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? 


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?


Scenes from a weekend: Breakfast, Beer & Cigar Box Guitars

Happy Tuesday!

Hope you all had a great weekend, I certainly did!

I snuck away to visit the family in Horseheads, NY and let me say, it was so fun (even though Farmer Ben was missing)!

Anyway, here is a brief peek inside my trip… I was a terrible blogger and didn’t take as many pictures as I should have.
I did manage to remember to take pictures at the Horseheads Brewing Co., great beers, great staff. If you are in the area, try the ” hot chocolate,” a mix of their jalapeño ale and chocolate porter!

That’s all for today! Enjoy!

Photos:
Dinner and dessert, my brother-in-law’s latest craft-cigar box guitars!, Horseheads brewing company randoms and more eats.

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Big (Racing) News!

Hi Friends!

As you may or may not know, I am one of the race directors for Strides for James. It’s a 5k/10k run  and walk, in memory of my co-worker who passed away in 2012. James was a runner and loved the outdoors…so this event is a perfect way to honor his memory.

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We are super excited to share that registration is now open! This year’s run is on May 10, 2014.

If you live in Upstate NY, or are looking for a reason to visit in the spring, I highly recommend signing up! All race profits go to the James Wilson Scholarship Fund at Clinton Community College. This cause is very near and dear to my heart and our scholarship committee has worked extremely hard to make the fund happen.

In its first year, the run had over 200 participants and raised over $5,000. This year we hope to double that.

Our second year will be bigger and better than last year, here’s why:

We’ve already have some AMAZING sponsors lined up. I can’t wait to fill you all in… It hurts to keep it under wraps right now!

We’ve moved the event back to Chazy, NY (where James lived). That’s right, we are back on his home turf!

We’ve lowered the registration fee…and who doesn’t love saving money?

If you have any questions, would like to volunteer or are interested in sponsorship opportunities, you can email us at stridesforjames@gmail.com.

To register, use this link: http://www.active.com/chazy-ny/running/races/strides-for-james-2014-4941580.  *

*Please note, there will be team and family discounts. Please contact us at the above email address for information regarding these discounts.

Anyway, please pass this along! Hope to see you on race day….and I apologize now for future posts written on this…I am pretty darn excited!

Let’s chat, what races are you signed up for this year? Ever volunteered/directed a race? What are some of your favorite charities?

 


Scenes from a Long Weekend-Part I

Coming off a long weekend is really hard. It’s Wednesday, but my body thinks that it’s Tuesday…and my brain just really wants it to be Friday again! Combine that with the food hangover from eating…everything… yikes! See the dilemma?

Anyway, Ben and I were super blessed this weekend as we had family visiting. My dad and his wife and their good friend Gary rolled into town on Friday night. I picked them up on Saturday morning and we took a leisurely drive to Saranac Lake, NY…about an hour away.

You see, there was this amazing local food festival going on in conjunction with the Saranac Lake Farmers’ Market. It was the Farm 2 Fork Festival. Click here for more info. Basically, it’s a celebration of local growers and producers…and lots of delicious food, demonstrations and workshops.

It was $10 for a ticket and you got to try a lot of good food, made by locals–right up my alley! Unfortunately it as a bit of a dreary day, but that didn’t stop us from getting our localvore on…

Anyway, here are some photos….

The menu

The menu

 

Dad and me.... in the drizzle...

Dad and me…. in the drizzle…

 

Plate 1...the first trip around... loved the quinoa!

Plate 1…the first trip around… loved the quinoa!

 

Dad, totally thrilled that I'm taking his picture....

Dad, totally thrilled that I’m taking his picture….

 

Plate 2: not as much as plate 1, but holy moly that ice cream was delicious!

Plate 2: not as much as plate 1, but holy moly that ice cream was delicious!

 

Speaking of ice cream....

Speaking of ice cream….

 

I loved this station...

I loved this station…

 

Fridge Pickle Bar

Fridge Pickle Bar

 

Kale and Carrots...

Kale and Carrots…

 

I love purple.

I love purple.

 

One farmer had such gorgeous flowers...I took 2341354132 photos.

One farmer had such gorgeous flowers…I took 2341354132 photos. And I loved this kohlrabi!

 

Sprouts and spuds!

Sprouts and spuds!

 

Radishes...be still my beating heart!

Radishes…be still my beating heart!

 

I love all the color!

I love all the color!

 

a closer look....

a closer look….

 

More flowers...

More flowers…

 

 

 

Anyway, as you can see…I had a really good time strolling around the market, eating and hanging out with the family…but that’s not all that we did this weekend!  Stay tuned for more scenes….

 

How was your long weekend? Any big plans for September? What did you eat this weekend?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Scenes from a Weekend Hike

I should have posted this last week as we did the hike two Sundays ago…but …I didn’t.

Anyway, Ben and I were invited to chaperone a church youth group hike. Per usual, we decided the morning of that we would do it and threw a few snacks, the camelbak, some Energy Bits, and clothes in the back of my car. After church, we picked up some subs to eat for a quick lunch.

We were told the hike would be pretty easy… this was only half-true. The first three-quarters of a mile is flat… the rest is a nice little incline, the whole way up.

In spite of the steep climb, it was totally worth it. Interested in doing the hike?

Click here for more info.

Here are some views from the top….

Battle Wounds....

Battle Wounds….

Wild blueberries growing up the mountain=blue teeth

Wild blueberries growing up the mountain=blue teeth

Take 2.

Take 2.

Catamount Mountain, August 2013

Catamount Mountain, August 2013

Worth it.

Worth it.

Perfect Day.

Perfect Day.

Anyway, it turned out to be a great day for a hike and I am so glad we decided to go. This is definitely one of the harder hikes I have done, especially once we got closer to the top, but I felt good.

Hiking, yes or no? Favorite outdoor activity?  Are you a last-minute person like me or a planner?


All Dolled Up

As you know, yesterday the hubby and I celebrated two years of marriage. Here’s a little recap.

For breakfast, Farmer Ben made cinnamon swirl French Toast with mascarpone and his homemade strawberry topping…along with some super strong French Roast. Divine.

Delicious-ness.

Delicious-ness.

I had planned on making a special anniversary dinner, but between working like a mad-woman, wedding things and an unexpected trip to my mother’s house after work, I had neither the time nor the ambition to cook anything last night.

Luckily, we had a gift certificate to use at a local fancy-schmancy restaurant.

I hurried home after visiting with my mother and hurried to get all dolled up.  I also need to mention that I love having short hair because it literally cuts getting ready time in half. The perks of having an awesome hair stylist.

Ben came home and saw that I was dressed up and asked where we were going.

He later admitted that he wanted to jump up and down and yell, “Yes! We’re going out!!!”

I’ll let you imagine that for a moment.

Anyway, after making a quick reservation and giving Ben some time to get ready, we headed out the door.

This was our first time at this restaurant and it did not disappoint. Unfortunately Ben wouldn’t let me take any photos of our food, but I will tell you that it was delicious and we will be going back. We started our with a bottle of Spanish red…obviously, my pick.

I forced Ben to take pictures before our wine came out.

Pre-dinner photos:

So handsome.

So handsome.

Please notice my gorgeous tan-lines.

Please notice my gorgeous tan-lines.

After I forced politely asked our server to take a picture of us on our anniversary, we each received a complimentary glass of champagne. Winning!

We really do like each other!

We really do like each other!

Anyway, I’m sure you’re interested in what we had for dinner. I know that’s all I would want to know….

Appetizer:

The house smoked salmon. And complimentary olives, baguette and butter…all were devoured.

Entrees:

Ben ordered an elk steak special and oh my goodness it was good.

I ordered twin filets with tawny port and a gorgonzola demi…totally worth it. I have a weakness for gorgonzola, so–completely unlike my normal dining experience–I knew exactly what I was going to have within two minutes of looking over the menu.

Both of our entrees came with smashed potatoes (not the bagged kind that most restaurants get!), carrots and green beans topped with REAL Hollandaise. Yum!

For dessert, we split the crème brulee. Again, fantastic.

Although the prices were higher than most places in the area, it was totally worth it…even if we hadn’t had a gift certificate that covered most of our bill. Maybe it’s because I work in a restaurant, but I didn’t find anything over-priced, especially for the quality of the food.

The food was good and hand-crafted, the service was excellent and the atmosphere was perfect for a quiet dinner for two–not too casual and not overly pretentious, either.  We left with full bellies and happy mouths.

Overall it was a perfect evening.

If you’re in the area and looking for a great restaurant, check out Anthony’s Restaurant and Bistro.

What about you? Where do you go to celebrate? What is your go-to meal when you order? Do you take forever or do you know right away? Are you an obnoxious photo-taker like me? Wine: Red or White? Domestic or imported?

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for today… I won’t be posting too much over the next few days at it is wedding weekend for our dear friends! I can’t wait for the celebrations. So, happy early weekend!