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”. 🙂  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?

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My recent experience with @EnergyBits #PoweredbyBits #review #greenisgood

When I initially heard about ENERGYBits I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical.  A “tiny algae tab so nutritionally dense, they eliminate fatigue and hunger instantly”… really? Is this the new super food??  Then I read on… “No Sugar, no caffeine, no chemicals, gluten, or soy…” Wait? WHAT?! How is something supposed to eliminate my hunger is it doesn’t have ANY sugar and keep me energized if there is no caffeine?! (coffee-oholic over here…)  Boy was I surprised… 

So, I had to try it out. I don’t by any means consider myself a super athlete… however, I have a half marathon (my first) coming up VERY soon.  So I thought, “what better time to try out these magically bits then on a training run… the furthest run I’ve taken to date?!”  

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I got all my gear ready, including the ridiculously cute tin of ENERGYbits and hoped in the car to head to the NCR Trail.  (there is no where within walking/running distance to my house long enough for a long run.) Upon arrival I opened the tin and I was a little taken back by the smell of what I lovingly referred to later as “fish-food”.  It put a huge smile on my face though because I’d remember reading that the tablets were algae based, so DUH! What should they smell like? Bacon?! (giggle) Anyway, I took the tablets with the recommended amount of water (8oz) and surprisingly enough, they are REALLY easy to swallow!!! (YAY!!!)

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Then I set off on what I had allotted to be a 10 mile training run.  The first two miles (like most runners – or so I’ve heard) sucked. This however, all changed around mile 3-4, I felt this boost of energy!! All the sudden I felt unstoppable! Not like “Captain American” unstoppable or anything ridiculous… but regardless, it was amazing! It was at this point that I told myself “Well!! I’ll be darned, these things really do work!!”  Also, I re-thought out my plan for the run.  Instead of limiting myself to 10 miles, I told myself “lets see how far the bits will take me”.  

10 miles later (keep in mind… this was after I’d completed 5K already) I realized I was back at the car having just run my first (albeit unofficial) half marathon!!!!! 

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It wasn’t pretty time wise, but it was a half!!! Yes, I walked a bit, but that was my silly calves fault (I need to invest in a foam roller… but that’s something totally different!), I had SO MUCH ENERGY!!! My body (legs) said I was done, but (energy wise) I felt like I could go for so much more! I had a HUGE smile on my face and felt amazing!! I am 100%sold on these little “fish-food” smelling algae tablets! They live up too, if not exceed all expectation and I can’t wait to try them again on half-marathon day!! 

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Thank you so much to ENERGYbits for letting me review the product… I’m 100% coming back for more!!! 🙂

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Happy Spring!

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So, it’s the first day of spring!! In Maryland at least, that means… FREE RITAS!!! (Yes, I know… But it’s the little things that keep ya going.) also in Maryland, it means snow in a few days?! What the heck?!! For real Mother Nature, can you PLEASE get your act together. Please?!! Ugh. Anyway, for what it is, today is gorgeous. The sun is shinning, and even though I’m still home sick (yep, day #3 😷) I’m looking out my living room windows at the beautiful day. If I can muster up enough energy later, I may even go for a walk!! (Ambitious no? 😊) Eh, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. At least this illness has kept me from temptation. Being stuck at home, unable to really do… much… Is a great way to make sure you don’t indulge on things you’re not supposed to. For instance; yesterday I wanted something sweet… I don’t know why, I just did. Tried to get up off the couch and darn near passed out. Not happening. Settled for a nice tall glass of water… Oh!!! Check this out!

For those of you who know me… Like KNOW me, you know my stomach is my Achilles heel… Ever since my insane c-section in Germany, my “pooch” has been my worst nightmare. Even 2 months ago, I’d never have put a picture up like this. Too embarrassed. I still have a long way to go, but at least I know I’m getting there!!

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Yea, so that’s pretty neat too! I apologize for my excessive rambling today. I will bring this entry to a close by wishing you all a very happy and healthy day, and a very wonderful spring!! 💐🌸🌻😊

Who wants to race?

I have so many exciting events coming up, I can hardly control my excitement!!! On April 5th I have a 5.7K in Canton (Baltimore) hosted by the Brigance Brigade Foundation.  This race benefits ALS patients and their families.  Probably thinking, why 5.7?? Baltimore Ravens Senior Advisor to Player Development O.J. Brigance has ALS.  He founded said Brigance Brigade.  The distance for the race is the same as Brigance’s former jersey number, 57. Pretty sweet huh??

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The VERY next Saturday, I’m running the CharmCityRun Sole of the City 10K!! This event will also run through Baltimore, but will be a bit longer. 🙂 This event benefits the Erika Brannock Fund – Erika Brannock is a 29-year-old preschool teacher from Towson, Md., who was seriously injured during the Boston Marathon Bombings on April 15, 2013. (information obtained from CCR). I’m super excited about this race… no it’s not the longest race I’ve done… but it’s supposed to be a WHOLE LOT of fun. A friend of mine ran it last year, and is STILL talking about it. So, should be awesome! 

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My next race will be my longest to date… My first half marathon!! *shudder*… just kidding, also super excited for this one! 🙂 It’s called the “Nut Job Challenge“.  A Twilight 5K on Saturday evening May 3rd, and a Half Marathon, yep, my first 13.1 at 0700 on Sunday, May 4th!!! Training for this bad boy has been a lot of fun actually.  I ran a 14K over valentines day weekend in Virginia beach (almost 9 miles), so my body had to prepare pretty quickly. (I had a medical emergency and couldn’t start training until the middle of January). This Half marathon is also 1/3 of the King Crab Challenge which I’ll talk more about later. Regardless, SUPER STOKED about my first half. (which will obviously talk place around historical Frederick) 

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Next….. On May 10th, is a race I hold near and dear to my heart. 🙂 The Warrior Dash. This race, last year, was my first ever mud run, first ever obstacle race, and first ever “oh crap… can I actually do this??”  Well, guess what ladies and gents… I DID IT!!! I reined victorious! Left with my Warrior horns, mud in places I didn’t think possible, a beer in hand, and the BIGGEST smile on my face.  If ever you have the change to do a race like this, please do it.  It’s incredible. Yea, it’s only a 5K, but with the 12 intense obstacles and the amazing camaraderie you get while on the course, it feels like so much more. Truly, an amazing experience. I can’t WAIT until this year!!  Also, this year I decided to become a St Jude Warrior! I’m a whackadoo and have forgotten my information for fundraising, but don’t worry, an email has been sent to St. Jude to retrieve!!! Funds will be obtained for those amazing kids fighting the amazing fight!! Let me ask you one question though?? Are you a warrior??

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On June 14th, I’m running part 2 of 3 of the King Crab Challenge. The Baltimore 10-Miler!!! All around Druid Hill Park in Baltimore, staring at 0730. 🙂 This event benefits Back on my Feet. (BoMF).  Back on my feet is a nonprofit organization that uses running to help those that are currently homeless.  Hoping to change the way they see themselves so they can make a real change in their lives that result in better living and employment. 

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On June 15th, Yes, THE VERY NEXT DAY!!! I (for the third year running) I have the GBMC Fathers day 5K benefiting the AMAZING NICU at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.  Having personal experience with both the hospital (I work for GBMC) and the NICU, (a handful of my dear friends babies have spent time there) I know that every penny counts. “Your support will touch more than 500 critically ill and premature babies cared for this year in the GBMC Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). These fragile babies are cared for by hospital staff specializing in newborn care and require equipment designed just for them. Remember, your support is the biggest deal to our smallest patients.” (taken from the GBMC website).  Definitely a cause I can get behind. My munchkin was in the NICU, not at GBMC, but in Germany… which was even more heartbreaking. This year I’m hoping to convince my Dad to run with me. 😉  This race will be run around the beautiful GBMC campus and through Towson University and SEPH. (really, it is very picturesque.) 

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The next weekend, June 22nd, is another AMAZING race!!! But, just for females!!! I mean, any race where you get a rose at the finish is pretty special. 😉 Yes, I’m talking about the Baltimore Womens Classic. 🙂 Another 5K, but a GREAT one. This race begins and ends around rash field in Baltimores inner harbor. This race is the Mid-Atlantic’s largest all women’s 5k. The BWC raise funds to provide direct support services for female cancer patients and their families across the state of Maryland.  At the end of the race (as far as I can remember from last year, you’re presented with a beautiful rose, a medal, a towel, (lol) and a glorious array of healthy treats!!! Yummy!! 

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On August 9th, I’m running the Charles 12.  This race should be really awesome.  Per the CCR website, it’s “Maryland’s most monumental race”. From the CCR Website – The Charles Street 12-mile race will begin at The Shops at Kenilworth and take you down one of Maryland’s most beautiful and scenic byways. The Charles Street 12 will treat runners to beautiful views of Maryland’s most charming neighborhoods including Towson, The Orchards, Roland Park, Homeland, Guilford, Charles Village, Mt. Vernon and Downtown Baltimore. While you will be running fast on this course, don’t miss the views of some our best universities, museums and landmarks including Towson University, the Cathedral of Mary our Queen, Notre Dame College, Loyola College, Johns Hopkins University, the Basilica, The Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Gallery and the Washington Monument…. So nice!!! This race benefits the Children’s heart program at the UM Children’s Hospital, and of course their families, from before birth, through early adulthood. <3. 

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On August 17th, @ 1800… yes an evening run!!! I’ll be running a 5K trail run through the gorgeous vineyards of Boordy.  I ran this last year and actually PR’d. lol on a trail run. 🙂 Must have been the wine at the finish line waiting for me. 😉 Anyway, this race takes place in Hydes maryland and is mostly off road. Hopefully the weather will be as beautiful as last year!!! 

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And finally, the 3rd of 3 for the King Crab Challenge and the second half of the MD Double… On October 18th, I’ll be completing my 2nd half Marathon at the Baltimore Running Festival. At 0945 on the 18th, my last race (ha…we’ll see) of 2014 will begin. At the end of this half marathon, I will be awarded my Half marathon medal from that day, the Md Double medal from completing the Baltimore Running Festival and the Frederick Running Festival, and an Amazing Backpack for completing the King Crab Challenge.  It will be a truly monumental day!! 🙂 So much to look forward to this year…. LETS DO THIS!!!! 

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