Tuesday, June 30, 2015

TOTR: 10k, drone, & goal update

I have a LOT to get to on this Tuesday morning so let's get right into it.

Linking up for my favorite day of the week--Tuesday's on the Run!

On Saturday, I ran in the Guest River Gorge 10k--a tough "trail"-esque out and back race. It's by FAR one of the most mentally challenging races I do all year. The first 3 miles is a gradual downhill slope and then, well, you turn around and have to come right back up. And it's absolutely terrible. ha. Am I the only one who would rather run a super steep hill and just knock it out rather than slowly climbing? Please tell me I'm not. 

Anyway, the race itself went much, MUCH better than I expected. The weather wasn't ideal but it didn't start really raining until after the race so at least I didn't get completely soaked. Unlike most of my races lately, I woke up on Saturday morning and felt AWESOME. I cut my mileage back toward the end of last week and that made a huge difference. 

It was a decently large race--about 125 runners from ALL over. I was nervous before hand but being a 10k, I didn't really put a lot pressure on myself because it's definitely NOT my specialty. I'm still fairly new to the distance running game and although I've got some good times, I'm still working on it. 

Anyway, the race started right at 9am and from the moment the gun went off, I made it my mission to not let a single female pass me. I was pumped, everything I had felt awesome, and mentally, I was ready for the challenge. I really tried pacing myself the first 3 miles in order to have something left for the end--I actually ended up running with the same guy that helped me finish last year. We joked before the start of the race that we were pushing each other to finish last year because neither one of us wanted to let the other pass. ha. 

I use the term trail race VERY loosely because basically it's a straight shot down a small incline along the side of a creek--meaning, everything looks EXACLTY. THE. SAME. Which is why this race was such a challenge. Even with a GPS, I had a hard time figuring out exactly how far I had left to go once making the turn around. This year, I made mental notes at a few specific landmarks and that made all difference. It gave me the mental edge that I needed. 

There was a girl a little too close for my comfort throughout a majority of the race which helped keep me on my toes. She made me nervous but I appreciated the fact that she pushed me to race harder. I slowly started pulling away from her around mile 4.5 and I think I ended up finishing about 30 seconds faster than she did. I actually ended up racing with a pack of about 3-4 guys for most of the last 3 miles and we were all pushing each other at the end. One guy in particular--I had never met him before--REALLY helped me the last half a mile. He could tell I was starting to fizzle out a bit and encouraging me and telling me to sprint it out and beat him. Have I mentioned how AWESOME fellow runners are?! 

Not the most flattering shot.. ha.

ANYWAY, long story short. I finished in 46:00 flat, 7:25/mile, and I was the first female across the line. Technically, this would be my PR but I REALLY want to run a 10k on a flat surface so I can see what I can REALLY do. Every one I've done so far has been incredibly hilly. ha. One day, right? 

And I have to say, this race wins the award for coolest prize for the top finishers--I won an f'n DRONE. It's tiny and you can't even put a camera on it but ether way, it's pretty freakin' awesome. I also won a free milkshake, $25 to a local BBQ joint, and a free rental at one of our local water tubing businesses. Not bad for a day's work, right?! 

Overall, it was a great race and it's slowly becoming one of my favorites. It's well organized, the course HARD but beautiful, and it's just a great atmosphere. 

I also lucked out with one of the COOLEST race pictures to date. I'm totally framing this. It makes me feel like a total badass. 

beating the boys. ;)

And before I go, a quick goal update. 

I decided at the beginning of the year, I running 2,015 miles in 2015. As of today, I've logged 1, 269. So, 6 months in, I'm a little ahead of schedule, which makes me feel good. ha. 

I've also been participating in the Runner's World Run Streak and am still holding strong there too. Only a few days left! I may keep it going for a while... we'll see. 

Anyway, there you have it. A super long update about all things running. Guess it's a good thing this is technically a running blog, right?

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL Tuesday. I have one more day of work left and then I'm on vacation for a WEEK!! :)


Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Favorites

TGIF! So stoked that a) it's Friday b) this time next week I'll running at THE BEACH and c) I have a fun, family & fitness filled weekend (alliteration anyone?).

Time to get right to my Friday Favorites!

Linking up with Clare, Heather, and the Virginia Bloggers today!

Friday Favorites

1. My Power Hour class this week has been SO. MUCH. FUN! I love having the freedom to finally be creative and really THINK about the workouts I'm putting together for others. Before getting into fitness a few years back, I just kind of thought instructors did whatever they wanted but man, coming up with an effective workout is so tough! Lots of thinking involved--it's like putting together a puzzle. It's been SUCH a fun week and experience.

2. I've been oddly obsessed with the Caramel Nut Brownie Luna Bars. Like, totally weird. The flavor has been out forever but for some reason, I'm just now jumping on board. Either way, they are AWESOME. My other favorite protein bars at the moment? The new Combat Crunch Cookies-n-Cream. They finally got them in at my local GNC and I immediately bought a few to try out. DELICIOUS! Although I still don't know if they're as good as the Cinnamon Twist Combat Crunch. (On a side note--the protein bar obsession is so, so, SO REAL ya'll)

3. I'm running a super tough 10K tomorrow and the overall male and female winners apparently will win a DRONE! WTF?! How crazy is that? Unfortunately, I don't foresee myself winning this one but it definitely gives me more motivation to get out there and rock the course. haha. I ran this race last  year and seriously--one of the toughest races I've done. The first 3 miles are downhill but then unfortunately, you have to turn around and come back up. And there are absolutely no breaks whatsoever. At no point is there a place where the course flattens out--it's just one long, continuous hill. It's super brutal. But I'm looking forward to it.. because I'm a runner and we're crazy and tend to enjoy pain and suffering. Funny how that works.

From the race last year!

4. I've got the itch for another tattoo. My best friends and I got one our senior year of college on a whim and I think it's about time for another. I'm really digging these running ones! I plan on getting one to celebrate my full marathon in November but I think I want another one before then.... ahh.

5. This article from PopSugar. SPOT. ON. I especially love the commentary on Insanity-- "Just one more set and then you get to barf." ha.

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL (and relaxing!) weekend! :)


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thinking Out Loud

TGI... Thursday?! Contrary to last week, this one has totally flown by. No complaints from me.

As always on Thursday, it's time to do a little thinking. Linking up with Amanda from Running With Spoons!

1. I made my college-version whiskey sours the other day and forgot how good potent they were. Still just as delicious as I somewhat remember!

2. My kitchen is a complete and utter wreck. Like, there are no words. It's such a bummer--it takes forever to clean and like, 2.5 seconds to get completely disgusting again. Ahh. Oh the joys of adulthood.

3. I found a staple from my college days randomly on Monday night. I was attempting to tidy up my house and low and behold, my nerd glasses which made an appearance almost every single party my senior year were found. I may have to start rocking them again. Just saying.

4. Special shout out to the UVA Baseball team for winning the National Championship last night! If my Cards couldn't get there and do it, at least my employer's/fellow ACC-ers did.

5. This time next week, I'll be on my way to Hilton Head, SC! We go every year for a week during the fourth of July and it's the BEST time. I'll be running the Firecracker 5000 again on the fourth--a CRAZY HUGE 5k race. We're talking almost 2000 runners for a 5k! It's insane and there's honestly no way to PR unless you're in the very front but it's an awesome way to start off the holiday.

This picture from last year always cracks me up because my lips were SO CHAPPED because they got scorched a couple of days before. It was pretty gross and even smiling hurt. ha.

6. I randomly bought a pair of Mizuno's off of Zulilly on Tuesday. I used to have a pair back in the day and they were awesome running shoes so when a neutral/stability shoe popped up for $39.99 AND in my size (I wear a size 12!! UGH!), I had to jump on it. I figured even if they aren't great running shoes, I always need a good pair of cushion-y (word?!) work/workout shoes.

There you have it! I'm off to go prep for my Power Hour class at 10am--we're doing a deck of cards workout today to end the week on a super, SUPER high note! I love teaching this class!

Have a wonderful Thursday!


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

TOTR: Regional Rehab 5k

Time for my favorite post of the week--Tuesday's on the Run! I decided I stick with the race recap theme since I ran another one this past weekend. So. Many. Races. Lately!

This past Saturday was one of my favorite races of the year. My town has a festival every summer and on the Saturday of the race, there's a big city wide yard sale so there are people EVERY WHERE! It's always motivating/fun to have people cheering you on. 

I'll be honest, waking up Saturday morning, I didn't feel the best. I didn't sleep well, my legs were tired, and I just felt groggy. I knew I'd probably have to race this one pretty hard in order to do well but I wasn't sure if I was up to it. 

Upon arriving for registration, I totally, TOTALLY psyched myself out. Big no-no. I looked at some of the other runners out there and mentally took myself out of the game pretty early on. I still have this mindset that I'm not that fast. Anyone else do this? 

The race was scheduled to start at 9am and I arrived somewhere around 8:15.. which gave me plenty of time to warm-up. But let's be honest, I'm a terrible runner and my warm-up generally consists of a couple of stretches, a trip to the bathroom, and yeah, that's about it. ha. I continued psyching myself out right up until the start of the race--maybe that's why I get so worked up over 5k's. 

The weather was decent on Saturday morning--a little hot but there was definitely rain around us. I got lucky during my run and didn't get poured on but a few people got DRENCHED.

The gun (okay, whistle) went off right at 9am and as soon as my feet started pounding the pavement, my adrenaline and competitive nature kicked in (thank God!) and it was go, go, GO for the rest of the race. I don't remember my exact splits but I know they were all pretty quick. The first mile absolutely flew by and before we knew it, mile 2 was up and it's the hilliest part of the race by far. Rolling hills. Blah.

Going into the second mile, I was the first female and probably 7th person overall at this point. There was a girl fairly close behind me (maybe 20 seconds?) and it was at that point that I made the decision to kick it into high gear and see what my legs could do. I wanted to win this race and defend my title (I won last year too).

I have to be honest, for as terrible as I felt before the race, I felt AMAZING during. My legs felt fresh, my breathing was good, I was pumped... I got lucky that everything just kind of fell into place. As mile 2 continued, I passed another 3-4 guys and found myself 3rd overall going into the final stretch. The guy in front of me was one of my good racing buddies and I knew if I just stuck near or around him, I'd be good to go.

Mile 3 was all downhill and I went for it. I made the decision that it was go big or go home and let's be honest.. I wasn't going home empty handed. I left it all out there and ended up finishing 3rd overall and first female and only missed my PR by a 1 (!) second.

Final time? 21:46.

It seriously still amazes me that when I first started running, I ran a 5k in 28+ minutes. Never in a million years did I ever, EVER think I'd get down to a sub 22 minute 5k. EVER!

Overall, I'm super happy with how this race turned out. Not really because I was first female but because I pushed through some mental blocks and felt strong throughout the race. I'll be the first to admit that 5k's aren't my favorite distance but I really enjoyed the race on Saturday.

Up next on my schedule? A a tough 10k on Saturday. I'm going to do my best to keep my mileage down this week so that my legs feel good but... we'll see what happens. ;)

Have a great Tuesday ya'll!


Monday, June 22, 2015

I am.

Happy Monday! If only the weekend could have lasted just a TAD bit longer, you know? I'd take an extra day.. or half a day..... or even an extra 2 hours (for sleeping purposes only, of course).

It was a pretty low key weekend around here--highlights included winning overall female at the 5k I participated in (I'll recap tomorrow! One second off my PR!), finally doing a ride along with my husband (so much fun.. I hate that I've waited so long to do it!), and making a pretty awesome (and easy!) no bake oreo cheesecake pie. It was totally worth the 2 3 slices I had last night for Father's Day. 

Because it's Monday and because I'm teaching a power hour class in a few minutes (it's going to be a good one!), here's a fun prompt I found on Erin's blog! Also linking up with Healthy Diva Eats for Marvelous Monday!

I am working on becoming less of a control freak, less scheduled, and more spontaneous. Life doesn't always have to be perfect, it doesn't always have to be planned, and it certainly should ALWAYS be fun. I'm getting back to that.

I keep all of my race t-shirts. I probably have at least 4-5 drawers full at this point. Yikes.

I wish I could go back 5 months ago. I'd do things a little differently this winter. 

I sing karaoke with my best friends. We used to go every Thursday night in college--it was soooo much fun. We sang in front of 300 people once on Bourbon Street in NOLA. Totally rocked it.

I dance terribly and only when I've had something to drink. But once I get going, you can't stop me!

I think I'd like to find a new hobby. Something I can do on the side that doesn't involve fitness/wellness. Of course I love what I do but.. I want to branch out and try something new!

I really want to go see the new Jurassic Park movie. I've heard it's awesome!

I need a vacation. It's been a trying month to say the least. I'm ready to be in relaxation mode in Hilton Head for a week.

I should start getting ready for my power hour class. It's a doozy. I hope my class is ready. :)

I can run a sub-1:40 half marathon. I never thought I'd ever say that. I was just happy when I hit under 2 hours for the first time. :)

I like chocolate. Way, way, WAY too much.

I love my husband. More than I will ever know how to put into words. 

I make a mean chickpea cookie dough dip. I've gotten it down to a science at this point!

I always think I could be better at something. I don't give myself enough credit but... perhaps I need to start cutting myself some slack. 

Have a great Monday everyone! May it be short and sweet!


Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Favorites!

TGIF!!! Seriously! What a week!

Let's jump right into my Friday Favorites--the faster I do this, the closer we are to the weekend! :)

Linking up with Clare, Heather, & the Virginia Bloggers today!

1. I start my Master's Program in a little less than a month! I'm so beyond excited ya'll. It feels so freakin' good to finally know what I want to do with my life... or well, at least I know what field I want to be in. ha. Fitness has been my passion for so long and I resisted for a long time thinking that it wasn't "good enough". How crazy is that? If it's what I love doing, then of course it's good enough. Growing up, it's almost drilled into our heads that in order to be successful, you need to make a lot of money. But what about happiness? I would much rather go into work everyday with passion than force myself to go into a job I absolutely hate. Don't let other people tell you what you should be doing--follow your heart.

2. Speaking of fitness, I've thoroughly, THOROUGHLY enjoyed putting together my own workout routines for class this week! I've put together some killer workouts--perhaps I'll share next week. It's really fun being able to do whatever I want. Again, I'm so in love with what I do!

3. I'm really trying my best to loosen up a bit. I think for a majority of this year, I've been "in the zone" and while that's good, it's also good to take a break for a bit. I'll start marathon training in a couple of weeks and it's going to get pretty intense so for the last couple of weeks, I've tried to get out of that "schedule" mentality. I can be very all or nothing and instead of having fun and being spontaneous, I'm very rigid and stick to my routine, no matter what. So, I've thrown that out the door this week. I've had fun, I've enjoyed copious amounts of chocolate, and I've gotten back to "me". I tend to lose sight of the fact that life is meant to be enjoyed and that it's okay to not be "on" all the time.

4. This article from Greatist. Some great advice and very much needed!

5. These pins. I plan on making at LEAST one of these for my Father on Sunday! (okay and maybe one just for me too....)
I'm pretty sure anything Chocolate Covered Katie makes I'm a fan of. Hot Fudge pudding cake?? SOLD.

Ice Cream Cake with Circus Animal Cookie Crust... YUM!
No bake chocolate chip cookie pie... can we talk about how EASY this one is??!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! I'll be back on Monday with a recap of my race (ha, sidenote, I first typed Face... awkward) tomorrow morning! Send some positive vibes my way! :)
And good luck to everyone else racing this weekend! Go out and KILL it!


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thinking Out Loud

Goodness--this has been a WEEK ya'll. And it's not even over yet! I don't think I've ever been happier to see a Friday. ha. Anyone else having one of those weeks?! Please tell me I'm not the only one?!

Time to do some Thinking Out Loud.

-Well, to start my week off, I totally CRUSHED my phone on Sunday. I was running and my hands got a little too sweaty and... bye bye iPhone. I was without communication for 2 solid days. Honestly, I can't say that I minded it too much. It reminded me of when I was in elementary/high school and actually had to CALL people. (The horror!) My new phone came in on Wednesday and I'm still trying to figure out how to get all of my pictures back. :( Anyone know how?!

-At work, we started our morning "Power Hour" classes and we have been kicking some major booty! I'm still working on getting comfortable teaching the group exercise format but so far, so good! For someone who used to be scared to DEATH to speak in public, I've come a long, LONG way. Another reason to love exercise... am I right?!

-I'm obsessed with this song. OBSESSED. I've listened to it at least 100 times. I like Ed Sheeran's version better than the original.

-Peter & I had a "Sunday Funday" on Sunday and I think I'm still trying to recover. ha. Maybe that's why my week has been insane?! Needless to say, my jalapeno margaritas weren't nearly as good as Mono Loco's in Charlottesville... but they were most certainly potent.

-My favorite race of the year is coming up on Saturday and of course, I've already made myself a nervous wreck. Never fails. Like I said.. I'm the only person who can go run a half marathon no problem and then wake up with my stomach in knots before a 5k. ha.

Time to get back to work! Hope you all have a wonderful Thursday and THANK GOODNESS TOMORROW'S FRIDAY! :)


Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Happy Tuesday! Yesterday was a heck of a Monday.. i.e., I had 25,000 steps before NOON. Which meant no time for a post.

But, no worries. I'm back today with another edition of Tuesday's on the Run!

I was going to go with the topic for the week but since I marked something off my running bucket list on Saturday, I figured I'd do a race recap.

Spoiler Alert:

I won the entire race. ha.

I've won overall female several times but I've never actually won a 5k. There were maybe only 15 people who ran but I was still able to knock something off of my running bucket list, which was pretty fun.

It was a great morning for a 5k--the weather was beautiful, not too hot, and the course was awesome. It was in a part of my county I've never actually been before so the miles went by super quick.

The start of the race was a little hectic.. okay, a lot hectic actually. Course directions were a little iffy and out of the blue, we started. Like, no countdown, no warning... just.... GO! Luckily my watch had already connected to GPS (#runnerprobz) and I had my playlist ready to go. I definitely lost a few seconds in the beginning though. The first mile, I hung around 2 guys who had a pretty good clip going and then once we hit mile 2 and I finally figured out exactly where I was going, I picked it up and never saw them again. I never saw anyone again until about 4 minutes after I finished actually.

The next two miles were awesome. Mostly because of the scenery! Like I said, it was a part of the county I had never been before and it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. And even better? NO HILLS! ha. That's always a good thing, right?

During the final mile, we ended up on one of the main roads and it was a little scary as cars were continuing to drive by but luckily, a few of my hubby's coworkers were working the roads to insure our safety so I wasn't super paranoid about getting run over.

I ended up finishing the 3.1 in a little over 22 minutes... 22:02 to be exact. I was a little bummed I didn't get under 22 but all things considered, I can't complain. It wasn't the most organized race but the course alone made up for that.

Saturday was the start of my summer racing schedule--I've got a race every Saturday from now until July 11th! Actually, I've got two planned for the 11th! I absolutely love spending my Saturday mornings towing the line of a race so I have a LOT to look forward to coming up.

What's your race schedule look like?

Have a great Tuesday!


Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday Favorites

Although my weekend won't be nearly as excited as last, I'm absolutely PUMPED that it's Friday. There's just something about Friday's during the summer that make them much more manageable. Am I right? Or maybe it's just me? ha.

Either way, I'm looking forward to having a relaxing weekend at home and hopefully getting a few projects out of the way that I've been putting off for way too long!

Linking up with Clare, Heather, and the Virginia Bloggers today.

Friday Favorites

1. I talked about them yesterday but the Reeses/Nutter Butter Balls I made for a work party yesterday were f'n FANTASTIC. They're a little sweet but if you're like me and have a sweet tooth the size of Texas, you'll absolutely love them. Actually, I think you'll like them either way but my husband is weird and doesn't like chocolate that much. WTF. I got the recipe here but substituted white chocolate for milk because I prefer it and I used CandiQuick from Wal-Mart because ain't nobody got time for shortening.

2. Spicaritas. Okay, I know I talked about these earlier in the week but it's still ending up on my Friday Favorites because they were THAT GOOD. I've been looking up recipes online so I can try and recreate it sometime in the near future. Aka, this weekend.

3. I'm running a 5K tomorrow--WOO! I've been very "blah" about 5K's as of late. I'm not sure if it's because I've ran so many over the last 4-5 years that I'm tired of them or if it's because I generally just prefer longer distances now but... I'm trying to pump myself up for tomorrow morning. Ideally, I'd like to come in under 22 but to be honest, I have no idea what the course is and have ran too many miles this week as is. BUT that being said, the weather is supposed to be nice and I love the atmosphere of race mornings so I'm looking forward to it.

4. This article from the Oatmeal about the do's and don'ts of your first marathon. I seriously CACKLED in my office reading this. SO. GOOD.

5. Vacation in a little over TWO WEEKS! We go to Hilton Head every year for the week of Fourth of July and it's PROBABLY my favorite place ever. I'm a total beach bum and absolutely love running around the island. I've also done the Firecracker 5000 for the last couple of years on the morning of the fourth and it's such a fun way to start off the holiday. Needless to say, the countdown is ON.

Okay, most definitely NOT Hilton Head... but I couldn't help but post a picture of the most amazing beach from our Honeymoon. 
What are your plans for this weekend? Do you have a vacation coming up?!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thinking Out Loud

I love when a work week flies by, don't you? Maybe it's because I had such a fantastic weekend with my BFF's or it's just been a really good week at work. Either way, I'm not complaining that it's already Thursday.

Time to do a little Thinking Out Loud

Linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons!

1. I've come to the realization that marriage is a lot like running. There are good days and bad days, struggles, victory, defeat, aches, pains, highs, lows... but at the end of the day, it's all driven by passion. I've learned a LOT in the 6+ months I've been married and although Peter & I don't agree on everything, I cannot imagine my life without him in it. I wonder what else I can compare running to....

2. I thoroughly enjoy being a morning person. I love being up before everyone else and having that few minutes of alone time to just think. I love how quiet it is, how peaceful everything seems..... it's perfect. It's hard to believe for a LONG time I HATED being up early. Any other early birds?

3. Edamame hummus is probably the best hummus out there right now. I thought it was going to be gross and omg... it's perfect. Oddly enough, it almost reminds me of spinach and artichoke dip? ha. Maybe I've been eating clean a little too long....

4. Speaking of (not) eating clean, I made these KILLER reeses nutter butter truffles yesterday for a work party we're having today. I'll elaborate on the recipe tomorrow but seriously--they taste like one of those Reese's eggs but like, 10 BILLION times better.

5. I start my master classes in a little over a MONTH! I'm so beyond excited. It's such a great feeling to finally feel like I'm going in the right direction! AHHH!

6. I've had the biggest craving for warm chocolate chip cookies lately! Actually, I just really want to bake something--it's been too long! I get in these moods where I don't want to bake anything and then, 3 months later, that's all I want to do. I'm not a great cook but baking? I can make some mean desserts. Trust me! Thinking out trying out these this weekend.

7. Speaking of being a terrible cook, I almost burned our kitchen down yesterday. I may or may not have accidentally turned on a burner with a plastic cutting board on it.......................... whoops.

Time to go seize the day... or something like that.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015


I typically take Wednesday's off from the blog but saw a link-up from Deb Runs that I absolutely had to participate in this week: The weekly word.

Deb Runs

Today's word?


As a runner, motivation is so, so, SO important. Running is SUCH a mental sport. Your body may be doing a majority of the work but if you're not in the run mentally, it can be a major challenge to keep going, especially on longer runs. This is where motivation comes in.

There have been plenty of runs I've had to dig deep for and let's be honest, it sucks getting up at 5:20am every morning. Am I right?

So what motivates me?

-Remembering how I felt when I was over 200 pounds--I felt trapped in my own body!

-Being able to say that I've ran 26.2 miles--even if it's just once.

-Eminem "Lose Yourself". ha. This has seriously been on my playlist from day 1. I bet I've listened to this song at LEAST 500 times over the last 8-10 years.

-The high I get when the run is over. There's nothing like it.

-When someone asks me what I had for breakfast and I can respond with "10 miles". ha. ;)

-Setting an example for my niece and my future children. I want to be around for a LONG time.

-Hopefully BQ-ing one day.

-Knowing that when I started out, I couldn't even run a mile and now my idea of fun are half marathons.

-Being the best I possibly can be, day in and day out.

I could seriously go on and on but these are just a FEW of the reasons I'm motivated to lace up my shoes and head out the door everyday.

What motivates you?


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

TOTR: Hot Weather & Running

Linking up again today for Tuesday's on the Run!

I love Tuesday's on the Run and I especially love today's topic: hot weather running. I obviously run all year long but summer runs are when I really fall in love with the sport all over again. There's just something about getting up super early on a Saturday, logging a few miles, and being absolutely drenched in sweat when I finish that I love. Maybe it's because back when I first started running, it was during the summer? I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but it certainly is mine.

When looking at marathons, the conditions I would ultimately be training in was a MAJOR deciding factor on a spring or fall race. I'll be honest--I know there are a lot of super heroes out there who can run in freezing cold temperatures but... I'm not one of them. More power to those of you who are though! Once it drops below freezing, I'm inside on a treadmill. No shame in my game.

Yeah. No thanks. 
I chose the Richmond marathon for various reasons but the biggest was definitely the fact that a majority of my training would be done during the summer. Whereas I know mileage wise I could have been ready for a spring race, I wanted to enjoy the process of training for my first marathon--not dread it. After looking back at the winter we had, I'm so overly happy with my decision it's not even funny.

That being said, like anything, it's important to stay safe when running during the summer months, ESPECIALLY when running longer distances. Here are a few tips that I follow--

1. Go early or go late--try to avoid the hottest part of the day! I prefer early morning runs during the summer, mainly because if I were to wait until 6-7pm, I'm not nearly as motivated. Unless it's for a race, I try to avoid running from about 10am-5pm as much as possible!

2. STAY HYDRATED! Hydrate before, during, and after your run. This may seem like an obvious tip but it's still important to keep in mind.

3. Run with a partner. When the temperatures start rising, the harder it is to get out there. I like having a reliable running partner to keep me accountable and to get me out the door.

4. Let others know where you're running and about how long you think it will take. Just in case something were to happen--although this is a good tip no matter what time of year you're running.

5. Take a break if you need to! Don't try and be a super woman! If you feel like you're overheating, stop and take some time to recoup. When I'm in Hilton Head, no matter how early or late I go running, it's ALWAYS ridiculously hot and humid. That being said, I always have a built-in midway point where I stop and cool off for a few minutes. It just so happens that it's on the beach and there's a big ocean to help me refresh but still. :)

6. Take it inside if you need to! If you have access to a treadmill, use it!

I hope these tips help you in the coming months--especially for you other hot weather runners out there.

What's your favorite running weather?! 


Monday, June 8, 2015

Girls Weekend in Richmond/C-Ville

Good Monday morning! I'm back from an incredible weekend in RVA/C-Ville with my very best friends in the entire world. I've been looking forward to this weekend for a LONG time but it wasn't until I got there on Friday night that I realized just how much I needed it! We had such a wonderful time and I always come back from our trips refreshed, happy, a little heavier (ha!), and grateful that I have 3 ladies who mean the world to me. It just goes to show that sometimes sitting on the sidewalk the first night of your freshman year of college can end up being one of the best things you ever did. ;)

There's absolutely NO way I can even begin to recap every single thing that happened this weekend so I'm going to do a photo dump instead. 

Linking up with Healthy Diva Eats for my weekend recap!

On Friday, we signed up for a groupon for RVA Paint Nite and it was so much fun! Does it seriously get any better than starting off a girls weekend with a little paint and a (few) drinks?! We had a blast. And I have to be honest, I'm actually kind of happy with how my feather turned out! ha. I'm terrible at painting/crafting but I didn't do too shabby. 

I started off our Saturday morning with a super quick mile to keep my RW Running Streak going and then we got ready and headed to one of my favorite places in Virginia, Charlottesville! The girls had never been there so I did my best to show them around my favorite places (not that I'm an expert by any means!). 

We started off the day at Keswick Vineyards for a quick tasting and where some guy graciously took our photo above--it's one of my favorites! I'm not much of a wine person but it was pretty good! We were going to go to a few others but decided to head to the downtown mall for a quick lunch and to look around. 

A quick trip to the mall turned into us being there until about 10pm that night. ha. Go figure, right? We did LOTS of window shopping, grabbed some gelato, and then as we were about to leave around 5:30, decided we should stop by Mono Loco's for a Spicarita, since they've come so highly recommended. 

I'm not a margarita fan by any means but this.... this was one of the best drinks I've had in my life. So good in fact, that I had four. ha. Whoops. Totally worth it. If you're ever in C-ville, please, please, PLEASE go grab one at Mono Loco's. You won't regret it... well, you might if you had four like me.. but it's still worth it. ha. 

Sometimes, you just have to flex, you know? 

Peter's sister and her boyfriend ended up meeting us there for about an hour or so and it was great catching up. Once we finally left the restaurant (3 hours later!), they showed us probably one of the COOLEST places I had no idea existed on the downtown mall. It was a hidden bar down an alley way with no sign whatsoever, just a door with a wine barrel out front. You would have no idea it was there unless someone took you there or told you about it, like in our case. But, you open this creepy door, walk up some steps, and it's so. flipping. NEAT. It's this super nice, 20's looking bar and had we not been exhausted. we would have stayed for a while. But I do plan on going back next time I'm in town! 

Sunday, we got up, made breakfast, and unfortunately had to say our goodbyes. :( That's always, ALWAYS the hardest part. But what I love about my group of friends is that we plan our girls trips way in advance so that we know we have something to look forward to in the coming months. And actually, we'll be getting together in July for another weekend getaway in Charlotte.

 And even more exciting? We've tentatively planned to spend my last birthday in my 20's in Key West in February. You KNOW that's going to be a good time. :)

So, that was my weekend in a very, VERY brief nutshell. I'm back at work this morning with a 10 miler under my belt and ready to tackle another week. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and I'll be back tomorrow with another edition of Tuesday's on the Run.

Go out there and kick Monday's butt! 


Friday, June 5, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday! I'm writing to you from the comforts of my couch this morning and I couldn't be happier. ha. I haven't taken a Friday off in a while and I gotta be honest--it feels GLORIOUS. Of course, let's be honest. As soon as 5:20am hit, I was WIDE awake. Don't worry though--I went back to bed. ;)

Time for some Friday Favorites! Linking up with Clare, Heather, and the Virginia Bloggers.

1. This cup (I guess?) that I got in the mail last week from the Kentucky Derby Half Marathon! I was pretty pumped to get 52nd out of over 6500 female runners (whoa!) but had no idea I would get anything for it. So cool! I proudly put it on my awards shelf at work. :)

2. National Running Day! I LOVED it! Anytime you can bring awareness to one of your passions is a good thing in my book. I love being a runner because let's be honest--ANYONE can do it. I think people have this idea in their head that you have to run a certain number of miles or run so many times a week or have a certain PR to be considered a "real" runner and that's not the case. If you lace up your sneakers and hit the pavement or the treadmill, you're a runner. Period.

3. Speaking of running, I'll start training for my marathon SOON! I can't believe it's already time! I plan on finalizing my plan in the next week or so and will officially start in a couple of weeks. Ahh! My mileage base is already pretty decent (anywhere from 40-60 miles a week) so I'm trying to find the "right" plan for me. I'll have an official marathon post going up in a few weeks talking about my goals (I have three!) and what I want out of the race. In the mean time, has anyone ever run Richmond?! Any tips? Or any marathon tips in general? Things are about to get REAL up in here. ha. 

4. These pins. YUM! If I made everything I pin, I'd be at LEAST 500 pounds by now. Just saying.



5. It's officially GIRLS WEEKEND! I'm so beyond excited to head to Richmond today to see my best friends! We bought a groupon for a fun paint class tonight, plan on heading to Charlottesville tomorrow, and who knows what else we'll get into while we are together. Love our weekends and love that we make it a point to get together every few months. <3 So blessed to have not just one best friend but three. 
These weekends ALWAYS make me miss college... sort of. I don't know if I could hang with my college self anymore--ha. Anyone else feel that way?! 

Have a great weekend ya'll! Be back on Monday with a full recap! 


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Thinking Out Loud: Running Survey

Switching up my Thinking Out Loud for a fun National Running Day survey I saw floating around yesterday. Considering just about every day is running day for me, I figured I'd post it a day late. ;)

Why do you run?
I run because... well... that's just what I do. It originally started out as a way to lose weight about 10 years ago and slowly morphed into one of my biggest passions. I run because it's my coffee in the morning, my therapy when I'm having a bad day, the kick in the ass I need on a lazy day, and it's my "me" time. I run because I love it and love the feeling I get from it.

How do you plan to celebrate National Running Day?  
I celebrated with a 7.5 miler yesterday morning. I usually take Wednesday's pretty easy on the running front but made an exception this week. :)

How many miles have you run so far this year?  
Oh boy... before last Monday I was right around 1,015 for 2015. I'd say by the end of this week I should be right around 1100.

What big events do you have on the race calendar so far this year?  
Besides my first marathon in November (Richmond!), I'll just be running some smaller races throughout the summer. I'll probably end up signing up for another half sometime in September or October. I also plan on running another Spartan Race or two.

Before you leave for a run you must have:  
My phone, sunglasses (even if it's raining... I can't run without them!), a good playlist, compression socks if it's a longer run, and my GPS watch. That's about it. Obviously when I started upping my mileage for marathon training I'll be packing fuel as well.

Do you have one favorite app to track your runs?
Nike running. I'm a competitive person so I like being at the top of the leader board. ;)

Who is your favorite running partner?
My boss and I have some pretty killer runs usually. We have the same mentality when it comes to health/fitness so we're always pushing each other to go further and faster. We like doing what others won't or don't want to do. :) We also get some good convo's in and get a lot of "work" related talk done. Much better than having a meeting in an office, right?!

What races have you run so far this year?  
Let's see.. I ran a 10k in Asheville, my Kentucky Derby half in April, I ran a 5k in May, and a half relay in April as well. Not many so far this year.. although starting next week, I'll have a race every single weekend for a month straight. :)

Describe your relationship with running in one word: