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Summer is Finally Here….Maybe

7 Jun

We’re a week into June and it looks like the weather maybe taking a turn towards summer-like here in New England. Let’s hope so!!

Anyway, I haven’t done a wrap-up in awhile so I thought I’d take a break from re-cap after recap of races long gone to do a little update and look forward 🙂

And what better time than the early days of June to get a ‘fresh start’ 🙂

With the year nearly half gone, a check in on my ‘resolutions’ would probably be a good idea, right? It’ll be short for sure:

Not so great with the resolutions so far. Yeah. It’s been lazy-time for yours truly!

May has been full of the things though – some good, some not so good and then some not so good that worked out okay!

The not so good:

I found out early in the month (or maybe in late April…) that my current contract wasn’t going to be extended past the end of June. This meant it was time to start looking for a job again! Definitely not one of my favorite activities – but I was getting a lot of help from people I work with – or have worked with in the past (thanks Betty!!). I had one informal ‘interview’ for what my mom would’ve called “a real job”. She wasn’t thrilled with my consulting I think! Still no word on that one but it’s at the top of my I want to do this list. Late breaking UPDATE though – my current manager has found a way to keep me through the end of the year! Keeping up with my same role but adding some more fun!

Also not so good? My running/working out/nutrition/#allofit – I’ve really fallen off of the get healthy and lose weight bandwagon this year! I’m getting back up to my heaviest weight ever – EEK! I have run a couple of times on my own, and one half marathon (Marine Corps Historic Half) but my training for Marine Corps Marathon and #Dopey18 starts on June 16 and I swear this year I’m sticking to the plan!! I’m accepting suggestions for ways to motivate/reward myself – preferably NOT with a cupcake – to follow plan!! 

Now the good? Well, probably the best thing that’s happened is my nephew graduated from high school! I can’t even believe he’s gotten so old!! And…he also turned 18 which just can’t even be possible!! More on him later – I have to gather the appropriate pictures 😀

 

The graduate….

A week before the big day!!

Conor on his last night as a 17 year old – with Pop and Colin

Also good? My friends. Not that anything dramatic has happened, it’s just nice to be reminded that I have some awesome friends because sometimes we forget, right?

So. Coming up for the rest of the summer?

As mentioned, training starts in a week or so. I know right now the first week will be tough since it is also the week of the Traveler’s Championship golf tournament that I volunteer at every year. That means really long days at the golf course and just enough spare time to wash my clothes and sleep! So….I may give myself a pass for week 1 but I know it isn’t the ideal way to start!

I have a few 5Ks in my calendar through the summer and those are always pretty fun!

I’m also considering another Whole 30 — it’s been about 4 years since I last made an attempt and I need *something* to reset my eating habits so we’ll see about this one! But…I will miss you pizza and cheese. And wine. I will miss you most of all 🙂 This is also something that I would wait until after the tournament to start because it might be hard to find compliant food at the concession stands! At a bare minimum I *will* be cleaning up my eating habits!

So let’s all think good thoughts that I can get back on track!

And now…back to my recap catch-up!! This next one is a doozy!! 😀

Show Me the Chocolate!!!

30 May

So, if you haven’t wandered off yet…. I’m still around-ish! (though choosing “consistency” as my word for 2 years in a row seems to be um…less than effective!)

And if you have wandered off…COME BACK!!!

Please!

Anyway, if you’ve been around a while, you might have caught on that I love running the Hershey Half Marathon every October. Well, every October for the last 3 years anyway!

The Chocolate Town Challenges group also puts on a 10K in April which I’ve never done because, I think this is the reason, it is the same weekend as a local 4 miler. Or, I’ve just missed out on registration by the time I realize “hey! I want to do this this year!”

So, this year I finally got my stuff together enough to make sure to register back when registration opened (maybe on Jan 1?) and was looking forward to adding this one to my yearly schedule!

As with a couple other events (Hershey Half and the Marine Corps Historic Half) I headed over to Pennsylvania on Thursday afternoon. Now, normally it’s a nice drive. Uneventful. Unfortunately, I left right around the time a pretty significant thunderstorm was hitting the tri-state area so except for about 20 minutes of sunshine in New Jersey it was a rainy, tense drive!

BUT…I made it to PA and Jennifer’s house safe and sound. The plan was to work at “home” on Friday and the 10K is on Saturday. Jennifer was volunteering at the finish line so we decided I’d just do day of bib pickup and we’d wing it from there!

No real swag with this one – some coupons for cookies and discounts at HersheyPark. But a cute shirt!

Short sleeve shirt because it was “Spring” 🙂

Weather was chilly and windy, I wore my Redemption capris in Frolic and a generic black pullover and my ambassador beanie!

The course is obviously different from the half – it starts out the same, circling the HUGE parking lot and then instead of going into the park, we headed out to the highway. Which, in case you were wondering, is kind of a long slow climb!

Then a bit around the Outlets and soon into the park, through a back gate! NB: Why is every amusement park in the world built on so many hills? ß-Legit question I would like to see an answer to!

Finished the same as the half only didn’t have to run the WHOLE stadium track, just a bit – grabbed a water from Jennifer as well as my post race treat bag. ASIDE: THIS is something that Hershey does SO well. For this race it was an insulated lunch box filled with some goodies – including a gigantor oatmeal raisin cookie and a 10K Magnet!

And then I headed to the car to put my things away and get ready to meet the boys to go to the park! Happily, the volunteers got a free ticket voucher so we waited in a long line to redeem and we were set to go!

After a few coasters we decided to leave – none of us were feeling great (and 2 of us were really tired!) I did get a picture with my favorite chocolate bar…though he was a bit put out about my sweatshirt…

I spent the rest of Saturday and some of Sunday hanging with the family before heading home with Phred.

Another great Hershey / Chocolate Town Challenges event that I will likely be doing again!!

Medal and lunch bag

My next race? Well, actually it was going to be the Walt Disney World Half Marathon – yes, the one they do in January!
Also, volunteering for the Dark Side Challenge and 5K!

Yep – that means I was heading down to one of my super Happy places!!

But hold on, it’s about to get kind of confusing!! 🙂 Get ready to time travel!!

You Should Try Other Distances

18 May

The Greater Hartford Quarter Marathon – April 1

No foolin’! This is a quarter marathon route — about 6.55 miles – – a double loop around the West Hartford Reservoir. It’s a gorgeous course that I’ve run as a 5K and for this event.

Put on by the same folks who bring us one of my absolute favorite half marathons – Sonic Endurance. All of their races have a real family feel and this one is no exception.

The weather for April 1 can be unpredictable in New England and we were on weather watch for this one for sure! Friday afternoon packet pickup was held in Glastonbury so I headed over after work. Grabbed my bib and tshirt and came home to get ready.

Event Shirt back and medal – my ribbon fell off but it’s still pretty!!

Rain was in the forecast. Or snow. But there was definitely going to be precipitation. Because of this the post race festivities were being cancelled so the awesome volunteers wouldn’t have to hang around in the rain.

It looked like I was going to have to pull out my Toasty Tights again, but forecasts said it would be less cold than my St. Patricks Day races had been so I went with some Go The Distance tights, my Toasty Girl Vest (Skirt Sports saves the day again!!), and a plastic rain poncho! When I left the house, it was rainy/drizzly

When I woke up on April Fool’s Day — the weather was….still pretty unpredictable.

On the drive up to the race, I went through some rain. And some sleet. And, was that a little bit of snow? When I got to the West Hartford Reservoir I found a good parking spot and settled in. And watched the icy rain/snow slide down the windshield.

Start time approached so I pulled on my plastic raincoat and headed to the start line – it was a bit drizzly and quite windy and chilly! Someone asked if I planned to wear the plastic the whole time and really I had no idea!

Spoiler: I did keep the poncho on the whole time – which was good since the weather changed every couple of miles!

There was a small section of mud running which I do NOT like – I’m clumsy enough as it is and feared falling in the cold mud so walked that bit both times I went through! Otherwise I managed to keep to my intervals pretty good and while I didn’t set any records I had a good time!

Post Race — one day I will not make dumb faces in selfies!!

Post race I grabbed a cupcake and headed home to shower and warm up!

My next race was coming up the next week – my first time running the Hershey 10K!

**This post contains affiliate links. As a Skirt Sports Ambassador I receive my awesome running clothes at a discount – and so can you!! Just use code SPRINGCPT20 when you shop at Skirt Sports – either online or at the Boulder store!**

O’ – All the Shenanigans

26 Apr

Happy April and belated Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Haven’t been so great about keeping up in March, and most of this month,  but let’s turn over a new leaf. Again 🙂

Every year around St. Patrick’s Day, the Hartford Marathon Foundation puts on a few 5K races. In the past, there were three. This year, FOUR! So that meant 2 weekends of 5 K’s. Starting with…

The O’Shenanigans 5K

This was the new one. Run in Cheshire/Southington CT and finishing up on the rails to trails path behind the Kinsmen Brewery (a new not even open at the time brewery!) It was cold this Saturday morning — well, not cold actually. It was FAH REEZING!!! Like…11 degrees air temp with a wind-chill near…1. So it was a layer up and hope for the best kind of day!

Swag was a colorful buff which came in handy in the cold!!

The course was, as advertised, a flat out and back. The back was on the path which was really pretty. I ran my new favorite intervals of 45:30 which seems to be working for now. The finishing snack was a Kinsmen beer and some really delicious pizza along with the usual Main Street Bakery bars/snacks and water!

After we finished snacking, Kathy and I headed back to the house to warm up. She headed home to RI while I showered and got ready to head over to RI for the night. Tomorrow’s race would be in Putnam, CT which is closer to her house than mine – plus I hadn’t visited in a while so it would be a nice time!

Sunday afternoon’s race is …

The Courthouse O’Putnam 5K

Putnam is a nice little town up in the northwest corner of the state. This is probably the 4th or 5th year I’ve done this one and it’s a fun day. This one is no where near Flat. But I kept to my intervals, mostly – there’s one or two pretty hefty hills to get up!!

And, it was another chilly day for sure!

And today’s swag was a great knit cap! They’ve learned from prior years and this year it’s a hat that will actually stay on while running!! Bonus!

Post race is a delicious corned beef sandwich (really the only time I have one!) and, of course a beer – which I enjoyed!

We also have a post race tradition of stopping into the little hole in the wall bar (literally, if you didn’t know it was there you’d miss it!) – we stopped in here after our first O’Putnam and have come back every year since. This year we sat at the bar and had a great time talking with the bartender/owner? learning some history of the building and hearing some great jokes!  At one point she commented on the fact that she thought we were familiar and so we told her we come in every year!

As we were leaving she hollered out “See you next year!”

Then it was time for me to gather my things, and my dog, from Kathy’s and head home. I had a big week ahead. In addition to the 2 final O’Races, I was throwing a Skirt Sport Trunk show open house and needed to get the house somewhat presentable!

The O’Niantic 5K

Saturday morning following St. Patrick’s Day, I headed south on Hwy 9 to meet up with Kathy for Saturday’s 5K – Niantic is a great little beach town and this 5K is another fun one!

Once again, I bundled up – though fortunately it was a *little* warmer than last weekend – I think we were getting up into the 30’s this week! It was supposed to be a fairly sunny day, but the clouds moved in before the start and didn’t really go away at all.

Swag report – great green gloves! The kind that you can keep on and still be able to take pictures and use your phone!

Again I kept to my intervals, except for that one big hill!

At the end of this race, we got our doohickey to hold our medals together and we also got our “Lucky” mug for doing all 4 of the races!! We also got some vegetarian chili and a beer! After hanging out at Smarty’s for a bit I headed back towards home to grab my voucher for the Trunk Show food and go get that picked up at Noodles and Company!

Then it was time to shower, finish setting up and wait for friends to show!

And, finally, the last race of the series:

The O’Hartford 5K

This year was a year of many changes for this race! New location, new craft brew festival put on by Small State Great Beer.

O’Hartford is a late starter …like 1 in the afternoon late! Which means we got to sleep in, which was nice. And the sun was shining fairly brightly too so there was some hope it would be a little warmer.

But the wind was also blowing so it was still pretty chilly out-

Final Swag – a Pair of Run Irish Socks! And also, I got a replacement for my “Lucky” mug that I managed to shatter in my driveway the day before…

We headed down an hour or so early, to beat road closures and park. Then my friend Pam let us hang out in her office before the race to stay warm (and, bonus! Indoor potties!). Her parents were meeting her down there so when they arrived we headed over to the start.  I was curious to see how I’d like this new course.

Again, kept to my intervals except on the bigger hills (I know, I just need to get over it..see what I did there?) and had a fairly decent finish.

Post-race we grabbed some sort of soup…and beer. This time we could choose from multiple CT breweries and I think I chose well (except at this late date I can’t remember though I think it was from 30 Mile Brewery)

After goofing off a bit we went back to Pam’s office where I may have had a second beer – but a smaller coffee mug sized beer 🙂  And by now it was getting pretty late – so we all headed to our respective homes.

All in all, it was a really great couple of weeks! I had hoped that it would motivate me to get back to a regular running schedule but so far, I’m still hoping…I’ve been feeling really scattered and like there are other things I need to get under control before I get my running back in line — more hoping that Spring will snap me out of my slump!!

All Of The Pictures – 

Using our awesome new buffs to help stay warm…#foggyglasses

All the Skirt Sports winter gear! Love my Toasty Tights, my Toasty Vest and my beanie!! I wore those pants every race during the series!

Swag from the first two races…

PreRace Niantic…I need to get back to Dublin one of these days…SOON!!

Post race Niantic!

This outfit again?!!

Swag from last 2 races…

All the medals, and extra glass. For drinking. Water

 

Coming up next — the Greater Hartford Quarter Marathon!!

I May Have a Donut Problem: Myrtle Beach Half Marathon – Race Recap

10 Mar

Well, here we are again!! Time for the first recap of the year!!

I’m not sure exactly why I registered for this race…it could’ve been the fairly low cost, it could’ve been the 20th anniversary medal, it could have been that I just needed a change of scenery – even if only for a very short weekend.

Probably all of the above actually!

Anyway…

As is my habit, I waited awhile to make my reservations and was lucky enough that one of the host hotels not only had rooms available but was also Phred Phriendly (this is huge for me!). My plan was to do an overnight drive since it’s about a 13 hour drive.

Gratuitous shot of Phred lounging on the bed in his room…

I worked at home that Thursday thinking I could wrap up early and then hopefully get in a nap. This did not happen. But I did get packed, gt the car fueled up and relaxed for a few hours. After a false start (in which I actually left my bag with my wallet at the house…) I grabbed a cup of Dunkin – for free ya’ll, guy couldn’t open a register! – and hit the road. Using trusty Waze AND Google Maps I hit the interstate around midnight.

By the time I got to New Jersey I was TAHRED!! So very tired that I pulled into a service area figuring I could get a short 20 minute nap in. This did not happen. But I did close my eyes for a bit and that seemed to help. Potty break for me and the Phred and we were heading south again!

Whenever I would see ‘cheap’ gas I would stop and top off…which always adds a half hour or more. Plus coffee refills plus more potty breaks!

EVENTUALLY….

We made it to Myrtle Beach, around noon-ish, got checked into the resort and hauled all my stuff to the room.

My plan now was to hit the expo, walk the Phred, find some dinner (and, since the forecast was dramatically different than it had been when I packed, try to find an inexpensive running jacket. This did not happen)

Expo was small, but everyone was friendly! Did a quick loop and chatted with a couple of random strangers – what? You don’t do that at race expos?!! Got my gear/swag

Front of the shirt and some 20th Anniversary sox from The Sock Guy!

Back of shirt

Walked Phred around the facility and then headed to Target / Walmart to find something to wear. Only made it to Target and they didn’t really have what I was looking for. I did pick up some headphones since I’d left mine behind.

Then dinner. This could be a problem on account of my usual pre-race meal on the road is meat and potatoes (meatloaf, burger…that sort of thing) and this was the first Friday in Lent. No way was I going to chance fish the night before a race and I didn’t even think – until this morning actually – that I could’ve probably found somewhere to get eggs.

So I said a prayer and grabbed a burger at Sonic. Which…Yum!!!

Got back to the room, laid out my clothes for Saturday

As you can see…not so prepared for mid-30 temps!!

And settled in to my dinner and early bedtime. It was a 6:30 start and shuttles were only running until 5.

Woke up hoping that somehow the forecast had gone back to a mid-40’s temp at the start. This did not happen 🙂 So I threw on my trusty Lioness and my Exhale Bra Tank as well as a throw away long sleeve tshirt and mylar blanket and headed for the shuttle.

We were dropped at a local Minor league baseball stadium where it was windy and cold! But the stadium was open and we could use those facilities. Which was NICE!

About 6:10 or so everyone headed to the start – which caused some congestion but nothing too dramatic.

I had decided on 45:30 intervals. I am not sure why I made this decision but I did. And I pretty much stuck with it the whole way.  It seemed to take a few miles for my Map My Run app to sync up with the mile markers on the course but eventually that straightened out. As much as the app is every matching the mile markers on the course!

I made one important stop shortly after Mile 2

It took so long cause they had to cook my donut!!

Mmmnomnomnom

But then stayed on my intervals for most of the next 11 or so miles. Eventually it warmed up – and then the last 3 miles were in the shade 🙂 By then I realized I was doing pretty okay and didn’t mind.

I *do* think that the cold kept a lot of spectators indoors – my friend had told me that the crowd support was really great when she did it last year. But the folks that were out were awesome!!

I managed to finish in under 3. By the clock I was barely under 3 – that Mile 2 stopped knocked me down by about 4 minutes  or so..I was happy and actually greeted by a kind volunteer handing out  — you guessed it — Krispy Kreme donuts. It would’ve been rude not to take one.

20th Anniversary Medal and some swaggy sunglasses!

After grabbing my bag I got in line for the post-race food , where another kind volunteer had more sweet goodness. And I’m not rude ya’ll.  Post race food was  fruit cups, pizza, bananas, and….yes…more donuts. LOTS more donuts. I may or may not have taken another (spoiler, I *did* take another but couldn’t eat the whole thing…my beer filled me up too much!!) The pizza was pretty amazing too!!

There was a great band playing and I listened for a bit before heading back for the shuttle and a shower!

Spent the afternoon with my friend having a wander and a snack (and a beer)  and getting a tour of Myrtle Beach. By 5:30 I was ready for bed. Again 🙂 Which was fine – took a quick stroll on the beach with Phred then passed out while watching TV.

Up early and packed on Sunday morning – I was meeting more friends for Brunch at House of Blues – which I HIGHLY recommend!

Then Phred and I hit the road for our trip home – I was happy to not be driving overnight again.

Some race stats:
Starting Blood Sugars – not good. I check right at the start and I was at 142 and “falling rapidly”

This is not good…

Finish Line Blood Sugars – around 150.
Note: I think my sensor was out of whack due to the wearing of the mylar blanket so I don’t have much on the road info.
I did consume ALL of the fuel I had with me – 2 Laffy Taffy and 2 Applesauce packets. Could’ve used one more applesauce because I did have a couple of shaky moments.
Per Map My Run– I ran 13.39 Miles in 2:54:17 – average pace 13:01. I didn’t neg split but I did keep all of my splits under 14. So I will conclude that for now the 45:30 is the way to go!

I’m on Auto-Pause on the app so it stopped when I waited, apparently nearly 6 minutes, for my donut!

I’m happy with this…

Bad News– Somewhere after mile…maybe 6? … I lost my flower. I am hoping that some other lady who might have been struggling picked it up and then looked up the the meaning over on the Fellow Flowers website

Also, there was a TON of Skirt Sports out on the course and I accosted a few of the ladies after the race to hear how they love their skirts! So of course I offered them my 20% off code (1SSCAPT20 fyi!)

Coming Up:
March 11 – O’Shenanigans in Cheshire CT (this is a new one so we’ll see how it is!)
March 12 – O’Putnam in Putnam CT (will spend the night at Kathy’s in RI to be close to the race)

Also, I may as well do this week’s training recap right now cause…well…
I have been lazy and eating like crap ever since I got home. That is all.

But I have started Planking again and it’s as if I never have planked before! I’m 3 days in and up to 30 seconds

Happy FriYay Eve everyone — hope you have some great things planned for your weekend!!!

 

**Post contains affiliate links**

In Like a Lion??

2 Mar

hello-marchWelcome to March!

So, in February I made a fairly decent attempt to get back on track with running and training. This weekend I’m running my first half marathon of  the year and while I don’t expect to break any records, I’ve heard it’s  ‘flat and fast’ course so I’m hoping that running the hills in my neighborhood have given me a little extra oomph!

Note: When googling for clip art for “Oomph” I got a ton of results for a band of some sort…not exactly what I was hoping for!!

Anyway…

My biggest goal for March is to stick to my training schedule as close as possible – yep, a new training cycle starts the day I get back from this weekend’s run. (Up next, the Marine Corps Historic Half)goalsIt’s also Lent — I try to give up at least one bad thing I do and adopt some more positive actions and thoughts.

So I’ll be giving up bad excuses for not running and I’ll be tracking here much more closely!

And, as usual, I will try to be less road-ragey for the next 40 days. This is actually the number 1 toughest thing for me – I has no patience.

My total mileage goal for March is 90 Miles.

I also have a goal (still) to drop some lbs. In fact, since January, I have sworn off of wine (except for special occasions. And Scandal) and NO peanut butter until I drop the first 5! And, not the one I’ve been losing 5 times but 5 actual separate and distinct pounds!!

And, I’m getting back to batch cooking my lunches on Sunday – it’s easy and I never wonder what to have. Lunch also tends to be mostly plant-based (I use cow milk and yogurt. And sometimes chicken broth). I’m not giving up meat any time soon but it’s a nice change. My challenge is picking things that aren’t too carb heavy.

To recap – 90 miles, 5 pounds, a half marathon, limited wine, no peanut butter and no swearing….I think that covers it!

And I have a pretty full race schedule in March as well — the annual Trinity of O’Races put on my the Hartford Marathon Foundation (with a fourth added this year so …not really a Trinity eh?!) These are really a ton of fun and generally a good start to the season!!

March Race Schedule:
Myrtle Beach Half Marathon – March 4
O’Shenanigans 5K – March 11
O’Putnam 5K – March 12
O’Niantic 5K – March 18
O’Hartford 5K – March 19

I’m actually not going to post this week’s training schedule because it’s already Thursday and I’ve done none of it! I hope to get out this evening to do a few miles though. Let’s just say, I’m already 6 miles behind my goal..whomp whomp.

whomp

But, onward and upward right?! It’s a fresh new month and Spring (and outdoor running!) is so close you can almost touch it!

Have a great first March weekend – go out and get it all done!!!

Short and Sweet

28 Feb

Just like me 🙂

Last week’s training did not go as planned or hoped. But I’m not beating myself up about it because all around it was a good week for me and I accomplished a lot – a lot of not running!!!

Plan?

Tuesday – 5 Miles
Wednesday – 6 Miles
Thursday – 4 Miles
Saturday – 12 Miles (I really need to do at least something long this month!)
Sunday – 3 Miles (this must be what they mean by ‘taper’!)

I’m not going to go day by day to tell you what I didn’t do. Instead I will tell you what I *did* do!!

Wednesday – I ran 5 at the gym
Saturday – I ran 11 outside. 

post-long-run

That’s right. Short sleeves and capris the last weekend of February – in New England! It was gorgeous. And, if we know anything we know I hate hills and tend to walk up them. But Saturday, in the first 6 miles I ran up most of the hills I usually walk.

I call that a win!

wonka-win

This coming week – short training week cause the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon is on SATURDAY!!!

Tuesday – 4 Miles (I already can say I likely won’t do this – I have a meeting after work and won’t get home til late…)
Wednesday – 4 Miles
Thursday – 2 Miles
Saturday – HALF MARATHON!!!

I’m pretty excited about this – it’s a new race for me and I love the beach. I will probably regret not staying down there longer but it isn’t like I can’t go back, right?!!

So I will do what I can this week but at this point, isn’t all up to relying on what I know I can do and having a good time!?!

 

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