A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Running

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...This post is inspired by Heather @ Run Like A G! She recently wrote about things she wish she knew when she first started running. You can read her thoughts here. Be sure to check out the rest of her blog as well. She is very open and honest on it!

Like most runners, I have learned a lot over my years and years of pounding the asphalt and the trails. These tough lessons make us better runners! But if I could travel back in time and talk to my newbie running self, this is what I would tell her…

More miles does not always mean better running.

 Don't over train.


Buy a hydration pack right now. Don't wait, you will love it!


Don’t drive all the way to Lancaster for Active Release Technique. OIivetti Chiropractic on the Carlisle Pike is awesome!

Do not sign up for the following races because you won’t be able to run them due to injury and you will not get your money back: Virginia Beach Marathon, Hyner View Challenge, Lehigh Valley Half Marathon.
What do you wish you could tell your newbie running self?

Friday, May 30, 2014

"Interesting" Races I Have Run

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...Thanks everyone for the ideas for shows that Paul and I could watch together. I believe we are going to try Blacklist, Prison Break, and Broadchurch. We already watched the first episode of Fargo, as suggested by my Momma. Good one, Mom! We are hooked! 

Now, onto today's blog!

I have run my fair share of “normal” races... you know, your standard marathons, half marathons, etc. But I have run a few “interesting” races that I thought I would share with you today!

Perhaps the most interesting race I have run is an underwater marathon. I did not run the whole thing- I was on a relay team and I believe I ran about 6 miles. Hydroworx is a company that makes underwater treadmills. They teamed up with the Eagle Fund in 2012 and put on this marathon to help raise money for wounded warriors.
The marathon took place in 3 huge above ground “tubs” (I don't know what else to call them- check out the pic) in the parking lot of Troeg's Brewery. Some runners ran the entire marathon but most did the relay.

I wore a one piece bathing suit and ran in my bare feet. I am sure some people had on fancy water shoes but I didn't feel like there was a point to invest when I was only going to be doing it for an hour!
Hydroworx is doing another underwater marathon in September, 2014 with the location TBD. If it interests you to run it, you can sign up to receive event information. 

Flying Pig Marathon (Cincinnati, Ohio - 2008)

First of all, let me tell you this was a fun marathon! I remember the crowds were awesome and I had a blast the whole time. Part of the race goes through Kentucky, so that was cool too. Just to give you an example of the “fun” that is had at this race- there is no finish line, but a “Finish Swine” complete with people in pig costumes jumping up and down.

Yup, I wore my race shirt during the race.

The part that made this race so "interesting" is that there was a three alarm fire along the race course an hour and a half before the start and the route had to be redirected! The course ended up being over 26.2 miles. I did not know this until I finished the race. This was before I had a Garmin, but I do remember Mile 22 seeming to go on foreeeeeever. Well, it didn't go on forever but it was definitely more than a mile!
Race officials adjusted our times to reflect what they would have been had the course only been 26.2 miles, so that was fair. Especially for those trying to qualify for Boston!
I would definitely recommend running the Flying Pig- it is a FUN race!

Dark & Dirty 6.66 Mile Trail Race (Reading, PA (2012) 

Pretzel City Sports hosts a bunch of really cool trail races, but my favorite one I ran was the Dark & Dirty. It takes place at night so you must bring your flashlight or headlamp. They always have the most fun disclaimers... you know, the running at your own risk thing.
From their website:
LEGAL FUNGI: YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR HEALTH & WELFARE AT ALL TIMES. We’ll have medics who prefer to wait by the light of the bar so if you run into a tree and damage a limb, get your butt to a place where a volunteer or a psychotic killer can “assist” you.”
The Dark & Dirty is quite the course. I remember towards the end of the race, there was a really steep climb up the mountain. When you reached the top, there was beer and a really cool view of the city lights of Reading, PA.
I can't believe I didn't get injured or fall during this race. I was flying. I'm a pretty experience trail runner (especially at the time- I was doing lots of trail), but I was really running fast and loose, especially considering it was at night. I managed to be the 6th female to finish and get 3rd in my age group. Wahoo!
I'd like to go back and PR tomorrow (yup, the race is tomorrow!) but I'm scared of twisting my ankle or something. After this winter, I am DONE with injuries!

Awesome shirt I can't really wear anywhere!

Warrior Dash (PA, 2010 & 2011) 

I guess obstacle type races aren't super interesting anymore because they are so mainstream, but at the time I did the Warrior Dashes, they were sort of new and fun. Mud pits? Swimming? Jumping over fire? Bring it on!

The first time I did the Warrior Dash, it was me, Paul, and two of our friends. The second time it was just me and Paul. Both times were a lot of fun but it was the second one that I raced. Again, like the Dark & Dirty, I cannot believe I did not injure myself on the trail because I was really running like a mad woman. I will toot my own horn and mention that I got 2nd place in my age group out of 817 women! And first place was only 1 second faster than me! (I realize people don't normally "race" the Warrior Dash, they just run it for fun. I still thought it was cool I did so well... especially since I had already run 6 miles at home before the race. Can you say addicted to running?)

Even though the actual races were fun, I will never run a Warrior Dash again. Everything was very well organized at our first race, but at the second race, the organization was horrible. It left a really bad taste in my mouth. 
Tell me about an "interesting" race you ran!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thinking Out Loud!

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Thank you to Amanda @ Running With Spoons for this Thinking Out Loud link up! Here is some randomness for you on this Thursday morning!

1. Can you believe I have had a Hershey bar sitting on my desk at work for almost a month and I didn't even eat it? It was from a local church- just a little something they stuck in our mailboxes to show appreciation for the teachers. I finally took it home and look what Paul did to it...

He's such a jokester.
2. A co-worker recently went to Eastern State Penitentiary to take a tour. This is a run down prison in Philadelphia which is now a historical site. I am going to try to convince Paul to go this weekend. We went to Alcatraz and really enjoyed it. This place looks almost as interesting!
3. I've been a little sad lately, but do you know what cheers me up? (Even if it's only for a few minutes...) Dancing to the song Lollipop by Mika. I have a awesome dance I do to it in my reindeer pajamas. It is quite the sight.

4. I have not had my hair cut or trimmed in 2 years. It's getting ridiculous. 
Most of the time I have it pulled back...

Sometimes I wear it curly...

But if I brush it... YIKES!
5. Can someone recommend a TV series for Paul and I to start this summer? It is hard for us to find one we both like. For example, he was really into Breaking Bad, The Wire... things like that. Me? I'm more of a Weeds, How I Met Your Mother, and Dr. Phil kind of gal. It's hard to find middle ground! Here are some of the shows we watched together, to give you and idea...
Orange is the New Black
Parks and Recreation
The Office
Big Brother
Bates Motel
American Horror Story
Okay, new ideas.... GO!
Tell me something random... Think Out Loud!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

When the universe doesn't want you to workout... (I locked my keys in my car.)

I don’t think the universe wanted me to work out last Tuesday. It was one of those days where despite perfect planning and my best efforts, shit happened! But I wasn’t going to let it deter me. I WAS GOING TO WORK OUT!

My plan for an epic work out started on Monday- a rest day. I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I have a rest day, I spend much of the day planning and dreaming about how I’m going to tear it up at the gym the next day. I even planned to get to the gym a half hour earlier than normal so I had extra time to rest between sets, stretch, and even do some plyos. My work out was going to be HUGE, no, EPIC!

Except I locked my keys in my car.

It was one of those things where as soon as it happened, I knew it happened. Luckily, my mom gets us AAA for Valentine’s Day every year, so I marched myself into Planet Fitness and used their phone to call. They told me someone would be there “within the hour”- they couldn’t be more specific than that. I know what you’re thinking- HOW AM I GOING TO GET MY WORKOUT IN!? I CAN’T STAND OUT IN THE PARKING LOT BY MY CAR FOR AN HOUR WAITING FOR AAA!

I decided I would lift for a half hour and then take my workout outside. Luckily, I had my jump rope in my gym bag. My plan was to do jump rope intervals beside my car until AAA showed up. Well, after 6 sets, my freaking jump rope broke! Seriously, all signs were pointing to me not getting in a workout that day!

AAA arrived soon after that Whew. I wasted probably only 10 minutes of my workout due to my key fiasco. (And it was a pretty awesome workout, too!)

Take that universe!

Locking my keys in my car was bound to happen to me sooner or later because I have my car key separate from all the other keys on my ring. It’s just hanging loose. Why? I have one of those Chevy Cobalts that has been recalled due to an ignition switch failure that has caused 13 deaths, probably more. GM claims that as long as your key is not weighted down by other keys or a key chain, your ignition will not fail and you will not die. (You won’t die, but you will lock your keys in your car!)

I wish I could put my money where my mouth is and sell my Cobalt and buy a car from a company that actually puts the safety of their customers first… But my car is paid for so I am hanging onto it for as long as possible. It is nice not having car payments

Have you ever locked your keys in your car?
Has your car ever been recalled?

Has the universe ever been against you working out?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Weekend Wrap Up!

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Happy TUESDAY! I hope you had a nice, long, relaxing Memorial Day Weekend. I am looking forward to a 4-day work week and hopefully some more wonderful weather. To make up for last week's poor excuse for a wrap up, this one is going to be epic. If you just skim over the pics, I wouldn't blame you! Here is what I was up to the past few days...

Friday night was fun because we got to hang out with our friends Bob and Rachel. The four of us hadn't hung out together in quite awhile. First, it was sushi at Sapporo East and then games at our place afterwards!

Jelly is not impressed by scotch.

Bob and Jelly have a serious conversation.

Jelly posing with one of Paul's discs... just because.

Chrissy wanted to play Buzz Word.

Then he stuck his butt in my face.

I took a selfie...

... and served everyone scotch.
"I'm drinks scotch." -Bob

Bob and Rachel couldn't keep their hands off each other.
Get a room, guys!


After everyone left, I ate a little too many of these lemon cake bites...

I finally caught up on some sleep Saturday morning. Then I went on a beautiful 12 mile run.

Yay for a strong 12! 
It was hilly and HOT!

We celebrated Memorial Day at my Uncle Rick's farm. This is where Paul and I got married almost 6 years ago. We got to see lots of family and it was a great day!

Yes, that's diet. I was treating myself to some chemicals.

Grandma Taylor and her granddaughter, Ellie                    Mom & Dad                                      

Paul enjoying nature?
This is right near the spot where we tied the knot!

Me, Paul, & his Mom & Dad

On Sunday, Paul and I had one of our disc golf/running dates. He threw some discs at the course in Pinchot Park and I ran the roads around the park. I wish I wasn't afraid of snakes or else I would have run on the trail... but I had a feeling the snakes were going to be out that day...

Ready for our date!

 As you can see, it was still a gorgeous run!
 Oh, and I did see a snake even though I ran on the road. 
It was a huge dead black snake it it was horrible.

 Look at the friends I found on my run! Any clue what kind of bird that is? It was quite big.
I asked Paul and he said, "A shitty looking Peacock?"

It was super hilly, super hot, and my legs were super tired from yesterday.
All that plus a dead snake = a character building run!

That afternoon, we ran some errands. I actually put real clothes on...

 ... and we picked the kitties up a treat at Target...

Chrissy and Jelly are on the gluten free diet. 
Ever since being off gluten, they puhp rainbows and feel like they're 3 years old!
(I'm kidding. I just thought it was funny that the food boasted that it didn't have gluten.)

That night, Paul grilled and we played cards on the back porch. He cooked us up some veggies and FRESH SALMON. YUM. When we are rich, we're going to build a salmon stream in the backyard and let Christmas catch salmon for us for dinner each night.

So... freaking... good...

PACK!!!!! ******

I suppose I should tell you what I was up to on Monday since it was technically part of my weekend! I slept in (of course) and then went on a short, SWELTERING run!

Then I putzed around the mall for awhile and picked up some deals!

Earrings: $4.80 & $2.80!
Golden Gate Bridge canvas tote from Old Navy: $2.49!

Jelly LOVES his Kickaroo and uses it as a pillow!

He should be a cat model. I could quit my job and live off my sugar kitty.

I have a confession. All weekend I've been watching old courtroom coverage of the Jodi Arias trial. You see, last spring, I was obsessed with the case. I recently read a book about the case so now I'm back watching court room footage. I don't know why. I know the outcome... Oh well, it is a good way to pass the  time!
She's so freaking smug. I just hate her.
How did you celebrate Memorial Day?
Tell me something about  your long (hopefully!) weekend!