March Is Over! And Mexico!

I feel like I say this every month, but I CANNOT BELIEVE MARCH IS OVER!

March was actually a really fun month.  I had a TWO WEEK spring break, went to Mexico and had a four day weekend over Easter.  Working in a private school has definite perks!  In addition to all that fun, I had a few really good long runs that are preparing me well for my half-marathon coming up in April.  Oh, and the weather is soon going to be in the 70’s and really…how can you not love that?!?!?!

Running- Longs runs are good.  One more this weekend and then race time in two weeks.  I am really excited for this race.  My initial plan was to definitely go for a PR but I don’t know if I am ready.  Based on Sunday’s long run, I could come close.  It will really depend on those last few miles.  After Philly, when I was on target to crush my PR only to be bogged down by GI issues, I don’t want to get my hopes up for anything.  The extended weather report says 72, I have a cute outfit, it’s at the University I went to and loads of my friends will also be racing.  Those are all reasons to be excited that have nothing to do with time.  We shall see what happens when I cross the line!

Ballet/Barre-  This is still my favorite workout but I am definitely doing a lot more barre than I am ballet.  For one, it just fits in my schedule better but I also like the combination of ballet work with cardio and other strength moves.  It is the best workout I get for sure!  However, until the half is over, I am taking a break with this because it is really stressful on the legs and I do not want to over-do it.  Once the race is over, I’ll be picking this up much more…especially once school is out and I can go in the mornings.  I cannot wait for that!

Nutrition- I did so well up until Mexico.  Then it was a lot of alcohol and ridiculous amounts of food!  I look so bloated in the photos from the drinking, but seriously…worth it.  Once I got home, I got right back on track.  I feel pretty good although the real test will be race day.  I have been once again consistently training with GU so I hope that helps.  I really think that was the problem in Philly.  My training sucked and I didn’t rely on one product for nutrition.  On race day my body rejected it completely.  Now, I am back to training with GU and hoping it makes the difference.

Sleep- I am happy to report that while I was super busy over break, I did take lots of naps!  This past weekend I made zero plans on Saturday and pretty much slept all day.  I know I will never catch up, but sometimes a true lazy-do-nothing-day is exactly what I need!

Other Life Events-

Mexico was AMAZING!  The resort was just so-so but being there with so many of my friends and such a group of awesome people made for a fantastic trip.  We flew out super early and we were there and on the beach by 10am.  Of course the drinks started flowing right away and the sun was out in full effect!  It was perfection!  I spent all day Thursday and Friday, switching from the beach to the pool, hanging out in the sun and enjoying adult beverages with some of my favorite people.  Saturday was the wedding and we had perfect weather.  There was a ridiculous amount of dancing which I loved and I was so sad when the night ended.  My flight out Sunday was a little later so I got in a few hours of sun before I had to say good-bye.  Before I knew it, the trip was over.  It was definitely a great time even if it was really short!

How about some photos?

Mexico 018 Mexico 028 Mexico 033 Mexico 038

1 2 3 Mexico 061

And I’ll leave you with this gem…my best white girl dance moves in action!

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What was the best thing that happened to you in March?

Shamrock Weekend

This past weekend a few of my friends and I traveled down to Virginia Beach for the Shamrock Half Marathon and Marathon weekend.  It fell right on Saint Patrick’s Day which made it that much cooler.  I have gone down to this race three times and it is always a good time.  Even this year, in the very cold, we had a great time.  We drove down Friday night which was great.  We were able to relax Saturday morning before heading the expo.  We had talked about watching the 8k but it was really cold.  And it was so much easier to watch from our hotel room.  You could see the finish from our balcony!

After the expo, we had a late lunch and then headed back to relax before an early bedtime.  This was my friend Lisa’s first full marathon so we made sure she got plenty of rest!  The first alarm went off for my friends Victoria and Stephanie who were doing the half-marathon.  I stayed back with Lisa, so we could walk down to the marathon together.  (I am racing a half in April, so I decided against this race.)  We walked down and met up with my friend Stephanie’s husband Josh before Lisa had to get into her corral.  Once she did, Josh and I headed to the half-marathon finish without about 8 minutes to spare before Victoria crossed the line (1:44’ish- she is awesome!).  I went with Victoria back to the hotel so we could prepare to see Lisa at Mile 12.  Lisa was sending updates so we would be able to run down from the hotel as she passed by.  Shortly before we left Stephanie and Josh came back, which was great; this way, all of us would be there to cheer her on!  As she ran by, she looked happy and strong.  After we saw her we headed back up to the room and I went out for my own run.  I had 7 miles of my own to do and totally wimped out and got on the treadmill.  By the time I was done it was time to shower and get ready to meet Lisa at the finish.

The finish energy was great and we had an awesome spot about 500 feet away with no one blocking our view.  After Lisa crossed the line (4:51!) we headed to the post-race party for a celebratory beer before getting to the hotel and packing up to drive home.

It was a super fast weekend but we had a blast.  And it got me really pumped for the April half-marathon!

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Expo- Lisa and I look so small!sham2

Pre-race!

sham4Post-race!!!

This week, I leave for Mexico.  One of my best friends is getting married and I am one of her bridesmaids.  Currently the weather in New Jersey is 50 and rainy.  In Mexico it is 90 and sunny!  We leave super-duper ridiculously early (think 3am early!) on Thursday morning and I come home Sunday night.  While I am there, I do have to get a run in, but other than that but plans are to relax, relax and relax.  I also plan to take full advantage of my all-inclusive status 🙂

I will definitely post photos when I get back, but until then…happy swimming, biking and running!

 

Boston Trip Report Part 3- Marathon Monday

No joke, spectating Marathon Monday was one of the coolest things I have ever done.  And I didn’t even see one blogger on the race course!  Btw bloggies…HOW THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN?!?!?!  I have no idea how I missed every single one of you, but I promise my mom and I were out there at Mile 17, cheering you and all the runners on curbside.

For anyone who has never spectated the marathon, I highly recommend Mile 17.  We had a blast cheering on the runners as they entered into the Newton Hills.  The curbs were full of excited spectators and the energy was amazing.

Its been more than a week since I was sitting curbside watching some of the most amazing runners.  By now, I have to think at least a few of you are Boston’d out from blog posts.  I also think that Marathon Monday needs to be really left to the runners themselves.  Therefore, I give you Marathon Monday, in photos!

I still cannot believe all the fun was over a week ago!  The trip was crazy fast but I loved it!  I am already toying with the idea of going back in 2012.  I have enjoyed each and every one of your reports- Congrats again to all the 5k and Marathon finishers!!!!

Boston Trip Report Day 2 & The B.A.A. 5K Report

Haven’t read part 1 yet?  Don’t miss out on the fun and photos- go read it here.

Sunday morning was a super early start in the POURING rain!  I got dressed, had a granola bar and water and was on my way.  Thankfully by the time we got off the T-line and to the start, the rain had tapered off!  It was still quite cold, but I knew I would appreciate it once I was running.  (I don’t think my mom appreciated it at all!)  This was not “just” a 5K…it was the BOSTON 5K…that meant lots of spectators, a great atmosphere and a medal!  Yes, a medal!  SCORE!  And lots of bloggies 🙂  We met on the steps for some pre-race conversation; it was a great way to pass the time before getting to the start line.

The 5k was crowded at first but as the first 1/4 mile went on, I was able to get into a groove on my own.  I started out fast- way too fast- and hit the first hill with gusto!  I knew if I wanted to finish strong, I needed to slow down.  I hit the first mile at just over 10 minutes.  The second mile went relatively fast- the crowd support was amazing, the best I have ever witnessed for a 5k and I was loving all the cheers.  After passing the 2nd water stop, I decided to slow down because my shins were on fire.  I didn’t want to come away from this race focused on pain, I wanted to come away from this race being happy and having had a good time.  I took it down to a slow jog, but that ended up actually hurting more.  I struggled to get comfortable for the entire last mile- but thankfully, I had come across Morgan and Spike spectating and their cheers gave me a nice push to the finish.  Even though it was “just” a 5K, it was by far the coolest I ever ran!!! 

My official time was 31:42- I am very happy with that because I really did get to enjoy the race and take it all in.  I had thought about pushing for a PR, and I probably could have gotten it, but after rethinking it just before go-time I decided to just have fun with the run since I wasn’t sure I would ever get to do it again. 

After the 5K, my mom and I headed immediately for coffee which was much needed!  before we headed over for bloggy breakfast we stopped to watch some of the invitational mile.  It was pretty cool to see some young runners out there and made even better by the funny commentary provided by Spike!  By the time 10am rolled around there were some seriously hungry runnnahs out there!  We headed over to Stephanies on Newbury for breakfast- and while they didn’t have our confirmation (Morgan was in charge of this…the most organized person EVER…something tells me this was a problem on the resturants behalf and NOT Morgan!) they were quick to accomodate our group.  After getting settled in with our coffee’s and Mimosa’s, it was a total chat-fest!  Next to being THISCLOSE to Kara Goucher and Ryan Hall, this was honestly, one of my favorite times all weekend!  Plus, I had just about the best waffle EVER!  Stacked high with strawberries and whipped cream.  (Katie managed to have whipped cream with a side of waffle!)  I was definitely sad to see the breakfast end!

 

From breakfast, it was back to the hotel to get ready to meet up with my Mom’s friend Lorna!  Back on the T-Line…back to the hotel…back to the T-Line…and into the Financial District we went!  We enjoyed a great dinner at Red Sky and then went for some ice cream.  We ended up back at Lorna’s house until quite late and by the time I got home, I was beat!

Up next…Marathon Monday ♥

Boston Trip Report Part 1

Wow- some of you already have your 5K reports up and some even have full weekend reports- you people are quick!!!!  In an effort to not bore you all to death with one long report, I will make this a three parter.  First part will be Saturday, the second part will be Sunday and the third will be Marathon Monday.  There are going to be lots of reports to read- my advice is to read them all- we all have a different story and perspective.  But if you cannot read them all, of course read mine 🙂

The adventure started very early Saturday morning.  I was still packing as of 1am and had to be up at 5am!  It was going to be a whirlwind weekend and sleep was going to be a hot comodidity  Mom and I were off to the airport at 7:30.  While checking my facebook at the airport, I noticed Denise was on the same flight- I got up to look for her and she spotted me right away!  So exciting to finally meet!  We have been looking for each other at local races for a long time; meeting at the airport was extra special!!!  We had a little bit to chat before the plane took off which was great!  Once boarded, the flight was only 46 minutes (love it!!!).  After we landed in Boston, I snapped a quick photo with Denise and we headed off to the T-line…the first of many trips we would make on the subway!

As soon as we got to the hotel, all we could think about was food (ok, all I ever think about it food) and we got ourselves fed.  Then it was off to the expo to pick up my bib.  Honestly, I wasn’t over-impressed with the expo.  With exception to watching the awesome video they had running and finally getting my photo with Yasso (after three failed attempts), I was disappointed.  It was ridiculously crowded and overall, I have seen better at other race expo’s.  We spent quite a bit of time there but I was ready to go after a while.

 

After the expo, I decided to hit the up the Bloggy Happy Hour.  Unfortunately, the actual Happy Hour never occured.  The bar knew nothing about us coming so instead it was more of a hang out in the lobby, snap some photos and have a chat session.  Regardless of how it worked out, it was so much fun- especially because I got to reunite with Morgan,  meet Aron and meet so many new great people!

By the time I left the bar, I was beat.  My mom and I were both starving so we hit up some dinner before getting back on the T-line to head to the hotel.  I laid out all my 5K stuff and headed to bed.  I slept like a baby!!!

Up next…the 5k and more bloggy lovin!!!

If You Are Running Boston & You Read This Blog…READ ON!

I fully intend to include every runner who reads this blog on my sign for the marathon!  However, in an effort not to miss anyone, I ask that you leave a little note here if you are running next Monday!  You might not know it yet, but I am the loudest, most energetic, sepctator you could imagine.  A small little thing, but I carry A LOT of spunk!

So…give me your names if you are running and then watch out for me on the course! 

See you this weekend Boston kids ♥

Shamrock 8K Race Report

First race of 2011 is in the books!

I headed down on Friday to lovely Virginia Beach- had a fairly uneventful drive and got there about 2pm.  The expo seemed smaller to me this year than last and we really didn’t spend too much time there.  I wanted to get some CEP’s but they weren’t there so that was the only real bummer for me. That  night, her cousins (we stayed at their house right off the beach) made a fabulous dinner of Alfredo and Salmon.  Ah-mazing.  And then it was off to bed.

Pre-Race:  Up and at em by 5:30 and to the race by 6:15.  We got a fabulous parking space which was nice because it was raining. Ugh. I don’t so much mind running in rain, but I very much mind standing around in it.  Once we got down to 31st street where the start line was, we stayed out of the wind/rain at the local hotel.  Right before they started lining us up, the rain stopped.  But the wind…well, that would be a whole nother story!

Race: Nicole and I started off together at a comfortable pace just under 10 minute miles.  Everything felt good.  I was really just cruising…and at a pace slightly faster than I am used to for starting out.  It felt good, so I kept up with it.  The first mile flew by.  As did the second mile.  As I came into the third mile I knew I needed to slow it down- Nicole went ahead and I kept steady at about a 10minute mile.  I came into the 5k mark at a little over 29 minutes.  This was good!  It was all good.  Until I got to the boardwalk.  Mile 4 was a complete fail.  The wind was horrible- sand in my eye (even with my glasses on), wind pounding me in the face, everyone trying to run on the left so as not be hit by the sand…crowded, annoying, fail!  With that said, I did not let it get me down- I knew I had a bad mile, but I also knew I could still make my goal of under 50:00.  I pushed so hard.  Dug deep. Thought positive. I did everything I could.  I left it all out there in mile 5.  And I came in at 51:13.  1 minute and 13 seconds over my goal. 

Breakdown:

Mile 1- 9:44

Mile 2- 19:38

Mile 3- 29:35

Mile 4- 41:07

Mile 5- 51:13

Overall, I am happy with my performance.  So I didn’t make my goal.  So that sucks.  But the race was hard fought.  And this time last year, I was hardly even running.  This was my first race of 2011′ my first race since November of 2010.  At the end of the day, I gave it all I had.  It wasn’t my best showing, but it was my best effort.

Stats:

Division- 252/719

Gender- 1384/4867

Overall- 2994/7675

Post-Race:  Met up with Nicole (she ran 47:02!) and headed to grab our post race adult beverages.  Yum!  Snacked, listened to some music and then grabbed lunch at a local place called TapHouse.  Awesome lunch!  Then headed home and took a nap before going out on the town that night. 

It was a good trip and I am glad I went, but I was exhausted by the time I got home on Sunday night.  I drove right to R2’s house and stayed there so I didn’t even unpack until after I got home from work yesterday!  I woke up today, swam and tonight I work!  Training is in full swing; I feel great but I am tired! I need a vacation from the vacations I have been taking!!! 

And of course…photos: