Thursday, January 31, 2013

8 Mile Run

Guess what? I wore shorts on my run last night! In January! Crazy, right?

I was dying to try out RunKeeper again and figured I'd risk it with 8 miles. I also wore my Garmin just in case. It was really annoying dealing with both, but in the end it worked out. My Garmin didn't pick up signal right away, but my phone did. I had a meeting later in the evening, so I had to get moving and decided not to wait for my Garmin. It turns out it took just about an entire mile for my Garmin to get signal. Sheesh. Of course I didn't realize this until I took out my phone at one point, thinking I was at mile 6, and Run Keeper said 7! I don't know why I hadn't compared earlier, but I was very glad to realize I only had a mile left.

Anyway, I don't know what it was, but the whole time I was grumpy. My pace was too slow. My phone was too heavy in my pocket. It was dark, and I was tired. I definitely was not having fun.

Luckily, that didn't stop me from trying to conquer some hills in Beacon Hill.

After the run, I was able to compare my route to my pace.

I also was pleasantly surprised that my battery did not die, or even come close to dying on this run. It was fully charged when I headed out, so maybe I had unknowingly drained my batter prior to Sunday's run? I'm not sure.

Anyway, it was a tough run for me mentally, but I got out there and did it. At least that's something!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Number Nerd

I went to yoga last night. I hadn't been to a class since Christmas Eve, so this was overdue. I was only minorly bummed that we focused mostly on our shoulders and upper back. I know I hunch over at my desk all day, so this was good for me, but not really the hip stretch that I had hoped for. Oh well.

I was basically forced to go to yoga when the Body Pump class was at capacity. Luckily, there was a Pump bright and early this morning. So I did my 4 mile training run on the treadmill before heading to the class. I really love Body Pump, so I'm glad I went. It's just hours later, and I already feel sore.

So I played a little bit more with Run Keeper online last night, and I'm sort of obsessed with all the stats I got from my run!

 I really liked the presentation here, but wait, it gets better!

 All of my splits in a handy dandy chart? (By the way, clearly the elevation in mile 3 slowed me down, but I have no clue what was going on in miles 7 or 8)
Do you see that beast of a hill at mile 3? Yeah that's going to be fun during the marathon. My only thought for why my time is so off in mile 7/8 is that I was stopped at lights? I really can't remember, but I know that happened a few times during my run. It didn't seem worth it to try to pause the clock as I would normally do on my watch.

Anyway, I am loving all these stats! I can't wait to use Run Keeper again!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Using Run Keeper

This weekend went by way too quickly!

Saturday, I did the elliptical for 45 minutes. I went a little longer on the elliptical than I had planned as I was near the end of my book and wanted to finish it. 

Sunday, we had an MGH team run. We ran 12 miles along the course and back. I wish I could say that those hills are getting easier, but that's just not true. They are still hard and still scare me.

I recently downloaded the Run Keeper app on my phone, and I decided to try it out for the run. I wanted to conserve my phone's battery as best that I could, so I didn't put on my Pandora. It was actually kind of nice to just run without any music. 

I liked being able to hear the Run Keeper check-in every 5 minutes. It really kept me aware of my pace and how far I had run. My goal was to stay below 9 minutes a mile, and whenever I got above that, I'd try to push it a little bit harder. Of course that was tough through all those hills.

Sadly about 8.5 miles in my phone died. I have no idea what I did for the remainder of the run, but I averaged a 9:04 minute mile prior to my battery dying.

So while I really liked using Run Keeper, it is clearly not good for longer runs. So noted.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ice Cold

Oh hi friends.

I haven't blogged very recently, huh?

I was in NYC over the weekend for a bachelorette, and despite my intentions of doing my long run in Central Park, that did not happen. Um bars stay open past 2am??? This Bostonian was not prepared, so when it came time to do my run on just 4 hours of sleep, I opted to stay in bed.Luckily it was just a scale back week, so I think it'll be fine.

I jumped back into training on Tuesday, but I have been sticking to treadmill.

Boston has been freezing. When the high is 16 degrees at 2pm, and you know it's only going to get colder and darker before it's time for you to lace up your sneakers, what's a girl to do?

I compensated by setting the treadmill to hills yesterday for my 5-miler. It wasn't anything too crazy, but based on how my legs feel today, I definitely need to do more hill work. (I'm pretty sure I say that every time after I run hills. Maybe this time I will listen)

Besides that, I've been working on some fundraising efforts. I have a long way to go before I hit $5,000, but I sure hope that I can get there!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Running Outfits

Last night, I dragged myself to Body Pump.Though the new class has been out a few weeks, it was my first time trying it out. I really liked it, especially because we used dumbbells rather than the barbell for the biceps track. I haven't done a group class in ages, and my arms are definitely feeling it today!

I was worried I wouldn't get to the class last night. Mainly because it wasn't until 6:30 which gave me plenty of time to get home and get lazy. Luckily, I had some new workout clothes that I wanted to wear, so I put them on as soon as I got home. This trick has really been working for me and new clothes. Especially when it's cold and dark and I have some fun new neon item to wear.

No way for a driver to miss spotting this

Even old clothes are fun when they're part of a costume. My outfit for the half was basically all stuff that I owned. (with the exception of the tutu which was purchased from Etsy)

The shirt was what I got from pv.body a few months ago, and I just cut the bottom of a t-shirt to make the white shoulder band. I wore black capris underneath and a pink headband that I already owned. Overall, I think it worked out pretty well. I was pretty comfortable

Speaking of pv.body, there has been some controversy over the company. Apparently they are changing their business model, so rather than getting clothing from brand names, you'll be getting items from their own line. As a subscriber, I was just disappointed that I had to read about it in a blog post rather than hearing it directly from the company. Reading the comments in Sarah's blog, it sounds like the company has bigger issues. I haven't had to deal with their customer service department, but it seems like a ton of women have had pretty bad experiences with the company!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Disney Half

It all started Saturday night after my bridal shower last year. I was having a blast hanging out with my closest friends at Coda, and Meghan mentioned how she was going to run her first half marathon at Disney in January 2013. After having such an amazing time doing Goofy Challenge, I didn't hesitate in asking if I could join. Quite frankly, I knew that I'd love to be there for Meghan's first half wherever it was but knowing it was going to be at Disney sealed the deal for me. She was kind enough not to point out how rude I was being by inviting myself on her trip, and she encouraged me and others to join her.

Over the past few months, we planned everything from hotels and flights to which princesses we'd dress up as. I opted for Sleeping Beauty (you get to wear pink? yes please!) When Thursday came, I couldn't believe it was already time to fly to Orlando. We got in pretty late and a couple of our friends were getting up early to run the 5k, so we went straight to bed.

Friday morning, Erin and I squeezed in a quick run before getting ready to head to the Expo and parks. The expo was basically how I remembered it last year, though this year there was a huge wall with all of the runners' names. It was pretty neat seeing my name up there. I felt so special!

At the Expo, I started feeling a little bit of regret for not doing the Goofy this year. I definitely knew it was for the best, as I was so thrilled to spend time with my friends. Still, part of me was missing out.

After grabbing our numbers and shirts, we were off to the Magic Kingdom.

It was so much fun to go on the rides, see the new Fantasyland, and to talk about our races. I could easily write a ton about our visit.

Once our crew was ready, we headed back to the room to enjoy our homemade pasta party. We set our alarms for before 3am, and I was in bed around 8pm. Even though I knew I wouldn't oversleep between our various alarms, I still couldn't sleep! I tossed and turned totally excited for the race.

Last year, Erin and I were a little laid back about getting to the race, but this year we actually read the literature and took into account their recommendations. We needed to be on the bus by 4am, so we left our room by 3:30 to give ourselves time, I'm glad we did because there was a huge line waiting to get on the shuttles! I think 3 buses came before we got on one.

waiting for the bus

There was a bunch of traffic, so we arrived about a quarter til 5 am along with thousands of other delayed runners. There's about a 20 minute walk to the corrals, so we got a little anxious that we wouldn't make it. While we still had plenty of time, one of the volunteers yelled that we had 5 minutes to make it to our corral and if we didn't, then we'd be disqualified. Definitely not what you wanted to hear on your way to the race! Luckily, we made it to our corral with some time to spare.

We're ready to run!
As they released each corral and launched the fireworks, we slowly inched closer to the starting line. Soon it was our turn, and off we went! It was a slow start due to the crowds, but still I think the first mile marker came sooner than any of us expected. We were having fun checking out the other costumes and listening to people cheer on the princesses!

"Team Princess" was 7 members strong, but our Mulan was ready to race so we lost her shortly after the start. Two of our team members were placed in a corral further back. They were concerned for their pace and didn't plan to stop for characters, so they ran their own race. Meghan, Anne, Erin and I wanted to stick together, so we worked as a team through out the course. We even used the code word Mushu (like Mulan's dragon) to yell when we were separated. 

A few miles in, we saw a giant pirate ship and decided to take our first character photo with Jack Sparrow and Barbossa. It was quite a site to see the ship through the dark. It was a bit of a long wait, but it was fun to see our first characters. We also visited with Chip and Dale and then Jack and Sally from the Nightmare Before Christmas. We were especially excited for Jack, as he's my friend Meghan's favorite.

Our ChEAR squad was supposed to see us at mile 4, but they had a transportation fiasco and had to wait until mile 8 to see us. I think this worked out for the best, as there were a bunch of people at mile 4, and it would have been a quick hello.

Around mile 5 we entered the Magic Kingdom and saw a few minor Disney characters that we decided to bypass. We saw Belle with the Beast and Ariel, and we had to stop with them as their twins were our running buddies. The characters were super nice, and I think they loved seeing our costumes.

We paused for a photo in front of the castle before running through the rest of the Magic Kingdom. It was getting hot out and our pace slowed down for a bit. We started talking about all the wonderful food and drinks that we would enjoy later on, knowing that it would taste especially delicious because we earned it.

At mile 8, we were serenaded by our ChEAR squad duo who sang "eye of the tiger" as they ran beside the course. It was a crowded stretch without a ton of entertainment, so it was just the boost we needed!

We were also fortunate enough to run into our pals around mile 9, so our expanded team princess got to run/walk together.

Go team!
At mile 10 we opted to pick-up the pace a bit and were back down to 4 members. We kept telling ourselves there was just a 5k to go, and heck, we'd all run that the morning of Meghan's bridal shower and her wedding. Soon there were just 2 miles to go, and that's just a warm-up. We gave ourselves plenty of pep talks until we entered Epcot. At that point all we had to do was run for the giant golf ball.

The girls all hung in, and we stuck together. Pretty soon, Meghan and Anne had finished their first half marathons!(in costume no less!)

Team Princess totally rocked it on Saturday, and I was so happy to be a part of it. Can't wait to run with these ladies (and gentleman) again!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


A few days before Christmas I listed out some running related goals for myself. I realized I never did an update on these so here they are:

Write donation letters
Yes, I did write the letters. I even started working on a list of people to email. I haven't sent this out, but I am strategically waiting until when people have recovered a bit from the holidays. I know I wouldn't be giving to anyone right now.

Buy new running shoes
Check! I hit up Marathon Sports and went with something a bit different than what I had been running in. I'll write more on my new shoes soon.

Contact local businesses about fundraising events
Total fail on this one. I don't even have a good excuse. I just didn't do it.

Get in every single workout (runs, strength, yoga)
Yes and no. I fell back in love with Body Pump and did some strength training on my own. I went to a fabulous slow flow yoga class on Christmas Eve. It was exactly what I needed and felt so good. However, I ended up not running Christmas Day (some how ran out of time) or New Years Day (hangover, the movie and the experience).

Finalize Disney costume 
Done! Well I'm told I need a crown. I can buy it while I'm down there I'm sure.

Spend my City Sports Groupon
I have yet to do this. Santa was very good to me running wise, so I don't really need anymore winter apparel. I will probably use the Groupon for a Camelbak or something. My hydration belt is basically dead.

Use slow cooker
Yes! I made a Sweet Potato Lasagna in the slow cooker. It was ok. I sort of screwed up the recipe, but I don't blame the slow cooker for that one. I am actually really, really excited to start using this more.

Clearly I didn't have success across the board, but I did do a lot of what I wanted to accomplish. I just need to prioritize the remaining items in the coming weeks. I think I can handle that.