Electric Run

I already knew a little bit about the Electric Run when one of my BFFs, Nancy, suggested we do one together!

Nancy found us a GROUPON for it in Baltimore (where she lives) which helped take a little bit off of the price.  Entry fees are kind of pricey but they do donate a portion of the funds to charity, so that’s good.

Fun runs like the Electric Run seem to be all the rage right now. They are short enough in distance (5Ks) that any active person can participate without too much training. They also highlight the camaraderie that has been taking over the forefront of the running movement lately.

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I usually try to pretend to be cool and not wear the race tee during the race but these ones were nice tech quality and super soft so we had to.

The run was off/under one of the main highways in Baltimore but in a pocket of the neighborhood that the Ravens M&T Stadium and Orioles’ Camden Yards is in. I saw them setting up for the race earlier in the day when I arrived into town. It seemed like a really big event and got crowded pretty early in the evening. Apparently there were 15,000 people there.

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A lot of people wore crazy costumes and neon tutus so Nancy and I felt a little under-dressed. Luckily one of the goodies in our Electric Run packet was a light up wristband. It will also be useful in the future for runs in the dark, especially in the winter.

It was also cool that FitBit is one of their sponsors. I still love my FitBit. 

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The group of people at the run was a little different than running events I’ve done before. There were mostly college-age kids and families. A bunch of people brought their kids to it – I think they participate for free.

For all you distance runners out there, the Electric Run is  produced by the Ragnar Relay Founder. I was thinking the symbols everywhere looked Ragnar-esqe!

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They stuck us in a chute of sorts to wait in line to start the run in waves. We waited about fifteen minutes or so to start. It wasn’t too long to wait though because crazy techno music was playing and people up on balconies were chucking glow sticks everywhere.

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All the blow up things kept changing colors. 🙂

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Once we started, we saw how the course was laid out. Each section of the race was a different world, with lit up bigger-than-life decorations. The first world was “Under the Sea” themed and was filled with jellyfish and seaweed with some bubble makers on the side.

Gotta love the jellyfish.

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The next world seemed to be sport themed as we trotted through the two sports stadiums. I had never been to a Ravens game before, but I liked running through Camden Yards since I went to games growing up (before the Nats existed).

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But my favorite world was Candy Land with the the giant gummi bears.

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We ran most of the time, but a bunch of the people were actually walking and taking in the sights.

Once we finished we walked straight into a finishing shoot which led to the after party.

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We just bopped along until for a little while with our newly-caught glow sticks.
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The Electric Run was my first night running event. I don’t ever run at night since it’s not safe (unless with a buddy of course) I loved running in the dark!

It wasn’t a super serious race but it was a fun night with a lot of positive energy.

The run was a fun way to get a workout in. It wasn’t an mileage intense run but it sure did help me get a lot of steps in that day.

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Though they are a little expensive to do all of the time, fancy fun runs with a lot of flair are definitely a winning way to work out. I think I’ll continue to do one every now and then to pump me up to keep movin’!

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(sweet collage cred to Nancy)

 

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Capitol Hill Classic Race Recap

Since it is exactly one month since the Capitol Hill 10K, I decided it would finally be a good time to post the race recap. 🙂

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I wasn’t feeling so great in the days leading up to the race. I hadn’t trained much and my running fitness level was at an all time low since I started running two years ago.

So it pretty much seemed on point when I had the worst pre-race morning ever.  Nothing absolutely disastrous happened but it certainly wasn’t ideal.

I went to bed a little later than I aimed to the Saturday night before the race and ended up taking a Zzzquill without much time to get my zzz’s in. In typical fashion, I promptly snoozed and cancelled all three alarms I set.

I was supposed to catch the first train in to the city – but woke up exactly when I was supposed to boarding it. Ack! Luckily I had laid out all of my clothes and running gear the night before. I grabbed my stuff, shoved most of a Clif Bar in my mouth, and dashed our the door. I froze in terror when I realized I didn’t have a chance to drink my morning coffee.

(Runners…you know what that means.)

Alas, I had to soldier on and sprint to the metro. I looked like a big ole’ dummy with my drawstring backpack bumping along my back, running faster than my usual mile pace while burping Clif Bar. There was NO WAY I was going to make it to the race on time. I totally would have bagged it if it was just me, but I was running with friends – and I couldn’t let them down! If only there was a way get to Capitol Hill faster.

I saw a blue cab go by and shouted out loud. “A cab!!!” I had forgotten that cabs exist. The driver saw my panic and pulled a quick U-turn. I was so relieved when I got into that damn cab. He got me there right on time, though unfortunately the cab ride cost more than my race entry fee.

Once I found my friends I had calmed myself down and was good to go. The race site was hoppin’ and the weather was gorgeous.

 

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The only issue was the whole bathroom thing. There were definitely not enough porta potties for the amount of people that were participating. I seriously think this will be a factor in my decision to do the race again, as silly as that sounds. If I do run it next year I’ll just have to make sure to wake up early enough to find a nearby Starbucks bathroom first.

The gun went off as I was almost to the front of the line. I couldn’t believe the race was starting and I was still waiting for a darn porta potty. I toyed with just running away versus sticking it out. Other people were still running through the starting line, so I thought I wouldn’t be that late….

I ended up starting eight minutes into the race clock with mostly stroller goers, little kids, and training groups. That in itself is totally fine since I’m obviously not speedy or anything. But I truly loathed the fact that I felt like I was trying to catch up to the main pack for the entire race. I wasn’t even WITH the people running as slowly-fast as me. I was with the walkers.

After the race, Diana said “well at least you caught up to everyone, right?!” Nope. Even though I ran through the entire race, those who were doing the walk/run tactic still stayed with me.

I didn’t want to be with the walk/runners, I wanted to be with the slow ass joggers!!!

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My mood finally turned around in the third mile or so when I saw the super fast people winners coming back the other way. So cool! Always my favorite to see the leaders because it is so motivating.

And ironically, the super fast people make me feel better about running slowly. Because even though I was at the back with the slowest and not even the kind-of-slow…I was reminded: WHO CARES? I’m running and I’m doing it and that’s all that matters.

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Oh – and the FUN and FRIENDS part. I loved seeing them on the course!

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After the race, we headed down to Eastern Market and got brunch, which Stephy agreed was obviously the most important part of the day. One of the benefits of running is the lessened guilt in ordering and stuffing my face with deliciousness. In this case, deliciousness of the cinnamon-gooey kind.

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A hellish race morning ended with a an overall okay 6.2 miles down and a few little big slice(s) of heaven.

10K Race Plan and Playlist

#trainingfail

I could highlight the reasons I haven’t stuck to the training plan for the Capitol Hill Classic (no running outside re. pollen, food poisoning, busy because this, that, etc) – but really it’s probably just because I have been a lazy motherf@#$%# lately.

But what can ya do?

I tried to run with some speedy girlfriends the other day and couldn’t keep up. 😦 I pouted and expressed my concern about this Sunday’s 10K. Maaaybe I should just scratch the whole thing and cheer for my friend(s) on the sideline instead.

But one of my GFs knocked some sense into me and suggested, “why not just run/walk it?”

Oh yeah.

I guess I’m so caught up in the self doubt and loathing that I sometimes forget the point of doing these races (for me). It isn’t to run omg-so-fast and beat my last time.

I run:

1. To be healthy(ier)

2. For fun

No need to waste the entry fee just because I’m going to be slow as shit. Who cares? At least I’ll be out of bed and covering 6.2 more miles than I would otherwise.

Therefore, the plan for this weekend’s race is to run at a pace that is comfortable so that I can trot run the entire time. I’m not going to look at my past times, I’m not going to compete. I’m just going to RUN and HAVE FUN.

To get through it, I plan to stop the deprecating self-talk (just one more!)…

….repeat some mantras

…..and listen to come kick-ass pump up music.

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A new running playlist always does the trick!

It’s totally normal go through cycles in your fitness and have some ups and downs.

Hopefully I’ll be able to use this current lack of fitness as a positive starting point for the summer. I want it enough now to commit again!

Tell me:

Do you go through periods of not really training like you should? What do you do to re-motivate yourself?

PRR Half Marathon Race Recap

We moseyed up to the start line with about 15 minutes to spare before the race. As we got in the pack at the start line, I realized how that we lucked out big time with the weather.

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It was such perfect temps for running that I didn’t even need my jacket.

This race was smaller than the first half marathon I did, which was kind of intimidating. Everyone walking around seemed like a serious runner with singlets and compression socks.

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Even though it was sort of an intense crowd, I still felt pretty good. I considered the race a success already, just because completing the training was an accomplishment to me in itself. So was getting to the start line healthy and injury-free.

After a few minutes of muffled directions, the excited energy burst when we all took off running.

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Most people started out pretty fast! But I’ve made that mistake before, and glued my eyes to my garmin so I wouldn’t get caught up in the sprinting.

Being on a home trail that I’d run on before helped make me feel more comfortable as I was reminded of scenery from some of my long runs.

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The race was an out-and-back route (marathoners had to run out-and-back twice!) all along the Potomac River.

Running a race in good ole’ DC swampland meant it was a super flat course. Good thing that was in compliance with my always-avoid-running-on-hills rule. The only time there was a increase or decrease in elevation was going over the locks in the canal.

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I can’t say enough nice things about the course. Even though it was six and a half miles down and back on the same trail there was enough variation that it kept things interesting.

The first five miles were fabulous. I felt strong and proud as I hit goal pace each consecutive mile that passed. It was fun to do the math in my head of how many second I was putting in the time bank to hit my PR.  By the time I hit the 5 mile mark, I was 80 seconds under my goal time.

Another cool thing was that there were two different races goes on: the marathon and the half marathon, all at 3 different time starts (7:00am, 8:00am, and 9:00am.) Someone was always at a different point in a different race along the same path. It made for fun people watching, especially because there was such a variation of runners.

My favorite are always the stand-outs: people that inspire you because of the awe inducing effort that humbles your own, despite how much pain you’re feeling!

You know, like the guy running in the opposite direction at the speed of light in a sling. NBD.

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I used these crazies as motivation while I silently counted the mileage to go.

About a mile out of the turn around I spotted my friend Sarah running toward me! That was probably the most energized I got the whole race. Whooping and clumsily high five-ing put a huge grin on my face that lasted to the turn around.

This halfway point was when I snapped back to reality. As far as I had just run down the river – I had to run back.

During miles 7 and 8 I struggled to keep up the pace. My stomach started bothering me a little bit and the grumpiness was beginning to fester. I pretty much gave up my goal time by mile 9. I was experiencing a dangerous combination of self-loathing and sympathy that almost made my brain explode.

I hit the wall, so to speak.

My pace was getting slower, and I couldn’t decide whether to dig deep and go for it, or cut myself some slack and try to gently get through the finish. I think my intent changed about every seven seconds.

Sometimes stubbornness is a good thing. But it can also work in negative bouts like it did in my head during the last few miles of the race. When it became apparent that I wouldn’t be able to hang on to goal pace and keep the GU chomps down, my stubbornness turned into feeling sorry for myself. I dropped down to a limp trot and cursed my body.

Also encouraging was the couple running at the same pace as me the entire race….who were picking up trash. Just runnin’ the same pace as the kind volunteers cleaning up the course.

I consciously decided to accept defeat and get over it by just appreciating myself. I tuned out the voice telling me I wasn’t good enough and just ran the last few miles without looking at my Garmin. You can’t get through something as hard as to running 13.1 miles and be mad at yourself. You have to pat yourself on the back and be proud that you gave it your best.

I think next race I may ditch the self-induced pressure just go zen the entire time.

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Sarah’s mom is the nicest and gave our boys lots of goodies to pass along to us. Tuna was waiting at the finish line for me!

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Half marathon #2, complete!

Potomac River Run Half Marathon: 2:34:07 (PR)

*please note some race shots are from backprint.com/tonyestradaphotography*

Pre-Race Eats and Stuff

I ate dinner a little later than planned on Saturday night before the race [PRR half marathon], but I tried to give it enough time to digest before going to bed. (Why is it always so hard to fall asleep the night before a race?!)

The theme was: plain and simple.

The purpose of this was to avoid an upset stomach of any kind on race morning. In order to reduce fiber intake I ate regular old pasta instead of whole wheat, and added green juice instead of a salad – which a good way to get nutrients without all the fiber!

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I wish I could wake up as easily every morning as I do on race days.

Even though I wasn’t hungry, I forced down a banana and a Clif bar as we made our way to the race. It is def just as important to eat breakfast on race day – we have to make sure our bodies have good fuel to work as hard as we want them to!

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I loved that the race was SO close – about 10 or 15 minutes away.  [Thank you to Tuna for waking up before 7am on a Sunday and being my chauffeur. :)] 

The weather turned out to be pretty darn perf for mid-November: high 50’s, low 60’s. It was a little wet on the trail down near the river, but really nice overall. No rain, no sun, no wind.

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Shortly after we arrived I found my friend Sarah and her mom and we took a skinny arm photo shoot. Gotta get the before shot.

preracephoto1And then we started running…..

Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

PRR Training Week 12: Taper and Race Playlist

Taper week is my favorite…most likely because the longest run on the schedule was 3 miles. 🙂

It was the last week before the PRR Half Marathon! That meant I was nervous but couldn’t use running to get the nerves out. I’m okay with that though – I had a little extra time to plop on the floor and do important things like foam roll while watching trashy reality TV.

Thank goodness my apartment gym has a treadmill that works and all I had to do to get in the handful of miles is to go downstairs and hop on the treadmill. This is quite convenient with daylight saving time making it dark out super early.

The 2 mile run on Wednesday evening was at race pace (11:26) and gave me a chance to listen to some music on my iPod shuffle and contemplate what to put on my playlist for the race.

Here’s what I’m going to be running to on tomorrow morning!

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Week #12 Recap

Monday: 3 mile run

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: 2 mile run, race pace

Thursday: 2 mile run

Friday: rest

Saturday: stretch and foam roll

Sunday: 13.1!!!

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What is on your current playlist?

Is anyone running a race this weekend too? What are you running?

PRR Training Week 11: Race Goals

Week 11 of a training cycle is the calm before the storm. The last stretch before the race.

Because I needed that extra boost of confidence last week, I was determined to do all of my runs: no skipping allowed. (I have kind of had a little problem of skipping my runs during this cycle.)

Saturday’s long run made me think a lot about what my goals are next weekend at the PRR Half Marathon.

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12 miles is almost as long as the distance we’ll run next week: 13.1.

I know it’s going to be painful, and I know will be a lot of hard work, but unlike my first half marathon last Spring – I think I can do it. On the longest of the long runs I only took 2 quick pit stops at the same out and back water fountain to refill my handheld and was totes fine just putzin’ down the trail for 2+ hours. 

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During the run I thought about what my goals for the race are. Last time my big thing was to not walk and I didn’t have a time to base anything off of.

I still run embarrassingly slow, so I don’t have a ridiculous time I’m trying to hit to a real race time I NEED to get or die. I’m just going to be running along, trying not to be last.

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But I also would like to take pride that I <hopefully> gotten a teensy bit faster hoofing my booty down trails I wouldn’t have been walking on a year ago.

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Half marathon time to beat: 2:36:32, 11:57 min mile

Goal race pace: 2:29:59, 11:26 min mile

Week #11 Recap

Monday: cross 🙂

Tuesday: 3 mile run

Wednesday: 3 mile run

Thursday: 5 mile run

Friday: rest

Saturday: 12 mile run

Sunday: rest

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What is your next goal race pace?

Are you running a race soon?

This Is Funny: Cosmic Run

If you ask me to run with you, I will most like say YES, no matter what kind of race it is.

Well, except maybe The Color Run.

Not to knock anyone’s fav race, but I always thought The Color Run was kind of dumb. I didn’t quite get the fun of having people throw paint on you during a race. Why not just run? There just didn’t seem like there was a point to it.

However, I am the one that did a Tough Mudder, so I can’t really talk about rationality when it comes to races.

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#throwbackthursday  HA

When my friend asked me if I wanted to run her first 5K with her in October, I said YES!

This is funny.

I signed up, typed my cool post about it. All set.

Here is that post:

*****

An added bonus: it’s a Cosmic Run.

cosmic5kThis is awesome because:

  • It’s at night, so you run in the dark
  • There is “fluorescent glowing light technology” and “pulsing dance music”
  • It’s a fun run

I never got to do the Vampire 5K because it was cancelled, so this will be my fun run of the season!

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All done with my post, I looked at the website one last time, and to my dismay, found that I needed to scroll down a bit more in the ABOUT section.

fluorescent colors“Become the canvas as you get showered with thousands of pounds of vividly-glowing and brilliantly-soft fluorescent color powders.”

Mother effer. It’s like The Color Run on crack.

But…the more I thought about it, I realized that the point of fun runs like these is that there is no point to them. The silliness takes away the nerves and the doubt surrounding races, and leaves more room for giggling and gaining confidence in your running self.

Maybe this is exactly the kind of race I need.

Thanks for asking me to sign up, Mags!

Next Up: Potomac River Run Half Marathon

Not having a challenging race to train for can be nice sometimes. It means I don’t have to stress about a long run over the weekend or force myself to go to the gym when I’m really not feelin’ it. It is rather quite liberating to decide how far I feel like running during a run.

But it can also be kind of boring. Lately I’ve just been doing shorter runs a few times a week whenever I’m in the mood to.

The only problem from this is that my fitness level has suffered without having a specific race to train for. Back when I was training for the Tough Mudder last year, there wasn’t ever a question if I should skip my workout or sit my ass on the couch. I HAD to get the workout in so that my body would be properly prepared to handle the race.

026After I finished the Shamrock Half in March, I knew I wanted to run another half marathon. I definitely want to do a bunch of half marathons before I even think about running a full marathon.

shamrockhalfmalandroseI am also huge brat and will not train for a longer race when I have to do long runs when it is super hot outside. Same thing goes for the cold. Therefore, I needed to find a half to do sometime in late October or November.

Originally, I was considering running the Richmond Half Marathon, but after some thought I decided I wanted to do a half closer to home. And though Richmond is supposed to be a really good race, I also liked the idea of seeing how smaller, more intimate races are.

So, I’m doing this in November:

Don’t get too excited – I’m doing the half, not the full.

Other bonuses about this race: it’s insanely flat and is even on some of the paths that I normally run on.

I’m really excited to do a longer race on my “home turf.”

See ya later, gotta go start making highlighted training charts in my moleskine.

Are you signed up for any goal races?

What is your favorite season to do races in?