|November 21st, 2012||Half Marathon Training, Races, Running|
This is the last part of the Philadelphia Half Marathon Recap, I promise.
After running 13.1, what’s next?
So what will I be doing now that the half marathon is over? I’m not entirely sure just yet. I know I want to register for another 10K in the new year and maybe even a 5K before Christmas like I did last year.
One thing I’m looking forward to is weight training. I’ve said numerous times in the past that although my half marathon training plan allowed for a day of weight training, I never did it because I was just too tired. Now that I won’t be necessarily running ten miles every weekend, I’ll have extra time to grab the weights.
I’m toying with the idea of putting together my own weight training program integrating many of the workouts from the Jamie Eason Live Fit Trainer that I did in the beginning of this year. But, I’m open to other suggestions.
Another thing I am looking forward to is getting back into my yoga practice. I was very diligent with going to classes this summer, but with the craziness of getting acclimated to a new job and training for the Half I didn’t have time to add it into my schedule. Now that I have more time for other exercises, I can’t wait to get back into it! Since I first started practicing yoga back in college, I fell in love with it. It’s a calming experience, but gives you a kick-butt workout. First step: new yoga mat! I have my eye set on “The Mat” from lululemon. It’s a black non-slip mat that I’ve used at yoga studios before and it’s basically amazing.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner (literally… tomorrow) I just wanted to give thanks to all of those who gave me well wishes for my half marathon. It was absolutely painful, but amazing and I couldn’t do it without the support and love. I also want to give thanks to Bryan for being patient with me every weekend when I had to get a long run finished, and waiting around at the Philly Marathon in the cold weather for me to cross the finish line.
Talk to Me
- What did you do post-marathon/half marathon?
- What was your favorite part about your first marathon/half marathon?
- What holiday runs are you looking forward to this season?
|November 20th, 2012||Half Marathon Training, Races, Running|
Now that you’ve already read about Part 1 of the Philadelphia Half Marathon weekend that covered the expo, dinner the night before, and race day… I bring you the second part of my recap series.
Freezing, but ready to go!
After waiting in a long line for a porta-potty, I finally made my way to my corral. I made it just in time, because my corral was moving towards the starting line shortly after I got there. It took us 21 minutes to cross the starting line, and I could feel the runners around me getting excited.
Thank you Bryan for taking this photo
Mile 1 – Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Love Park: My feet were numb. No, not from running but actually from being so cold. I actually thought I may have gotten frost bite, but I’m dramatic so I knew deep down I was probably fine.
Mile 2 – Arch Street past Liberty Bell to Race Street: My feet warmed up quickly and I took my gloves off at this point.
Mile 3 – Columbus Boulevard: Gorgeous scenery running down by the water, but there weren’t many spectators cheering during this mile.
Mile 4 – Columbus Boulevard to Front Street: Don’t really remember this mile much, but I do remember that this is where my knee started hurting.
Mile 5 – South Street to Independence Hall: The crowds on South Street were amazing! There were so many crazy signs that I could read to keep my mind off the pain. One of my favorites was “You trained longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage.”
Mile 6 – Chestnut Street to City Hall: Probably my favorite part of the entire race. The amount of spectators was breathtaking. SO many people were cheering on both sides of Chestnut Street. Thank you to the random spectators who screamed my name to keep going. It helped! At this point I thought to myself, “This would be a great route for a 10K.”
Mile 7 – 17th and Chestnut to 30th Street: Spectators seemed to diminish around this mile as well. Up to this point the route was really flat.
Mile 8 – Drexel University and University of Penn: Hills and drunk college students. Ran out of my Jelly Beans at this point.
Mile 9 – Martin Luther King Drive past the Philadelphia Zoo: I remember this mile being one large hill. A spectator screamed to us that at the end of the mile there was one large downhill. Also picked up a Clif Shot in Vanilla for energy. Happy Happy Happy!
Mile 10 – Fairmount Park: More hills. I’m pretty sure at this point I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to finish. I took walking breaks from now to the end. But… every time I stopped and started again my knee seemed to go in shock.
Mile 11 – Please Touch Museum to the Schuylkill River: At the end of mile 11, there were 6 or 7 men and women dressed as women in spandex body suits dancing and cheering us on. HILARIOUS. It definitely made me smile and realize that it’s almost over and that I could do this.
Mile 12 – Running by the Schuylkill River: This mile was by far the hardest one. I tried so hard to keep pushing, but my knee was basically giving up. That’s the one thing I realized during this mile… I HAD this half marathon mentally. I was ready to go, however physically my body was telling me otherwise.
Mile 13.1 – Heading to the Art Museum and Finish Line: The final mile was a blur, but it was all worth it. If you were at the finish line, you probably saw me crying – not because I was emotional about finishing… but because my knee hurt SO bad. The final .1 of a mile I sprinted to the finish line, which is probably why I’m in such pain today.
Crossed the finish line at 2:23:15. Definitely NOT the pace I’ve been training at, but I am just glad to have finished! I figure this gives me something to work towards.
Up tomorrow: Post Half Marathon.
Talk to Me
- Have you ever done the Philadelphia Marathon or Half Marathon? If so, what was your experience?
- Do you prefer 5Ks, 10Ks, Half Marathons or Marathons?
- Random question – What running gear do you want for the holidays this year?
|November 19th, 2012||Half Marathon Training, Races, Running|
It’s actually over. I can’t believe that the half marathon came and went that quickly. The weekend was absolutely amazing, and I’m sure you’re all just dying to hear all about it.
On Saturday morning, Bry and I drove to the Philadelphia Convention Center for the Health and Fitness Expo to pick up my bib and race packet. The Expo had vendors, such as Running Skirts and Sparkly Bands (which you know I loved since I got some of their gear at the Runner’s World Half Festival). I received my bib, a Philadelphia marathon bag, coupons, and a really comfortable tech-long sleeve t-shirt.
After walking around the Expo for about an hour, Bry and I went to the Reading Terminal for lunch then braved the traffic home.
My dinner Saturday night was spaghetti! I knew I would need the carbohydrates for energy the next morning. I used the rest of our angel hair spaghetti and homemade tomato sauce.
Race Day Morning
I went to bed around 10 PM on Saturday night, but my alarm was set for 3:20 AM and 3:30 AM on Sunday. I knew I had to get a good nights sleep if I wanted to actually finish the race. To my surprise, when the alarm started ringing early Sunday, I was wide awake and ready to go.
All of my clothes were lined up on my bedroom floor the night before, because nothing is worse than forgetting your race bib.
1. Running Jacket (TJ Maxx)
2. Freemotion Luxe S/S Tee V-neck (c/o)
3. Nike Dri-Fit hat
4. Futuro Moisture Control Knee Brace
5. Spi Belt (c/o) – inside: my ID and Jelly Belly Sport Beans
6. Race bib & pacer band
7. Champion sports bra
8. Zensah Smart Touch Running Gloves (c/o)
9. Old Navy compression running crops
I ate two pieces of toast with butter and banana on top and got out the door around 4 AM.
Luckily, we didn’t hit any traffic on the ride down to Philly and for once we found a cheap parking garage ($9!) really close to my corral. The purple corral was right in front of the Art Museum, so we sat there to keep warm. Noted: I will be packing a blanket for the next winter race I do. It was windy and COLD!
Eventually the sun came up and I headed to my corral. I anxiously waited with thousands of other people (approx. 30,000 runners). I tried to get my music ready to go, but to my surprise Pandora wouldn’t load because of the high density of runners. I wasn’t too upset, because I knew that the energy and crowds would keep me going. YES, I ran the entire 13.1 miles without music.
Up tomorrow: Running 13.1
Talk to Me
- What do you bring to cold races?
- What’s the largest race you’ve ever done? How many people were there?
- What’s the one food item you ALWAYS have before a race?
|October 22nd, 2012||Events, Fitfluential, Races, Weekend Recap|
The Runner’s World Half Festival technically started on Thursday night for the Fitfluential bloggers, but I couldn’t make it out to Bethlehem until Saturday morning. I’m going to be doing a recap of the Runner’s World festival in three parts, because it’s just way too much amazing-ness to put into one post. First up – Running my first 10K!
Running My First 10K
My alarm went off at 4:45 am and we were out the door by 6:00. I put everything out the night before, so all I really had to do in the morning was to put it in my Nike bag and head out the door.
We arrived around 7:45 which gave us time to park, pick up my bib, and take some pics! I wore my Nike hat, Champion sports bra and top, running skirt c/o Lucy Activewear, compression socks c/o ProCompression, and Nike sneakers. I was ready to go!
The 5K was before the 10K, so I had time to meet up with Tina from Best Body Fitness! Unfortunately, we didn’t get any photos together but she’s so sweet! She wasn’t running on Saturday because she was recovering from an injury, so we watched the 5K runners complete their race.
After the 5K was finished, I introduced myself to the other Fitfluential ladies and everyone was so nice! It was funny, because I felt like I knew them already from reading their blogs. Some of the bloggers I got to meet were Katherine from Neon Blonde Runner, Lynda from Hit The Road Jane, Sylvia from Frolic Through Life, Karen from Health in Real Life, and Lindsey from Itz Lindz. There were so many amazing women there and it was nice to be around people who enjoy healthy living, blogging and running as much as I do!
photo from: A Veteran Runnah
Soon enough, it was time to head to the starting line. I almost forgot I had a race to run, because I was having so much fun hanging out and chatting with everyone! I went into the morning knowing that, because it was my first 10K I probably should just try and finish instead of setting an unrealistic goal. BUT, that’s not like me.
photo from: A Veteran Runnah
I set a “temporary” goal to finish in an hour, but when I saw my time was 11 minutes at the first mile marker, I knew that wouldn’t be a realistic goal. I then decided to just finish the race and try to not take any walking breaks.
Since I don’t have a Garmin watch (yet), I don’t have my splits, but here’s a run down of the miles.
Mile 1: This mile was probably my slowest. My left knee started hurting right away and I knew I should have purchased a knee brace. The crowd was pretty congested during the first miles, so it took some time for me to get in a good pace. We ran through Lehigh University campus and even saw a group of guys outside of a frat house drinking. Oh, the good old days.
Mile 2-3 : I’m not sure if it was mile 2 or 3 but we ran across the Fahy Bridge. I’ve never done bridge work before, but it wasn’t too difficult. The view from the bridge was amazing! I really started enjoying the race at this point, and quickly remembered why I love running so much.
check out those hills!
Mile 4: We ran through downtown Bethlehem, which was HILLY! VERY VERY HILLY. I ‘m not sure how I made it up and down those hills, but I did. This was the worst part of the race.
Mile 5: My only two thoughts: where are the crowds of people cheering and can I make it up this 324320th hill?! We ran over the Fahy bridge again (I think it was during this mile) and I started to get emotional. The view was again amazing, but this time over the bridge we were heading back to the Steal Stacks, the mountains looked gorgeous with red, orange and yellow trees, and I could see the end in sight.
Mile 6.2: The home stretch! All I wanted was to cross that finish line and that was basically my motivation. My legs started to give out, but I couldn’t wait to see all of the crowds and step over the finish line! It was so great to hear fellow bloggers cheer me on at the finish. I was so overwhelmed that I didn’t even look at the clock to see when I finished.
So happy to finish and take this photo. Check out the people in the background
Bryan met me at the finish line and told me when I finished: 1:00:06! Hell yes! I finished basically under 1 hour. Close enough for me. And you know what else… I didn’t take any walking breaks! Crazy! I think that the Pro Compression socks really helped. It was the first time wearing these during a race, and I will definitely be putting these babies on again!
FTC: Registration for this race was provided by Runner’s World and Fitfluential. No other compensation was received.
Talk to Me
- If you ran in the Runner’s World 5K, 10K, and/or half, what were your times?
- What has been your favorite race yet? Why?
- Have you ever met other bloggers? If so when and where?
Up next: Altra Zero Drop Footwear and other Sponsors!
|October 17th, 2012||Gear, Races, Running|
Yesterday after work I went to Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods for shopping a a little shopping trip. It wasn’t a large shopping trip, but I had a blast anyway. First I had to stop by Target and return a bridesmaid dress that didn’t fit me for my friend Lauren’s wedding. I purchased two sizes online and had to return the one that didn’t look as great.
After getting my money refunded, I of course had to spend it again. I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods to get a running hat for Saturday. The weather originally said it would rain (now the percentage went down a bit), so I needed a hat that would keep my head dry! At this point if it rains or not, I’m still going to wear it because it’s so cute.
It’s actually from a Storm-Fit hat from the Nike Golf line.
- According to the tag, Storm-Fit “helps resist water to keep you drier and more comfortable in moderate weather conditions.”
- 100% polyester
- Waterproof and windproof
Even though I’ve worked in marketing and I know that stores place items directly next to the register to get a last minute sale, I still get trapped into it! I’m a marketers dream. When I was checking out, I saw a few shelves of sport chews/GUs etc. I used to eat the Clif Bar Shot Blox last year when I started running, but I wasn’t a huge fan. This time around I went for something I knew I’d most definitely enjoy. Sport jelly beans!
Jelly Belly Extreme Sport Beans
- Contains vitamins B, C, electrolytes, and caffeine
- Each serving contains 50mg of caffeine (about the amount in 1/2 a cup of coffee)
- approximately $1.20 per package
Another item that I’ll be rocking on Saturday is my new pair of Pro Compression argyle marathon socks. Sometimes I think that if I wear them, I’ll be able to run a marathon one day. Here’s to hoping . The socks are in transit right now, but I should get them in the mail any day now. You all know how much I love Pro Compression socks!
Talk to Me
- If you are going to the Runner’s World events this weekend, what will you be wearing during your race?
- What’s your favorite type of fuel during runs?
- Do you have a favorite hat or wet weather gear?
|September 12th, 2012||Events, Half Marathon Training, Races, Running|
I love Bethlehem, PA. I’ve been there a few times for MusikFest and fell in love with the city: the old architecture, the Bethlehem Steel Mill, the hip but relaxed downtown. Bethlehem is not only home to MusikFest. It is also the home of Runner’s World Magazine. (OK, Runner’s World Magazine is in Emmaus, PA., but it’s very close by).
When I started running last year, Runner’s World was the only magazine I would purchase to find training tips for newbies, nutrition and more. As I am in the midst of my half marathon training, I still find that Runner’s World is extremely informative. Whether you are training for your first 5K or your 30th marathon, the magazine trumps all others.
This October, the magazine is hosting the inaugural Runner’s World Half Marathon Festival in Bethlehem. Don’t worry if you’re not a half marathoner yet (b/c I’m certainly not), because it’s not just a half marathon… it’s a full weekend of events and festivities from October 19-21.
Here’s a brief list of some of the activities planned that weekend:
- Health and Fitness Expo
- Kids Races
- a dinner with the editors
- seminars such as Tips for Beginning Runners, Priming Your Body for Peak Performance and How Every Runner Can Get Better.
- half marathon
Thank you to the amazing people at Runner’s World have been so generous to invite me to participate in this inaugural event! A few other FitFluential bloggers and I will be attending, taking a lot of photos and tweeting/instagraming etc. live from the event (you can follow via #RWHalf) and running our little hearts out.
Oh, by the way in case you weren’t totally sure about coming yet… three-time Olympian, Shalane Flanagan, is going to be there. Yanno, Kara Goucher’s training buddy?!
I’ll be running the 10K to prepare for the Philadelphia Marathon a few weeks after. I initially had hopes to run this half as a training run, but I don’t want to risk getting injured because this course is pretty hilly!
The price to run at this event ranges from $40 for the 5K to $90 for the half, which you can find on the Runner’s World registration page. However…. because I love you all so much and want to meet you all there, you won’t have to pay full price!
If you want to join me, enter the discount code BLOGGER20 for 10% off any race.
Talk to Me
- If you’re in my area, will you be joining me at this event?
- Who are your favorite Olympians?
- Have you ever been to Bethlehem, PA?
|August 7th, 2012||Races, Running|
I’m a big fan of the 80s. Although I only lived in the 80s for a little over a year, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” was my first ring tone back in 10th grade.
Okay so back to the point of this post…. Do you live near South Jersey? Are you over 21? Do you love the 80s? Then the race for you is the Totally Awesome 80′s Run in Pitman, NJ.
Who: You and I! If you’re a blogger or a reader from the tri-state area, I’d love to meet up and run this race together!
What: Totally Awesome 80′s 5K
When: August 25th at 11am
Where: Carolina Blue Restaurant, Pitman NJ
Why: Join me for a 5K timed run followed by a party and dancing. An 80s cover band will be performing and included in your registration is a buffet catered by Carolina Blue Smokehouse and Taproom. Awards will be given to the best 80′s dressed runners. I’m not sure what I’ll be wearing yet, but I’m thinking something neon and stretchy with a side pony tail.
The price for this race is $44, but I am here to offer you a $5 off promo code! When registering, use <simply> as your promotional code for the discount. For more information and to register, go to http://southjerseyrunning.com/
I hope to see some of you there! If you register and use the code, please tweet me and let me know!
|August 6th, 2012||Races, Running|
On Friday night, after a night of drinks, I went to bed around 11:30pm with my compression socks on. Lately if I wear them at night, my runs in the morning are much easier. Many of you know that I have multiple pairs of the Pro Compression marathon socks. These are by far the BEST of the best. I wore my pinks ones to bed in hopes that by morning my tired legs would feel better!
My alarm went off at 6am, and I slowly got out of bed. I had my morning coffee and relaxed in bed until around 7, when I finally decided to get dressed. My outfit for this 5K was my Lucy Activewear top, Old Navy capris, Asics socks, Lululemon headband, and my Nike sneakers.
The race was at a school in Jenkintown, PA so it didn’t take too long to get there. The weather was very humid, but overcast in the high 80s. That meant that although the sun wasn’t beating down on my face, it was still super hard to breathe. After I checked in at registration, I stopped to have a brief chat with Mike, the President of the HCM Foundation, who hosted the event. His father passed away from Colon cancer when Mike was an infant. After chatting with Mike, I sat down near the track to stretch for a bit.
Fifteen minutes before the race started, everyone gathered in the parking lot to listen to the story of a breast cancer survivor who has been touched by the HCM Foundation personally. It was nice to hear from someone first hand who benefited from such an amazing organization.
At a little after 9, the 5K was underway. It was probably the smallest 5K I’ve ever done with just under 200 runners. I didn’t mind though, because less runners meant less crowding during the first half mile.
Around mile 1, I found a woman who was running the same pace as me. She said she was trying to break 28:00. I was trying to get under 30:00, so I knew running with her would hopefully make my PR happen. I ran faster than her up the hills, but she quickly caught up to me on the flat surfaces. She was great! Every time she saw me start walking or slow down, she said “Let’s go we got this!”
The course itself was pretty hilly at times, but then evened out towards the end. It started at the parking lot of the school, went through a neighborhood and ended up with a half lap around the track.
So, you’re probably wondering how I did right? Okay well the heat kind of got to me and I was dripping with sweat at the end. I ended up finishing in 28:52 !!! I reached my goal of running a 5K in under 30 minutes and obviously also PR’d. I actually didn’t find out my time until later on Saturday night. My iPhone was going crazy for whatever reason and my songs were going at double the speed at times and then shutting off all together. Around mile 1, I ripped my headphones out of my ears and went music-less.
Post-race was great too. They had a big selection of foods: Panera bagels, fruits from Wegmans, water, and Body Armor sport drinks. I ate a blueberry bagel and half of a banana while sitting in the grass cooling down.
After the 5K run and 1 mile walk was over, the kids had a race around the track. It was so cute to see all the little ones run so fast! They all did so good!
I really had a great time during this race and will probably run it again next year to try and beat my time.
Have you run a really good race lately?
What’s your 5K PR?
|July 18th, 2012||Races|
I was looking around on the Internet last week for local 5Ks to run. I like signing up for races, because it keeps me motivated to get into the gym. I came across the Fox CHASE AWAY CANCER event and knew I had to at least look into it. The event is hosted by the HCM Foundation, whose mission is to provide opportunities and financial support to cancer patients, survivors and their families. Many of you know that my mother passed away in 2007 from brain cancer, and know that I enjoy running in her memory.
The HCM Foundation was founded by Mike Marsteller in 2009. Mike’s father passed away from colon cancer when Mike was only one year old. His mother was faced with raising two children without a husband. When Mike got older, he started to listen to many stories of cancer significantly impacting families in different ways. Mike realized it was time to create action to build a stable Foundation where support could be offered to those affected by cancer.
I saw on the website that the goal for the Fox CHASE AWAY CANCER event is to provide a “one day celebration and recognition of the Fox Chase Cancer Center employees who continually fight cancer every single day.” I emailed Mike last week and decided to introduce myself and share my story. He emailed me back almost immediately and mentioned that he would be honored to have me run the race! He event mentioned that while I’m crossing the finish line, they would be able to mention my mother’s name. How awesome is that!?
If any one is in the Philadelphia area, I would love to have you run the race with me and meet up afterwards. Please go to the CHASE AWAY CANCER event website and register today!
Obviously I want to fund raise for this amazing cause, because I know how powerful and amazing the blogging community is and especially the Simply Nicole readers! If you’d like to donate even just a dollar, please email me at email@example.com for more information.
___________________________________________________________________________________FTC: I am running this race with a waived registration fee in exchange for promoting the event and organization. All opinions are my own.
|July 9th, 2012||Races, Running, Weekend Recap|
I had a pretty good weekend. Saturday morning started bright and early. I woke up around 7:30 for yoga at the farmer’s market at 9am. I found out about it via Facebook, and I am SO glad I did. The complimentary Lululemon store classes have moved outside for the rest of the summer. We all joined together inside of the gazebo and did yoga in the shade. There were fountains on in the pond behind us, which provided us a relaxing and serene background. AMAZING all around. This was probably my favorite yoga class to date!
After yoga, I knew I had to run 2 mi to complete my 15 mi weekly goal. I put on my sneakers and headed to the gym… and I did it! I did my 2 mi HIIT workout. Although I had to hop off the treadmill a few times because of the heat, I finished! 15 miles completed.
Once my workouts for the day were over, Bry and I went to the pool for an hour to get some sun. It was WAY too hot out there to be any longer than an hour. I think the temperature was 103 or something crazy. Needless to say, we didn’t stay too long and came back inside and enjoyed the air conditioning and TV.
After dinner, Bry and I went to our friend Jim’s apartment for game night. We played many rounds of Clue (a new favorite of mine), and soon questioned how this game is for children… pretty gruesome theme for a kid’s game + it takes a lot of strategy. We played while eating lots and lots of fresh fruit + chocolate, chex mix, and popcorn. I am pretty sure I ate 3/4 of the big bowl of fruit.
We didn’t leave Jim’s apartment until midnight, which got us home and showered around 1am. Let’s just say waking up at 5am for the Color Run was not easy. My friend Alyssa couldn’t go to the Color Run and asked if I wanted her 2 registrations. OF COURSE!
Bry and I got down to the Art Museum around 6:30 and surprisingly got okay parking. There were so many people there. 25K! The announcer said that it was the largest Color Run yet! We were definitely MUCH more “colored” after this race, in comparison to the Color Me Rad 5K a few weeks ago.
Comparing this run to the Color Me Rad 5K we did a few weeks ago is easy.
Color Me Rad:
+ free easy parking, smaller crowds made weaving in and out of people easy
- smaller crowd had lower energy, less volunteers in color stations, less volunteers, boring route
+ many more volunteers, color was distributed using mustard bottles, much more color, bigger crowd with better energy, better route
- larger crowds made weaving difficult, more color means more difficult removal, free parking but far from race location
Bry and I really enjoyed the Color Run, and both said we’d sign up next year!
Did you do the Color Run? What was your experience like?
What’s your next race?