong. She apologized too and then moved to the side of the road.

We then ran around the shopping outlets and then entered Hershey Park at mile 4. As we ran around the park I thought that it reminded me of running at Disneyland through California Adventure.  We actually got to do a lot of running through the park (which was pretty hilly).

The 7K mark was the first time I saw a mileage flag, and then again at the 9K mark.  That last kilometer seemed more like a mile or so. During this last "kilometer" we exited the park and then ran to the stadium. I was hoping that we weren't going to have to run a lap around the track before crossing the finish and luckily we didn't.





We entered the stadium at the side and then I sprinted to the finish line that was  located on the same side! I ended up finishing in 1:02. If it were any other 10K I would have wanted to finish under an hour but since I knew this race wasn't going to be at my best effort, I was completely okay with my finish time.



I didn't carry water with me (I should have) and from having a chest cold and doing all this running I was extremely thirsty.  The first person I saw as I crossed the Finish Line was Ana. She was waiting for her sister to finish. She was so sweet as she congratulated me. We chatted for a moment  about the race but I was in one of those post race hazes where all I wanted to do was find water.





I eventually found water and then they handed out these goody bags. I must say that this race had awesome swag.



The medal was awesome, the shirts was great, and the Goody bag was a lunch box filled with great treats and a race magnet which I was most excited about.




We didn't really hang out at the race and finish watching others like we usually do. We called our driver and he promptly picked us up and returned us to the Hotel so we could get ready for our day at the spa. 
 Although I really enjoyed being in Hershey, I have mixed feelings about the race and the hilly course (but then again it could be because I wasn't feeling well). So for that reason I don't think it is fair for me to have too strong of an opinion on this race.  -M



 We are linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Weekly Wrap....April 9


As far as workouts/running this past week, I did that lousy 3 mile walk on Monday and then did absolutely nothing the rest of the week except for nap. I was trying to recoup and save up energy for the race.

I still didn't have as much energy as I hoped but I jammed in as much fun as I possibly could while visiting Hershey.



     We stayed at the Hershey Hotel which was absolutely lovely.



     We visited Chocolate World.

Inside Chocolate World is a retail store, baking demonstrations/classes, candy Making, chocolate tastings, the Chocolate tour, and lots of food! The main attraction is the ride.


The ride kind of reminds me of the "Living with the Land" ride at Disney. Instead of getting into a boat, you get in a little car the shape of a Hersey Kiss. The ride takes you on a "tour" of the chocolate factory and shows you how the candy is made.




      I ran the 10K race.



   We spent the day at the Spa.

   We did lots of Shopping.

In all it was a fantastic weekend.  I will do a separate post on the race and the Spa later this week.  -M


We are linking up with Holly and Tricia for their weekly wrap!



Friday, April 7, 2017

5 Alternatives to Starbucks


Today's Friday 5 theme is all about drinks!  It's no secret that my favorite drink is a cold frozen frappe from Starbucks! This was my "reward" after my long runs last summer. I pretty much worked my way through the menu and I will say the Strawberry Shortcake  (which was a limited time drink) was my favorite. You can get the Strawberries and Cream frappe anytime, but it's not the same.  Anyway, regardless of what flavor frappe I get (and never mind that the Starbucks is conveniently located at the end of my running trail), I realize that it is not very healthy (or wallet friendly) to be getting them after every long run.

Here are some alternative Summer drinks that I find just as refreshing........


1. Last summer I was hooked on this Lime Cucumber Gatorade.  I've only been able to find it at one store though.


2. This Spring I have discovered Fierce Melon Gatorade. This flavor is just as yummy! I believe it is cantaloupe flavor and will be my new "go to" drink after a run.



3.  Another Summer time must have are these Margaritaville Singles To Go pouches.  They are just regular drink powders (no alcohol) you pour in your water bottle to flavor it up. My favorite is the Pina Colada, then the Strawberry Daiquiri. I am not a fan of the Margarita.

4. Sometimes I will cheat on Starbucks and get a Cake Batter frozen cream at Sheetz. It's still less calories than a frappe and for only $2.00 with my Sheetz card, you can't beat it!


5. I'm pretty good at making my own frozen concoctions too! This is my own version of a frappe. Throw some Chai tea, almond milk and some ice in a blender and top it with whip cream and chocolate shavings. It's a great "at home" treat!

What else should I be trying? -M

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sometimes Shift Happens


This weekend is the Hershey 10K race! When I signed up for this race I was originally hoping to make it my "goal" race for the year and was hoping to aim for a PR.  I had all winter to practice running 6.2 miles, so I thought that was doable! However, once I found out that I would be running the NYC Half Marathon, my plans changed.  The NYC Half would now end up being my first race of the year, not Hershey and training for a half marathon is different than training for a 10K. I needed to work on endurance, not speed.  I would only have two weeks of training between the NYC Half and Hershey so I decided I could just run Hershey as a fun shake out run!

The Half marathon went better than I expected, and although I took the following week off  I was surprisingly feeling pretty good. I was able to get two runs in last week and one was an awesome 5 miler that made me think that I could really push it and the possibility of still making a PR at Hershey was there!

And then, like I mentioned in my weekly wrap, I got struck down with a cold. I took it easy over the weekend and then thought I was well enough to go to work on Monday.  The weather was gorgeous on Monday afternoon so I still planned on doing my 6.2 miles on the rail trail.  When I got to the trail and started running, I quickly discovered only a tenth of a mile in that I could not do this.  I would have to do a run-walk. Nope, couldn't do that either.  I decided that I would have to walk the entire 6.2 miles. That was my new plan until I got a mile down the trail and decided I could only make this a 5K walk instead of a 10K so that is what I did.


I was able to complete a little over 3 miles but I felt so defeated.  I guess just because I was able to get up and go to work on Monday, did not mean that I was feeling better.  I was almost even worse on Tuesday.  I am so glad that I was able to drive home from work without falling asleep. When I got home, I promptly put my phone on silent and took a much needed nap.  Wednesday should be another run day for me and I debated between trying to give it another try to get my body use to running like this or just taking the rest of the week off and resting and then just seeing what happens on race day.

I'm probably going to have to go with option 2. So here I am again. This Hershey race went from being a goal race, to just being a fun shake out run, to being a race I'll be glad to just finish because I'll probably have to walk most of it. Hey, maybe I should try "race walking".  So I guess just like anything in life, goals and expectations will need to be shifted and that's okay. At least I still have the Hershey spa to look forward to!  -M


Monday, April 3, 2017

The best hydration method I've found is...

Neither my sister nor myself are very good at hydrating on a run or in races for that matter (which we realize is bad, we know), but I'd like to share some of the things I've tried and how they worked out for me.



1. I first started with just a regular hand held water bottle. I actually carried this with me on training runs and during my first half marathon and then a couple more races and runs after that, until the bottle started slipping out of the sleeve.

 I tried holding it together with a zip tie and that only worked for so long. I then got a new handheld that worked like a charm and I used it during all my long runs when I was marathon training. It wasn't enough water for all those miles and to tell you the truth it was kind of making my should sore carrying it.


2. I then started running with the Camelbak Hydration belt. This belt held two 8 oz water bottles. I took it on a few training runs just to see how I would handle running with the extra pound around my waist. I got this belt in a size small and let me tell you it was small. There is only one velcro strap and no room to really adjust.  During the training runs it worked out okay and I figured it would be find for race day.

When I wore it on race day, I ended up stopping twice to use the restroom (which I've never ever stopped to do during a race before). It turns out the belt kept pushing on my bladder falsely making me think I had to go. After the second bathroom stop my sister (who was running with me) said that's enough of this stuff and she took the belt off my hands. We didn't make any more stops after that...lol

3. My final way of staying hydrated on the run is the Flip Belt bottle.  I've had the Flip belt for some time now but never knew that there was a water bottle to fit in it until I read Judy's blog!  I knew that was something I wanted to try and so my sister bought me the bottle for Christmas.  Since I don't drink much water anyway, the 6 oz bottle works just fine for me (you can buy them in 6 oz or 10 oz).

The bottle slips right into the slit on the belt and sits sideways.  I worried about it leaking, but it didn't.  I took it on several training runs because I was planning on using it for the NYC half marathon. During my runs, I didn't even remember it was there because it was so light weight and comfortable. I didn't end up using it during the race only because I had planned on wearing layers (because of the temps) and wasn't sure I could conveniently get to the belt for my water. I ended up stopping at two water stations  which may have cost me some time, but it all turned out okay.

So far, THIS is my favorite hydration method! -M


We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR!



Sunday, April 2, 2017

Weekly Wrap...April 3



Happy April Folks!

I'm sure I'm repeating what everyone else is thinking but How is it April Already???? I'm certainly glad that it is April but I am a little sad that time keeps flying by quicker and quicker. I guess that just means I'm having fun, right?

Having had the NYC Half Marathon in March, the month just seemed to fly by but I'll wrap up what the last week was like for me.


After taking a week off after the NYC Half, I picked up running again on Monday in an effort to get a few runs in before my next race (this weekend).



I saw a female hiker on the trail so assumed it was safe to do most of this run on the wooded section of the trail. I talked to her for a bit and knew I felt safe as she told me to go ahead and run cus she had my back!  It was a glorious run as the sun beat down through the trees. This was actually the first time I purposely turned off my music so I could just enjoy the nature.


On Wednesday I decided to "road test" the outfit I planned to wear to my race this weekend.  The long sleeves may have been a little much for this afternoon run, but I think it will be perfect for race day morning. I did a quick 5 miles and I do believe it was the fastest 5 mile training run I've run in a LONG time, if ever. I have a record of all my runs since my ITBS but I'll have to see if I can find my running journal from before ITBS to see what pace some of those runs were ran since they were faster than runs I'm doing now.  But in any case according to my post last week, I think I'll call that run a PB (Personal Best) for that distance.

I was flying high from my 5 Mile run on Wednesday and then BOOM, I got hit with a cold. I ended up skipping my run this weekend because of the stuffy head, itchy eyes, coughing, sneezing, and sore throat. Yea you get the idea. The worst part though is that when I breath, I feel like knives are stabbing me in the throat and nose. My sister had a cold last week so I'm at least glad she's feeling a little better now.

In other news, I got a "promotion" with the newspaper, sort of....lol  My column will now run in the Sunday edition of the paper (which always gets more readership) than it's normal slot on Fridays. Since the the Sunday paper is larger, it takes longer to put together and therefore I now have tighter deadlines.  So with that being said, I'll wrap this up because I have some writing to do! -M


We are linking up with the lovely Holly and Tricia for their weekly wrap!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Chinese Chicken and Broccoli

I missed last Friday's Food post so I could post about the NYC Half marathon instead.  Now I'm ready to share a great recipe.

I mentioned previously that I made homemade restaurant style Chinese Chicken and Broccoli. I won't call it authentic because I believe I was told somewhere that this isn't exactly what you would get in China. But I'll call it Restaurant Style because around here it is exactly what you would get at a local Chinese restaurant.  See that picture below? This isn't that frozen stuff from a bag! I actually made it from scratch and it was GOOD!

Authentic Chinese food chicken and broccoli

I adjusted another recipe I found online and made it my own.

1. First make the marinade for the chicken.
                                                                 Sauce for marinade

2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon of water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Let chicken marinade for 30 minutes or more.
(I used 1 pack of chicken fillets. There were about 5 in the pack)

2. After the chicken has marinade, steam your veggies.
I used a head of broccoli and carrots (cut in matchstick slices), and steamed them both in the microwave (in a steamer) for 3 minutes each.


3. While Veggies are steaming make the sauce.

Sauce

1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon on soy sauce
2 Tablespoons of brown sugar
2 Tablespoons of Garlic Powder 
2 Tablespoons of flour
1 Tablespoon of Rice Vinegar
 (I used rice vinegar but I've read that Cider Vinegar can be substituted)
1 Tablespoon of Vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons of water




4. In a large pan heat 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil on med-high heat. Add chicken (which you should cut into strips) with marinade and half of the sauce mixture. Saute until chicken is golden brown. Stir frequently.

5. Add remaining sauce and steamed veggies. Cook for 2 minutes or until sauce thickens.

I served this with a side of white rice.

Enjoy!  -M



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Your Time, Your PR, Your Opinion

This is going to be like three posts in one. Why? because I have three things on my mind and they all kind of relate to one another.



1. When I started running, I heard people refer to acronyms PR (Personal Record) and PB (Personal Best). As time went on, I notice most people say PR and now I hardly ever hear anyone say PB.  I admit I use the term PR as well, because that just seems that it is most widely used. However, I personally think I am too common of a runner to be using the terms "Personal Record" when I talk about myself and my running. I feel like the term "Personal Record" is something you use when you talk about professionals. Common folk like myself should probably use the term PB (personal Best). But I think that's just the English teacher in me and I know I'm getting way too caught up in the context of the whole thing!  What's your thought?

2. Speaking of PR's (or PB's), I was reading a post in a running group a while back and a girl posted a picture of her Garmin and said that she finally PR-ed in the marathon distance. It was a training run for her. I congratulated her on the run and asked her what race she was training for. She proceeded to tell me that she wasn't training for any race and that she hardly ever races. She just runs to run. This brings up another thought. Do you consider training runs PR's or only races? So if some one runs a 26 minute 5k in a training run, but only a 27 minute 5k at a race, is 27 minutes their PR or is it 26 minutes?  Thoughts?

Which brings me to my last thought.

3. Although I was happy with my time from my last marathon, I missed my actual "time goal" by three lousy minutes. There really is no excuse for this. I zonked on the last 10k and it should have NEVER taken me that long to run that last 6.2 miles except it did. Those three minutes have been haunting me. I'm not ready to train for another marathon yet but a part of me will always wonder if I could have beat that time. SOooo, when I am ready to start training for another marathon, my plan is to do a Virtual Race in the marathon distance BEFORE I sign up for a race. I think I need to prove to myself that I can actually meet my time goal. But then again, if I do reach my time goal during the Virtual race, have I set a new PR in that distance or does it only count if I do an actual race?  What are your thoughts?

I would love to hear your thoughts on these topics. I have not formed an opinion one way or another so whatever you say will not offend me.  Don't be shy.