March 25, 2017 - Roanoke, VA Tailchaser 5K
This was my first time volunteering at a race. What sparked the signup? The NC Volee instagram challenge I'm taking part in this year. As an honorary NC team member I get to participate AND the March challenge was to volunteer for a race!
I scoured our local race calendars and found one in Roanoke volunteering with Fleet Feet Sports. What I didn't realize until I got there was that it was a benefit race for the SPCA and lots of doggies would be running too! The perfect volunteer opportunity.
I received my instructions on Friday and was up bright and early Saturday morning to get my own workouts in before jumping on the road to help setup before race time. I had never been to the Roanoke Greenway area but it is really nice! There are some cute restaurants and the river is really pretty- I hope to go back for some runs and brunching very very soon!
Upon arrival to the area I discovered the road into the greenway area was already closed off (although I found out later that is just a suggestion) but I found a place to park near where other runners were parking and then headed off on foot to the water stop. Had to walk about a mile, but again it was really pretty and the weather was just perfect on Saturday.
When I arrived the main setup was already done by the Fleet Feet coordinator so I was on water cup duty. Fill 1/2 way for easy drinking and repeat! There was also a kiddie pool filled with water for all the dogs to drink from. And I got a snazzy neon yellow volunteer shirt for the day!
The race started at 10am and about 10mins later the runners started filing by. Of course the front runners were not interested in water but then there were lots of walkers and folks running with dogs. It was pretty warm at the sun was out in full force so at our spot (about halfway) those puppies were happy to see some water... some even jumped in the pool!
Overall this was a great experience and I hope that I can help out and volunteer at more races in the future. So thank you to this instagram challenge for making me sign up!!
Comin' atcha with another delicious recipe from Run Fast Eat Slow. It has been my go to cookbook these last couple of weeks. We've tried out a few of the recipes but I hope to slowly work my way through most of it.
I was looking for something easy to eat for lunch this week. I've been eating salads with baked chicken which while healthy isn't really filling (even when you have a superhero muffin for dessert.) So I opted to try these breakfast burritos (with a few changes for me). I made a batch for the week on Sunday (super convenient) then I just zap one a couple of minutes in the microwave at work and voila instant deliciousness. And filling! And healthy! Trifecta of happiness.
I received Run Fast Eat Slow for xmas from my BFF and BRF, Kristi. I have to admit it's set on my cookbook shelf for a bit as the spring semester has been a little crazy! But finally I pulled it down a week or so ago to try out some recipes. For a first go I thought I'd try the famed superhero muffins. Everyone's been raving about them on IG so they must be food right??
OMG amazing. You would have no idea these are packed full of veggies. They are so tasty even the hubs was scarfing them down. I'll leave the recipe below (the version I made) for anyone who hasn't tried them yet (although I think I was in the minority of not giving them a try). SO GOOD.
Blacksburg, VA - March 4, 2017
Well it took awhile but I finally got a successful meetup set with the ladies in SW VA! I reached out in late fall about trying to get together and it took until March to find a working date but we finally made it happen!
There are 5 of us now in the Roanoke-Blacksburg area and so I was itching to get everyone together. I've found the 'team' feels more real when you can interact with people in real life. Social media is great but yeah IRL WAY BETTER.
We had scheduled to do a 3-4 mile on the Huckleberry Trail and then go to brunch afterwards. Of course that morning dawned ridiculously chilly so 3 miles it was. Brigitte, Krysten and I started out at the Rec Center in Christiansburg and ran just over a mile and a half before flipping around and heading back. We, of course, took some action shots for photographic evidence. I mean does it even happen if it's not on Insta?
Then we jumped in our cars and headed into Blacksburg to Lefty's for brunch. Sally met up with us for the eating. She is currently injured and not running while her docs figure out what's going on with her knee.
It took us a bit to order (too much talking going on) but then we all dug into delicious breakfasts. Lots of Oiselle and running talk, and general introductions getting to know each other a bit better. It's so nice to have these ladies in the area- I'm hopeful we can keep growing the team presence here.
We finished up brunch with the promise of our next meetup. Highlander 8K in Radford at the end of April. Hopefully Sally will be well and we'll be able to get Maria to join us too!
3.5hrs of Arms
4hrs of Buns
4.5hrs of Core
4hrs of Legs
2hrs of Yoga
As part of the #WinWithOne challenge with Oiselle for February I made myself promise to keep up with my strength workouts while I increased my mileage... and I did awesome. I am trying SO HARD to stay injury free this year that spinning and strength are a HUGE part of my overall plan. Obviously I want to get the miles in but I want to do that safely and without pain.
I've been following the 10% increase rule for running which meant my February weeks were: WK1 - 13, WK2 - 14, WK3 - 15, and WK4 - 16.5. This was also the beginning of my training for the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler. So now on WK5 as we close out February and slide into March I'm looking at a weekly mileage of 18. It feels good to be logging some longer runs but I also feel so much stronger thanks to the strength work.
My goal was to do at least one strength workout a day (combined with either spin or a run). It has meant some lifestyle changes for me as well. I find myself going to sleep between 9 and 10pm as I have a few days a week where I'm getting up at 4:30am. Now if you had told me even last year that I would be getting up at 4:30 to workout I would have laughed in your face. But something about this approach and plan has made me commit to the change and I'm loving it.
Another added bonus: I'm toning up a decent amount which makes my clothes fit even better. No real plan to lose weight- more interested in eating healthy and getting stronger- but the change is still nice. I function so much better on quality foods, sleep and exercise.
May March be just as fruitful as I climb in mileage to 26.5 for the week. I also hope to continue with all my strength workouts and remain injury free!
2017: BestYearYet. :)
February 12, 2017 - Blacksburg, VA Time: 27:54
Busting the rust off my racing legs!
I had taken a couple of weeks off at the beginning of the year to aid in the healing from tendinitis. It had been a slow build back to where I had been pace wise and I'll still not 100% there but I'll take this race time!
Mile 1: 8:19
I went out a little too hard and fast. I was eager to see what my legs would do but I forgot about my lungs keeping up. I continued to push forward cruising on the down hills and leaning into the uphills. I felt ok til the end up this mile on a steep uphill climb- that's when the sidestich started up.
Mile 2: 8:58
I had a massive cramp in my right lung that I couldn't seem to shake. We went through a nice long downhill and I tried to pick up speed a little but was having a hard time working out the cramp. We turned the corner and a small uphill about did me in and I slowed down massively for a minute or so.
Mile 3: 9:41
As you can see from my pace I never recovered. We moved onto a decently flat stretch of road and then onto the Huckleberry Trail- which is also flat at this point. I could not get my legs to turn over and was still having trouble breathing. I was mentally chanting to myself to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I was actually surprised I was under 10mins for this mile because I seemed to be crawling.
Final Time: 27:54
So not my best but not my worst either. This was actually in my top 3 of 5K finish times despite how bad I felt toward the end. AND in surprising news I found out later that I placed 3rd in my age group!?! I've never won an award for anything so that is pretty darn cool. I don't have the award yet but hopefully soon and boy you'll know it because I'll definitely be Instagramming it. :D
Moral of the story: Don't take it out so fast at the beginning. If I had held back some at the start I could have kicked it at the end. And who knows maybe even have been 1st in my age group!
Next 5K on the schedule is in Boston. I hope to be stronger and faster by then. I also hope to be rocking the Oiselle crop.
In the spirit of Oiselle's WheelsUP17 AND Destroy/Create campaigns I've spent quite a bit of time (like all of January) ruminating on my goals for the year.
Run a sub 2-hour half
Run a sub 26 min 5K
Go to RRCA training
Pay off Jon's school loans
Read 12 books
Travel: (these are mostly planned!)
Visit friends in TX (AUAM reunion)
Boston Marathon weekend!
Long weekend abroad?
I would love to see most of these come to fruition this year. I want to break through my mental barriers so I can build myself into a stronger, leaner running machine. I want to destroy this notion that I can't enjoy life (take that critics) and create a healthy, happier me.
Here's to 2017!!
December 2016 - Wilmington, Raleigh, Waynesville, NC & Rehoboth Beach, DE
The holidays. It's always nice to have a break but still a little stressful trying to cram so much in while being away from work!
This year we started our festivities in Wilmington the week prior to xmas. I grabbed Jon from the airport (he was coming from a conference in Chicago) and then we settled down for a day of food, presents and family time. It was nice to visit with everyone and be at the beach (even if it was brief). The next morning Jon and I got up for a run- I did 6 while he did 3 and grabbed coffee while I finished. Love running out there- so nice and flat and with a nice breeze.
We had to come back to Blacksburg for a few days to work but then were back in Raleigh on Wednesday. I got to see Kristi, Kate and Matt, JJ, Caitlin and their Kevins, and Andrew and Kevin (Jon's friends). It was great catching up with everyone! We also had a lot of family stuff and I got some runs in as well. Lots of food, desserts, hanging out. Was nice to relax a bit. Then it was xmas morning, we had a nice breakfast with everyone and then got on the road to Waynesville.
More food, presents, festivities followed by some holiday drinking and Christmas Vacation. I got to run around Lake Junaluska a couple of times and we went into Asheville to New Belgium one evening. Then we packed up again- dropped off in Blacksburg- and then headed over to Rehoboth Beach.
We arrived a day earlier than we normally would so we could watch both the UNC and Michigan bowl games. JJ and Kevin joined us the next day for lots of beer, yummy food and fun. I even got JJ to run on the boardwalk with me! We had tickets for a NYE beer dinner at Chesapeake and Main and finished off the night listening to blue grass at the DFH brewpub. Happy New Year!
New Years day dawned and we had a delicious brunch before saying goodbye and spending the day wandering around town and watching football. Of course we closed out the night at the brewpub with black eyed peas.
A wonderful holiday vacation indeed!
January 1, 2016 - December 31, 2016
1008 Miles Complete!
I ran, walked, crawled to the end of this challenge. When Kristi and I signed up last January I thought I really would be able to run 1008 miles in 2016. 84 miles a month did not seem too bad. Of course I didn't factor in injury (that happened multiple times). So by the time December came around I realized I was gonna have to walk (and run) quite a bit to get to the end.
Thankfully though I made it! I ended up running 820 miles and walking the rest. Still quite the accomplishment since my largest running year prior was in 2013 when I successfully ran just under 500 miles.
I'm incredibly proud of myself and hope to top this number in 2017. I did not sign up for the challenge again just in case life gets in the way but it is on my 2017 goal list.
Monthly Breakdown (running only:
September Miles: 43.6
October Miles: 95.4
November Miles: 61
As you can see it's been a while since I checked in! I developed tendinitis in my ankle right before Seawheeze so I've been taking time off here and there trying to see if it would dissapate. I did step up my treadmill walking though in an effort to keep on track with Run The Year.
Highlights from the fall included besting my 4 year old 5K PR! And that was with a sore ankle. Felt good to leave it all out there though. I also got within 30 secs of my half PR with Brooklyn in Myrtle Beach in October. And in November I got to run with Lauren Fleshman and participate in a marathon relay.
So despite the 'break' I was still putting in some work. December is much of the same, walking and running to hit my year end goal. Then I think it'll be a couple week break from running while I really let things heal. You'll find me on the spin bike or lifting weights in the interim- gotta get work done in a different way!