Friday, May 28, 2010

Running Experiment = Success

This morning was the day of my morning running test. I psyched myself up before going to bed last night, mentally preparing myself for my alarm to blare at 5:15.

When it did, I felt pretty well-rested, but I still hit snooze once while I laid in bed thinking about the route I would run. Before the snooze alarm sounded, I was up.

I hustled to get dressed, grabbed Garmin and my iPod and was out the door.

Garmin decided to take his sweet old time finding satellites this morning. I eventually got sick of waiting and just started without him. He picked satellites up a minute or so later and from there on out things were good.

It's much cooler running in the mornings. I stuck with an out and back this morning on a well lit, heavily trafficked street since it was a bit overcast. On my way back home I passed some Army cadets who had just finished their group run. I smiled, said "good morning" and one of them cheered me on and told me to keep going.

I passed a few more, who must have fallen behind the group as I headed back home. They were all super friendly and offered a smile and a "hello." As did all the other morning runners out there.

Morning runners are a friendly bunch.

According to Garmin, I did 3.8 miles in 35:26. Solid.

I got home and went through all the motions of getting ready for a day at the office. I finished with plenty of time left to get to work on time. I'll be slowly making the morning running transition official in the coming weeks!

Cooking Challenge:
This week I was very much a grazer when it came to making dinner. I wasn't in the mood for something heavy, so I just picked at different things that were appealing and made random dinner platters that had a little bit of everything.

Take last night's for example:


What a complete hodge podge right?

Red raspberries
Half a PBJ with these delicious raspberry preserves


Pickle
Crackers and cheese

I was just in the mood for all of my favorite things last night and sometimes the dinner platter is just the way to go.

I'm working from home today and looking forward to the nice, long holiday weekend!

Happy Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer/Fall 2010 Race Calendar

After much research, thinking and consideration of logistics, I present my summer/fall 2010 racing calendar!

6/12: Crofton 10K
8/28: Patrick Henry Half Marathon*
8/29: Annapolis 10 Mile*
9/19: Philly Rock n Roll Half Marathon
9/26: Dogfish Dash (most likely the 10K, unless I opt to do the 5K with the BF)
10/16: Baltimore Marathon/Half Marathon (TBD)
11/21: Philadelphia Marathon/Half Marathon**

I didn't do too much searching for 5Ks, 10Ks or other shorter events in the fall, other than the Dogfish Dash. Dogfish makes the BF's favorite beer and this race is held at the brewery in Delaware. The BF was pretty pumped when I told him you get good free beer afterward. Not that gross stuff they give out after half marathons.

I'm sure I'll add some more shorter distances to the calendar later, but they can be more spur of the moment decisions. I really just wanted to get the bigger races hammered out.

More details:

* I obviously won't be doing both of these races as they are one day apart in completely different states. The half marathon is in Virginia, near some of the BF's cousins, maybe two or three hours from me. The 10 Miler is in Maryland, like an hour from my house. My birthday is the 28th and I really, really want to do a race on my birthday, but I might be willing to settle for the day after in exchange for easier logistics. That decision is still up in the air. If you know of any other awesome races on either of those dates, let me know in the comments!

** This race is very, very tentative. I'm not sure if I want to run Philly twice in one season since I'm pretty sure the courses are fairly similar. However, if I decide I want to do a full marathon this fall and I'm not ready for Baltimore, I might opt for the Philly one instead.

Is anyone else planning to do any of these races? I love a good blogger meet-up!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cooling Down After a Hot Run

The weather this month has been incredibly weird around these parts. The past few weeks it's been cold and rainy. The beginning of the month we were hitting the 90s and now we're right back to those super high temps with lots of humidity.

It's made for some interesting runs.

Last night, I was feeling super energetic when I got home from work and decided that if I ran with some water, the heat wouldn't be so bad.

Turns out that thought was just plain silly.

I was dyyyying.

I had sweat dripping in my eyes and salt caking to my skin. (That's a pretty picture huh?) I stopped at mile 1.75 (thanks Garmin) because my left calf was cramping like crazy.

After stretching and some more water I started running again. I eventually knocked out something close to 4.5 miles, but it wasn't pretty.

Everything about this run reminded me why I like to run in the mornings.

After stretching out and finishing the last of my warm, warm water, I headed inside for something cold. I had some Cheribundi sitting in my fridge that I've been waiting to try.



I cracked open the one with whey protein and took a sip. I wasn't so much digging that one, but then I tried the regular cherry juice and it was like drinking cherry pie. Seriously, it was so good.

I was kind of surprised because it's advertised as a tart cherry juice and I'm not a huge fan of tart things. But the juice was really delicious and extremely refreshing.

I spent the rest of last night watching the season finale of the Biggest Loser. I thought the final three looked awesome, especially Michael. I mean to go from 500+ pounds down to 260something. That's quite the transformation.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

'The Ultimate Runner' Makes Me Reconsider My Training

A couple of weeks ago, Tom and Amy from the Runners' Lounge sent me a copy of The Ultimate Runner, the book they've been working on pulling together for the last year-ish.



I've finally just gotten around to reading it and I've got to say, this book is inspiring.

It's the kind of book that makes you want to put it down, go throw on your running stuff and get out the door.

So far I've only read a handful of the stories, but it's incredibly motivational to read about how all these different people make their training work.

I was reading through one of the stories on the Metro today, and it really got me thinking about my own training. What are my goals, what do I want to get out of running?

I came to the conclusion that it's time to shake things up a bit in Jess running land. I've become a little too complacent with my running, and it's time to get back to something a little more regimented.

I'm going to be doing some experimentation with my schedule over the next few days/weeks to find what days and times work best to fit my runs in. I've always been a morning girl and I'm working on getting back to that. My runs are better and I skip them way less often when they're scheduled first thing in the morning.

It's amazing that reading about what other people are doing in terms of their running can be so motivational. But I guess that's why I love running blogs and this community. I'm excited to read the rest of the stories in the book. I know each one will motivate me just a little bit more to achieve my own running goals.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was a crazy. I had so much going on: first run with Garmie, my college's roommate's wedding, the end of LOST, the BF heading to Phoenix for work. And now it's Monday and I'm facing my first full week of work since April.

Garmin run:
For the most part it went well. Garmie was able to find satellites fairly quickly and only lost them at one point during the run where I'm kind of in a tunnel for a little bit. As a result, Garmie thinks I ran a five minute per mile pace at some point.

I was happy to see that the total distance Garmie measured was almost exactly the same as what MapMyRun has been telling me for years. Good times.

Wedding:
We couldn't have asked for better weather on Saturday for my college roommate's wedding. It was sunny and beautiful all day, which was perfect because their reception was indoor/outdoor and we got to take advantage of both.







My college roommates + Emily's younger sister (our honorary roommate)


LOST:
I promise no spoilers. Oh my goodness I can't believe it's over. Seriously. After six years. I have to say, I was pretty satisfied with the ending. It kind of went along with one of the theories I had for a while and seeing it all play out was interesting. The show didn't answer all of my questions, but I think they covered most of the big ones. I'm sad that it's over, but I feel content with the way it wrapped up.

Who's hiring?

Alright y'all, I have a favor to ask. You may all remember that a few weeks ago, my brother graduated. He's been job hunting for the last nine months and although, he's had a few nibbles of interest, nothing has turned itself into a job. So if you know of any one looking to hire a smart, hardworking engineer, please shoot me an email (jess@jessruns.com) and I'll pass the word on the my brother. Thanks bunches!

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Grilling Turkey Burgers

Garmie arrived yesterday! I had big plans to take him out for his inaugural run, but I had forgotten the whole it would need to charge thing. So instead of running, I popped Garmie into his charger and skimmed through his instruction manual. That thing is big and it's probably going to take me a while to get figure out all of the many functions.

I'm thinking maybe tonight will be the night for Garmie's big debut.

Cooking Challenge:

When I was home in Allentown for my brother's graduation, I dug my old grill out of storage to bring back to DC. I was super excited to use it this week and decided to grill up some turkey burgers.


Grilling just makes everything taste better. Plus I've found that grilling food is so much faster than baking something or even cooking it stovetop. These babies were done in less than 10 minutes.

Mmmm grill marks!

What's a burger without some cheese?


I rounded out my plate with half a cantaloupe and some pickles. Yum yum!


I'm trying to come up with some creative grilling ideas for the rest of the summer, got any ideas for me?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A New Running Toy

Today, I will be virtual stalking the UPS man.

He's carrying a very important package and I can't wait to go home and pick it up.

The UPS man is the only person standing between me and my brand new, shiny Garmin 305!

After running for four plus years without one, I finally took the plunge and ordered a Garmin on Tuesday.

Amazon was having an amazing sale. The 305 (with heart rate monitor) was marked down to $148. Plus I had an Amazon gift card from the BF's aunt and uncle and I got free shipping through Amazon Prime. In total, I only paid $118.

It was a deal I couldn't pass up.

I feel a little bit bad cheating on my old watch with my brand new Garmin, but I'm so ready to completely geek out over all the numbers.

Now I'll just need to come up with a suitable name.

The BF looked at me like I had five heads last night when I told him I would need to think of a good name. His response was something like "Wait, runner's name those things?" Followed by an eye roll and "Runners are weird."

It's true. We are weird.

Feel free to toss out name suggestions in the comments.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Crofton 10K

Sometimes all it takes to find your motivation is to hear about an awesome upcoming race.

Yesterday, through a comment on a friend's Facebook page, I learned about the Crofton 10K.

Last year I used to ramble on and on about how the Crofton Parkway was exactly 3.1 miles and I was shocked they didn't host a race around the parkway. It'd be the perfect 5K.

Well imagine how excited I was when I heard about this 10K. It starts and ends on the parkway with some turning down side streets to get the entire 6.2 miles.

That race is so happening.

The parkway is so pretty to run around. There's minimal traffic and sidewalks almost all the way around. Plus you run past the golf course and some many super cute little homes. And it's tree-lined, which means lots of shade for a hot summer race.


It's a smaller race. The entry fee is only $20, a steal for races these days, and I know the course. This one pretty much seemed like a no-brainer.

This will be the first race to kick off my summer/fall racing schedule. I'm hoping to have a complete schedule by tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Trial Gym Membership Fail

Yesterday I had a plan to check out the spin classes at my local gym. Since this week looks to be pretty low key for me, I decided it was a good time to print off the gym's week long free pass and get a feel for the classes and the crowds and whether or not I'd want to join for real.

Right before I click print, I realized the pass isn't for a week. It's for one day.

How can anybody get a feel for a gym in one day?

Different classes are offered on different days with different instructors. Crowds might be different on a Monday than they are on a Tuesday or Wednesday. One day definitely isn't enough time to decide if I'm going to join a certain gym.

In the end, I ditched the gym idea and I decided to bust out the 30 Day Shred. It's been months since I'd done the DVD and it was a nice reminder that I don't have to join a gym to get good non-running workout. Sure, it's not spinning, but it felt good to do some strength work.

Afterward, I started looking for some summer and fall races. Tentative schedule to come shortly.

Is this some motivation I'm sensing?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Graduation and Mac N Cheese

Graduation:

Graduation yesterday was a pretty good time.


Bill Cosby spoke at the main graduation ceremony and was absolutely hilarious.

It was a beautiful day and my brother and his roommates all rocked their caps and gowns. My brother's the one on the left with the white sunglasses. Everyone says he and his roommate on the right look like they could be twins.

Me and my brother after his engineering graduation. He graduated with honors and was part of the mechanical engineering honor society, which are what all the cords represent.

Cooking Challenge Recipe:

The BF was out of town all last week for a conference and eating every single meal for a week at a restaurant can get really old, So I decided I would make some good comfort food for him to eat when he got back.

My mom's mac and cheese recipe is legendary among my college friends, but until this week I'd never tried to make it myself.

It's actually pretty simple and came out delicious.

In one pan cook up the pasta.



In another melt one part butter and then add one part flour. You've got to mix it up until all the flour lumps are broken up.



Then you stir in one part milk.

Keeping the heat set to medium, cook the sauce until it starts to thicken.



Then dump in cheddar cheese.



Mix it up and let the cheese melt to create a delicious cheese sauce.



Then our the noodles into an oven pan, and cover in sauce. Sprinkle the last bit of cheese on the top and place in the oven for 20 minutes at 350.



The top will crisp nicely.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Graduation

My little brother graduates today and I will be spending most of the day in Philly.

He's graduating with honors and his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Temple University. He's a smart cookie and I'm super proud.

Congrats little bro!


Playing TU lax

Busting a move at my cousin's wedding

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yoga Tune Up Review

When I got home from work the other day, I had a present from the UPS man! There's nothing I love more than coming home to presents.

I tore into the box and was excited to see I'd gotten my Yoga Tune Up kit from Fitbloggin'.

Description from the website:

"The Yoga Tune Up Get Down & Roll™ Therapy Ball System provides targeted self-massage trigger point therapy by using specially designed high grip rubber balls and focused movement routines that help penetrate through layers of skin and muscle to massage deeply into your high tension areas."

With all my sore muscles, I was really excited to try these out.

The tune up balls are about the size of one of those squeezy stress balls, but they are much firmer than that. The set comes with a DVD and a guide that demonstrates how to use them.

I didn't watch the DVD, but the tried out some of the different things that were illustrated in the guide.

My favorite was the bridge pose. You place the yoga balls under your shoulders and then lift up into a bridge and gently shift your weight from side to side.


It was a little painful at first, mainly because my neck and shoulders are so tight (sitting at a computer all day will do that), but it felt really good.

Some of the other stretches were a little more challenging to master. I probably would have done better had I watched the DVD first.

Thanks to Yoga Tune Up for letting me test these out. They will definitely help relieve tension and tightness in between massage appointments!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Unhealthy spell

I've got a lot of things rattling around in my head today and it's been far too long since I've done a quality bullet-point post. So here we go:

  • This week is all kinds of crazy. I've got several big deadlines at work and my brother's college graduation is Thursday so I'm only in the office until tomorrow.


  • My sleep schedule is so out of whack. I'm not sure what happened, but lately I've been not able to fall asleep until late. I toss and turn for like 30 minutes and then have some weird dreams and keep waking up all night. Needless to say, I've been exhausted.


  • Workouts have been sorely lacking because of exhaustion and pure laziness, and it's been making me feel crappy. I have no idea when I'll have time to fit something in this week. I'm going to try my hardest for a short run tonight. It will be better than nothing.


  • My general motivation and desire to workout has been nonexistent lately. Not sure what that's about.


  • My sweet tooth has been in high gear the last several weeks and my desire to eat healthy food is at an all-time low.

I'd say all of the above qualifies as an "unhealthy spell" and I need to bust out of it. Realistically, I can't get back to normal until the weekend, when I can catch my breath, but I can try to be more mindful of the healthy food at the very least. I guess that's life and I've got to roll with it.

On a positive note, I started preliminary research on my next cruise last night. I've got my eye on a Southern Caribbean cruise through Royal Caribbean in January. The cruise leaves out of San Juan, a port I'm completely unfamiliar with, which means flights would be pricey and I'd have to figure out possible hotel and airport-to-port transfers. Lots of little logistics for me to figure out. Perfect for my complete and total type A-ness.

Anyone sail out of San Juan and have any tips? I've cruised before, but never out of an port that's not in the U.S. Are customs procedures different, is check-in or out different?

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Run and Bachelorette Fun

Well it may taken an entire week, but I finally wanted to run again on Saturday morning. And even though it was already 75 degrees and humid when I left my house, I was excited to be running.

I slogged through 4.5 miles averaging 9:48 per mile. The run was nothing to write home about, I was just glad that I got it in.

Plus there's really no better way to start the weekend off right than with a Saturday morning run.

After the run I had plenty of time to stretch, shower and get myself prettied up for my friend's bachelorette party.

Since it was a beautiful day, we opted for an afternoon of mini-golf followed by deliciousness at Cheesecake Factory.

Me and my college roommates

It was a tad windy, if you can't tell by our hair flying everywhere.

There was quite a wait at the Cheesecake Factory, so we headed to the bar to pass the time with fruity drinks.

Bride-to-be with a Georgia Peach. Hands down the best drink I've ever tasted.

I always forget how massive the portions are at Cheesecake Factory. I don't think a single one of us finished our meals. I passed on dessert because I was stuffed, but my friends all offered me tastes of theirs. Holy yum, I think the chocolate peanut butter cheesecake was my favorite.

I should have ordered a slice to go.

The count down to the wedding is officially on. It's only two weeks away and we're all really excited.

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Trying Almond Butter

Almond Butter:

I've seen tons of other bloggers write about their love for almond butter, and I've always been mildly intrigued. See I'm a huuuuuge PB lover. If I could live off PB I probably would.

But then I saw tons of bloggers talking about how much better almond butter was than peanut butter and I knew I had to give it a try. I picked up a jar at Trader's Joe's last weekend and had been trying to figure out what to test it on.


I settled on some Almond Butter oats.

I nuked the oats while wrestling with the lid on the AB jar.


Once I got it open, I scooped a spoonful on top of the oats.



After mixing it all up, I decided the bowl needed a hint of sweet, so I tossed in a few Trader Joe's mini peanut butter cups.


Overall this was a big success. The chocolate added a nice bit of sweet to the not-so-sweet AB.

Verdict: I liked the AB, but I don't think I'll be swapping it for PB on my PBJs.

Running survey:
About two weeks ago Seth reached out to me and asked me to participate in a survey about my preferences in running gear. He's in the market research phase for a new company. The brand will be focused on fun women's running clothes that will all be made in the United States. If you're a lady and interested in sharing your opinion, you can participate in the survey too.

Weekend Fun:
I'm so looking forward to the weekend because we're throwing my good friend's bachelorette party tomorrow. We're keeping it super low key. It's just my college roommates and one of the bridesmaids. We're doing dinner at Cheesecake Factory (yum) and other activities to be determined depending on the weather forecast. It's going to be a blast and it will be fun to see everyone again!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Gym Decisions

Layout problems:

Sorry for bombarding your Google Readers with random blank never ending posts yesterday. I'm not sure what happened, but when I published yesterday's post on spinning, the software pushed through about five blank posts. I think I finally got them all deleted and hopefully the problem is fixed.

Current workout plan:

As for my current workout plan, I'm still not sure what I want to tackle next. I called one of the local gyms yesterday to ask about spinning classes and prices. They said they have a membership fee for $25 per month, but when I asked about the start up fee, the guy said the lower the monthly fee, the higher the initiation cost. So I'm not sure about that one.

I looked for some smaller gyms that might be able to work something out with me, but didn't find too many.

What I'm thinking about doing is using the free passes to the three local gyms and seeing which one has the best spin classes. From there I'll decide if I want to bite the bullet and pay for a gym or not. Between running and the small (free) fitness center where I live, I've managed to avoid paying for a gym, but I do miss having the option to do classes.

Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Spin Class Without a Gym Membership

Resting up has been great these past two days. My right IT band is still knotty and angry at me for making it run 13.1 miles of hills in the heat. I've tried to apologize and stretch it and in general pay extra special attention to it, but the only thing that seems to be helping is rest.

So rest is what I will do.

But now, I'm starting to get antsy. I want to do something.

Sitting around like a bum so isn't my style (although I have been able to catch up on massive amounts of TV the last two days).

I'm thinking maybe I want to get back into spinning. I loved spinning when I lived in York. It was such an awesome, heart pumping workout and it gave me a good alternative to running.


The problem is, I don't belong to a gym and I have no desire to pay a $40 per month membership fee for just the spin classes.

I've been trying to look for places in the DC/MD area that have the option of just paying for the classes you take and not paying a full gym fee. I haven't had much luck though.

On Twitter last night someone suggested I just call some of the local gyms to see if they'd be willing to work something out with me.

There's an LA Fitness not too far from my house that has spin every evening at 5:30. As long as the Metro doesn't break, I could most likely get to that class. So I might give them a call.

Anyone have any other suggestions? I really miss spin and would love to get back into it, but not if it means having to pay for a bunch of extra gym things I'm not going to use.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

What's Next?

Two days later, my legs are still pretty sore. It's really only my quads, which I blame completely on the hilly Frederick course.

Even though I'm not completely recovered, I'm still trying to figure out what's next.

As of right now I don't have any more races on the calendar.

There are several possibilities in the fall, but I'm not committed to any of them yet:
  • Rock N Roll Virginia Beach (Labor Day weekend)
  • Rock N Roll Philly (mid-Sept.)
  • Baltimore (mid-October)
  • Richmond (November)
  • Philadelphia Half (November, yes there are two big races in Philly two months apart)

And I'm not sure what my plans are for summer running/training. If I decide to do a fall full marathon, training would start sometime in July or August depending on the date of the race.

If I stick with half marathons, training times will vary and will be a shorter time frame.

Either way, real training won't pick up again until July.

So I'm trying to decide what to do with May and June. Look for another race? Take a break from training and focus on cross training? Get back into tennis again?

I still don't know, but I'm open to suggestions, so throw them at me!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Frederick Half Marathon Race Report

It was 73 degrees and raining when I woke up at 3:45 a.m. yesterday to get ready for the Frederick Half Marathon. Luckily the rain stopped before the race started. The temps stayed about the same and the humidity dropped a little bit.

I did my usual pre-race prep. Hit the porta-potties three times, jogged a bit to loosen up my legs and stretched out.

In the porta-pottie line the first time when it was still dark

Because Frederick was a smaller race (only 3000 people doing the half and 1000 doing the full) there were no corrals. Everyone just lined up at the start.


The race director gave us some instructions and several warnings about the heat and then we were off.


I had forgotten how much I love smaller races. I didn't have to wait 20 minutes for my wave to start, I was across the start line only a few minutes after the gun went off, and I never had to bob and weave around people to find a place to run. There was plenty of running room from the start.

Major points to Frederick for that.

The first couple miles took us through downtown Frederick, which was an extremely cute town. Just before mile two we were running along a river and there was a little bit of a breeze. It felt so nice in comparison to the hot and heavy air.

I was running easy in the first two miles and holding an easy 9:40ish pace. I didn't feel like I was over-exerting myself and I was trying to take it easy.

As the race continued, the miles twisted through lots of developments and housing. There were some pretty houses, and it reminded me of running back home in PA.

The hills and the heat were really starting to get to me though so I was pretty liberal with my walk breaks. I knew if I didn't take them then I was going to be hurting later in the race.

Even with the walk breaks, I managed to stay on pace to finish in 2:10 until mile 10.

After that it was a big struggle. My legs were hurting, it was so hot and the course was getting boring. At one point we ran through a Wal-Mart parking lot and then it was just nothingness. Lots of open roads with nothing to look at but green. Sure it was pretty, but I just wanted something to look at to take my mind off my poor legs.

The hills on the course probably wouldn't have bothered me as much had it not been for the heat. I train on a decent amount of hills where I live, but combine with the heat, I was dying. There were times when I stopped to walk up hills because I was running at a slower pace than I was walking.

Mile 11 was brutal. It felt like one big hill and I felt like I was falling apart.

I pulled over to the side of the road, started walking and gave myself a pep talk.

I told myself I needed to pull it together. I was only two miles away from the finish line and heavens know I can run two miles. Even if I had to walk the two miles I was going to be able to finish the race.

When I hit mile 12, I decided it was time to run the rest of the way. I started off nice and slowly. I had just taken my last Gu and so I had a little bit of extra energy. I pushed through. Grabbed some water at an aid station and kept on trucking.

I made the last turn and saw the hill Gina had warned me about. Note to race directors: It's mean to have a race finish on a huge and long uphill.

I was tripping and stumbling my way up the hill and knew I had to walk again. I was frustrated and annoyed, because I didn't want to stop running. But I walked faster than I could run.

Finally I got back into the fairgrounds and everyone was saying the finish line was around the corner. Well I couldn't see it. I looked everywhere and it felt like I had miles to go. I made another turn and still didn't see it. My legs hurt so much and I just wanted to stop.

But then I finally saw it, and I looked at my watch and realized I could still PR if I pushed it really hard.

So I did. I ran and picked up some speed and my legs were screaming, but I kept pushing.



Biting my tongue. It's what my brother and I do when we're concentrating hard.

In pain.



Done.

I crossed the line in 2:12:57. A PR by almost a minute and a half.

I was shaking and trembling when I finished. I took a medal from a volunteer, grabbed a water and collapsed in the grass. (Not collapsed as in needed medical aid, although there were plenty of people that happened to on the course.) I just needed to be off my legs.

I was excited with my PR, but I was also a little upset that I didn't finish in 2:10. I know I had it in me, I just wasn't prepared for the heat. I'm sure I'm not the only one who had finish in times ruined by the heat.

Squinting in to the sun with my medal. Note the medal and bib match my outfit. Unplanned.

I'm confident in my next half, I'll be able to break the 2:10 mark.

Overall, Frederick was a great race. Although the course was boring at parts, it was extremely well organized. The aid stations had plenty of water and Powerade even though it was so hot out and there was never a huge back up at any of them. At one station they were handing out cookies and gummie bears.

There seemed to be enough porta-potties with lines that moved fairly quickly both at the beginning and on the course. And parking wasn't really an issue at all. Police directed us to a lot and we were able to get right out after the race. All of the volunteers were friendly and encouraging. There wasn't a ton of crowd support, but it was still a fun race.

I loved that it was a smaller event. It was a really nice change of pace from the massive races I tend to run.

New bib and medal hanging on my bulletin board.

**Special thanks to the BF for all the awesome pictures.**