Favorite Things Friday! Vol: 2 (cold weather gear!!)

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!  This week was another short week and (to me at least) has FLOWN by.  I’ve been slacking a bit with the blog posts and for that I apologize.  There really isn’t an excuse, I’ve just forgotten to update!  Not excusable, but, c’est la vie!

So, on this FRIGID Friday – I want to list some of my FAVORITE gear for cold weather running!!  In the winter runners need to take extra care when picking clothes to run in.  Layers are a MUST, and you need to be conscious of frostbite on your fingers and toes!

  1.  Oiselle Jogging Tights: These things are simply amazing.  When the weather outside is frightful, you can bet your ass I’m in these tights (ful)! (har har – bad attempt at humor) My favorite feature with these tights are the compression.  Most of the compression tights that I have are pretty decent when it comes to keeping everything in one place, but they aren’t warm… at all.  The Jogging Tights by Oiselle keep my body warm – and keep my circulation up.  Also, they’re super cute.  When I’m looking for warmth and durability, “cute” isn’t usually something that I care about.  However, as a person who understands that looking a hot mess is not yet socially acceptable, I appreciate cuteness where I can get it. 🙂
  2. Oiselle Powerstretch Running Gloves: Sensing a theme here?  Oiselle has killer gear.  If you haven’t checked them out… DO IT NOW!  These gloves are my favorite gloves for running in the cold.  They are warm with the Polartec® Power Stretch® Pro technology but not too warm causing my hands to sweat and become gross.  Breathable is key with gloves for me. They’re touch screen compatible which is a HUGE plus for me.  I’m always checking my phone on runs; be it to make sure I’m keeping a safe speed, or I’m checking to see if my kiddo needs me – I need to be able to touch my phone without freezing my fingers off. Also, again, like the tights… they’re cute!image3.jpeg
  3. November Project Buff: Pictured above in Blue and below in black.  These gators/buffs are so awesome!  They are simple, stretchy fabric, but they help with wind tremendously!  I’ve been wearing one to walk from my parking garage to work everyday lately as the wind in Baltimore has been brutal! I also appreciate the versatility of the buffs.  I’m able to cover my ears like ear muffs, while keeping my neck warm and safe from windimage2.jpeg
  4. Smartwool PhD® Run Ultra Light Micro Socks: Super soft, super warm, super comfortable.  These socks, like the gloves I mentioned earlier, have a breathable material that keeps perspiration down.  (I’m a sweater – so these products are my savior)  No one appreciates the runner funk – and these socks are a way to avoid that when running in winter.  Also, unless I’m injured (which happens frequently) I prefer (even in below freezing temperatures) to have socks that are at my ankle.  I’ll wear compression socks that go to the knee, but only when necessary.  The Smartwool socks were actually given to me as a Ragnar Ambassador and I fell in love with them instantly.  I went out an bought three more pair.
  5. Running vest:  I have two that I wear frequently, one by Oiselle, and one my Lululemon.  Both companies no longer sell them (sad face) so I have no link to share!  I tend to carry things with me when I run, even when I plan not to.  Having a vest like the Kara Goucher inspired vest below, is a win win.  There are pockets on the sides, and a LARGE pocket in the back on my tush, to hold things.  Also, hood much?  LOVE IT! As I mentioned, I tend to sweat, so vests on top of my long sleeved shirts are perfect when I run to make sure I don’t overheat.  Image may contain: 1 person
  • What are your cold weather gear go-tos?
  • How cold is it where you are right now? (it’s a balmy 11° in Baltimore!)
  • Are you running outside, or are you running on the dreadmill?

Wishing you happy trails!! STAY WARM!! 🙂

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Don’t call it a come back..

I stumbled upon my blog last night while trolling my old instagram posts.  Ever done that?  It’s like a trip down memory lane.  It was brought to my attention that I haven’t posted anything in two years.  That stops today.  *celebratory dance*

Lets see… in the past two years;

I got married – yep! Took the plunge.  In May of 2017, on a rainy but perfect day, I married the man I’ve loved for the better part of my life.  Instead of going the traditional Greek Orthodox route (didn’t work out – we tried), we got married at Ripken Stadium, on home plate.  Our favors were peanuts and sunflower seeds, and the groomsman played baseball after the ceremony.  It was a pretty epic day.  Enjoy a *brief* snapshot below from our amazing photographer Lauren Mudrock. 🙂 19243288_10103576267817605_8211860964092132088_o.jpg1.jpg3.jpg4.jpg5.jpg56.jpg

I got a new job!  After two years of service at PinnacleCare, I resigned as a full time employee and accepted a position at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine at the Wilmer Eye Institute.  I also accepted a part time, contracted, position at PinnacleCare as a researcher.  (Obviously I wasn’t ready to leave entirely)  Working at Johns Hopkins has been pretty excellent.  In the three months that I’ve been employed, I’ve seen 4 different world class specialists… that were less than a 5 minute walk from my office door.  Also, I just finished my first research report for PC for Orthopaedics.  Pretty awesome considering I hear about eyes all day.

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I got sick.  Let me preface this with saying, I’m ok, I’m not dying, but I’m not well either.  I mentioned previously that I’ve seen 4 specialists in the last 90 days.  So this is what I’m working with right now.  I started to lose my hair, my body ached like I had the flu,  my energy level went straight to the crapper, and I gained some weight (*gasp*) even though my eating habits and activity level hadn’t changed.  There were/are some other symptoms, but I wont bore you/gross you out with those. 😉  Long story short,  I have some type of autoimmune issue.  Plainly… my body is attacking itself, for one reason or another.  Fun right?  Eh, not really.  Now, It’s important for me to mention that I’m still a fully functional adult.  Apart from missing a few hours here and there to attend appointments, I’m ALWAYS at work, ALWAYS running around with my munchkin, and ALWAYS at school.  I refuse to let whatever is going on mess up my life.

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I (almost) finished school! I graduate (finally) from University of Maryland in May of 2018.  To say this is a long time coming is a bit of an understatement.  As most of you know, I moved to Germany in my early 20’s and then popped out a kid.  So, I obviously put school on hold for a bit.  I’m pretty pleased that I’ve been able to knock out school, work full time, and be a “super cool mom” (Als words, not mine) all while feeling like a steaming pile of hot garbage.

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And finally, I got to play nurse.  My husband, in his almighty wisdom, broke his hand.  I’m not sure if you remember, but my ex husband was injured, pretty severely, requiring surgery and a LONG rehabilitation process in 2007.  I believe this is what sparked my love for healthcare.  When my husband called me and told me he broke his hand, I jumped into nurse mode.  (Let me be clear, I’m NOT a nurse, nor do I claim to have more than minimal medical knowledge)  I love helping people, everyday, every instance.  When the person who needs my help is my husband, I get to channel my love for him into care.  (*shifty eyes* I’m not sure I worded that correctly, but you get my drift) Knowing that someone needed my help, even if for little things, made my everyday routine more worthwhile.  I’m one of those women who like to be needed.

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As this is usually a running related blog, and I’ve already bored you with my personal life (har har) let me fill you in on some neat running things going on in my life as well.

I got into BERLIN! I entered the Berlin Marathon lottery on a whim as I’d never done a lottery race before…. ever.  I waited patiently until the last week of November when I 100% expected to receive an email saying “Sorry!”  Yep, well… not quite what happened.  I opened the “CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’RE ALREADY A WINNER” email (which made me smile solely on the title) to find out that my number was drawn and I was invited to run Berlin in 2018.  [[ Brief history time – Germany holds my heart.  I lived in Germany for a few years and was blessed to be able to travel frequently while over there.  I saw parts of Germany that made me realize that my view on the world was entirely wrong.  There were so many other things that needed to be explored outside of the continental United States.  Also, the most important person in my life was born in Germany – my kiddo.  After moving back stateside in 2010, I realized just how much I loved and missed living in Germany and I vowed to go back as soon as I was able.  Getting accepted into the Berlin Marathon is my chance to finally get back to the country that fills my heart. ]]  Get ready for some Berlin training and packing and freaking out posts to come in the future.  (also, take note that the background photo on my blog is from an adorable town in Germany called Rothenburg ob der Tauber.)

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I finished my 6th full marathon at Marine Corps in October 2017.  Running with the Marines is something that brings me more joy then I can explain with words.  I’ve run MCM twice, and plan to run every year for the foreseeable future, be it through the 17.75k guaranteed entry, through charity, or through lottery.  I know many runners that refuse to run the same race twice, which I completely understand and respect, but I hold Marine Corps in a different category.  As an Army Veteran, I love the idea of any race built around the military.  The fact that Marines line the course at this race is amazing.  They are kind, encouraging, and pretty adorable (I didn’t see any that were over 20 years old this year).  To have the finisher medal put around my neck by a member of the armed forces is … well, it’s just epic.

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That’s about all I have for you today.  I’ve missed you – hopefully you’ve missed me enough to have read through this lengthy post. As per the usual, I’ll end with a few questions!

  • How have your last two years been??
  • Have you ever run a race in another country?
  • Do you have any “must do” races that you’ll run over and over again?

 

 

The depressed runner…

Many people don’t understand why I run.  Especially people close to me.  Which is weird… because they’re supposed to be the people that know me the best, right?  Regardless, last night I ran… I ran hard.  It was my first “real” time hitting the pavement since Ragnar this past weekend (don’t worry, I’ll recap the shit out of that Relay when I have time to upload all of my pictures).

I spent most of my day at the office yesterday on the verge of tears, angry, bitter, in the office bathroom silently crying to myself.  Easy to say it wasn’t a good day.  So, I figured, as I usually do after TERRIBLE days, “I’ll run this out”.  (Let me preface this by saying… I took a NASTY fall on the first leg of Ragnar… NASTY!! Swollen, bloody knees, excessive shin pain, ankle pain… Just incredibly yucky, however I’d be able to walk with minimal limping, so I thought I could handle a small run… BOY was I mistaken…)  So I laced up my shoes, put on my SUPER cute “SweatPink” tank, and headed out the door.  I have a pretty mean hill right outside of my development so the thought popped into my head… “BRF is 5 weeks out, and it’s hilly as all get out, lets do hills!!”  (bad idea Stace)  I start running… HARD.  I’m not fast, at all, I never claim to be.  On hills, I’m slower then a turtle in molasses.  However, I ran my first mile of hill intervals in 9:26.  (not too bad!)  Especially when my most recent mile PR is 9:08.  Throwing hills in there??? NOT TO FUCKING SHABBY!! Anyway… around mile 1.75, I noticed a sharp pain I didn’t like… at all.  I thought I was going down… I looked at my phone and realized I was close to a mile marker and pushed even hard (thank God I was going down hill…)  I finished that mile at 9:20.  9:23 average on hills for 2 miles… I’ll take it.  What I WONT take is the EXCRUCIATING pain that followed… I barely made it back to my apartment.  I get to the door, hands shaking, get the key in, drop everything, get to the freezer and grab two large ice packs.  I make it to the front of the living room and my legs buckle… I’m on my knees.  (remember that fall I mentioned previously?? YEA THAT WAS FUCKING FUN!! *tears*)  I pulled myself back up and fell onto the couch.  Ice packs on both legs, tears streaming down my face, grabbing the couch for dear life (like its going to somehow help me), clenching my teeth so I don’t scream out in agony.

The first things running through my head:

  1. Stress fracture?
  2. What if I can’t run anymore?
  3. My marathon is 5 weeks away?
  4. Oh shit, I’m going to throw up
  5. I might pass out….
  6. FUCK THIS HURTS!!!!
  7. I need water… and no one is here to help me
  8. I can’t stop crying long enough to pick up the phone….
  9. WHY DID I RUN TODAY
  10. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK!!!!!

I’ve felt pain… I have a high pain tolerance.  This wasn’t pussy “oh, I have a boo-boo” pain.  I thought I broke something.  I was petrified.  Running is my therapy.  I was speaking to someone recently who asked me why I run so much… I responded as honestly as I could; “Running saved my life”.   When you suffer from depression, you need an out… a way to escape (even if briefly) from the hell that you experience everyday.  (If you don’t have depression, or don’t understand depression, don’t comment or judge… you.don’t.get.it.) Running is my out.  If I lose it, I don’t know where to go from there.

As I lay, helpless on the couch, with my fears flashing before my eyes… I cried harder.  Oh yea, the pain was cruel… almost punishing… but the fear that I wouldn’t be able to run again was worse.  “What do I do now?” “Where do I go from here?”  After an hour of ice and elevation, I was about to stand without my legs buckling under me.  I slowly walked to my room and CAREFULLY applied compression sleeves to both of my legs.  I prayed. (not something I do enough, I’ll admit)  This morning, I’m walking.  It hurts, but I’m walking.

I know this post is WAY less perky then most of my posts, but it’s honest.  And if you know anything about me, I’m honest… especially about myself and my running.  I wont say that I hope you enjoyed the post, but I hope you read it and understand a little more about me because of it.

#FridayFive! {Race Rituals} Linking up with @marmaone1, @Yousignedup and @EatPrayRunDC

Good morning lovely people of the internet!!! It’s finally Friday!!! (Yea, I know it was a short week, but this week was a rough one for me, so I’m thankful it’s Friday!)  You know what Friday’s bring right?! *drum roll please… (off in the distance a small snare drum rolls) THE FRIDAY FIVE!!!! w00t!!  As per the usual, I’m linking up with three of the coolest chicks I know (virtually) Mar from Mar on the Run! Cynthia from You Signed up for what?! and Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC!, lovingly known as the DC Trifecta.  This weeks theme for the Friday Five is Race Rituals.  Since I’m a novice runner… this is a bit of a thinker.  However, I’ve run almost 50 races, so I was able to look back and think… “well, what did I do that stuck!”  This is what I was able to come up with…

1. Flat Stacey –  Laying my outfit out the night before… Bib already safety pinned onto my shirt, skirt or shorts ready, (if its a longer race) BioSkin calf sleeves lined up, socks, shoes, headband ( I have a LOT of hair), bra (ladies, you KNOW how important the right sports bra is!!), underwear (again… very important), all laid out in front of me to make sure I’m race ready when my alarm goes off a zero dark thirty the next morning so I’m not running around like a chicken with my head cut off!! Sometimes I even lay out what supplements (Like energybits and Nuun – Both ABSOLUTE MUSTS FOR RACES!!!) I’ll need, so I can throw them in my bag… also to save time!

Example minus the bib (didn't want the number stolen!!)

Example minus the bib (didn’t want the number stolen!!) and yes, thats a small toddler hand, lower left. ❤

2. Carb Loading –  This is a relatively new thing for me, as the long distance running is relatively new… it’s also been REALLY hard!! I can’t eat a lot at one sitting, so shoving copious of pasta down my throat is actually nauseating.  However, I’ve devised a plan where I can eat enough to sustain the energy I need with out puking all over myself pre race. YAY!!!

3. Post Race Pee – Yea, it needs to be done.  Every race, every time.  I know they have port-a-potties on the courses, but I’m already not a fast runner.   I’m not wasting ANY more of my time standing in line at one of those things!!  NOPE!!! Sorry!!! Always running on an empty bladder, this one!! 🙂

4. Creating a playlist – I usually create a play list for specific distances… no necessarily specific runs, however… I have a Baltimore 10 Mile list, and a Charles Street 12 List, so they are both! (milage and race specific!)  I have to have special blood pumping tunes to get me through my runs otherwise, I’m sluggish, not motivated, and just… well, not having fun!!

5. Post race noms (and drinks) –  The AMAZINGNESS of food after you’ve best the crap out of your body.  The term “Rungry” never made sense until after my first half marathon… EAT ALL THE THINGS!!!! Holy crap, I’m starving after races!! Not a huge fan of alcohol after a race… point me to the nearest water station and hand me a banana!!!

What are your race rituals?!! Have they changed since you’ve first started running?? As always have a great weekend!! Stay healthy!! ❤

#FridayFive – Fall Fitness Fun! Linking up with @EatPrayRunDC, @YouSignedUp, and @Marmaone1

Good Morning beautiful people of the social media world!!! And an extra happy Friday to you, because for MOST of us, its the start of a long Holiday weekend!! Yay!! What this also means, however, is that Summer is coming to an end… But!! Don’t be upset!!  Autumn brings lots of wonderful things!! Changing of leaves, Pumpkin spiced lattes, cooler temperatures, nice warm sweaters, I could go on… as Autumn is my FAVORITE season of the four… but I (as usual) digress… So!! The Friday five this week is all about Fall Fitness Fun!!  And, as per the usual, I’m linking up with Cynthia at You Signed up for what?!, Mar at Mar on the Run! and Courtney and Eat Pray Run DC! (The DC Trifecta!)  So, lets just jump right into this thing, shall we??

1. Ragnar DC –  This will be my first EVER relay race, and first race ever running on a team.  I’m more than a little excited about this.  My team “Peer Pressured” (great name right?) Is made up of 12 people, all but 3 I know personally) and we’ll be in 2 vans for 36 hours! (It’s a 200 mile race… yes, I said 200 miles).  It roughly divides up to 16.67 miles a piece.  Although I think I’m running closer to 15 and my boyfriend is running closer to 18.  All depends on what leg your assigned. Either way… SOOOO PUMPED!!! Bring on RAGNAR!!!

September 12-13

2. Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon – Yes, I’ve already completed three half marathons… so what make this one any different?  Well, ladies and gentleman… This is the half where I’m hoping to break my 2:30 mark.  *fingers crossed*.  I’ve been working on my speed (not as much as I should… but shhhhush) and with a little less than 2 months away, I think I might be able to do it.  Even a 2:29:59… I’ll take it! I just want to break the 2:30.  Also!! This is the end of the king crab challenge that I’ve mentioned in previous posts! Soooo, I get some SUPER sweet swag at the end! 🙂

3. Cooler running temperatures –  I don’t know about any of you other runners, but I feel like I could puke after running HARD in 86-90 degrees.  The difficulty breathing, the MASSIVE sweat, the muscle fatigue… no thank you.  Nothing beats a 68 degree run for me.  (that’s pretty specific I know…) 68 degrees is my PERFECT temperature for a run.  Not too cold, and DEFINITELY not too hot. I can still sweat (sweat is sexy), and I can still feel the burn… however I feel the breeze of the Autumn air, and I don’t feel the urge to vomit.  Win Win!

4. Alex starts Goddard – (this isn’t fitness, but it makes me happy, so I’m sharing anyway) I’m so excited for him to start an actual School!! He’s been in “daycare” before, but he’s never been in school before. My son is extremely intelligent.  I know every parent says that about their kid, and truly believes it.  Great.  Congratulations.  However, I’m not just saying this.  There’s a very good chance my son is a savant. He surprises people everywhere he goes with his verbal skills, is constantly turning heads when we’re out as we have complete conversations about the differences between Herbivore and a Carnivore.  He has caused people to approach us at venues and ask how old he is (visibly shocked when I say he’s only 3) after hearing him speak.  At a packet pick up he accompanied me too… a Speech pathologist (who was a volunteer) said “Goodness, you speak VERY well! How old are you?” To which he responds… “I’m 3, but I’ll be 4 on my birthday… 10.10.10” She looked at me and starred… I smiled, and she said “He’s quite bright!” I said, “Thank, I know.” 🙂  I’m thrilled that he’s FINALLY going to be in a place he can thrive and GROW!! 🙂

5. Changing of the leaves – One of my favorite things to see on a run is the changing of the leaves.  They are SOOOO beautiful in Maryland.  It breaks my hearts when they start to fall off the trees.  lol.  So, When I take my long runs, I usually stop and snap a few photos of the leaves (especially on the NCR) just so I can remember them after they’ve gone.  

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I hope you enjoyed my FALL Friday five!! As always, enjoy your Friday and LONG weekend!! Stay happy and healthy!! ❤

#FridayFive 5 things I love about @Nov_Proj_Balt!!! Linking up with @EatPrayRunDC, @Marmaone1 and @Yousignedup!!

First off, let me apologize the the late post… I usually bust these Friday Fives out first thing, but… I had an excellent excuse this morning.  I was with my tribe.  (say what??)   My tribe.  November Project Baltimore.  This Friday, the topic is “5 things I love about ____” So, naturally after my AMAZING work out this morning, it was a no brainer for me to chose NP as my “thing” that I love!! 

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As per the usual, I’m linking up with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC!, Mar at Mar On The Run!, and Cynthia over at You signed up for what??  Also known as the DC Trifecta!! So, lets get this ball rolling!!!

1.  It’s free –  No, really.  A fitness experience that costs you LITERALLY nothing.  If you’re lucky enough to live by the locations, you don’t even pay for gas!! If you’re like me however, and you are driving from Towson to Fells point (on Wednesdays) or Patterson Park (on Fridays), THE PARKING IS FREE!!! So, seriously… IT’S FREE!!!!

2. It’s early – this is a HUGE plus for me.  I’m an early bird already… plus my hours at work at 6am-2:30pm… so the earlier the better.  But my hours are flexible (luckily) so I can make up time during the week and come in late on days when I kick ass with my tribe!! But… for all you 9-5ers, you get to NP at 6:30, you’re done by 7:10-7:15, that gives you enough time to get home, shower, AND get back to work before work!! (If I can do it, so can you…) Also!! On Wednesdays, NP Baltimore offers a 5:30 workout for the REAL early risers!! w00t!!

3. It’s motivating – I’m the kind of person who gets bored easily… not during a November project work out.   This morning for instance… THE HILLS WERE ALIVE IN PATTERSON PARK PEOPLE!!! WHOOO!!! No, really.  Hills are… well, not my favorite, so I tend to zone out a bit.  Leave it to my tribe to motivate the crap out of me!!  Patrick, who I just met today, (one of the co-leaders) was on his bike carrying music up and down the hills (yea… really!!) and as he passed me he yelled “NICE STACEY KEEP IT UP!!”  Bam!  Instant push to run faster.  I also met another tribe member for the first time today named Maurice (super cool dude).  He passed me a few times, and each time he cracked a joke!!  I went from huffing and puffing, to giggling and running faster!! It was AWESOME!  

4. All ages and all body types –  This kind of speaks for it self… There is no discrimination at the November Project.  It’s a beautiful thing.  I’m still extremely new to the tribe and I feel more love and acceptance from this group of people then I have from ANY other group I’ve worked out with.  This includes sports teams I’ve played on for years! You don’t see snickering, you don’t hear teasing… it’s a no bullshit environment.  Respect for everyone that #justshowedup.

5. ITS FUN!!!! – My sister thinks I’m nuts because I told her (and I quote) “I had SO MUCH FUN working out this morning!”  She gave me this “what are you smoking?!” kind of face… and then said “Well, you are in a MUCH better mood today then yesterday!!” I just smiled and said, “Thank the november project!”  No joke, I’ve never had such a good time WORKING OUT in my entire 29 years on this planet.  EVER.  Giggles, jokes, (so many) high fives, hugs, profanity (which means more giggling), and of course the fact that I’m bettering myself by working out… are just AMAZING!!!

Check out the November Project website to see if there is a tribe near you… seriously… #JustShowUp!!! ❤

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#Chuck12 race recap – sponsoredby @BioSkin!! @CharmCityRun #runbaltimore #runchat #sweatpink

The Charles Street 12 or  “Chuck12” (ya know, because we’re bros) is an amazing race that I was able to participate in this past Saturday.  I came into the race a bit unprepared and with a few injuries, but I did it!!  Also, and more importantly, this race I had the honor of being sponsored by BioSkin!! Looking at the race photos, I look like a poster child for BioSkin, lol. I’m rocking their amazing Calf Sleeves, and amazing new product they have out called the Ten-7, and a BioSkin t-shirt! 🙂 (More about that at the bottom of the post!!!)

chuck12

Charles Street is a historic road (like… really, it was laid out in 1730!) that runs through Baltimore.  It starts near where I live in Towson, and runs all the way into Baltimore City. (No, we didn’t run the ENTIRE length of the road… only 12 miles – yea, I giggled after I typed that.. only 12 miles.)  I was really excited to run this course because it’s a baby race!  Let me explain… it’s younger than my son.  This race is 2 years old, and I was pumped to be getting in on the action early in its “career”!!  Also, what excited me about the “Chuck12” was the elevation and course map.   I love my city.  Yea, we have some issues… but Baltimore is beautiful.  So, the idea of running passed monuments like the Baltimore Basilica, Loyola University, Towson University, The Walters Art Gallery, The Peabody institute, only to end at power plant? Yea… I was sold. (and yes, I did run past all of those places. All as beautiful as I remember. 🙂 I also got to run through Harbor place!! 🙂 Gorgeous!! Really.  So anyway, back to elevation… this was a bit misleading… the elevation chart posted on the website makes the course look like a piece of cake!! Look…

Chuck 12 Elevation Chart

                                      Chuck 12 Elevation Chart

Yea… No.  Well, at least not for me.  Like I mentioned, I was coming in a bit unprepared, and a bit injured.  However, I had a small army of compression, thanks to BioSkin, that (for real) saved me during this race.  The “bumps” as they’re lovingly called on the Charles St 12 website kicked my ass!!  No joke.  I was feeling a serious burn at mile 4.  Luckily because of my “army”, I kept trucking.  I inadvertently passed myself with a group of runner from Fleet feet Running.  They were keeping a decent clip that wasn’t making me feel like death, and wasn’t hurting my ankle too terribly… so I kept pace with them.  (I recognized the shirts they had on because my office is 3 miles from Fleet Feet’s Baltimore location.)  Around mile 8 I picked up some speed and lost them.  I started thinking to myself, “Ok, 1/3 to go, you’ve got this… just don’t stop”.  Yea, I tend to divide my races up mathematically to make me feel better about the distance I’ve “traveled” or the distance I have yet to travel. Weird, but effective.  (I never said I was normal, lol).  Little did I know there was a KILLER hill right ahead of me… *sigh*. Eh, Embrace the suck.  I trucked… slowly up the hill and on the way down noticed something… well… interestingly dressed people.  I thought “shit, did I run to hard? Am I going to pass out?? I’m seeing things!!” Then I remembered by supervisor talking about her oldest son going to an anime convention this weekend in the Harbor… *lightbulb* Otakon (sp?) HUGE sigh of relief that I wasn’t about to fall out in front of all these people!!  Best part?? This was the first time during the whole race where people were cheering!   It was actually a nice change from the IRATE drivers that we’d been dealing with throughout the rest of the race. Seriously though… these people were driving through the runners, almost hitting them, beeping at us, and yelling at the very polite Baltimore City Police officers that were trying to protect us.  What the actual f?  I’m sorry, but what part of a few thousand runner are you missing here bud?!! Eh well, Obviously I survived without getting pummeled by a ridiculous driver.  I saw the photographers on Harbor place and had to dodge a few tourists in order to not have them block the shot (Ludacris – “Move bitch”… yea… JUST LIKE THAT!)  Luckily, I had shades on… otherwise the eye rolls may have been offensive.  Once again though… you see A TON OF RUNNERS COMING AT YOU… at least to me, that would mean, GET OUT OF THE WAY!!! But then again… maybe that’s runner logic?  I don’t know.  Again, didn’t get taken out by a rouge tourist either!  Yay!! *small victories!!*  I ran past the World Trade Center in Baltimore and started to see other runners with medals.. “w00t!! my slow ass is almost done this thing!!” (yes I have an inner monologue while running)  Turned the corner towards Power plant and BAM!! There she was… THE FINISH ARCH!!! 🙂 Gorgeous as ever!! 🙂 I got my BANGING medal… 

Epic Bling!!

Epic Bling!!

And then searched for water… yea… that wasn’t really cool, but I found it eventually.  What WAS cool was the boxed lunch offered.  Little turkey sandwich, chips (which I gave to Alex) and a Green Apple… which I also gave to Alex… Eh… Mom problems. lol. At least I got the sandwich.  I didn’t partake in the beer because I knew I still had a TON of moving left to do that day, and alcohol + injury + dehydration + moving = NOT GOOD!!! So, I drank my water said good bye to my buddies, and peaced out!! 

This picture is from the Charm City Run IG page, and guess who is RIGHT behind me (in O’s orange) and I didn’t know until AFTER this picture was posted… SALT (Lauren)!! lol. Yay for me being oblivious! 🙂 Also, yay for Baltimore blogger pictures! 🙂

photo of the Towson/Lutherville/Cockeysville Charm City Run runners before the race!

photo of the Towson/Lutherville/Cockeysville Charm City Run runners before the race!

Pros –

  • Amazing Under Armour Premium
  • Epic Bling
  • Tasty post race food
  • Beautiful course
  • Very well prepared overall
  • (not like this was in anyone’s control) PERFECT WEATHER
  • live post race entertainment

Cons –

  • Crazy drivers trying to out run the cops
  • misleading elevation chart
  • hard to find water at the finish line
  • tourists blocking race photographers
  • (person preference) no banana/fruit at the finish line

Will I do this race again next year? You bet your ass I will!! Also, I wont miss out on the B3 series by an hour, so I’ll hopefully get the epic swag that a lot of my friends were able to partake in this year!! (B3 was a 5k, 10k, and this race “series”… you run all three, got an extra medal and an Under Armour backpack… I ran the 10K and this race… the 5K sold out an hour before I could sign up, so I couldn’t partake… soooo, NEXT YEAR!!!)  

Now, let me take a moment to tell you about my “Army“… The Ten-7 is what BioSkin sent me upon sponsorship.  This thing is amazing!!  I told Jake (my contact) that I was having some knee pain while biking, and when I planted my foot in certain ways.  This “Brace” took away ALL of the pain in my knee… for the whole 12 miles! (don’t believe me? Look at the videos on their website and hear from other people).  This thing is awesome because it’s a knee brace, but it doesn’t touch your knee… look… 

ten7

                Ten-7

Pull it on, tighten, go! Of course, I’m also a HUGE fan of the calf sleeves from BioSkin.  Pretty much any race I run 10 miles or over, they’re on my legs.  I have SERIOUS shin splints, and these bad boys keep me able to run. I’m a firm believer in proof… So, I can jabber at you all day, but you can look at my race photos as proof.  ALL OF THEM, I’m wearing BioSkin calf sleeves. I’m telling you right now… I.will.not.run.long.distances.without.them.  Nope, sorry not sorry.  

not the best picture of me personally, but you can see the calf sleeves, and the ten-7.

not the best picture of ME personally, but you can see the calf sleeves, and the ten-7.

I hope you enjoyed reading both my race recap, and my product review!! As always, stay happy and healthy!! ❤

#Friday Five!! {Race Memories} Linking up with @EatPrayRunDC, @Marmaone1 and @Yousignedup!! #runchat #sweatpink #runbaltimore

dc_linkup

 

Good morning!!! It’s friday!! (w00t) This work week has been a CRAZY one, and I for one am thankful it’s finally at it’s end! So, it’s time for the Friday Five!!! As per the usual I’m linking up with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC!,  Mar from Mar on the Run! and Cynthia at You Signed up for what?! (the DC Trifecta). This weeks’ theme is Race Memories to which I have MANY!! It was actually difficult for me to pick 5… I think this is the first time since starting the Friday five that I’ve had difficulty picking 5 things!! Crazy right?! So, lets get started!! 

 

1. Casey Cares 5k @ Oriole Park At Camden Yards – How many people can say, “I got to run on the same field as the Orioles?! As a wicked O’s fan, this was amazing!! Also, (fangirl moment… please pardon me) Nick Markakis and his wife were the race announcers.  I’m not only a fan of Nick because he’s adorable and humble, but he’s an AMAZING ball player.  He just recently got his 1500th hit (I think he’s at 1505 now), which puts him second of all time for Orioles outfielders, only behind Brady Anderson. (told you… fangirl). 🙂 So, yea EPIC experience!! 🙂

Me and Dad @ OPACY!!

Me and Dad @ OPACY!!

Running onto the field at Camden Yards

Running onto the field at Camden Yards

2. 5k Foam Fest – This race was the first race I’ve ever done with my sister!! The obstacles left a bit to be desired, but I was REALLY happy to FINALLY complete a race with Stephanie!! She was only 2 months postpartum and was AWESOME!! Seriously proud big sister moment!! It disappoints me that this company has gone out of business, but I’m REALLY happy Steph and I were able to participate in one of the races before they went under. Sister bonding while running, is something you really can’t describe. 🙂

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Steph’s on the right in white… looking like a Pro!!

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mandatory OCR smile 😉

We did it!! :-)

                          We did it!! 🙂

 

3. My 5K PR at the BWC 5K!! – This Race is my favorite race of all time, but I’ve already done a HUGE recap on it here… One of my fondest race day memories. 🙂

BWCPR BWCflower

 

4. Father’s Day 5K @ GBMC – This was the first race with my Daddy!! (First of many!) This was the day (little did I know…) That I created a monster (the best kind of monster).  My father and I have since done two more races, and have singed up for 4 more. 🙂  We have daily text conversations on his progress… and he calls me “coach” (*smile*).  I had no idea how much this awesome race would impact my father positively, but I’m SURE glad I asked him to join me in the race!! 🙂 

Dad's first 5K!!

             Dad’s first 5K!!

5. My first 1/2 marathon @ the Frederick Running Festival – No one forgets their first 1/2. No one… This was an amazing experience, and again… I’ve recapped this race also… here. 🙂 

halfmartime halfmarpic halfmarmed halfmardino

 

What are you’re favorite race memories?? Have you been to any of the races I’ve mentioned above??  Maybe I saw you and didn’t realize!! 🙂  And as always, have a happy and healthy Friday!! 🙂 

 

#FridayFive {Whats New!} linking up with @marmaone1 @yousignedup & @EatPrayRunDC #np_bal #bioskin

It’s FRIDAY!!! You know what that means ladies and gents… 

drum-roll-please

 

It’s time for the “funnest” blog post day of the week!!! The Friday Five theme today is “whats new?” So, I’m going to try my best and think of some new and exciting things to share with you!! First and foremost, let me shout out the DC Trifecta that make this happen every week… I’m (as usual) linking up with Mar from Mar on the Run!, Cynthia from You signed up for what? and Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC.  Ok, lets get down to the nitty gritty… (seriously Stace?)

1. I’m moving –  That’s new right?! I’d say so! My boyfriend, Austin, and I are taking a huge step and moving in together.  We live 20 minutes away from each other now, and it’s not terrible to drive to each others house, but we don’t see each other very much… which isn’t fun.  So in a little over a week, we’re getting a cute little apartment together (and of course my amazing son!). I just hope Towson can handle the awesomeness of “Ten and Face“! I’m STUPID excited. w00t!! 🙂

2. Alex is starting preschool – *tears* This isn’t cool… well, I mean, it is…. but it’s not. Any other mother out there knows how I’m feeling right now.  I’m thrilled that he’s going to be attending an actual “school” as opposed to a daycare, but this is another one of the signs that my baby is growing up…. 

darthvaderHe’ll be attending the Goddard School, which has an outstanding reputation and very reputable teachers.  After visiting the location, I’m extremely comfortable with him going there… but he’s my baby!!! *sob* Ok ok ok, I’m ok… I just want him to be small and adorable and innocent forever, but I know… that’s not possible. So!! This is a wonderful stepping stone for him.  I know every mother (and father) think they have a brilliant child, but Alex continues to amaze me, teachers, doctors, and strangers, on the regular.  I’m beyond happy that he’ll be able to thrive at Goddard! ❤

3. I got sponsored by BioSkin!! – Pretty incredible right?!  Every month BioSkin takes applications for athletes to be sponsored.  What do I mean? (I know I’m being a bit vague)… They pay for a race fee, send you some swag, and an awesome shirt that you wear on race day to represent them.  What do I have to do in return?  I wear their product (which isn’t a problem, I’m IN LOVE with the calf sleeves I already have from them) and the shirt, take a BUTT load of pictures, and write a race recap.  Freaking incredible!! 🙂 

4. I’m running 100 miles this August – this is more of a goal, but it’s also “new” because I haven’t been able to break with 45 mile mark any month this year.  Be it injuries, family issues, illness, whatever… it just hasn’t happened.   Well, this month, it’s happening.  This is my 100 mile month. The best part, I don’t have any half marathons this month!! SOOOO it’ll take some extra hustle for me to make it, but I’m going to do it!! 🙂

5. I’m part of the tribe! – Tribe? What the hell? Yea… November Project. What is this November project I speak of?? Only the most fantastic thing I’ve ever stumbled upon in Baltimore!!  Every Wednesday  morning, at Rash field in Federal Hill, a group of amazingly welcoming people get together to workout, hug, high five, and yell (a lot) together.  (If you’re not a morning person, this isn’t for you… they meet at 5:30 and 6:30)  I had SUCH an incredible time!! Never did I think I’d enjoy running stairs, box jumps, and burpees are much as I did this past wednesday morning.  I giggled more in that 45 minutes then I think I have the rest of the week!!  I was pumped and motivated the rest of the day and I can’t wait for the next time.  The motto for November Project is #justshowup… because IT’S FREE!!! Everything about it is free, the parking, the work out, the swag (bring a shirt and you get tagged with the #grassrootsgear logo), and the fun!! ALL FREE!!! JUST SHOW UP!!! Check it out…

               Wednesdays Group 

I’m the girl, second row from the bottom, towards the middle, gray shirt, pink headband, HUGE SMILE!!!

PR day; this shot is frickin awesome… 

coming atcha....

                        coming atcha….

I hope you enjoyed my Friday Five!!! And as always, have a GREAT, health and happy weekend!!! ❤ 

 

#FridayFive!! {Goals} Linking up with @EatPrayRunDC, @YouSignedUp, and @Marmaone1

Good morning and HAPPY FRIDAY!!!! Goodness this week seemed long!! For anyone else?? No? Eh.. ok. Well at least it’s friday! Yay!!   This Friday the theme is Goals.  Should be fun!! As per the usual, I’m linking up with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DCCynthia at You Signed up for what?! and Mar at Mar On The Run!! (The DC Trifecta!!) 

dc_linkup

 

So here we go!!! (tag along for the ride, wont ya?!)

1. To lose weight – Yea, that sounds a bit ridiculous. But before you judge, let me explain.  I haven’t been eating very well due to some unforeseen circumstances that were both under and out of my control.  I went to the doctor Wednesday for my arm (if you don’t know about that – I strained a ligament in a Masada Tactical class… pretty freaking amazing class, not awesome getting your ass handed to you on a platter when you’re not ready however) and of course, I got weighed… In the past four months I’ve gained almost 13 pounds.  THAT IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE!!  Soooo, I’m going to start thinking about my food choices better. The Whole30 thing was a complete bust… I was miserable and didn’t lose a pound. I praise people that it works for, HOWEVER it did NOT work for me.  Sooo NEXT PLEASE!  Also, I’m in love with meat, always have been, (my Father, the PhD, grew up on a farm, so fresh meat was ALWAYS on the table) so vegan/vegetarian  isn’t an option… sorry!!! So I’m thinking smaller portions?  Better quality? And MUCH MUCH MORE time working out. I’ve been mentally and physically exhausted.  However, it’s time to get my butt in gear!! 

2. Run a sub 2:30 half marathon – I’m close… not ridiculously, but I’m close.  I’m at 2:38:46 right now… and my next half is in October.  So I’m hoping with some speed work I can get this… Since the beginning of the year this has been my goal and I have yet to meet it.  The Baltimore Running Festival half marathon in October with be my 4th half this year… so, maybe 4th times the charm?? (please please please?!!!) Any speedy runners out there and I know there are a lot of you, I could use ANY advice on speed training.  I’m DEFINITELY a novice runner.  Yes, I run, and I run a lot… but I’m completely ignorant on how to improve.  Unfortunately I cannot afford a coach (which pisses me off), and some of the AMAZING training offered at me favorite local running store Charm City Run is more expensive then the actual run!! *sad face*. So any advice that I can do on my own that wont break the bank is EXTREMELY appreciated!! I really wanna kick this time in the pants!! lol. Thanks in advance!! (oh no… I just unintentionally rhymed… /facepalm)

3. Run a sub 30 5K – ALSO very close… I’m sitting at a 31:31 PR right now… and this is killing me. “If I hadn’t slowed down through the water stops would I have made it to 30??”  The course was perfect, the conditions were perfect, and my legs felt amazing… so I’m kicking myself in the ass for not making it under 30 that day… BUT the past is just that… the past.  SO like one of my favorite guys once said… 

keep_moving_forward_4059969_lrg

 

4. Triathlon – Yep I said the T word!!! I’ve already looked at (more than) a few and I’m more than interested.  The ONLY thing holding me back is money. (see a theme here?!) So, I’m setting a reasonable goal.  I want to complete a triathlon when I’m 30. (That’s next year in case you are new to the blog, lol). That way I can get a bike, get a suit (I’m not swimming in a freaking bikini for a Tri), and get a membership to MAC so I can train. (My job offers ridiculous discounts to the MAC… which is why I chose that as my club for training). 

5. STAY HAPPY!! –  With the recent weight gain, the lack of energy, its easy to get a bit blue.  But my final (and I think) most important goal is to STAY HAPPY!!! Keep smiling!! It’s a beautiful day every time you wake up on this side of the dirt (cliche or not, its true), so SMILE BEAUTIFUL!! 

AnimatedSmiley

 

As always, have a happy and healthy weekend!! ❤