Thursday, April 10, 2014

Atlanta Trail Ragnar- Recap

2014 is my year of fun when it comes to running. If I don't feel like going for a run, I don't. If my friends are all partaking in a race but it doesn't sound appealing to me, I won't register. I have to tell you, its quite liberating to go from running 15+ halfs / year to not having one on your calendar at all. Truth is, I have ZERO desire right now to 'race'. In time, I hope this changes, but for now I'm just enjoying the time off. 

What I do have the desire to do is RELAYS!!! I love the camaraderie, scenery, challenges, new friendships, and best of all- lasting memories that come from each relay I do. Since this year is all about having fun, the races that I have been open to running are all relays. I completed Del Sol Ragnar in February, just got back from Ragnar trail ATL this weekend, and in exactly one month I'll be partaking in the sold out Cape Cod Ragnar. To date I've completed 10 in the last few years, so you could say I enjoy them. All Recaps from my relay adventures are HERE.

Back in November I finished the Vail Lake Trail Ragnar in California and although it kicked my butt, I knew I wanted to take another stab trail running and see how round 2 would go. Turns out I wouldn't have to wait long since they added Atlanta Trail Ragnar to their series for 2014. 

Elizabeth @ Running for Bling was donned with the task from Nuun to form an all ladies team to participate in the inaugural race held at the Georgia International Horse Park on the outskirts of Atlanta. Since this year is also about saving $ and Atlanta is driveable, I was immediately on board *note to all those who don't live in the south-- its a least 4 hours (minimum) to get from Nashville to Atlanta. If you hit traffic, good luck (it took us 7 hours to get back home)-  for some reason everyone always makes comments about when they visit Nashville if we could pop over to Atlanta, not as close at you think*

One of the trickiest parts of the trail running is mastering the art trying not to injure yourself while running in pitch black. Unfortunately when we ran Vail Lake back in November, we had a late start time of 4pm, so only our first runner had daylight and then the rest of us were running in a dark abyss due to shortened daylight that time of year. (case in point, all 3 of my runs were in the dark for that race) Knowing this going into Atlanta, I really wanted to have an earlier start time, but unfortunately we didn't cushion our times enough and we ended with a 3:30pm start. ** Just like all Ragnars, it asks for your 10k road pace. Do not actually put you factual pace and do add some buffers.**  Ex: Elizabeth and I know that we both can run a  10k in 7:30 pace or less, but we upped our entries to 8:00 to allow some room, but not so much that we were sandbagging. I don't know what everyone else's road pace is, so they may have already done that too and we were just categorized as a faster team. 

The first time start times are at 11:00am, but  Ragnar allowed teams early entry to the park to set up their campsite on Thursday to minimize the stress of scrambling around at the last minute. While Sarah and I were en route Thursday evening, a few of the teammates scoped out a spot and set up some tents so our Friday organization went by quickly. 

One of the views of our site

All set up with time to spare
After reading Jessica's recap of the race I just had to steal her "meet the team" collage. We all used a drop box to share our photos so you'll be seeing some repeats. Myself and Sarah were the two Nashvillians (we work together), and the rest of the ladies actually reside in or around the greater Atlanta area. What's neat is I only knew Sarah and Elizabeth going into this relay, and now I've come out with 5 more friends. 

Meet Team Electrolits

Laura was our Nuun rep and she deserves a special shout out- in addition to running her 3 legs, she also worked the Nuun tent all day Friday till 11pm, but also all day Saturday until until she closed down at 1pm. Thats a lot of time on your feet and little rest. We covered the booth for her runs and stayed with her throughout the race when able, but if I had to do it all over again I think it would have been good to have 2 team members pair up and take shifts so we could have lifted the burden from her more (although she never complained) 

And since we have a Nuun sponsored team, we called ourselves the Electrolits based off their new line Nuun Energy (the black tubes in the bucket) I only tried the Cherry Limeade because I didn't want to be too wired and not sleep, but it was fabulous. 

If you couldn't gather, we also decided to wear all the neon we had, which is fine by me because it meant that I could get extra use out of my favorite shorts by bskinz, and I could rock my ridiculous Aasics and not be judged :)

On our way to basecamp to go over the rules and send Abby off we ran into the infamous Dave Mari--- I used to see him at all my races the first year I started my 50 state quest, but now its few and far between
Abby, Elizabeth, Sarah, Jessica, Laura, Katie, Elisabeth, me and famous Dave

Thanks to his mad camera skills, this is by far one of my favorite team photos of all time (minus my face)

Once we went over all the rules and team introductions Abby started us off
Rocking all the neon and skirt!

Run 1- Yellow Loop
I was runner #2 and I couldn't have picked a better rotation - there was a purpose behind that. I was starting off with the yellow trail.  When I looked at the maps of the trails before hand I saw how windy yellow was and knew that it would be harder to navigate that at night so I just wanted to ensure that it fit my day time run. 

Excited / nervous, I took my first mile somewhat quick but held back due to watching my ankles

Once we entered the woods it was like we were in a dome that didn't allow any air movement- I haven't sweated like that in a LONG time. Although the course was only 4.6 miles, it seemed to drag on a bit due to heat, the constant turns, tweaking my right ankle, and kicking myself for not bringing my fuel belt since I was beyond parched. All that aside, I was pleased with the views and so appreciative I did this one in daylight to see where I was going. 

Although neither of these photos were taken during this part, there were quite a few switch backs which made it kind of neat to see both the runners in front and behind you. I had to walk quite a bit to catch my breath on the hills and apparently so did all my fellow runners and to my surprise I talked quite a bit to others. (I am not a talker when running) 

Finished the course in 47 and change with a 9:52 avg pace 

In speaking with a few of the Ragnar staff at the event, they did state yellow was the hardest of the trails technical wise. For those that have run Ragnar events before, classification is based on distance, not terrain. Therefore for trails Green = easy and is shortest; yellow = medium with medium length; red = hard with longest distance- terrain is not factored in. 

Since I was done so early I didn't rest before my 2nd leg and instead enjoyed a beer, caught up with friends from Nashville on different teams, and enjoyed a sit down free dinner
Rob and I- he was on my Ragnar TN team this year 

Enjoying the free pasta + salad dinner for all runners.

Run 2- Green Loop- 3.5 miles
For the life of me I can't remember about what time I started, but I know it was prior to midnight. I learned my lesson from Vail Lake trail and bought a higher luz headlamp (75 luz) to be able to see and comfortably run in a black hole- it worked magically! Before, I would run really slow just because I could barely see in front of me, but for this run I didn't trip once at all- HUGE WIN in my book. Going into it, I knew the first mile was flat and then the hills and bridges would follow after. Taking  into consideration how much I walked in yellow loop, I took advantage of easy first mile and banked some time with a  7:24 so I wouldn't feel guilty for walking later.

For me this course was true to the 'easy' name. The biggest challenges were making sure to walk over the bridges due to wide gaps in between the planks, as well as taking it easier on some of the very narrow trails as to not go into the brush or trees. 
Green met up with yellow loop and they ran the last 1+ mile together. Below is one of the bridges while running on the shared trail

I love running at night with the cooler air, so I found it much easier to breathe and not tire out as quickly. Finished the loop in 33 and change. 

Once I was done I ATTEMPTED to sleep, however there was a course volunteer about 150 ft from our tent who every few seconds yelled "Green to the right, red straight ahead!!"- when someone didn't turn right to go on green trail she then would say "You running red- have fun!". That went on till shortly after 2am once her shift was completed. I was kicking myself for not bringing ear plugs. As much as I tried to sleep after she was gone, I had no such luck and just laid there resting my legs.

I went to basecamp to see when runner 8, Katie was coming in, but unfortunately I missed her and Abby was already off. Not knowing what time I would run I stood glued to the big screen tv just waiting for my team name to show up. Naturally I waited her entire run as she apparently had just started, so by the time I was up for my last and final run, my legs were heavy from just standing there.

3rd Run- Red loop 6.7 miles

The whole time leading up to this run I was hoping the sun would be up so I wouldn't have to run the slate slabs in the dark. I'm used to the sunrise in CST coming up around 6, so I was disheartened when I left for my run shortly after 6 and there was no sun to be found. My teammates all let me know that the first 2.5 miles is extremely runnable and easy, then shortly after is when the slate rock starts and you have to watching footing, followed by some pretty major hills. 

Heeding everyone's advice I did take full advantage of the first 2.5 miles and passed quite a few people and banked some time. I kept thinking, "wow this isn't so bad". Even when I got to the slabs it was doable, but I still walked to play it safe. Somewhere shortly into mile 3 my legs halted and were just tired. 
from a friend who ran it during the day 

Naturally since this is the longest course, I walked the most, but despite being tired, I actually enjoyed this run. With the exception of the gigantic hill at mile 4.2 and hitting granite slabs again in the 5th mile, I felt this course was doable and didn't feel like there were as many roots to dodge as the others.  I'm trying to learn to 'enjoy the run' more, so once the sun started to rise I kept slowing down to take in all the beauty around me
That being said, I was VERY thrilled to be done with a 1hr 7 min finish

Once finished, a few of us made some eggs and sausage on a camping stove I borrowed, (highly recommend) and then headed over for even better breakfast- SMORES at the basecamp bonfire.

Abby and I enjoying #allthesugar now that we're done 
By far one of my favorite parts of the trip was popping a squat on the log and watching the runners of each team come in for their last leg / and even some teams finishing altogether. This trail relay is unique as they offer on Saturday a kids kilometer relay, and as you can imagine, it was adorable to watch the tykes breeze through the finish line with all their excitement and energy. 

Since we were pretty good at estimating when each leg would finish, we figured Katie, would be finishing shortly after 12:30 so we made our way a little ahead of finish line so we could all run in together. 
Nuun cheer squad at your service

Katie KILLED it and came in quicker than we were expecting so unfortunately Laura didn't make it in time for all of us to run in together

All the soreness, sleep deprivation, and minor injuries vanished as we claimed our medals and were finally able to re-convene again as a complete team 20 hrs and 54 min later. 

What's even better is we were doing the calculations on when other all female teams finished and realized they started before us and there really weren't any ones that started in the time slots after us. Although we couldn't guarantee, it was looking like we got first!!! The preliminary results posted now confirm, but nothing is official until 4/16. Fingers crossed. 

Overall I had a fabulous time. I know that every Ragnar Trail relay is slightly different, and I have to say that I liked this one much better than Vail Lake. Believe it or not the trails were much easier and more manageable to get in a decent pace. (Vail Lake was largely sand making it hard for footing and some of the hills were so steep you had to hold on to roots to climb- my green and red runs were an average pace of 11:50+). I also felt like I was able to see my teammates a bit more on this go round due to the timing of runs and such. Lastly its always nice to have friends on other teams you can walk around and visit where as last relay our team kept to themselves. 

For those that are interested in a trail relay it is definitely a completely separate experience from a road relay. My 3 biggest pieces of advice would be:
  • You need a high luz headlamp- preferably over 70 luz. In regular relays you have lights from the vans driving by, street lights, and even the moon. On the trails covered by trees it is pitch black and you need all the help you can get. Some of the ladies ran with knuckle lights in addition their head lamp. 
  • Bring water. There is so much dust thrown around that you get thirstier quicker. I drank all of my 20oz on my 6.7 mile and it wasn't even hot. 
  • Don't worry about your speed as you will be slower. Now that being said, you do want to make sure you have RUNNERS on your team. I know often times we get in a pinch with regular relays that we'll take someone who doesn't really run and give them a smaller mileage leg and it all works out. In trail relays everyone runs every leg and they can be challenging. Someone that doesn't run can risk potential injury on the hills, but also runners have a special mentality to push through things and can handle the trails and all the challenges. This isn't meant to offend anyone, but more so to use a precaution. 

I'll definitely be looking to do another trail relay (hopefully this year). A big shout out to Nuun for bringing a group of mostly strangers together to take part in this amazing experience, so appreciative and look forward to any future opportunities with them as well! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Favorites

Things I'm loving this week

  • #100happydays challenge. You may have seen this hashtag around instagram or facebook- the premise of the 100 Happy days challenge is to find something each day that makes you happy and capture it on your media of choice for 100 straight days. If you make it through all 100 days straight, you get sent a little 100 page book with all your moments. Today is day 8 for me. I love that it forces you to find at least one thing that happened each day that truly made you happy, thus appreciating what you have in your life.
  • Weight loss. I started T25 for a variety of reasons, but the two that  sealed the deal was to give me a focus since my 50 states is finished, and to sculpt my body that 3 years of mainly running with minimal weights robbed me of.  I was giddy when I stepped on the scale Monday morning to see I officially lost 10lbs, but more so that it got me back into a weight range I've been aiming for in the last several months. Icing on the cake was when I put on a tank to work out and it was super loose (it was skin tight across my lower abs when purchased)
I'll be working on cleaning up that bathroom mirror now 
  • Veggie Experimentation. I absolutely LOVE vegetables. I'm always experimenting for what I can cook in large quantities to last me a few days. My latest obsession is broccoli, sweet potatoes, parsnips, cauliflower, white onions and slice almonds roasted and then tossed in a pesto vinagrette I came up with. Combine that with egg on toast with jalapeno cilantro hummus and orange bell peppers and you have an explosion in your mouth. I've had this 4x this week and still not sick of it! 
  • Indulging in sweets. Despite all the good I've been doing in the kitchen, I still have a sweet tooth. I generally have something available to keep it at bay- lately its either hot chocolate or mint oreos (where I have 1 or 2). Not sure if its to offset all the veggies, but I've been craving sweets more often than normal this week. Since I've been good, I've allowed some indulgences as long as I trade off with something else. Last night the dessert 'trolley' came to our suite at the hockey game. This was my first trolley experience & was overwhelmed by all the choices. I couldn't decide between the peanut butter chocolate cake or the s'mores cake, so I got both! Sarah had a shot of patron coffee in a chocolate deep shell which was also tempting. For the record, I wasn't able to finish either.
  • Twist on a classic. The other day I was looking for something on you tube (for the life of me I can't remember) when an ad popped up for some movie that is coming out shortly with Paul Walker. The entire trailer had a 'dark but seductive' version of "Stand by Me" playing that just really intrigued me. Apparently this version was also featured on "The Following", so a lot of people had googled it which made my search that much easier- band is Ki:Theory and I've been listening to it while getting ready in morning and find myself dancing. It starts out kind of scary, but man does it get good. Also, only video I could attach on here is really weird- ignore that. 

  • Busting a move. Speaking of dancing, I've been doing a lot of it lately. Let's set the record straight- I am the epitome of a tall white girl- I have no skills other than 'backing it up'. Thanks to the you tube channel Jessica Fitness, I've been doing a lot of dance workouts. Another "fitness" goal of mine is to be more flexible, coordinated, and just have better balance. I truly think this is helping. As an added bonus, if somehow any of my friends happen to convince me to go dancing this summer, maybe i'll have some moves? Leah and I already discussed that one night we are going to literally just bust out t25 movements on the dance floor to see who joins in. If that happens, I'll make sure to get plenty of documentation. 
What are you loving this week?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Week in Review (3/17/14- 3/23/14)

Last week everyone that has kids seemed to take off and leave the city due to all the school's being on spring break. Not only was work a ghost town, but also certain parts of Nashville. It was nice to have a low key week.

St. Patricks Day (Monday) -
T25 Total Body Circuit
2.5 mile run

Immediately upon coming in to work my boss handed me a little gift to enjoy St. Patty's day (for those that don't know- my last name is Jameson- I actually don't like the drink, but she made the brownies the previous week and they were amazing!)

Mid-day my phone just died and the only way it would work is if it was plugged in. Normally I wouldn't freak out too much, but I combined my work & personal phone into one so I could get it all paid for. This means if Verizon can't fix it, I have to follow a protocol at work to get a new one. we had a giant celebration at our running group and Nike was there testing out shoes and giving out prizes, so I know I had to go for a short bit before heading to Verizon

There were 2 shoes to try out- first one which I was itching to try was the Nike Flyknit Lunar 2 (neutral shoe). The one time I'm excited about testing out a shoe and they don't have my size. I did try on a 9.5 and boy was it comfortable for walking around, but I knew I needed the extra room for running.

I had zero desire to try the other shoe, Nike Zoom-Structure, but since you got a free beer for testing either shoes, I decided to do a short run in them, hop by phone store, and be back before the giveaways started
As expected, I hated the shoes and got my usual pain on lateral sides of my arch and decided to make this run REALLY short, a whopping 2.5 miles. 

Went to Verizon where I waited for over 45 min with no service, then left to go back to St. Patty's day celebrations with the run group. 

RIPPED class in lieu of T25

Requested a new phone, found out I needed president of my market's approval who is of course on spring break and his assistant left for the day so it would have to wait till the next day. 
1 hour Ripped class after work (nailed it) followed by usual Tuesday night trivia. We were not on our A game and didn't do so well. Things got a little heated when a team was trying to say that the tallest mountain peak in North America is Mt. Denali- clearly its Mt. McKinley which is located in the National Park called Denali. It took them 10 min to find a website that corroborated their answer to which I argued if it takes you 10 min to find something on the internet to back up what you think is correct for a game of trivia it shouldn't count. Crazy how I was the only one drinking just water at my table yet I was the most vocal-- guess you had to be there to appreciate the back and forths. 

5 miles with co-worker
T25 Speed 1.0

Got the approval I needed for the phone. Work day uneventful. 2 summers ago I actually trained for a full marathon and did most of my long runs with one of my co-workers. The marathon didn't happen because I developed a bad case of plica inflammation which mimicked a meniscal tear. We haven't run much together since, but I agreed to do an easy 5 with him after work. Weather was pristine with a nice cool breeze.
Finished my t25 workout and the roommate had a few friends over for dinner. Afterward I showed them all the workout dance videos I've found and we swapped dance moves. I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggles to look coordinated while dance working out. (you tube jessica fitness and you'll get all her workouts to popular songs) 

Double Day - total body circuit + lower focus

Big day:
1. My phone arrived and I got a mini upgrade and now have Siri (I had the 4 IOS before, now I have the 4s IOS) Also I could never upgrade to the 7 version due to not having enough space from all the pictures. Now I have the 7 and not sure how I feel. My biggest sense of loss is I don't have the emoticons anymore. Apparently I can just download the emoji app and install it, which I still need to do. 
2. I actually ventured out with my 2 work besties for lunch (I always stay put with either my lunch I bring from home, or a salad from our cafe) Old Chicago has an amazing deal- $7.50 for pizza buffet + salad+ a cookie. Beer is not included but was a much needed break from the day. 
3. I finished Alpha round of T25 (5 weeks)!!! I waited until after the weekend was over for measurements since I was still bloated from that time of the month but happy to report my progress:
Pounds lost: 10.2
Inches lost: 2 from waist, 1.5 from chest, 1 from thigh, +1 in bicep

I'm still not where I want to be and started up Beta round on Sunday---- crazy intense. 

4 mile lunch run

Work was slow so I called it a day and left early. Met a bunch of people who still hadn't scoped out Tennessee Brew Works. I've been a few times, but this is the first time it was warm enough to enjoy their awesome patio. 

A year ago this photo would be me and all guys. So glad to have more girlfriends in my life! 

Roomie love 

4 miles
Broke in my new (but old) shoes. Last year I ran in the Saucony Mirage 3s. I loved how lightweight they were and allowed me to run faster (I got my PR in Maryland wearing these) 

My problem was that these are 4mm drop and I was used to an 8mm drop. I did too much too soon and ended up with excruciating calf pain from May - September. I tested them out for my 5 miler on Wednesday to see if I should re-visit a new pair now that my mileage and lengths is decreased and after a successful run I hopped on to and snagged a pair for super cheap $54 and change after taxes. If you use code FB15D that gets you 15% off. (facebook 15% discount is what it stands for if it makes it easy to remember.) 
They only had the deep magenta available, but they were fabulous for my 4 miler on Saturday!

Later in the day a few of us went to see Divergent in Imax (during the day it was only $1 more than regular seating). I haven't read the books and I won't read them due to knowing how it ends, but I figured it would be neat to see the movie since I heard it was well done. I have to say that the actor who plays 'Four', Theo James', was worth every penny spent for that ticket. And on top of his looks, hes also British whichs prompts the question why you can't meet a man like that : wipes drool off mouth: 

After the movie we head out for some bbq, enjoyed watching Wisconsin beat Oregon, and called it a night. 

First day of beta- core cardio

I started my day off excited to try the next 5 weeks of T25, but I got my ass handed to me... no literally my ass still hurts as I'm writing this. I'm 3 days in and I have a hard time keeping up. I'm hoping as I get used to the moves and the speed I won't keep having to pause and modify, but at least I'm being challenged?

Rest of the day was lazy day- cleaning, organizing, grocery shopping, and meal prep for the week. I ALWAYS have roasted veggies on hand since they are scrumptious and easy to make. I vary what I get based on availability and price. This week: broccoli, bell peppers, parsnips, 1 japanese sweet potato (they're purple) and regular sweet potatoes + not pictured- white onions and edamame.  

I also made a bunch of chicken patties from ground chicken + spices, dijon mustard, and onions, but the photos didn't turn out. I love experimenting in the kitchen, but for me, everything is about simplicity and time constraints. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Week in Review


T25 Lower body followed by 4.2 miles 
We finally had a nice day + the advantage of daylight savings = still light for group run at 6pm (I even had to wear sunglasses!)  We were able to resort back to the neighborhood routes which mean lots and lots of hills. The run kicked my butt (combo of out of ‘running shape’ + tackling trails the day before + 2 T25 workouts) Luckily I wasn’t the only one wheezing so I didn’t feel that out of place. 

Woke up very early to do T25 before work since I knew there was zero time afterward. If you didn’t hear from Friday’s post, a few of my friends did another Predators trivia and won upgraded glass seats to the April 10th game. Sarah was the only one from my previous team that also won, so we’re calling ourselves the double champs. 

Yoga at lunch 
The day started off in tragedy, my keurig DIED. It exploded all over me (had to change) then turned off and lost all power. I never could revive her and I realized she had a good life (6-7 years?) and she was loud anyway so I threw her away on Friday.

My body told me I needed a break so I took the day off, yup, finally missed a t25 workout and I’m okay with it. Rest of the day was spent relaxing and watching tv.

T25 + 30 min of doing the workout dance to Katy Perry’s “Dark horse” song. I’m slowly looking slightly less awkward.
After all the dancing I showered and had ladies night of pizza and gabbing. My favorite part was playing with the adorable 4 month old Annie, a bernese mountain dog
I couldn't get a great picture of her, but its basically the same source- look at those paws!!! 

Up early for T25 (Total Body circuit- the hardest in my opinion) I was able to do 5 deep push ups in a row before modifying and 3 oblique push ups before modifying.
Friday felt more like St Patrick's day than yesterday. Mom sent a care package for St. Patty’s day to work- much prefer mail during the day to help brighten it vs. when I'm already home :) 

We also had our St Patty's Day celebration in the afternoon since a lot of people are out this week for spring break. Beer, treats, golf, and Irish music. My boss also had her 2 year old son come in dressed like a leprechaun, but I felt weird if I took a photo- trust me it was adorable. 

 Afterward a bunch of friends headed to Whole Foods for the $20 food / beer pairing collaboration with Tennessee Brew works (newest craft brewery in town- such a great deal and an even more fabulous time! 
5.1 miles
I wanted to explore this side street we found when walking to Whole Foods the day before and low and behold it actually was a segway into one of my normal weekend routes. Aside from some female cramps, the run was perfect!!

After getting cleaned up, Leah and I looked at our first housing option in East Nashville. LOVED the porch, location, and the entire first floor, but was not a fan of the bedroom and bathroom layouts, so the hunt continues.

Since I was already in East Nashville, met up with Sarah and headed over to St. Patty's day fest in the area. Aside from the food trucks and people watching, we've seen better so we headed out after 1 beer in... miller lite and it wasn't even green :( 

Leah asked me to go out with her friends to this swanky bar, but sometimes you just need "me" time. I did some window shopping (and real shopping) at Kohls, ate solo at Whole Foods, and watched a movie. Turns out one of her friends was 1 hour late in meeting up, the food was pricey, the conversation was sub par--- staying in on Saturday night... winning!!!

Rest day 
Since rain was on the forecast ALL. DAY. LONG I decided to start my spring cleaning, aka operation purge my closet.  It amazes me how even though I do this every year, I still manage to have bags of stuff to get rid of. This is just round 1 since I was getting tired.

I made plans to meet up with Betsy for our first IRL meet up and to discuss our upcoming Cape Cod logistics. Our team is a mix from all over + locals so meeting up with vans , organizing hotels, etc is a little more complicated vs if everyone were from out of town. It took a lot of brainstorming, but the hand map Betsy drew is getting us closer to figuring everything out. 

Had a movie day rest of day with roomie and we made from scratch sugar cookies for our Tin Roof group run on St. Patty's day- homemade = way better :)

I'm embarrassed by how many I've ate thus far, so what is leftover from our run will be brought to the office. Apparently I just can't have sweets in the house!

Anything exciting in your week?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Trails, Trivia, T25

If you haven't heard already, Elizabeth has organized a great group of ladies to round out the Nuun sponsored team to run in the inaugural Ragnar Trail Atlanta. Unlike traditional Ragnars, there aren't some locations that are easy flat terrain  and some that are hard... all trail Ragnars are filled with hills, rocks, sand, and whatever other obstacles can be challenging. This particular one is held in the Georgia International Horse Park which is laced with all the above. Here is a preview of what is to come

Barely a flat part in sight. I don't mind hills, but hills on dirt that you need to grab on to tree routes and constantly look at the ground so you don't fall, that is another story. I found a too good to pass up deal last week on clearanced out trail shoes, so I decided to hit up our local tough trails, Percy Warner, with a few of my friends who are on another team for Ragnar Trail.  With walk breaks included in our time we had an 11 min pace for our 4 miles and I felt like we were flying. Considering 2 of my runs for Ragnar Trail Vail Lake in November were 11:51 and 11:59 total pace... I call this a huge win. 

I was excited to go again this week and meet (for the first time) my teammate for Ragnar Cape Cod, Betsy, but it's supposed to rain. I'm not the most coordinated on trails, add rain to the mix and I'm pretty sure I might hurt myself. Come on mother nature please play nice!

If you've been reading these past few months you know I'm an avid trivia player. Back in November me and a few friends who traditionally aren't on my weekly Tuesday trivia team decided to try the first ever Preds trivia  which was held at Bridgestone where our Preds hockey team plays. Everyone gets a discounted ticket that plays, and if you win first place your seats get upgraded to ICE seats and if you get 2nd you get the lower bowl. The first time around we tied with another team and won the tie breaker to get the ICE seats!!

Photo: Feeling like a VIP .....

A few weeks ago Sarah and I received another email stating they were going to do it again. Our November team actually consisted of an ex and all his friends, so I hardcore recruited all my weekly trivia members that were available, and a few others to get a diverse team. The result- again tied for first and broke the tie breaker to WIN ICE SEATS AGAIN!

The game we all chose is 4/10 and we actually were able to get all 9 seats together on the ice (last time they had to split it up into 4 and 3) It's nice to know how facts you think are useless that are in your brain can reap big rewards!!! 

Today marked the end of my 4th week of T25. At first I didn't think I was noticing many results aka 'why aren't my abs chiseled yet', but luckily I've been tracking my weight and inches every Saturday. I don't have results yet from this week (obviously its friday) but as of last week I was down 6lbs, 2 inches off my waist, and 1.5 off my chest. I think the best part was one of my guy friends who I hadn't seen in a few weeks commented the other day that my frame "looked smaller"- I'll take it. Aside from results, I've learned 3 things about my body:
1.) My legs are strong. I've always had strong legs (mostly quads and calves) so some of the moves don't bother me. Just call me the squat queen. 
2.) My upper strength is very weak in comparison, but I have come a long way. For me pushups are not comfortable- its not the arms part, its actually my back. Yesterday  I was so proud that I could do 3 oblique push ups before I needed to modify-- baby steps. 
3.) I am naturally uncoordinated. After 4 weeks I'm finally able to do some of the moves that just seemed "awkward to me" I've also been trying to learn the dance /workout to Katy Perry's "Dark Horse"--- maybe someday I'll record myself doing it and post it. Let's just say I don't look sexual at all doing it and instead that I'm trying to hard. 

If you don't know what I'm talking about- here is the you tube video. It's definitely a leg workout, but the challenge is can you look coordinated while doing it? Some day...