2014 Running Recap

Since I spilled my guts about my 2014 great racing plans gone awry last week, I figured that I should give you all a proper recap. Looking back, I kind of failed at posting race recaps this year.

Anyway, I did nine races this year…with the schedule I had, I am pretty proud of that! True, I didn’t have any crazy PRs or end up doing a full marathon, but it wasn’t too bad of a year after all.

Races of 2014 Past:

Race 1: Run to Chocolate. This was only a two mile race, but Farmer Ben and I had so much fun!
Time: 18:44

Race 2: Frostbite 5k. The day after Run to Chocolate… It was cold. REALLY cold. But we ran fast, had fun and our friends’ son ran his first 5k that day! Time: 29:01

Race 3: Doc Lopez Run for Hope (5k). I was supposed to do the half but after taking a spill at work and messing my knee up, I decided to drop down to the 5k. It turned out to be a pretty fun race and had amazing post-race food! I took second in my age group.
Time: 28:28

Race 4: Plattsburgh Half Marathon. This was my first (official) half marathon. My friend Kristy ran with me the whole race (even though she is faster than me), and I am so glad she was there! We were decked out in pink tutus and got a lot of encouragement along the way because of this wardrobe choice. My training for this was…okay. I did a few long runs. Regardless, it was great to spend a couple hours hanging out with Kristy, running all over Plattsburgh. The hardest part was running on the neighborhood streets behind the college, I don’t know why but that part of the course really messed with my head. Either way, it was a good race. Time: 2:28:30

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Race 5: Families Helping Families 5k. This was really well put together and had an interesting and flat course. I ran the fastest 5k I’ve done in a couple of years and ended up running into an old friend. Another plus? The proceeds went to a local charity.
Time: 27:34

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I stopped my watch late...

Race 6: Biggest Loser Half Marathon. Not gonna lie, this sucked. I wasn’t sure I was going to do this race but I ended up signing up at the expo the day before. The race took place shortly after the restaurant opened and I really hadn’t done any running (other than 4 or 5 miles here or there) in at least a month. We worked really late the night before and I woke up knowing that this was going to be tough. Kristy started out with me (we rocked our pink tutus again) but I immediately started feeling some stomach discomfort and told her to go on without me a few miles in. From mile five to six, I seriously considered not finishing but I refused on the grounds that I had paid to race. I ended up walking a lot and finished about 15 minutes slower than the half I had done a month before. As for the race itself, it was a let down in that I expected more people to be out watching/cheering, especially down town. Also, there were so many runners in the 5k but hardly any running the half.
The plus side is that I had a lot of people cheering me along the course and the volunteers were great!
Time: 2:45:49

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Race 7: Dirty Girl Mud Run in DC/MD. My friend Liz scored a Groupon deal on this race and I ended up road-tripping with our friend Kayla down to DC. This was my first obstacle run and first time running a women-only race. We had a good time.
It was rainy and cold…and muddy… I think the best part was being able to hang out with Liz and Kayla for the weekend, eating delicious food and drinking too much wine. The only negative aspect was the parking was super disorganized and the wait for the showers/changing area was outrageous.  Luckily, we aren’t that modest and ended up changing in the parking lot.
Time: I have no idea!

Race 8: Adirondack Ragnar Relay. Shortly after the mud run, I decided to drop down to the half marathon for Wineglass and Ben and I got an invitation to join our friend’s Ragnar team. Of course we said yes.

I chose the shortest leg but also ended up running a few extra miles for one of our teammates. Ben chose one of the longer legs and hit a distance PR. I was so so so proud of him! Unfortunately, he ended up hurting his knee.
Ragnar also showed me that I was not in that great of shape and confirmed that my decision to do the Half instead of the Full was the right one.
Time: various.

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Race 9: Wine Glass Half Marathon. I was excited to run this as it takes place where I grew up…but also pretty nervous…Part of this was my total lack of training in the months of September and most of August, and part was that I put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself with racing and this was no exception. I was thrilled that Farmer Ben was (unexpectedly) able to join me on the trip down to my sister’s (where we stayed) and we got to spend some time with the family, toodling around my old stomping grounds. We hit up the race expo to pick up my bib and swag bag (champagne for the win!) and then spent the rest of the day with the family.

On Sunday, we woke up at an ungodly hour and my sister and Ben drove me to meet the shuttle to the starting line. There was some confusion with this and I breathed a sigh of relief because if I had shown up any later, I would have been one of the poor people who missed the last shuttle and weren’t able to race. This was the first time I had taken a bus to the starting line, luckily, I met some pretty cool people waiting. As my bus was one of the last ones to arrive the starting area, I had to sprint to the bag check and the porta-potties and barely made it to the start line before the gun went off. There were a lot of people!

Since I had already decided that I wasn’t going to race this, I just had fun, talking to the people around me and enjoying the autumn scenery. The weather was perfect.

I hung out with a couple of the pace groups, but ended up leaving them so I could be alone with my thoughts. I randomly ran right by my sister, Meghan, and Farmer Ben (unbeknownst to me, they would end up buying a new battery for my car because mine died…Thanks!) just before the 8 mile mark. This made me so happy, I can’t even tell you! Running down Market Street, toward the finish line, I passed my dad and was called a Bad Ass by another runner (she found out I had run it the weekend before).

The finish area was super organized and there was delicious soup, pizza, bagels and other goodies. I ended up eating half of the items and sharing the rest with Ben and my dad.

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I ended up running the race in 2hrs and 31 minutes… not my fastest time for 13.1, but I was definitely happy with it, considering my training.

To be honest, I got a little emotional, especially watching the first marathon runners cross the finish line (it turns out, I actually ran Cross Country with the winner!)…people of all abilities, running to complete the elusive 26.2 mile race… and I wasn’t even one of them this year! Then Ben told me that he was really proud of me and I almost cried.

I definitely enjoyed this race the most, from the hand-blown glass medal, to the volunteers and the finish on Market Street, it was really well organized and everyone was SO nice. My family being there definitely helped.
Time: 2:31 (I think)

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In short, It was not the year I had planned, but it still pretty fantastic!

Your turn: Favorite race? Greatest achievement in 2014? 

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Doc Lopez Run for Hope; Elizabethtown, NY

Last Saturday, I woke up early. This will shock you, but I really hate getting up early—especially on weekends. However, I will do it for a race (long runs are still debatable).
 
I had registered for the Run for Hope a few weeks earlier and had hoped to do the half marathon. Unfortunately (and in addition to my sporadic training) I slipped at job number 2 and managed to bang up my knee… which caused me to skip my last  two long runs.

On Friday night, while having a fancy date night out with Farmer Ben, I was still debating which distance I was going to do.

My Thought Process:

“I know I CAN finish the half BUT it is a pretty challenging course (read: HILLS). So the big question is should I run the half and risk messing up my knee in doing so? Or play it safe and stick with the 5k? I’m not expecting a great time, regardless…but is it worth running it just to run it?!”  

 
On Saturday morning, the 2 glasses of wine I had at dinner were not settling well and I was not looking forward to (another) cold and windy run. I took some ENERGYbits and drank a giant glass of water…then I stumbled around gathering everything I would need to race—including a change of (dry) clothes. I ended up leaving a few minutes later than I wanted to, but I wasn’t too worried as I knew that this was a relatively small race.

On my way out of town, I stopped and got iced coffee and a bagel for breakfast and jumped on the highway to make the 40 minute trip south to Elizabethtown.

As long of a drive as it is, it’s one of my favorites view-wise.  I blasted the radio and tried to not drive off the road (driving conditions were horrible!). My stomach was flip-flopping as I drove and weather conditions were, for lack of a better word, crappy.

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Once I pulled into the school parking lot, I had made my decision. I found the race director, introduced myself and asked if it would be possible to switch to the 5k. Of course this was not a problem…even if I wasn’t entirely happy with my choice.

After getting my registration/check-in straightened out, I wistfully watched the half-runners jump on the waiting school bus and drive away to their starting line…then I realized that I had about an hour and a half to kill before the 5k started. So, I got some water, found the bathroom, caught up on my tweets/Instagram/favorite blogs and finally went into the high school gym to ditch my hoodie and keep warm. I ended up running into someone I knew (her husband was doing the race) and chatted with her while I stretched.

I have to say, I was pretty impressed with how hi-tech this race was. We even had an ankle timing chip—my first time racing with this!
 

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I also noticed this little gem in the swag bag (yup, no shame).

 

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Race promo!

Anyway, we lined up in front of the school and waited for the race to start. It was a flurrying and windy. I had opted for a pair of tights, a long sleeve core layer, a t-shirt and my trusty blue hat.

The 5k was an out and back, complete with some little hills  and an uphill finish. The wind was rough running out, there was one spot that I felt like I just wasn’t moving. Coming back was really nice because the wind was at our backs.

It started snowing even harder right after I finished. Not gonna lie, I was happy that I opted out of the half at this point.

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Yes, that is snow.

After taking the obligatory post-race photo, I headed back into the gym to scope out the snacks. Locally made delicious looking bagels (I may have grabbed two of these to bring home with me), coffee, hot tea, a great looking salad and some homemade chili. I opted for the latter options.

 

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Will run for snacks

I ended up hanging around to wait for my time and the awards ceremony and I’m so glad that I did!

My official time was 28:28 and I placed 2nd in my age group (16-29!)—24th overall—not gonna lie, I was pleasantly surprised. I hadn’t really gone into this with a race mentality, so placing was an added bonus.

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Surprise

They butchered my name…but I’ve gotten used to this.

Overall, this was a great race; super chill, very well organized and a great group of people. I will definitely do this again (hopefully, running the half).

Let’s chat: Ever had to change your distance on race morning? Favorite post-race snackage? What are your plans this weekend?


Mischief Managed

So… things have been a bit nuts lately. For real… This post is, for lack of a better word…a mish-mash of everything.

Race planning is still going strong. We’ve gotten even more sponsors and are getting more registrations… have you signed up yet?!

We also put up our really sweet banner.

Donated by Loreman's. Pretty sweet!

Donated by Loreman’s. Pretty sweet!

Check out our Facebook page to see some really awesome prizes!

I’m taking a really cool class through the University of Florida, but it’s got bonkers forum posts. Seriously…every morning I have approximately 27 new emails notifying me that someone added to a thread. I think it’s time to update my subscription settings….I just can’t keep up. Per my usual fashion, I am behind on my journal posts (whoops!) but will be catching up this weekend. The good thing is, I am getting a refresher on economics.

Our home has turned into a chicken sausage test kitchen. Really delicious… but holy cow (ha ha! Get it?) , I’ve been getting so much protein lately! My body is so…confused!

Here’s what we had for dinner last night:

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Spaghetti with Chicken Meatballs.

I’ll call it a win.

Tonight, I’m making this sauce…partly because I need to use up the cauliflower that has been hanging out in the kitchen for the last week and partly because it’s delicious….and pretty good for you.

I have cookies to bake for people who have been pretty awesome lately.

I really want it to start getting warm outside. Why do I live in Upstate NY again? Also, why does everyone have their cranky pants on today?! Geesh!

Also, I made a really awesome (slightly crazy) decision the other day and cut my hair… super short. I love it! Thank you, Lianna!

Mischief Managed.

Mischief Managed.

Happy Friday!


Confession Time: Life, Lately.

It’s finally Friday.

The weekend.

Today, we are doing a lunch-time perch fry at work . I made pumpkin cookies with chocolate chips. Recipe is coming…I still have half a pumpkin in my fridge!

There are some perks of living in the North Country…like random Friday Frying at lunch. Yum. Is it sad that this is the highlight of my week? I don’t feel bad.

I’m obsessively reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. I started The Girl Who Played with Fire last night and I have a feeling I won’t be sleeping much until I finish it..probably sometime in the next two days.

I am also obsessed with the library. Movies, books, cookbooks. My inner nerd is so happy these days. Yesterday, I borrowed Citizen Kane and requested a few books that I have been dying to read. I also took out a book on Jewish Food for Farmer Ben. He loves it. I love him. It’s perfect.

My last post highlighted a serious food event. I melted a giant chunk of dark chocolate in a double-boiler. Then I dipped pretzels, placed them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and stuck them in the freezer. Such a quick and easy snack to satisfy your sweet and salty craving. Farmer Ben had gotten to the pretzels during the day, so I’ll have to make more this weekend. Le Sigh. Thankfully, I have a ridiculous brick of chocolate that is dying to be used.

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Chocolate Pretzels.

That’s another thing. The hubs and I have gotten into a routine of prepping food on Sunday night for the week. I blame our Financial Peace class…

But I love it. I get to mess up the kitchen, chat with the hubs and daydream about all the delicious things we’ll be eating throughout the week.

We typically soak some kind of bean, cook off some rice, pasta or quinoa, make a batch of tortilla dough to hang out in the fridge until we are ready to whip up some breakfast burritos or wraps, chop up some veggies, boil some potatoes for breakfast and cook some kind of meat or lentils. I even make granola or bread when the mood strikes!

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Aprihop Beer Bread with Lemon Peel and Tarragon. Another Sunday Adventure

It’s almost therapeutic. Until I have to do the dishes.

Also… Farmer Ben and I have Serrano Cream Cheese. Delicious. And Brilliant. Especially on breakfast burritos.

I’ve also rediscovered my love of all things pickled… like pickled asparagus.

Pickled Asparagus and beer bread. Dinner.

Pickled Asparagus and beer bread. Dinner.

Running has been rough. It’s been cold. Really cold. I feel shin splints coming on. I hate shin splints…I am not sure what to do. On one hand, I need to keep running. I need to get those miles in. On the other, I don’t want shin splints or other weird aches and pains I’ve been having.

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A surprisingly warm night. You can’t tell but I am actually wearing 37 layers.

My body hasn’t been very happy with me lately, which further frustrates me. I’m playing around with my food intake to see if I can figure it out.

On a happier night, the hubby and I, after a bit of a hiatus, moved onto Level 2 of the Shred. It’s hard, but in a good way!

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Post Shred.

I desperately need new running shoes. But I’m broke. I think it’s time to get a part-time gig…as much as I don’t want to.

I recently discovered Pinch of Yum. Great site with some great recipes. Check it out!

I also discovered Dinner with Julie. Ditto.

This is probably going to offend some people, but I want to put it out there. You are NOT going to hell if you eat meat on a Friday. Sorry to disappoint you.  If you need further clarification, open up your Bible and read Mark 7:15-23. If you still feel that you need to deny yourself, that’s fine, too. To each their own.

Speaking of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 has been all over my brain lately. I think it has something to do with the fact that I am training. Regardless, this passage has kept me pushing through a lot of tough situations lately.

Race planning has officially taken over (most of) my life. Speaking of which, if you’d like to enter Strides for James, click here. Not only do you get a sweet t-shirt, you also get entered into a drawing for some amazing prizes. Do it!

The amount of sponsors we are racking up is crazy. I am just overwhelmed.

This is a lot of hard work, but I am so looking forward to the outcome. Seriously. We are not only going to reach our goal, but we will surpass it.

I think that’s all for now.

Happy Friday. 🙂


Better Late than Never…

So, to continue on my game of catching up…

This weekend was, in a word, phenomenal! For real. I haven’t had that much fun in a long time.

Ben and I ran the Chief Run 5k, benefitting the Wounded Warrior Foundation, with some friends on Saturday morning. It was chilly, but the sun was shining. I was nervous but the elation that came from having Ben do a race with me overshadowed anything else.

Once I got in the zone, I just kept plugging away and felt so in tune with the environment. Our times were …not great, but we ran the whole thing and we finished.

I’ve even talked Ben into doing another race this weekend!

Post Race: “Gross But Necessary” (shoutout to Pato!)

One thing I did learn? I have a lot of hill work to do. Seriously. My hips were screaming the next day, but it was worth it. It’s also time to add in some speed workouts!

After the race, we continued our weekend of fun with Cinco de Mayo celebrations, The Avengers, nachos, brisket smoking and a nice long walk. All in all it was a high-quality couple of days. We also got some good news and soaked up some Vitamin D. Win!

More catching up to come…stay tuned!


Food is Fuel

So, I realize that my normal Monday post was late…My apologies. Life got in the way, and by that I mean… I got crazy busy!

Anyway, with all the running lately, my body is protesting. My hips are sore, my legs are tense and I’ve been getting foot cramps. My abs even hurt. I like it. A lot. Call me a glutton for punishment, but it feels good to push my body further and harder than it’s used to…and to have it perform better than I thought it could.

Saturday was the big 5k… My nerves were unwarranted and even though I didn’t have the best time, it felt good to be out there, especially because Ben was running with me.

Sunday was a rest day, Ben and I stuck with a walk.  Yesterday I got a pretty good (but short) run in yesterday with a friend (Hi Tara!), in addition to a morning walk. Today will be a late run and tomorrow will be another run with Tara. I’ve also talked Ben into another 5k this weekend! Yes!

Another side effect of being more active? I’m starving. All the time! And I want to eat really random things. Call them minor food obsessions, if you will.

All I really want right now… in no particular order is the following:

  • A giant cheeseburger topped with fresh jalapenos and caramelized onions. Hold the fries…
  • Spaghetti and meatsauce
  • A Meatball sub on a nice crisp baguette
  • French Onion soup
  • Crabcakes
  • A Burrito-this isn’t that unusual
  • Roasted chickpeas- a new discovery for me. Addicted.  Recipe coming your way.
  • Brisket-Thankfully Ben just smoked one…and made peach habanero barbecue sauce to go with it. Holy yum! More on this coming your way.
  • Homemade hash-none of that canned crap.
  • Eggs. Again, not that unsual.
  • Ice cream
  • A nice toasty sub
  • A giant slice of chocolate cake
  • Peanut Butter
  • Kale. I am all about kale lately.
  • Annie’s White Cheddar Mac and Cheese. With plain/Greek yogurt.
  • Lentils

I’m seeing a lot of protein on this list. I’ve got a lot of cooking to do…and many more miles to run!

Do you have any foods that you crave when more active? 

P.S. Keep your eyes peeled for a special post in the next week!


It’s Finally Friday!

Just kidding. I mean…it is Friday. But it was a crazy week-it flew by…seriously, where did it go? And why did I not accomplish 3134 of the 4231 items on my list of things to do?!

In other news, I’m pretty proud of myself; I’m down 15 lbs (11 since using mfp) and I’m ALMOST into another pair of pants I haven’t worn in a looooong time. Again, big surprise.

I’m also back to running-after I got that nasty stomache bug a week or so ago, I’ve been bad about pounding the pavement…until this week!

Also, I’m having a minor freakout-I am running a 5k tomorrow! For fun. But I haven’t run a race in a long time! I’m not expecting much time-wise (not yet, anyway!). I’m just hoping to keep my nerves down until I start the race. Gah! Seriously, thinking about this is making my stomach flip-flop and… I think I just started sweating!

Another plus about this weekend? I’m off. So is Ben. We have brisket to smoke, 5ks to run and worlds to conquer! I am pretty excited!

We also signed up to be “Foodie Pen Pals!” For more information, click the badge on my homepage. We find out who our match is tomorrow and I am completely stoked. It’s a really awesome concept and I can’t wait to join in. I love mail…I turn into a kid at Christmas when I get mail…especially packages!

Alright, over and out folks.

Have a great weekend!!!