After a tumultuous semester at VT this past spring, I began looking for other jobs. I felt under appreciated, under paid, and treated like dirt and so needed a change. The only positive part about my current position was that it allowed me to assist Jon in marketing efforts for his ensemble (which to be perfectly honest wasn't even part of my job but the marketing manager was so bad at hers that I was covering it).
So while I did feel bad about taking that extra support away from him, he just wanted me to be happy at work. Enter Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke. Now for a long time I had played with the idea of working at a running store. I am passionate about fitness and running and since I have yet to live in a place (since DC) where I can actually use my background and get paid for it - now seemed as good as any time to take a career shift and do something I enjoyed.
I originally interviewed with them in March but due to my time constraints (finishing the semester with VT) and their finding some great part-time hires they couldn't take me on. Then in April just after my big races (and big injury) they asked me to come back in to talk once more. I was happy to be given a second chance!
I met with both owners and the store manager and felt great about the final interview. I was hopeful that this would be my turn. A few days later I got the call that they were definitely interested in me and would be ok with my timeline of starting at the end of May. FINALLY! Some good news.
It's been just over a week so far but I haven't been happier at a job. I realize switching to retail and crazy hours seems insane to some but having zero stress and talking with people about the things I love is the best thing I could have done for me.
Here's to new beginnings!
Asheville, NC - May 19-21, 2017
What was supposed to be a fun race weekend with the Oiselle ladies actually turned into a fun getaway weekend with no running to be had. HA.
As previously mentioned I was having hip issues and had started PT but wasn't going to be up to running the Biltmore Classic. I had originally registered for the 15K and then downgraded to the 5K planning to walk the three miles on race day.
Jon and I drove down from Blacksburg that morning- with him planning to drop me off in Asheville to meet up with Brooklyn, MaryEllen, and Amy for the weekend. He was heading on to his parents and would pick me up on Sunday after the race. We met up downtown, wandered a few shops and then ate some yummy lunch at Tupelo Honey Cafe. We decided to venture down to Wicked Weed for a quick beer before heading up to MaryEllen's cabin outside of Weaverville. And fun story when we got there- her keys didn't work to open the door!! It looked like a very nice cabin from the outside- haha. Luckily for us the official race hotel had a few slots left so we were able to get a room for two nights that her mom paid for since she didn't have the right key to get into the house. Doubletree even felt bad for us and gave us a complimentary cheese and fruit plate since we were homeless until they took us in! What a day! We crossed the street from the hotel to grab dinner at Texas roadhouse before calling it a night.
Day 2 dawned much better as we opted for a hike along the mountain to sea trail, before grabbing our race packets back at the hotel. Then we took quick showers and decided to do a little uber and brewery hoping that evening. Our first planned stop was to New Belgium but then it turned out that Tour de Fat was there and we didn't want to pay the cover to get inside. I got some local suggestions from Jon's Dad- starting with the Wedge across the street. We walked over the river and down to the brewery (boy was it hot out!!) before settling under some fans, in the shade, with a couple of pitchers of beer. RELAXATION YES.
Then we ubered over to Salvage Station as our second stop, another round of beers and some exciting scenery/music. This place was huge!! After that we decided to grab food just down the road at White Duck Taco. SO FREAKING GOOD. I ate two amazing tacos, took a quick break with some water before it was time to head to our next location: Burial Brewing. Our final stop of the night as we were supposed to be at the race the next day (oops). We had another round before throwing up the white flags and uber-ing back to our hotel. More snacking (thanks to our grocery run prior to realizing we were locked out of the cabin) and I took some flat runner photos before we passed out asleep.
The next morning we woke up for the race and it was monsooning outside. Like thunder, lightning, downpour the whole nine yards. We though for sure the race would be cancelled but they claimed it was going to pass and still be on so we finally got dressed and headed out the door. We got to the start line- where it was still pouring and decided to hard pass on this one. I wasn't really looking forward to walking the 5K alone and they weren't interested in running the 15K in rain and mud. We headed back to the hotel, took quick showers, opted for breakfast at Biscuithead (also amazingly delicious) and then Jon picked me up and I said goodbye.
So while not the weekend we expected by any means, we had a blast anyway!! These Oiselle ladies are some of my favorites- glad the NC team brought us together :)
Wimberly, TX - May 4-8, 2017
Reuniting with the grad school ladies for a weekend of relaxation and fun!
On Thursday morning I flew out early from ROA to head to Dallas. Most of us were arriving in Dallas and Campbell was nicely driving all of us around. :) I was the first pickup out at DFW before we grabbed Cara at the Love Field airport. Wynsor was coming in a little later so we ran by Campbell's house (got to see Q and meet Pippa!) before grabbing her at the airport too. Then it was time for the first of many Mexican meals!! Lunch time marg? Yes please.
We were headed to Waco for the evening to cut the drive in half from Dallas. Which meant we were stopping off at Magnolia Market (home of the Fixer Upper folks). Being as I don't have cable I don't watch a lot of HDTV but apparently this place is a mecca to home design. They have a fun store where you can buy home decor as well as an outdoor area where they show movies at night. It was cute but apparently not as exciting as everyone thought it was going to be. I was helpful in finding us a local brewery (Bare Arms) to stop at after this :). We did a sampler and hung out there for a bit before wandering just across the parking area to get BBQ (when in TX yes?!) And then called it a night back at our hotel.
Wynsor, Cara and I got up early the next morning to get a little working out in before we got on the road again. Just yoga for me since the hip was still not the best. And then for breakfast we got breakfast tacos!!!! from Torchy's. DELICIOUS. I would eat breakfast tacos every day I think if I lived in TX. SO GOOD. Then it was on the road to Wimberly. Campbell had found us a cute house to stay in for the weekend that had river access so we could float :) Once we arrived we had about an hour until Eliz got there- just enough time to decorate and get ready for the impromptu shower we were throwing her after finding out about Baby Frels a few days earlier. She reacted just how we thought she would once she arrived- excitement followed by tears. :) Presents, games and cake ensued. Then we decided to check out our river access and headed across the street for the views. Dinner and games took over our evening with a final spot at the firepit outside- a great first day in Wimberly!
The next day we did a quick core routine with one of the videos I brought (can't stop working out just because I'm on vacay!) before homemade breakfast tacos (YUM) and then it was on the markets. We got to experience some of the most interesting flea market items while wandering the rows in the hot summer sun. We headed back for a quick lunch and some relaxing before our evening jaunt to Gruene. We found another tasty Mexican restaurant for dinner and then wandered around town. I found some hula hoops (yes please) and we visited the infamous dance hall. The show was much later that evening but that didn't stop us from having a little fun on the dance floor. Always a blast with these ladies.
The next day dawned with another quick core workout, breakfast tacos, and time for river tubing! So nice and relaxing and a great way to start our day. Then we opted to go for a drive to some local wineries- and found a brewery (Twisted X) on the way! First stop there, followed by Duchman Family Winery afterwards. A nice leisurely afternoon. Back at our little house an awesome sunset took place that evening so we wandered back down to the river to get some fun shots. Followed by dinner, games and fire pit s'mores.
Our final day in town I woke up to do some light stretching and clamshells and we opted to float one more time down the river before packing up, cleaning, and heading back to Dallas.
A wonderful weekend indeed. Can't wait to plan next year's vacay!
Radford, VA - April 29, 2017 | Time: 1:01:43
Well this race was not my race. As I mentioned in the last post, Krysten stuck with me through this race and was the only reason I got to the finish line!
Sally was also running the race so we took some team shots at the start before lining up for the race. This was the first time this course was being done so it was a pretty small crowd. I knew it wasn't going to be pretty but thought I'd give it a go. We powered up the first hill and I made it probably half a mile before bringing in walk game. From that moment on we decided just to enjoy being out there, walk up and run down the hills.
Radford is much hillier than originally thought but we got through it. I have to say it was pretty depressing to not be able to really run at all since I had two killer PRs the previous two weekends.
Thankfully Krysten grabbed brunch with me afterwards at Radford Coffee Company. A yummy burrito and a smoothie later I felt better but knew it was going to be awhile before I got to run again.
Oh well- off to PT and hopefully some solutions!!!
RUN: 85.40 miles
SPIN: 67.38 miles
1.5hrs of Arms
2hrs of Buns
3hrs of Core
1.5hrs of Legs
2.5hrs of Yoga
Welp. April gave me some high highs and also a big fat low. :/ I PR'd in both the 5K and 10 Miler in back to back weeks. I also injured my right hip and can't run at all currently.
I was continuing my training exactly as planned- things were going great! I felt good about my progress and really thought I was going to hit my goals. I came pretty close to my A goals both times but with the unfortunate consequence of hip injury. At the BAA5K I pushed it a little too hard at the end and as soon as I crossed the line I realized there was a problem. My hip was really really sore. At the hotel I tried to work it out, rolled and stretched and we walked around a decent amount that day. By the end it felt ok and I was able to go for my long run with Ethan on Sunday with no issue.
Moving into the next week I had a 5 miler scheduled that I took on the treadmill at an easy pace and had some tenderness but nothing bad. On Friday though I was trying to just run a quick 3 mile shakeout and I could barely run 2 miles. NOT GOOD. My big scary goal race was on Sunday and now injury strikes?!?! So frustrating. I iced, elevated, advil-ed all day and most of the weekend trying to rest, stretch and hope for the best. Going into Sunday's race I told myself to just relax out there, enjoy the cool temps and not kill myself. I could feel my hip twinge a little around the 3rd mile and there was constant tightness after that but again nothing unbearable. I finished the race with a new PR but not my original goal. Still incredibly happy since Friday's run had been so bad. But then I had to get in the car and drive for 4 hours.
This was my mistake. My entire body locked up during the drive and I could barely climb out of the car. :( I was so depressed. I had 3 more races on the calendar! One of which being the following Saturday. UGH. I decided to take the week off from running completely, focusing on spin, yoga and other strength workouts. Come Saturday (which a full recap is coming next) I showed up for the race not knowing if I'd be able to run. Thankfully Krysten stuck with me as I hobbled and ran/walked the entire race. One of my worst performances but at least I had good company. After that I knew I needed help and contacted my GP for a PT referral that I started today. Fingers crossed I'll get to the bottom of this and back on the trails for my last two spring races!!
April 23, 2017 | Alexandria, VA | Time: 1:32:29
Another new PR!!!! Finally busted my 5 year old PR at this distance.
I wasn't sure how this race was going to go to be perfectly honest. I had been training since February for my A Goal: 1:30:00. And while I fell a little short I'm totally happy with a new PR considering how I felt earlier in the week.
After crushing it in Boston I noticed my right hip was a little tender. I took it easy on my Wednesday run and it seemed ok but on Friday I was just supposed to do a 3 mile shakeout but it hurt so bad that I quit at 2. I figured better to rest it as I had put in the work at that point. So icing and heating and aleeve were my friends. I was crashing with JJ (who I convinced to run as well) and we kept it pretty low-key. The weather helped as it rained all day Saturday. We worked on a puzzle (perfect rainy day activity) and ate healthy the whole time. :) I got my flat runner together that night and then crashed.
We were hoping it wouldn't rain but that it wouldn't be humid and muggy either. Turns out we got perfect weather. Started in the high 40s and stayed in the low 50s with overcast skies the whole time. I couldn't have asked for anything better. I think this is partially why I was able to get through it and PR.
Mile 1-3 9:11, 9:17, 9:24
I went out a little quick but we were on really nice downhill for about the first mile. Then I slowed myself down to make sure I would have enough in the tank for the rest. The first few miles my hip felt ok and so I just kept moving myself forward.
Miles 4-5 9:28, 9:36
It was hillier in this section and I was really worried I had pushed to much at the start. My hip had started to have a dull ache and I just though 'run the mile you're in' and if I had to walk I would. Again just kept on moving forward until crossing the 5 Mile mat.
Miles 6-7 8:57, 9:03
We went through a nice flat/downhill area and I was feeling ok so I started to push a little. My original plan (before the hip drama) had been to take the first 3 at 9:30, middle 4 at 9:00, and close the final 3 at 8:30. So since things were feeling alright I pushed a little here.
Mile 8 9:19
Did not like this mile. My hip was really hurting at this point and I was feeling defeated. All that work and once again injured. UGH!!! So I just made a promise to myself to get through the race and then I'd take a break, figure out what was going on... if I could just finish.
Mile 9: 9:03
More downhill thankfully and I was able to pick back up a little speed but really I was just trying to finish at this point. It wasn't until the end of the mile that I realized if I could pick it up a little more I could still PR!
Mile 10: 8:43
I knew my A goal was out the window but the realization that I could still get away with my B goal even with the hip problem was so joyful that it pushed me to crank it even harder towards the finish. Now you can see the finish line about a half mile from it (cruel) but I just kept moving forward (almost there, almost there) until I crossed the line beating my old PR by 1:15.
That beer never tasted so good. :) Was incredibly proud of myself for leaving it all out there. Taking the week off is the best choice while I rest this cranky hip. I know 1:30 is in me and I think I could have done it if I wasn't hurting. So hopefully that goal will be crushed very very soon.
Thanks GW Parkway and Pacers for a fun race!
4/15-4/18, 2017 - BOSTON, MA
So in my last post I raved about the BAA 5K and my new PR but the real reason we were in Boston was for Jon's Dad. He had qualified back in Nov 2015 to run Boston again... at the age of 62. CRAZY. Of course I was probably more excited than everyone else to be in town for one of the world's greatest road races.
On Friday morning, Jon took me to the airport for my 10am flight. I was connecting in NYC and then on to Boston. My flights were pretty uneventful and I was actually surprised to see a marathon runner aboard. In NYC the nice terminal was awesome and I was able to get the salad bar for lunch. PERFECT. Once I got to Boston I had been instructed to take the Blue Line to the Aquarium stop. It was easy to navigate- bus to train station- buy Charlie Pass- and then hop on the train for literally two stops. Then boom I was at our hotel. Marriot Longwharf. Super nice and a great place to get to everything. Jon's family had been visiting a friend (they arrived that morning) but met up with me at the hotel. Our rooms weren't quite ready so everyone headed over to the bar to relax. I wanted to run well so was holding off on the local beers until AFTER the race. Finally we were able to get into our rooms, I unpacked, relaxed a bit and then made dinner plans with Ethan. He's living in RI these days and drove up to see me while I was 'close.'
Ethan's an old friend from grad school days who is probably on this blog back in race recaps or other DC debauchery. It had been probably 2 years since we'd seen each other but it felt like old times as soon as we were together again. He met me in the hotel lobby and then we wandered through the markets looking for a good dinner spot. The Bostonia Tavern was a couple of blocks away and seemed like a great bet for food. Plus we were able to get seated with no wait. (WINNING) After some tasty food and lots of conversation we decided to walk around for a bit. Lots of exploring by the wharf area. Was awesome to catch up and spend the evening laughing our heads off. Nice to be around a friend again- it gets pretty isolated down here in Blacksburg. Anyway we had a great time and he decided he might come meet up with me for my long run on Sunday. About that time Jon's family was coming back from dinner too and we all retired for the night pretty early. :)
Saturday morning was all BAA5K, still excited about that PR and the whole experience. Jon's mom ran well too! So a good morning for all. Then we headed back to the hotel for showers, and to meet up with Jon as his plane was coming in that morning. Once he was there and unpacked we headed over to Quincy Markets to grab lunch. I stuffed my face with pesto mac and cheese. SO GOOD. Then it was expo time!! I LOVE expos so even though I was done with my running events for the weekend I still had a blast walking around all the booths. I was good and only purchased a spi-belt and one sparkly soul headband. I did try lots of free samples, drink the free beer and enjoy myself a ton.
We headed back to the hotel afterwards- stopped by the bar for a drink- and then rested a bit until it was time for Mexican dinner! We got to walk past an awesome Boston Strong sign, along the water, and then across one of the bridges to the restaurant. Margaritas, guacamole and tacos were on point :D. It was another early night thankfully as I had to get up at 5:30 to get my long run in before Easter brunch.
I was pretty sure I was going to be running alone because 6am was pretty early but Ethan came through for me and joined me for 7.25 miles of fun. We saw an awesome sunrise and explored lots of downtown Boston. Love running WITH people. Something I never get to do anymore but always jump the chance when I can. I said goodbye to Ethan with the hope that it wouldn't be another 2 years before we saw each other again. And then it was time to shower and Easter brunch!
We headed over to Northside Grill (one of the only spots available for reservation) and stuff our faces we did. There was so much food but it was all sooooo good. I had an omelet that came with delicious breakfast potatoes and a sweet corn muffin. I couldn't even finish it there was so much. I was so thankful I had run before this feast! Afterwards we wandered over by the water, sang a few Easter hymns, and then went for a walk to see Jon's cousin Ryan's new place. It was up on Beacon Hill. And since the weather was so nice it was a perfect day to walk. Of course by the time we made it there it ended up being a little much for Jon's dad's knee. Back by train and to the bar! We had a Duck Boat tour scheduled for the afternoon which was pretty fun. We headed near where I had run that morning and then into the river for a bit. The breeze was nice and it was a fun way to spend the afternoon. Then it was time for dinner. The plan was to drop in to one of the many Italian places but after walking around for a bit and having no luck we opted for an american restaurant that served pasta. I had a salad - it was delicious and I needed something light and healthy after all the heavy food we'd been eating. Then we headed back to the hotel, wished Ralph good luck and turned in for the night.
We were up early to eat breakfast and see Ralph off. Then was spent the morning watching some of the marathon coverage before Jon and I headed to the train to go spectate on the course. We had planned to go as far as we could (Mile 17) which was a great spot actually. Just past the half marathon and right before the onslaught of the hills. We got a nice shady spot and then cheered our hearts out. I got to see the elites fly by and then so many Oiselle women crushing it out there. Jon's family joined us about an hour later. We were all tracking Ralph, making sure he was doing ok. In case I didn't mention it earlier in the post- he had been having knee issues with a torn meniscus and we weren't sure how the race was going to go. So everyone was there cheering and waiting. We had a cowbell, some clappers, we snacked on pretzels and water and waited. And then suddenly he was there- crushing it. Making great time despite the heat, wind and his injury. We screamed so loud and I took a bunch of photos. Then we hopped back on the train to get to Mile 25.
All in all traveling to two spots was pretty easy and at Mile 25 (Citgo sign) we were able to wiggle in as people left to get right on the rail by the time Ralph came by. Still cruising! Afterwards getting to the family area took more time than anything else but finally we found him and took lots of pictures. We made the slow walk back to the hotel so he could work his legs out, had some celebratory beers and then headed up to our rooms to rest and change clothes for dinner. We also had a snack in the concierge lounge because why not?! Then seafood dinner. Conveniently across from our hotel. Yummy shrimp and tasty beer to close out the day. Back at the hotel, Jon and I packed up everything and then went to sleep. We had to get up super early to make our 7am flight home.
Boston you were great! I hope to one day come back and run you myself!!
Saturday, April 15, 2017 | Boston, MA | TIME: 26:16
Wahoo! A new PR!!!
Now I've been working pretty diligently on my training plan for the 10 miler I have this weekend and it was really nice to see that work pay off at last Saturday's 5K. I wasn't sure I could pull it off considering my previous PR I achieved on a mostly downhill course. But I put on my powersuit, started in a much earlier corral (thank you Courtney!), and crushed it out there.
That morning was breezy (58 degrees) and very sunny. I had laid out my flat runner the night before committing to wearing the 3/4 team crop. I'm not the tiniest runner but I decided I didn't care I wanted to #rockthecrop and I figured if anything could get me a new PR it would be the confidence from wearing that beauty. Jon's mom and I were running while the rest of his family cheered us on. We were all in town because Jon's dad qualified to run the marathon at age 62!!! So I mean we all had to come right?! It's Boston!!
Anyway we got over to Boston Common that morning, picked up our t-shirts (which by the way I fit into an XS- I'm definitely not that size- sorry to all the actual tiny people out there!!), and visited the potties a few times before lining up in the start corrals. I'm so used to running races alone that I had forgotten how nice it is to have someone watching- to hold your stuff and of course cheer you on! Jon's mom and I split ways- she headed back to the 11:00 min group and I went up to the 7:00min group. I was definitely not going to run that fast but had been warned that with self seeding it would be really crowded at the start.
The first wave (and elites) led off and then a few minutes later my wave headed through the start line. And yes crowded was an understatement. At first I got trapped behind walkers... really?!?! walkers- in the 7:00min group. UGH!!! So my first half mile pacing wasn't the best as I was trying to dodge around people but then I was able to settle into a brisk but manageable pace.
I do think I kicked it a little hard for that last half of the first mile because my pace still averaged out at 8:21. And I'm pretty sure I was 9:30 in the beginning... oops! The course was nice and flat with only a little down and up hill under the overpass to transition us onto the marathon course. Of course even the slightest bit of elevation change slowed me a little bringing in my second mile at 8:30.
The last mile was awesome though. We got to take the famed "right on Hereford, left on Boylston" and then run right through the marathon finish line. I have to say I'm not sure I've smiled so much during a 5K before. Even though I was pushing myself pretty fast something about that finish line just makes you want to smile. It was glorious. Then it was about a half mile more to get back to the commons and through the finish!
Now I should also mention my other favorite part (besides the marathon finish) was hearing all the 'Go Oiselle" calls from my teammates!!! I rarely get to run with people cheering for me and hearing this so many times during the race definitely made me push even harder toward the finish. Especially the really loud group right before the finish- you all rock and thank you for making me feel awesome as I rounded the corner and grabbed a new PR!
Mile 3 came out to 8:22 and then :56 for the point one. Such a fun race! I'm not sure when I'll be back to Boston but this will hold as my favorite race for quite some time. I had a blast!!!
Coming 'atcha with another delightful recipe from Run Fast Eat Slow. If you know me well you know I have quite the sweet tooth. I can demolish anything that's chocolate and peanut butter. (Reese's you've been warned). So when I looked through the sweet section of the book I knew I wanted to give these a try. Plus everyone had been raving about them - so no brainer.
They don't have eggs (which I also appreciate) so the batter is up for grabs too! They recommend in the book to let it refridgerate overnight but I've put them in the oven after whipping up the batter and they taste great. So if you're impatient (like me) and don't want to wait no problem! Look below for the full recipe and instructions. :)
Run: 94.55 miles
Spin: 118.61 miles
4.5 hrs of Arms
4.5 hrs of Buns
4 hrs of Core
4.5 hrs of Legs
2 hrs of Yoga
Wow! Will you look at those March numbers?!?! I'm feeling so much stronger these days. I've made sure to stick to my strict schedule of every-other-day running to get my ankle back on track and I do feel like it is really working for me.
As I'm moving into the last couple of weeks of my training cycle for the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler I'm incredibly grateful to my body for not getting injured! Strength training and yoga and things I neglected in every other training cycle I've done. I also only did the spin bike when injured so this entire cycle has been a new and positive experience!
I've continued on the 10% rule for my running, gradually increasing as the weeks have gone on. WK1: 18miles, WK2: 20miles, WK3: 22miles and Wk4: 24miles. April just started toward the end of the week but I just came in at 26.5 this past weekend. WHOA. I'm feeling really good about my pacing and speed work. I've tried to make sure I take my recovery runs nice and slow (very hard for me) and then I have more power and strength when it comes to my speed work. As my mileage has increased my bed times have definitely been earlier- you try fitting in an 8 mile run and an arm workout before getting to work at 8am!! Hello 4:30am- nice to meet you. Some adjustments for sure but I'm happy with my progress and am planning to finish out this cycle strong!
So all things good in March! Really looking forward to what April will bring. I have 3 races on the calendar: BAA 5K with Jon's family and many of the Oiselle team as part of the Boston Marathon weekend [SO FREAKING EXCITED FOR THIS], my planned race: GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler (going for a 1:30:00 goal!) and then the Highlander 8K with my SW VA local birds. Going to be a great month for sure!!