Body "Pump"kin Launch

Last night was my gym's Body Pump Launch. A few months ago our gym changed names to the YMCA. Since then, we have had new members from other local YMCA's coming to our facility and our class sizes have increased, so we added an additional express class prior to the main class in the evening.
All  decked out for our spooky themed launch!

 Since it is a shorter class we follow the Body Pump Express 45 minute format.I think they make it more intense, because it is a shorter class where they combine two tracks into one. There is a Tricep/Bicep track and there is a lunge/shoulder track. Rather than a doing a Tricep only track and so on. We continue to move between bar, plates, pushups, so transitions are really quick which keeps us moving and the calories burning.

Weekly Wrap...October 28

This week was another busy week! I actually had a  similar trip that I had last week, but I had different experiences.

 I had a layover in Ontario, California again, but rather than going for a run. my crew and I took an Uber to North Etiwanda Preserve and hiked up the mountain to see some waterfalls. That evening I went to the mall again to do some shopping and and got another In -N -Out Burger.

The following day we were in Orlando so I went to Disney Springs and did some more shopping and ate at Bongos. It is the Gloria Estefan Cuban restaurant. We ordered empanadas and plantains and they were awful! We actually sent them back. 

                                       The only thing that was good was my avocado salad.

 Since our dinner was a disappointment we though we would splurge on dessert and treat ourselves to a Ghirardelli brownie sundae!

The next evening I visited another Haunted House in the Philly area. It was the Bates Motel. I actually think I liked this one better than the Penitentiary. There were several attractions there including a Haunted house, hayride, and corn maze. The next evening I finally went and saw the new Halloween movie. It was pretty good.

The next morning it was back to work again. I only had to do a day trip so it wasn't too bad. When I returned home I went for a short run and almost got attacked by a dog. He looked like a small miniature pinscher mix. He ran up to me in the park and continued to bark and snap at me. Why is it the little dogs seem to be the most vicious? If that was a golden retriever he would have just came up and licked you to death. 

The next day at work we had a layover in Denver so we decided to hike up in Boulder again.This time we hike the Flatirons.

                         Then we splurged at Snooze for their pancake flight. 

 Peanut butter, blueberry cobbler, and pineapple upside down cake ones. They were delicious!

We had a long next day at work with a short layover in Austin so we didn't do too much except relax in the hot tub that evening.     -L

Thank you to Holly and Wendy for letting us share our week with them.

Runfessions and Something New

It's the last Friday of the month, so that means it's Runfession time.

I haven't participated in a Runfession in a while, partly because I keep forgetting about them.

So here goes,

Runfess that I thought about putting running on hiatus for the rest of the year. It's not that I'm not enjoying running, because I am, I just wanted to use my time in other ways.


That feeling of putting running on hiatus quickly faded during Monday's run! I Runfess that this was the best run I've had in a while. So much so that I set out for my normal 3 miles and ended up running 4, and then running 5! I think this was my first real FALL run  and it felt amazing.  I'm hoping that I can get several more runs in like this one before the weather changes again.

I Runfess that I had several "road blocks" on my trail run the other day but that did not deter me.  I also Runfess that I did a lot of jumping over said road blocks and I think that is when I lost my pepper spray.

I did not notice that I was missing my pepper spray until I finished my run and was back at my car. After already running 5 miles, I was ready to go home and figured I would return the next day to retrace my steps.

I Runfess over the years I've lost a few things on my runs; my headband, my phone, and I'm sure a few other things. Fortunately I've always found what I've lost.  Because of the bumpiness of where I was running, I thought for sure I knew where I would find the pepper spray.   I did the 1.5 mile loop where I thought it was but it wasn't there.  I could have retraced all 5 miles but the rest of my route was pretty flat and so I doubt it fell out there.  Someone probably found it on the trail and picked it up.  I Runfess I've had the pepper spray for several years now and I feel like I read on someone's blog that it should be replaced often because it loses it's effectiveness over time.  Is that true? 

How often do you replace your pepper spray?  -M

Thanks to Marcia for sharing her idea of Runfessions

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Spooky Bluff 5K Race

Every year I do some sort of Halloween theme race. This year, I registered my mom and I for a new race called the Spooky Bluff 5K that is a few towns north of where I live.

I registered us back in July and was looking forward to creating costumes for this race but for almost 4 months I didn't bother to come up with anything.

I am ashamed to say that the night before the race, I put this together  I really only needed a tank top, but the long sleeve shirt was the only orange top I had. Yes, I was way too hot.

When I originally signed up for the race back in July, it said the start time was at 7:00 pm.  I got back on the race website on Friday night ( the night before the race) to look up the directions to the park and thank goodness I did because I noticed they posted a NEW start time. The new start time was now 6:30 pm!   I thought that would work out just fine because I had a party to go to afterwards anyway.

The race took place at a really pretty recreational park. It was well manicured. It had some pavilions, a playground, several walking paths, and a disc golf course.  It sort of reminded me of the park on the island I usually run on.  Side Note: There was only one arch, (as seen behind us), it said "Finish" and it was where we started and finished. I figured that would be the case, however there was a couple there that were searching for the "start" line!

There were a lot of people at this race. It was a family fun run so there were a lot of parents and children too. Most were dressed up.

There were so many runners still waiting to pick up their packet at 6:30, that the race did not start on time. The announcer did come on the speaker and say we would start in just a few minutes.  We all lined up at the start and  after a few minutes (without any notice) runners just started running. There was no gun, no buzzer, no bell, noone even said GO. For this reason I didn't have my Garmin ready, so I just ran without it.  This may be the first race that I didn't record with my Garmin.

 I didn't really care about my time anyway as this race was going to be just for fun. My mom had been sick for the last 2 weeks so she had told me ahead of time that she was probably going to run/walk and I was totally okay with that.

We ran the first mile in the park. As we exited the park onto the road, it got dark.   As we exited the park there were some inflatables  set up to greet runners (we actually saw these as we were driving into the park complex and it was a nice touch to get runners excited.

I was actually surprised that there was a water stop during this 5K. I did not have to stop but I thought it was a nice touch. Besides a Disney race, I can't think of the last time I saw a water stop at a 5K and believe me, I've run some summer races where I wished they had a water stop!

The rest of the race was on the road.  It was completely dark, no street lights, no porch lights from the near by homes. The only light came from my RunLite Gloves, and whatever lighting devices the runners had. There were also flares that were in the middle of the road every couple yards.  They had plenty of volunteers there but I thought they should have had someone near the flares  because I don't think runners were fully aware they were there when they wanted to pass people. I know I wanted to pass someone at one point but I could not get around them because there was a flare on one side and I would have stepped right into it.  I heard some people say that the odor from the flares was really bother them. It didn't really bother me though.

I thought this race was closed to traffic but once we ran up the hill, there was an SUV that was heading towards us on the road. It was going slow, but still ! There wasn't even anyone there directing traffic.   When we got to the turn around point, I wasn't even sure if it was where we turned around or not. It was just a cone. Again, no volunteer there.

The rest of the race was back down the road and to the park complex (we did not have to loop the park again), and to the finish line.

After crossing the finish line runners headed to the pavilion where there was lots of food and seasonal treats like pumpkin donuts, cider, and of course candy.

Overall, I thought it was a good little race. There were a few things that they could improve on for next year ( like the traffic pattern). As we were leaving the race, we had to drive on the road leading out of the park and runners were still running there. I suppose this really could not be helped because there seemed to be only one way in and one way out.  We of course drove slow but they should probably have a volunteer there to monitor the traffic.

Halloween race

 This was the first year for the Spooky Bluff 5K and I think the organization that put the race on really gave the runners a race worth the money. In addition to the cute Halloween themed medal, we got nice  long sleeve shirts, Halloween theme bibs, and a goody bag filled with treats, and that little black bag is filled with candy.   We registered back in July and I believe it was only $20.

The weather was pretty darn perfect for running and it was a great way to spend a Saturday night! -M

Did you have any Halloween theme races planned for October? Any Halloween Parties?

                                            We are linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Weekly Wrap, October 21 ...I've been All Over!


 This past week was pretty eventful so this post will be very picture heavy!

 During my overnight in Ontario, CA I went for a short run and then I shopped until I dropped. We stay right next to an outlet mall.

 Later that night I experienced my first In-N-out Burger before taking the red eye to Orlando. 

Instead of going to sleep when I arrived, I went straight to the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot for the day!

The following day we had a full day of flying then I met a friend in Philly who was in town for a few days. 

                                That evening we had sushi at Morinotos. 

After dinner we went to the Eastern State Penitentiary Haunted House. When we arrived we had to first sign waivers. After that we had a choice to put glow stick around our neck which meant we were giving them permission to touch us and/or separate us from our group.  Needless to say we did not put one on. But maybe we should have because neither one of is thought the experience was too scary.

The next morning we went to Brunch at Sabrina's and I got this tasty Tex Mex dish. 

Then I played a tourist in my town and went to the Iconic Rocky stairs and visited the Art Museum. 

              That night I had my company work party aboard the Philadelphia Yacht club.

 It was nice meeting fellow employees who I never flew with before. It was a fun event and I even won two confirmed seats with hotel included during a raffle. I wonder where I should go?

The following morning we went to brunch and I splurged on these chocolate chip cookie dough pancakes and they did not disappoint. I ate the whole thing!

 I added an Oreo latte. I definitely had my fill of sugar for the day. 

That's it for my week, a short run and lots of fun!  -L

Thank You to Holly and Wendy for letting us share our week with them!

What I thought of this month's Fab Fit Fun Box

I recently received my first Fab Fit Fun Box. I have been seeing so many advertisements on Instagram that I finally bit the bullet and signed up for one. I also got $10 off my first purchase which made my first box $39.00 which I thought was still a little pricey but I wanted to find out what all the hype was about.

They claim to have full size products that in total, retail between $285-$375 depending on what type of products you receive in your box. Once I signed up for a subscription

 I had to fill out a few questions of what type of products I like including: makeup, fitness products, home decor, etc. I had seen a few previews of other people's boxes and knew there were certain things everyone would get in their box such as a beauty blender. I got my last one at TJ Max for $2.99. Apparently these are $20. I doubt this is going to work any differently than mine but we will see.

There was also a space to write any notes. I mentioned that I was a big coffee drinker and saw there was a coffee press in one of the boxes that would be nice to have.

 But instead I received a tea kettle.  I have actually wanted to get a loose tea kettle, but it was something I would not have normally bought myself. I'm sure I'll be put to good use but I was hoping the coffee one.

They did a great job on the fitness side. I got a pair of bluetooth wireless earbuds. Though I have been loving my Aftershokz I am so afraid to pack them when I travel because of the way the are shaped. These ones will be easier to pack.   

I got a new make up brush set which I am way overdue. Again, nothing I would buy myself because I already have them, but now that I got new ones I have a reason to finally toss my old ones.  

A few more items I received where some body wash, Eye cream, and some lotion from Alchemist. I also got a Luna bar, and a dish towel and not pictured were some face masks and the beauty blender.

After I signed up for the box I did get a few emails to do some add on products but I thought I would just wait to see what I got instead. There is also an option to become a select member you can specifically pick products that come in your box. Yes that would be nice, but I think that half the fun is not knowing!

The next box is the winter box. The winter box will be $49.99. Not sure if it will be worth spending the money for that box or not since I will no longer have a discount code. I guess I will see how much use I get out of these products and then decide.

Have you ever tried Fab Fit Fun? What did you think? -L

I ran the Tussey Mountain 50 Miler Race!

 I don't even know where to begin for this. This may be a long one so grab a cup of coffee and get comfy.  

The morning started out way early with a 3am wake up call. I live about an hour from where the race was taking place. I plugged in the wrong address and didn't realize it until On-Star said I was at my destination. Luckily we left in plenty of time and it was only 6 more miles away. 

Even with the small detour we arrived with plenty of time to spare.  We picked up our race bibs and waited anxiously for the start of the race. I have done this race several times in the past as a relay but never the whole 50 miles myself. As we lined up at the start, the race director told us this year the course was going to be run backwards from years past. Interesting I thought, but none the less hills or elevation was going to effect it. It'll just be at different points of the race.

When we first started, I couldn't believe the temperature.  It was pretty warm and quite humid out. In years past it was always cold and damp so already I thought this was a plus.  I'd rather it be hot than cold( I'm sure other runners think the complete opposite). During the beginning of the race it started to rain. It was a warm rain so it wasn't too bad, plus the trees we were running under kept us from getting completely soaked but I was still happy that I decided on wearing my hat. 

We were about 8 miles into the race by this time and I haven't ate anything since my 4 am breakfast so I decided to eat a Luna bar I packed. Luckily by this time the rain had stopped.

              We grabbed a quick picture at the 2nd transition and continued on our way.

By about mile 14 or so my friend began to walk. I asked if he was ok and wanted me to walk with him. He insisted that I continued on if I was feeling good and so I did. At first I did feel bad for leaving my friend because we had planned to stay together but I know he would want me to have a good race and would not want to feel like he was holding me back. I was hoping to meet up with him again at the next transition but unfortunately I did not see him. I thought this is going to be a long race if I end up running it myself. I saw two men up ahead that we were running with earlier and was hoping to catch up with them. I finally did and the miles just flew by. I think I ran with them almost to the marathon distance then the one man fell behind. I asked if we should wait on him and he said they already decided before the race that they were going to run their own race and knew eventually they would split up. 

I was feeling pretty good so I was trying to keep up with him so I wouldn't have to run by myself. I continued to tell him if he was feeling good to go ahead. He said No you are keeping a good pace for me. If I'd be running by myself I would be going too hard and burn myself out too soon. I started taking a few walk breaks. Every mile there was a sign so if I saw a sign up ahead I'd say I'm going to walk to the sign and then start running again. The mile signs were in blue. The transition signs were in pink. When we saw one of those we knew that it was only another half of mile more to go until  we could take a few minutes of a break to eat and drink something.  

The transitions had Heed( which is similar to Nuun I believe but less flavorful). I'm surprised they didn't have Gatorade as an option. Guess I should have looked that up. Most aid stations had chips, pretzels, m&ms, and cookies. Some had peanut butter and jelly and raw potatoes(which I thought was a little odd).

Mile 30 could not come soon enough. This was wear my dry bag was and I was looking forward to changing out of my short sleeve to a tank top and changing my socks. 

Despite having two huge blisters on my big toe, after changing and eating a few gummie bears I felt like a new woman. That only lasted for a few more miles then I was on the struggle bus for awhile when my walk breaks became more and  the next transition zone couldn't come soon enough.

By mile 35 we were still running together but could tell that each of us was feeling it more when our conversations became less and walking became more. It was getting harder to start up running again after I stopped to walk. I began to run up a hill while passing a man that was walking and he said You got to be kidding me! I told him Don't worry I plan to walk once I get to the top. This may sound crazy but it was easier for me to run up the hills then to walk them. The downhill was what was a real killer on the quads. 

We ended up meeting at the next transition and since he was running by himself he asked if he could run with us. Of course. I was thinking in my head Yes someone new I can chat with. This was a breath of fresh air. I was hurting though by this point but our conversation kept me going. We walked a little more than I planned on but we were so into our conversation that I think we both lost track of how long our walk breaks started to be. We were coming up on mile 43 at this time and I finally looked at my watch and saw our time. I told him if we picked it up a little we may be able to finish in the next hour, and so we did.

The three of us stayed together until the last 5k then my buddy from earlier trailed off and it was just my new buddy and I. He said to me We are really moving. I said to him I am just over it and want to be done! The last two miles I think we did less than 9 minute pace. 

The finish line could not come soon enough. When we crossed we congratulated each other and he thanked me for pushing him. He said there were times I wanted to walk but you said you were going to run so I couldn't have a girl beat me!

After the race I enjoyed a complimentary massage and refueled with some pizza. We hung around to listen to the awards ceremony. When they called for the overall winners they only had 1st and 2nd place. I was curious why there wasn't a third place winner. When I asked the race director why that was he explained to me that you had to be part of the USATF club in order to be in the running for any awards. Of course I was not part of the club. He said if I was then I would have made third place. Go figure!

The next day I looked up the results page and it said that I ended up placing 4th female overall and 3rd in my age group. And I was the 12th finisher overall which was very fitting since my race bib was number 12. Guess it was meant to be.

I finished with a time of 9 hours 31 minutes and some change. I wish it could have been 9:30. But I can not be disappointed with that time considering I have never ran a 50 Miler before and I didn't think I was even going to come close to that when I first set out. Just to finish would have been an accomplishment it itself. 

So the question is would I ever do another one?  Right now I have no desire to anytime soon, but never say never. I will say 50 miles is good for me and I do not have any desire to do 100 miles nor a 100k. I will honesty say I am not any more sore than I feel after a marathon. Keeping my pace much slower then my marathon pace helped. Overall it was a great experience and I'm happy that I did it.  -L

                                             We are linking up with the gals from TOTR!

Weekly Wrap...October 14

I've had a pretty busy week leading up to my 50 Miler race. You may have seen that I was in several cities this past week and I definitely made the most of it with my crew.

The first day we had a long overnight in Jacksonville.  We decided to do some shopping. Later I went for a short run.

The following day we were in Milwaukee.  The crew wanted to go downtown to see a China lights festival but we did not have a long overnight and a 3am wake up call comes too fast so I opted for a short run instead.  Hopefully I'll get back there to see it before the festival ends. Has anyone ever gone to that? Is it worth seeing?

Even though we had a very early airport report time we only had one flight to Denver and got in at 630am. My other friend was there and we decided to head to Boulder since neither of us have ever been. We walked from our hotel to the train station then rode a bus up to Colorado University. 

We found a trail and did some hiking.  It is quite a workout! It started to thunder but we continued up the mountain (I know probably not the smartest but we came all this way). A little while later it started to rain and we continued to hike further up the mountain when we noticed it began to hail. We then decided we better cut our hike short and go back downtown and do some shopping. 

We were freezing by the time we got down the mountain and needed to warm up in a coffee shop. As soon as we found one of course it cleared up and the sun came back out.  Go figure! We did a little more shopping and found some great deals at a local consignment shop. 

It was a full day. Planes, trains, and automobiles we did that day and I was exhausted! Not to mention being up since 3am. I could not wait to get back to the hotel and crash.  And that is exactly what I did! 

The following day we had a long day of work then I drove home to get ready for my big race weekend! Can't wait to share my experience I had running my first 50 miler! Stay tuned! -L

We are linking up our week with Wendy and Holly!