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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Friday’s Five

a morning sunrise before a [hilly] 5K run for charity

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Tuna lookin’ good on the golf course

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 a kind-of double rainbow at the beach 

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bringing back this doable but no-joke circuit workout 

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new crock-pot meal: bbq ‘shepard’s pie’

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Happy Friday!!! Hope you spend the first official weekend of summer doing something FUN!

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?

Getting Back into Shape

As you know, I’ve been trying to make some healthier changes lately in the spirit of spring. Meaning…. I really need to get back into shape after taking the winter off.

Who would have thought that it is HARD to get back into shape!? Makes me wish I had put a little more effort in during the winter. But whatever, I’ll just have to put the effort in now.

In pursuit of training with more effort – I also want to trainsmarter. I have been constantly re-evaluating my training priorities of what works – but what is also realistic (for me).

The Gym Sitch:

For starters, I haven’t been to the gym in months. (When I run, I have been running outside.)

When my outdoor run last week was nixed due to a crazy downpour, I decided I needed a better plan B to outside. Though I could drive to my gym before, it was still about a 10-15 minute drive away – and let’s be honest, that can seem like a pretty big hurdle when on the couch. 😉

I moved in November and now in my new neighborhood there is a gym right down the street from me. So last week, I finally bit the bullet: quit my old gym and  joined the new one! And it’s $10 bucks cheaper than my old gym, so that’s not another pro! I’m already so glad I joined the new gym because I can walk right to it and there’s tons of cool classes. Plus, outdoor runs may be coming to a close soon as the pollen reveals its evil self…

The Goal Sitch: 

I say goal instead of race…because I get weirded out about races. I am a slow-ass-runner, and races stress me out. As far as running goes, I still have a lot to learn after the handful of races I’ve done in the past two years. After my last half marathon, I was beginning to lose sight of why I started running in the first place: for my health (both physical AND mental).

When I started to resent training on an exact schedule and beating myself up for not being an Olympian speedster, I swore to zen running.  I needed to stop obsessing over the lap times on my Garmin and just have fun. I thought that would happen when I took races out of the equation.

The problem is – when I take races out of the equation, I don’t have a goal. And when I don’t have a goal, I don’t run.

Luckily, my friend Stephy reminded me that the Capitol Hill 10K is coming up next month.

I loved running it last year and am thinking it is the perf race goal to get me back into the running groove. My goal is the usual: run the whole thing and don’t die!

In the meantime, I have been running 3 miles several times a week and and plan bumping up the mileage each week according to Hal Higdon’s novice 10K training plan.

 

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Here’s to getting back into shape this spring!

Do you have any races coming up?

Is your gym close by to where you live? 

First Run Back

Welp, I have #failed at winter running thus far.

For those of you that have been running in the freezing temps, I am sups impressed. I cannot seem to get out from underneath my warm-ass fuzzy blanket and I’m thinking that is probably not the best for my body/mind. I feel guilty for not working out since I really haven’t gotten back into a routine after the PRR Half Marathon in November.

After waiting so long to start running again, I started to develop this anxiety about breaking the no-running streak. Would I be really slow? Could I still even l run? What if it sucked? How embarrassing.

I had procrastinated for so long that the first run back was becoming something terrifying. I would swear to myself that I’d go for  run on the weekend so it would be more enjoyable outside, etc. But then Sunday would roll around and I’d think….actually, I’m just gonna scrap that run.

Luckily Tuna encouraged me to just buck up and get it over with – he even offered to do the miles with me!

Our hilly run around the neighborhood was cold at first, but by the time we were finished I breathed a warm sigh of relief.

I could still run! And it wasn’t a horrible scarring ordeal full of self-loathing! Of course I felt better than I had in weeks.

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January is a shitty month. I say screw January’s resolutions we all get a do-over and start all of our goals in February.

Cheers to Feb2014!

After the Race

Even though the PRR Half Marathon was a few weeks ago, it seems like it has been forever!

After each of the “endurance” races I’ve done (Tough Mudder and the Shamrock Half Marathon) I’ve taken a week off of anything working-out related. One week off to reward my hard work and give my body some rest. I really like this time because I can catch up on all the things I don’t have time to do I usually spend running. I.e.: sleeping, plopping on the couch, cooking, and other non-aerobic activities.

With Thanksgiving break feeling like a vacation, I inadvertently carried over the one week off for a few more days…and then a second week. Whoops.

I literally have done no exercise in the past few weeks and it has been glorious.

Sometimes rest days or weeks (especially from injuries) are horrible because your mind needs the endorphins. But this rest week was fabulous for me! For the entire first week I had no run guilt, and was totally fine with sitting around on my butt. Toward the end of the second week of rest I started itchin’ for some sweat again and would find myself thinking it would be nice to go for a run.

The absolute only thing I did last week involving movement of any kind was meeting my aunt at the driving range with Tunes and hitting a few balls.

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Yup, the next day my muscles were sore from golf.

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In college I worked at a gym and the busiest day of the year was always the Monday after Thanksgiving – I guess everyone wants to work off the turkey. Because of that I started my post race work outs the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

It is crazy how a few days/weeks off of running really makes you feel out of shape! My legs felt disconnected and too big for my body.

By the end of the miles they were slowly remembering what to do.

This has been the perf little break I needed to make me miss running. I’m ready to come out of hibernation now.

What does your work-out plan look like this week? Yoga, maybe another short run or two!

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!