Friday Five!! 5 things that get me to the finish line! #runbaltimore

Happy Friday!! Even though this week was a short one, I’m so happy its over! ¬†Waking up on a Friday sets my mood to “Happy”. ūüôā ¬†I’m linking up with my girls from the DC trifecta today,¬†Courtney of Eat Pray Run DC, Mar of Mar on the Run and Cynthia of You Signed Up for What?!. ¬†We have a free Friday today (no theme), so I’m going to talk about the 5 things that get me to the finish line. ¬†Because I have been running a WIDE range of distances the last two weeks, some will be long distance specific, some will be shorter.

  1. My Garmin Forerunner 620¬†garmin_620_white-orange_l-550x400I’ve only had my Garmin¬†since May, and I’m pretty much obsessed. ¬†If I happen to forget to put it on after my shower, I feel completely naked. ¬†(even right now as its charging, my wrist feels… weird) ¬†This little watch is amazing! ¬†I’m not a fast runner by any stretch of the imagination. ¬†Being able to track my pace just by looking at my wrist makes me feel fast. ¬†Don’t laugh too hard at this, please… On Wednesday, my father and I ran the Ravens5K. ¬†My dad is quick, but I felt pretty strong, so I kept pace with him for a while. ¬†I looked down at my Garmin because I started to have some shin pain. ¬†We were running a 9:30 mile. ¬†(remember that part where I said I wasn’t fast!) ¬†I knew I could keep that pace for the remainder of the mile, but I also knew that if I did, my next two would suffer tremendously. ¬†I told my Dad to run ahead without me, and I slowed my pace about a minute. ¬†If I hadn’t had my trusty Garmin, that wouldn’t have been doable. ¬†Yes, I could have just guessed pace, but I like to see how fast/slow I’m running.
  2. My Brooks Ghost 7’s¬†brooks-ghost-7-womensI cant say enough about these shoes. ¬†After my huge fail at the Baltimore Marathon with shoes, it was imperative that I find a pair that not only fit correctly, but were comfortable! ¬†After a visit to Charm City Run, and a ton of choices laid out in front of me, I believe I’ve found my shoe “solemate”. ¬†I could (and have) fall(en) asleep in my Brooks. ¬†When I put these on, it feels¬†like small pillows under the arches of your feet which as a person who has stupid sensitive feet to begin with, is a welcome feeling. ¬†Except for OCR’s and Fun runs (like the color run that is incredibly messy) you will always find me running/and walking in these. ¬†(side note, I also LOVE the “Run Happy” that goes along with Brooks.)
  3. Music¬†Music-image-music-36556275-1680-1050This is long run specific. ¬†I no longer run with headphones on my short runs because I’d rather use that time to think. ¬†Also, the sound of my feet, and the runners around me tend to give me the same push that my “power” songs do on long runs. ¬†I’ve also run two longer distances sans headphones. ¬†My half marathon training run on the NCR was without music, and I forgot my headphones for the Chuck12, soooooo that was also without music. ¬†However, I plan to use my tunes on my long run this weekend so I’m able to turn my mind off. ¬†(one headphone out of course!)
  4. Nuun¬†Nuun-I-heart-2– again, this is long run specific. ¬†I haven’t found anything comparable to Nuun as far as hydration on long runs. ¬†I never feel dehydrated, and Nuun doesn’t make my stomach hurt – both HUGE things!! I’ve gotten much better at hydrating after nearly passing out on one of my mid distance runs this summer. ¬†Holy humid batman! I realized as I finished that I was drenched in sweat, and I didn’t have to pee. ¬†I was also insanely dizzy and was getting a pretty fierce headache. ¬†These things (pre previous experience) could have been avoided had I better hydrated. ¬†I got back to my car and chugged an entire bottle of Nuun (watermelon – delicious!) that I had waiting for me. My go to flavors are fruit Punch, Watermelon, and the Cherry Limeade Energy. If you’re a Nuun virgin, I definitely recommend giving it a try.
  5. My thoughts¬†Listen-to-Your-Thoughts-Cropped yea, that sounds weird. ¬†Especially because my brain can also be the reason I want to stop running. ¬†On short runs, I think about the people around me, the scenery, my IRUN4 buddy, and my son. On longer runs, I have a little game I play calls “how much is left?” ¬†On my 13.1 mile training run, I was not feeling it… at all. ¬†I knew I needed to complete the distance, but my feet had other plans. ¬†So, I began to think mathematically. ¬†I ran a 6.55 down and back. (again, thanks to the Garmin i was able to track this obscure distance) ¬†At mile 4(ish) I said to myself “you’re over half way to the turn around, just keep moving”. ¬†At mile 10, I told myself “only a 5k left!! That’s easy! DO.NOT.STOP”. ¬†I also like to keep track of my “kills” (Ragnar terminology) when I’m running alone. ¬†It doubles as motivation, and security because I know I’m not the only runner on the trail. ¬†It’s a bit more difficult to do this in a race setting (unless its small) because I’m passing people right and left (all while being passed myself!). ¬† ¬†Although, I’m guilty of the last minute kick, passing someone at the finish. ¬†Being that I will (most likely) NEVER place at an event, let alone WIN the thing… I don’t feel bad trying to shave a few seconds off my time by hauling towards the finish.

I hope you enjoy your weekend and this amazing fall-ish weather!! (at least in Maryland)welcome-autumn-

What powers you through a race?

Have you tried Nuun? Whats your favorite flavor?

Do you have a Garmin? ¬†what do you do to keep track of your distance and time if you don’t?

Friday five: My 5 most anticipated Fall Races!!

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Happy first Friday in September!!! I’m so excited it’s almost Fall!! My favorite season for so many reasons! Today I’ll talk about one of those amazing reasons…. RACES!!! Fall running is my favorite kind of running!! The temperature is perfect, the bugs are leaving (of they aren’t already gone), and¬†the scenery¬†is more beautiful to run in. ¬†I’m linking up with my girls from the DCTrifecta as per the¬†usual –¬†Mar,¬†Cynthia¬†and¬†Courtney¬†to talk about the 5 races that stand out for me. for this season! (yes, I’m running A LOT more than 5 races this fall!!)

1. Ragnar DC – I’m so excited to be running this again! ¬†Last year was amazing. The race, the experience, the friends made. ¬†If you’ve never run a Ragnar, i DEFINITELY suggest it. ¬†12 people, 2 vans, 200 miles, and an UNFORGETTABLE time! (sleep is overrated) ūüôā

image1 (3)2. Baltimore Full – this is my second time running the full. For me, this is a come back race. ¬†Last year (my first marathon ever) ¬†I was dreadfully unprepared. ¬†I had the wrong shoes, my hydration was sub par, and I was battling a knee injury. ¬†This year I take back Baltimore. ¬†Also – it’s the 15th anniversary, so the medal is AMAZING! ¬†This will be part 3 or 3 for the King Crab Challenge, so I get two medals at the finish line. ūüėČ (i love bling!)

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3. Patapsco Valley 50k – my VERY first Ultra!! I’m scared out of my mind…. no joke. ¬†However, a phrase I’ve been ¬† ¬† ¬† swearing by lately says “on the other side of fear is freedom”, so I’m facing this fear head on. ¬†Also, after conquering this 50k, I’ll qualify for¬†Marathon Maniacs¬†– another thing pushing me. ūüôā Check out this elevation chart… I’ll need all the push I can get!
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4.¬†10k Across the Bay – I’ve only heard amazing things about this race, so when my father mentioned wanting to run it I couldn’t have hit “register” fast enough! ¬†This race will be the final race he and I run together this season.

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5.¬†NCR Trail Marathon¬†– this is my last race of the year, and my 3rd full marathon. ¬†I was fortunate enough to be selected as an ambassador for this race (one of 5 total!!) so my entry was free!! Always nice right?? ūüôā The NCR is my stomping ground, where I run ALL of my long training runs. ¬†So excited to “race” on the trail!!

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What are you running this season?  Will I see you at any of these events??

#FridayFive Favorite fall activities! Linking up with @Marmaone1, @YouSignedUp, and @EatPrayRunDC

Good morning ladies and germs!! ¬†We’ve made it!! It’s another friday! (PRAISE JESUS!!) I’m really starting to appreciate Fridays more and more as I’m starting to age. ¬†(wait, age? I’m not even 30?!) Yes, age… my job, my life, my world is causing me to age prematurely! lol. ¬†So, Fridays are my tiny little vacation… it also means… TIME FOR ALEX!!! (I get my bubs on weekends, so this is another reason Fridays mean so much to me!) ¬†As far as the blogosphere goes, it’s time for the¬†FRIDAY FIVE! (said in my best amphitheater voice).

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This week’s theme, brought to you by the lovely ladies of the DC Trifecta;¬†Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia¬†is¬†Favorite Fall Activities. ¬†I love fall (as I’ve made it very apparent in my last few posts). Autumn is my favorite season out of the four. ūüôā But enough jabber jawing, lets get this show on the road!!

1. Picking out the perfect pumpkin!!¬†This is such a fun task!! ¬†And Alex LOVES it!! He runs around from pumpkin to pumpkin trying to find the BIGGEST one… jumping over the little ones, circling around the ridiculously huge ones, and sometimes, sitting on a few. ¬†Until we find the one; the perfect pumpkin to make our own. ¬†ūüôā

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2. Apple picking!!¬†I’ve just recently (the past two years) fallen in love with apple picking. ¬†There is a gorgeous farm near my house that will let you pick as many apples are you want, then ride in a hay filled truck back to the farm house, pay for your apples, and get some fresh cider and goodies (also fresh) from the farm. ¬†Last year we got Caramel apples with almonds and dark chocolate… something I’d never seen before – DELICIOUS!!! Alex was amazed that he was able to pick the apple from the tree and get it in the basket all by himself (he was 2). ¬†The joy on his face is enough of a reason for me to go back every year. ūüôā

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3. Running!!¬†You knew this was coming… running in the fall is so much BETTER then running in the summer!! The cooler temperatures make is much easier to manage pace and internal body temp. ¬†Also, (personally) I feel like I can go for longer distances without getting as tired in the fall. ¬†(again, helps that the humidity has decreased SUBSTANTIALLY and it’s not JOHNNY BLAZIN’ anymore!! Long live the long run!.

4. Bon fires!! Yes my inner redneck is showing a bit… and that’s ok. ¬†¬†At the beginning of my divorce, I lived with my Sister and her Husband. ¬†During the early fall months, we had a fire in the back yard almost every night. ¬†The smells and sounds were amazing!! You weren’t cold (even if it got below 50), the conversations around the fire are ones I’ll never forget. ¬†I can’t wait to get the fire started again this year!! ūüôā

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5. BOOTS!!!¬†I can finally wear my boots again!!! (she types as she’s sporting some amazing black leather boots for the first time this season). ¬†Boots are a staple in my fall wardrobe. ¬†However, Boots in the summer… just look stupid. I may catch some flack for this, and I don’t really care… I’m not a fan, AT ALL for those little ankle bootie things. They look like the designer just… Stopped. Like they forgot where they were going so they gave up and said “Ok, just go with this.” ¬†Not for this chick. ¬†I’m a Tall boots type of girl, with of without a heel. (although, being a bit short, the heel gives me a bit of an advantage height wise). ¬†ūüėČ

Hope you enjoyed reading my Friday Five!! Enjoy you’re weekend and this AMAZING weather!! Stay happy and healthy!! ‚̧

#FridayFive {Five of my favorite things!!} Linking up with @YouSignedUp @Marmaone1 and @EatPrayRunDC

It’s Friday!!! You know what that means… Another Friday Five!! Last week is the first week in a LONG time… actually the first one since I started “Friday Five” that I’ve missed a FF post. ¬†However, I had a good reason. ¬†I was on a 33+ hour relay race in DC called Ragnar. ¬†(Recap coming, I promise!) This weeks theme for the Friday Five are “Favorites”. ¬†It’s starting to get cooler and I’m starting to change things day by day, so I’m going to go with “5 of my recent favorite things” (and yes, the song from sound of music is playing in my head now…)¬†At per the Usual, this Friday Five is brought to you by,¬†Cynthia, Mar,¬†and Courtney, lovingly known as the DC Trifecta!! OK!! Lets get this party started!!!

1. Changing leaves –¬†Driving around Owings Mills (from my job to Alex’s Pre-K), watching the recent changing in the leaves, is absolutely beautiful. ¬†Actually, beautiful is too pedestrian a term… pulchritudinous. (yea… I went there) ¬†I am beside myself at the way they make feel, the way the leaves make me smile and make my heart warm… without trying. ¬†Unbeknownst to these little leaves, they bring me immense joy… on a daily basis. ¬†So, little foliage, thank you.

2. Warm Beverages –¬†Green tea in the late evening, Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes in the early mornings (weekdays), hot chocolate with cayenne pepper on weekend mornings (don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!). ¬†Warms not only the body… it warms the soul. ¬†Again, it’s the little things… The warms beverage that slowly wipes away the ailments from the long day at the office (followed by the horrendous traffic, followed by the rambunctious toddler who just wants to love you but screams in your ear for 3 hours, follow but the terrible run that makes you scream in agony…), that warm tea forces you to take a moment and sit, relax, bask in the (sometimes) silence, and just be.

3. Sweatpants –¬†Ok ladies, don’t even pretend like you haven’t pulled out those sweatpants lately!! (lol) It’s chilly, especially at night, and these things are HEAVEN sent when you’re just DONE for the day and want to relax. ¬†Also, WARM AND SNUGGLY?! HELL YEA!! ¬†I’ve actually found myself falling asleep on the couch in my sweatpants the past few days. (not afraid to admit that!) It’s like a blanket, but you can’t accidentally throw it off of you!! (win-win). ¬†Same things goes for the Hoodies (yea, I’m including this in my number 3). ¬†I can’t take my hoodie off as of late!! My Ragnar hoodie is on my person ALL THE TIME!! My office is an icebox, my apartment is pretty chilly (don’t want to rack up an obscene BGE bill), and it’s not warm out anymore – NOT COMPLAINING. ¬†Also, It’s a frickin Ragnar hoodie!! (AWESOME!)

4. ¬†Fall smell –¬†You know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. ¬†Every day this week, I’ve left work around 2:30-3pm. ¬†I walk outside of my building and my lungs are immediately greeted with the AMAZING scent of Autumn. ¬†It’s cool, it’s crisp, it’s remarkable. ¬†I smile, every time. ¬†And every day I’m greeted with a little giggle from the security guard who sees me, like clock work, close my eyes – take a deep breath – smile. ¬†I think he believes I’m just happy to get the hell out of work. (He’s not wrong) But it’s so much more. ¬†It’s… Autumn. ¬†ūüôā

5. Windows Down –¬†Now that it’s not INSANELY warm, I can drive with my windows down!! Doesn’t seem like a huge deal right? No… it is. ¬†My son LOVE to put his hand a little out of the window and make his hand a rocket. He flies in the wind while we’re driving. ¬†He’s FINALLY able to do this again!! Everyday after I’ve picked him up from Pre-K, he’s been able to “fly the rocket to outer space” and I’ve been able to watch and smile as he gets really excited as he “counts down from 10…. BLASTOFF!!!” Also, smaller joy, but also awesome, it feels extraordinary!!

Hope you enjoyed my Friday five and that you have an amazing weekend!!! As always, stay healthy and happy!! ‚̧