Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tangent Thursday

Randomness that is going on this week... 

  • A couple months ago work introduced a new class that is offered 3x/wk - Les Mill Body Combat. 

Several of my friends have been raving about it, but I just hadn't found the time to fit it into my schedule. Finally on tuesday I gave it a whirl. 1 hr of jumping, punching, MASSIVE sweating, and feeling like the most uncoordinated person in the class. The moves weren't hard, but repetitive. The next day my upper back and sides were sore in places I've never worked. I tried to go for a run and had to turn around 1 mile in because it was painful to 'pump my arms' while running- whopping 2 miles in the books. I heard it takes 3 classes to get the hang of everything... I'm wondering how many classes until I no longer feel the pain?

  • It's that time again where bad food decisions, summer vacations, beers, and minimal exercise are all catching up to me. For me, sometimes my commitment is in my wallet book. This go round I decided to do the Advocare 24 day Challenge- in simplest form, 24 days of clean eating with a cleanse thrown in. I did this 2 years ago and had pretty significant loss, so time to start again. Once I get back from State 48 in VA, it will be go time on 10/7. 

  • This weekend I was dropping some items off at Plato's Closet to sell when I came across these gems... completely adorable. 

Not only were they marked $8.00 due to some scuffing, but they were 1/2 off since on clearance, plus I got another additional 20% off for selling to them same day of purchase - Issac Mizrahi shoes for under $4... major steal!

  • In the running group I'm in on facebook where you can sell gently used items, people are constantly writing about how they sent address or information over and to check your' others folder'. I had NO IDEA what that meant. Last night I sold something and the girl put her address in this holy grail they call the other folders. I finally found it (never claimed to be a detective) and there were 100s of messages in there dating back to 2009 that I never knew about.
Some were spam of course, but I had a few emails from bloggers, one from this guy I dated who disappeared off the face of the earth and every once in awhile he randomly messages me, and my all time favorite, a message from 2009 from when I first joined this ridiculously good looking guy reached out because he wasn't a paying member and somehow was able to locate me on facebook and sent me a message. It would probably be weird if I messaged him back 4 years later.... 

  • Last week I posted about a race using my photo to promote their event (photo was from 2 years ago at my work holiday shopping charity event, not a race). I did reach out to them- they have no idea how they got my photo but asked if they could continue using it. I asked if I could have a few free race entries to do a giveaway and they are sending the codes next week. Check out their website here to see if there is a location by you and then come back next week and I'll be posting giveaway! 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Montana 1/2 Race Report

Montana 1/2 Marathon- Billings Montana
State # 47
Lifetime half #57

Age Group 4/37
Overall Place: 63/ 370
Official time: 1:48:13

Not going to lie, I wasn't expecting much for Montana. I knew the temps would be cooler, but aside from that I really wasn't looking forward to this race. I'm burnt out on racing and now I'm kind of just going through the motions where I don't care how I do anymore. Despite drinking my way through the city and waking up race morning hung over, I was surprisingly pleased with the race.

Race start was at 8am and for some reason we were under the impression that we had to be at the highschool by 6:45am for the shuttle to the start, which meant up at 5:30 so we could be in lobby at 6am. Up too early for no reason = hangover bummer
Turns out there was a shuttle at 6:45, but multiple more afterward, the last one arriving 15 or so min before race start. So instead we got to arrive 1 hour before start to stare at barren nothingness and freeze because the wind made the temps just uncomfortable enough to want to have a sweatshirt.
The no thrills start prior to everyone lining up

Found out while waiting around that apparently the course is downhill and flat / fast, Again, since Kim and I had zero plans for this race, we didn't even bother to look at elevation, great surprise to hear when you're feeling like death. 

Race started about 5 min late and the first mile was a pretty noticeable downhill. I would say it was awesome, however the road was slanted so 1 mile at a pretty decent pace on that type of terrain had my shins screaming. I was a little nervous that so soon in I was already in pain, but mile 2-4 were flat and the road evened out so the pain subsided. First 4 miles are what I would call traditional "Montana scenery" aka tons of nature. Although it was overcast, there was still a lot to take in and it was surprisingly peaceful and enjoyable.

horses RIGHT next to road, they were running alongside runners, but by the time I took this photo they had tired out

Shortly into the 4th mile we hit our first (and only) uphill as well as we entered neighborhoods. I kind of lost my cool and was starting to feel queasy. I tried walking but that didn't help much. Finally right after we left one neighborhood I vommitted on the side of the road. My saving grace was there were no spectators, however I did have a fellow runner come up to me and run my back... weird right?

shortly after the 'incident' 

Apparently the little upchuck action did the trick as I started to enjoy the race. Around mile 6.5 we were merged with a 10k (apparently there was a 10k option for this race and I had no idea) Suddenly instead of having the sight of just a few people in front of me, there were hundreds. I'm not used to bobbing and weaving around individuals so late in the game... this continued until mile 12.

Around mile 8- still super congested
Like clockwork in the past several races, I got a 2nd wind in the 8th mile and picked up the pace... and that lasted until mile 11 which left me dry heaving... since I didn't eat anything before race nothing came up, BUT I did get another friendly pat on the back from a fellow runner. Montanians are the nicest! Wouldn't you know it that although I couldn't make anything come out of me via my mouth, the other end was acting up and I seriously thought about stopping any time I passed a port o potty 

favorite sign ever! 

Last 2 miles were a long, long, long straightaway through neighborhoods, agony in having to use the bathroom. It's strange how beginning of race was in middle of no where, and yet we ended in a high traffic area. By the end it truly felt like 2 separate races since now the sun was out and there were people everywhere.
Am I almost done yet?

I finished behind a group of 4 10kers females all holding hands - luckily I didn't have a too much of a kick to pass them, otherwise I surely would have been annoyed.

Took my medal, made a beeline for the bathroom, then laid down on the infield of the track til Kim found me. I was wiped, excited to be done, and quite honestly impressed that I finished in 1:48. 

By far probably the most unexepected good surprise races in a while. Sometimes its nice to have your expectations low and then blown away. I'm obsessed with the fact that Montana's medal is in the shape of the state, love that. Although I have no immediate plans to re-visit Montana anytime soon, overall it will leave a positive lasting impression. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Three Things Thursday - hungover edition

1.Hungover This past weekend I crossed Montana off my list (recap to come) I can honestly say that this weekend was a first in the fact that I ran the race HUNGOVER. How does this happen?
Surprise to find there is a walking brewery tour!

2 rounds at Uberbrew

2 rounds at Yellowstone Valley Brewery

Glass of wine at packet pickup

"Moscow Mule"- homemade vodka + ginger beer + lime juice (in copper cup) 

Worlds best pumpkin beer

2 more "Moscow Mules" - 1 regular and 1 with a shot of fireball whiskey

Total drink count was 9 drinks (granted it was the course of 6 or so hours) but still a bit. While waiting for our shuttle to take us to the race I was busy hating life. Thanks Kim for capturing the essence. 

2. Free Ragnar! Randomly received an email today from the Ragnar Marketing director stating they were giving our company 3 free teams for Ragnar TN and to just let her know team name and who paid and they would issue a refund... talk about a surprise. Naturally I made sure my team was one of the 3 teams- sweet. 

3. Rachelle from Living the Sweat Life let me know today she was looking at The Sweater Dash 5k in Seattle, WA and who happens to be featured on the home page?!?!
Yours truly! My first thought was "how cool", but then as I thought about it.... how in the world did they find this photo? Its taken from almost 2 years ago at a corporate event where we shop for underpriviledged children instead of having a work Christmas party. I'm assuming my blog- but that brings me to another point, don't they have to ask permission when they use photos for promotion?!!?
Here is the original photo (as you can see, we're in Walmart) 

Ever ran a race hung over?
1st time and actually ran a decent time surprisingly

What are your thoughts on company using photos to promote their event that were NOT taken at a previous event?
I get using photos from a previous race, but just to find a randomly awesome sweater and use it, I'm unsure how i feel about this. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Five for Friday

1. SHOES I finally am sick of the everchanging calf / achilles / arch pain that I finally went to our local fleet feet to see if I could find a different shoe. Since May I've been in the Saucony Mirage 3- lightweight but actually a light stability shoe. They were good enough for my PR in Maryland, but since then my legs hate me

I was fitted for Saucony Ride- a neutral shoe. Apparently you should NOT run long distances in a light stability shoe if you don't pronate.

First run was an easy 3 mile early run before work. Honestly it was the first run pain free in a LONG time- score! Wore them for the Vermont Maple Leaf 1/2 this past weekend and did NOT like them. Blisters around mile 10, feet going numb and feeling heavy, and although the shoe is lightweight, they are 'bulkier' than what I've become accustomed to so it changed my gait and my HIPS were sore for 3 days after my half... that just doesn't happen to me this late in the game anymore. 3rd run was 5.2 mile Monday night run. My legs felt like bricks and I wanted to take the shoes off and run barefoot- that was last straw. 

Returned them today and decided to have a little fun with different shoes- Aasics Gel Tri Noosa 8. Back when I was gearing up to run New York for state #25, I had used the gel tri noosa 7s as a reward if I could break 1:45. Spoiler alert, I ran a 1:43:30- first time breaking 1:50 and hands down one of the happiest I've been while running. Afterward I bought the shoes and had to create a whole post about it haha. I really wanted the damn shoes

Naturally when I saw the updated version I HAD to try them out... aren't they so purdy??! All their missing is glitter
Tested a 5 mile run today. Didn't love it, but better than the others. I'm a little nervous to wear them for this weekend's race, so I'm debating on diverting back to the mirages with my new inserts for one more race so I can land this whole shoe thing down. 

At the end of the day I think what happened is from mid May till now, I haven't done a lot of training runs so I've lost a lot of strength and muscle stamina. Maybe this changes my stride, thus pain I haven't experienced before? Not really sure whats going on but....
I can't be the only one out there who has noticed that the shoe you once had a love affair with has now revealed its true colors and you want to toss it to the curb?

2. Running Gear- A few months ago Kim had invited me to this facebook group "Running Gear Buy /Sell..." where as you guess it, you can sell and buy gently used running gear. Now that my states are dwindling and I won't be doing as many matchy matchy races, it was time to streamline what I own. In the last month I've made over $400 through selling items that normally I would have just given away or donated to goodwill.  Some of that money has gone toward feeding my lululemon addiction since I refuse to actually spend that much on skirt normally.  If you're interested, let me know in  the comments your email address and I can send you an invitation to the group! (if you're leery about having the ridiculous amounts of followers I have see your email, you can always just email me at

3. Races- Last night I registered for my final 3 states:

When registering for HI, there was actually a spot in registration that said "tell us something unique you'd like to be announced as you cross the finish line" - talk about great timing as I have never seen this on ANY registration before. You bet I put "this is my last state in my 50 state quest". Not going to lie, I teared up a bit!

4. FLIGHTS- a few weeks ago I flew to Charlotte, NC via US Airways for work. They had a big promotion on my flight back to  register for a cc with them and receive 2 free round trip tickets to anywhere in US (Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Mexico include) as well as an additonal 500 bonus miles. With Hawaii coming up and still being flightless, I signed up. Got my credit card last night and in process of registering account online. So excited, but yet I wonder--- 
anyone out there sign up for an airlines cc and have a time period of when they can redeem the miles?

Also did you hear that yesterday there was a glitch in United Airlines system and for 15 min or so all flights were free?!?! So far I know a lady bought 2 tickets to Hawaii and some guy bought 14 different tickets. I have one question... WHERE THE HECK WAS I WHEN THIS WENT DOWN? Man can you imagine?!?!

5. Montana- Tomorrow I venture to Montana for #47. This is my last week in my 5 weeks in a row of racing. Although I'm excited to venture to a new state, I'll be even more stoked to have 2 weeks of rest before VA. This also marks me 2nd to last race that I get to see Kim (she's in Portland, I'm in Nashville)  <insert tears> We have to do something fun to enjoy our limited time together.

Anyone  know anything fun and exciting to do in Billings, MT?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Vermont Maple Leaf - the non running highlights

Certain states are hard to choose races for and therefore you basically go with what fits into your schedule and what won't stretch your pocket book too much. I'm thoroughly pleased with my choice of the Maple Leaf 1/2 to cross Vermont off my list-
Highlights from the trip

1. We stopped in Brattleboro, VT since it was the first rest stop once you cross into VT and I wanted a photo with a "Welcome to VT" sign. We were blown away by the scenery and ending up spending 40 or so min hanging out... 5 min into the state and already off to a good start 

I get my "let's take a photo of that random XYZ from my mom" 

There was a charity bake sale going on AT the rest stop- coffee, baked goods (cookies, pie, cupcakes, pastries), fruit, sandwiches etc all for a donation to help a soup kitchen. Mom and I each got a coffee and some cookies and enjoyed a relaxing sit. 
Just enjoying a cup of coffee in an adirondack chair at the rest stop, NBD

2. I believe the "premier race" in Vermont is the Covered Bridges due to time of year and scenery... however it sells out FAST, so I found my own 'covered bridges"

miniature walking covered bridge

3. There was only 1 chain restaurant (a highly fancy Mcdonalds) in all of Manchester. All the eateries were local. They like to keep everything unique, so much so, Hilton tried to set up shop and the town said no because they like to keep the 'quaint' part of the town. There is no mall, but instead free standing stores (which are all factory outlet stores- Polo, Coach, BCBG, Ann Taylor, JCrew, Michael Kors are just a few of the places we shopped!)

Of course there are local shops as well, all surprisingly reasonable price (despite getting to VT is pricey, once you're here, everything is a good deal!) 

4. The state fair was 40 miles from where we were staying... of course we had to go

I kept hearing how the MN state fair had fried butter and I tried desparately to find it because I was curious on how that worked but no luck... apparently VT delivered (sorry, didn't try it) 

5. Animals!
  • Black bear: Main reason we wanted to go?? In the brouchure it showed there were dancing bears... HAD to see this

of course I had to take a video of the bear going down the slide 

  • Camels. Let's be honest, every since the Geico "hump day" commericals, the Camel hasn't been this popular since the cigarette label first launched. GIDDY with excitement when they had camel rides for $5. Mom video recorded the whole ride (on her camera sorry) so you miss me yelling 'hump day'

I was almost excited as this guy... almost

  • Cows: I have had a fascination with cows since high school and they have served as my good luck charm 

 First time having a cow lick me (rough tongue), it even tried to gnaw on my hand... thank goodness for flat teeth!

  • Pigs- Am I the only one who thinks pigs are adorable but I don't think twice when eating bacon? Saw racing pigs at the TN state fair last year, but still just as funny
how adorable

simply hilarious- had to video this as well

And to spare you many more  photos I spent a lot of time in the children's petting zoo with sheep, llamas, alpacas, kangaroo, yaks etc. Thank goodness there was hand sanitizer nearby. 

6. Upon leaving Machester we had decided to drive to Battleboro for breakfast since we had so much fun at rest stop there was bound to be oodles of places to choose from. Major fail, we didn't see one single restaurant in the downtown area. Randomly when we crossed into Massachusetts we see a sign for one single place to eat "The Farm table". Low and behold this was a major highlight as it was part of the 10,000 acre campus of Kringle Candle (formed around 2010 by the founder of Yankee Candle and his son)
On the campus they have the candle shop with over 100+ different fragrances (not pictured), Farm Table restaurant, chocolate shop, 3 story Christmas and craft shop, and a coffee side shop. 
Very relaxing morning to spend a few hours. 

6. Capping off the trip in the airport with a Vermont Pumpkin beer! Mother / daughter running trip complete!