Monday, April 30, 2012

Earth Day 5K and Another PR

I made the very last minute decision to sign up for the Earth Day 5K over the weekend, mainly because I needed to get a short run in and the race was five minutes from my house.

Earth Day 5k

The race was hosted by Pacers, one of the running stores in the DC area, which meant I'd earn some points in their race series. I've been doing a pretty solid job racking up points this season, since almost every race I've run so far has been one of their events. I'll get some nice swag at the end of the season.

The Earth Day 5K is one of Pacers' smaller events, but the start and finish line are a five-minute jog from my house, so how could I not sign up?

The race started at 8, and I rolled out of bed at 7:30, got dressed and jogged up to the start. Most low-key race start ever.

I met up with my friend Meredith who also happened to be running the race. You may remember her from when we ran the Hot Chocolate race back in December.

Me, Hannah and Meredith

Meredith is pretty fast but we started the race together and she said she wasn't planning on racing hard, so I figured I'd run with her for as long as I could. Solid race plan right there ha.

But it actually ended up working at well. We ran and chatted about life and work and stuff and I was impressed by the fact that I could still manage to talk even though I was running much faster than normal.

The race starts out on a ridiculously long downhill and since it's an out-and-back course you get to run up the hill at the end. I was able to hang with Meredith for the first 2.5ish miles of the race, but on the hill on the way back I just couldn't match her pace anymore.

My pace dropped significantly in that last mile. I positive-split the crap out of this race:

Mile 1: 7:29
Mile 2: 8:01
Mile 3: 8:50
Last .1: 1:01

But I still managed to shave more than a minute off my PR, finishing in 25:21. That's an 8:10 average and was good enough for 81 out of 378 total runners.

I have raced the last three weekends in a row and have managed to set PR's in two of the three races. It's been a pretty solid spring race season for me.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Under Armour What's Beautiful

Some of you may have seen that Under Armour recently launched a competition to find some new faces of the Under Armour Women brand. The goal of the What's Beautiful competition is to redefine the female athlete and our traditional definitions of beauty.

Given my slightly over-the-top love for Under Armour gear, I signed up right away.

UA beautiful

As part of the competition, I had to declare a fitness goal and will have to document my progress toward that goal over the next several weeks.

My goal: Train for and complete my first Olympic distance triathlon.

I've already been documenting my training regularly here on the blog, but as part of the competition there will be additional challenges along the way, like jumping rope for as long as possible and completing part of the Marine Corps Fitness test.

My first challenge was to make a video stating my goal and talk about training, so I thought I'd share.

After the end of the nine weeks Under Armour will select 10 finalists and put them up for a public vote. Three winners will be chosen, two by Under Armour, one by public vote, to be the new faces of Under Armour Women.

I promise I'll share some of the photo and video I shoot for the contest here on the blog, but definitely check out my page on the What's Beautiful site.

And to all my wonderful lady readers, I encourage you to sign up yourselves. (And if you do leave me a comment and let me know. You can follow athletes on the What's Beautiful site and I definitely want to follow you all!)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What I've Learned About Triathlons So Far

Hey guys, today I'm guest posting over at MizFit Online about what I've learned so far about triathlons and triathlon training! Go check it out!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Changing Focus

Now that all my long races are over for the spring, my training is shifting focus from distance running to more triathlon specific workouts.

I was looking at my training plan last night and realized traditional running rest days have been replaced with easy bike rides or recovery swims and long runs have been replaced with brick workouts.

Shit's about to get real.

training plan 2

I have this week as a sort of easier transition week and then from here until the end of June, I'll be trying to figure out how to balance several two-a-day workouts, bricks, long rides and of course my softball games (the season starts in a few weeks!).

Here we go!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tri Training Week 10

This week of training was tricky. I was trying to recover from a really hard half marathon effort on Saturday, while still fitting in most of my workouts and somehow prepping for the 10 miler this past Sunday. My legs were so sore for several days after that half that I ended up shuffling a lot of workouts and drastically reducing some of the intensity.

Week 10 numbers:

week 10 training

Monday: Recovery swim + strength

I got to the pool thinking I'd be able to put in an easy hour of swimming, but after a couple 100's I could tell the energy just wasn't there. I certainly didn't feel like I was drowning or anything, I just felt like I wasn't moving in the water -- at all. I pushed through to get at least 30 minutes of swimming done, but it was my most pathetic swim workout ever.

Later in the afternoon I decided to do a light weights workout so I didn't feel like the day was a complete waste.

Tuesday: Tone It Up strength workout

I read on Meghann's blog how she's trying to the Tone It Up strength program to give a little bit of structure to her strength training. Since most of the time when I do weights I just sort of do a bunch of stuff I learned from my personal trainer and physical therapists back in the day, I thought having some structure might be nice so I did one of the Tone It Up workouts. It was a little more leg work than I would have liked post-half marathon, but it was a solid workout.

Wednesday: Running intervals

I debated for a long time whether or not I should skip this workout since I still had a bit of soreness in my legs, but I hoped that running would shake some of that out. I hit the treadmill for nine intervals of two minutes hard, two minutes easy. By the end my legs felt tired, but strong.

Thursday: Strength training with Emily

Normal lunchtime strength training routine.

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 80 minute bike ride


We had beautiful weather on Saturday so I met up with Megan for an easy bike ride. We did a few laps of Beach Drive while chatting about our weekends. This was definitely not an intense workout, but I did practice using my toe clips (not to be confused with clipless pedals), which were a new addition to my bike after I took it in for a tune up last week.

Sunday: GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler

The only picture of me from the race. Can you spot me?

I treated this race as a long run and didn't push it too hard. You can read more about it in yesterday's race report.

So another solid week of training in books, and only a bit more than two weeks til my first tri!

Monday, April 23, 2012

GW Parkway Classic Race Report

On Friday I talked about how I wasn't really looking forward to the 10 mile race I had this weekend. By Saturday I was trying to get a little bit excited, but it still wasn't happening.

Running in the rain isn't fun and I just wasn't looking forward to the early wake-up call.

So I made a deal with myself before going to bed Saturday night. If it was pouring rain when my alarm went off, I would skip the race and go back to sleep.

Fortunately/unfortunately (I'm still not sure), it wasn't raining at 4 a.m. on Sunday. So I dragged myself out of bed and over to Alexandria, VA to board the buses to take me to the start line.

Since I didn't know anyone else running, I made friends with the girl I sat next to on the bus. We chatted about races and training. We found out we're both signed up for Marine Corps in the fall. Yay for new runner friends!

It started pouring not long after the buses dropped us off at the start line. Luckily Pacers was prepared for this and had set up a few tents for runners to wait under and handed out Mylar blankets. While huddling in the tent, I spotted Sarah and Jay. It's much more fun killing time at the start line with friends!

The rain eventually tapered off to a light drizzle of some sort as the race started.

Because of the weather I wore a pair of old shoes and carried no electronics. No phone, no Ipod, no Garmin. (Hence the lack of pictures).

I could tell running ten miles in my old shoes was going to be less-than-enjoyable. Since I wasn't racing hard, I took walk breaks when I needed to help loosen up my hip/knee/IT band. Somewhere near mile 5, I stopped to stretch since my left leg was really, really tight.

I was enjoying the course though and having a good time. The miles seemed to pass pretty quickly, even though I wasn't moving very fast. It took me a while to settle into a groove, but finally, by the 10K I started to feel good.

The best part about running a 10 miler the week after a half marathon? Getting to mile 8, thinking you still have five more miles to go, but then realizing you actually only have two to go!

The last two miles of the course went through parts of Alexandria and had pretty decent crowd support.

I crossed the finish line in 1:37:03, certainly not my fastest 10 mile time, but not too shabby for a race where I took many, many walk break and stopped to stretch.

Luckily, I finished the race just before the real downpour started. I quickly grabbed a post-race Gatorade and bagel before high-tailing back to my car and out of the rain.

At the end of the day, I'm glad I did the race. It was a fun run on a great course and it earned me some points in the Pacers Race Series. I <3 Pacers events!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Less Than Excited To Race This Weekend

This weekend I'm running my last "long" race of the spring, the GW Parkway Classic 10 miler.

When I signed up for this race, I was really excited for it. It's been voted one of the best races in the DC area, and I was excited to try an alternative to Cherry Blossom for a spring 10 miler.

But now that the race is almost here, I'm feeling less than excited.

Part of the reason is that it's supposed to rain all weekend, and nothing sounds fun about running 10 miles in the rain.

Another part of the reason is that I don't really know anyone doing the race, and racing by yourself is way less fun than racing with friends.

And finally, after last weekend's kickass PR at the half marathon...well I just don't know that another race this soon is going to be better than that.

Still, I'm trying to not be a total downer about this race.

There are some things I'm still looking forward to.

First, the course is fairly awesome. I know because it's a very similar course to the Wilson Bridge half course that I loved last fall.

Second, it's put on by Pacers, one of our local running stores, and Pacers puts on top notch events.

And third, it's a race and even though I won't be racing hard or running fast (this time I'm serious!) I still love the satisfaction of crossing the finish line.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tri Training Week 9

Another solid week of training in the books and only three more weeks til my first tri! Ahhh!!!

Previous Weeks:

Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four
Week Five
Week Six
Week Seven
Week Eight

This Week:

week 9 training
Week 9 numbers

Monday: 3200+ yards swimming

Rockin my new suit at the Rodale Aquatic Center
New suit!

The workout itself was 3200 yards. I don't remember what I swam as the warm up, but damn this was a solid butt-kicking. I love swimming with my mom's masters group when I'm home in PA. It's always a great workout and it's fun to have people to joke around with in between sets.

Tuesday: 5 mile run

It was an absolutely gorgeous day out for a run and I met up with a friend to knock out these five miles on the Rock Creek Trail. We ended up running a little bit slower than normal because my friend didn't have time to eat lunch and so his energy stores were just a bit depleted. I think the slow run early in the week helped save my legs for my sweet PR on Saturday, so it all worked out in the end.

Wednesday: 60 minute trainer ride

Bike shorts make all the difference in the world! #proof #fitfluential

I tried out my bike shorts for the first time. They are officially awesome! Butt padding for the win! Also my iPod randomly stopped working part way through the workout. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't revive it. The iPod was approximately 6 months old, so I was not happy. Luckily, Amazon has the world's best customer service and they are sending me a replacement.

Thursday: Strength training

Emily and I are doing a great job of sticking with our lunch time strength training routine on Thursdays. It's actually something I'm starting to look forward to every week.

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Half Marathon!


Broke two hours! Enough said!

Sunday: 120 minute bike ride

My legs were still ridiculously sore from my race, but I thought a bike ride might get the blood flowing and help speed recovery along. That plan probably would have worked if I hadn't biked for a solid two hours. It was a fairly decent ride, except for having to dodge a lot of tourists and other people out on the trails. There were points where we had to go really, really slow to navigate the narrow parts.

It was also pretty sunny out and I ended up with some super awkward biking tanlines.

Super awkward tan lines from my bike ride today. #fitfluential #proof
Womp womp

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Filming Discovery's Final Flight

Yesterday was one of those days that makes me realize I have the coolest/best job ever.

Yesterday morning, the Space Shuttle Discovery made its final flight around Washington, D.C. before heading to its permanent home at the National Air and Space Museum out in Virginia.


I'm pretty sure every working professional in DC was outside between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. to watch the shuttle make its loop of the city.

Lucky for me, the video team was sent to cover the event live, so we headed out to the mall bright and early and got everything set up.



We grabbed a short interview with a little girl who was there with her dad to watch the shuttle and then we sat back to wait for the 747 jet to cruise by.

All of a sudden someone shouted, "There it is!" as the plane with the shuttle on its back appeared next to the Washington Monument.

It cruised down the length of the mall, up toward the Capitol and down the other side.


It made several passes and the people in the crowded cheered and clapped each time. It was truly a site to see.


Here's the short video we put together afterward.

Thanks to my wonderful coworker Arlene for taking all these great pictures.

@arlenesnotes with her massive camera ready to catch the shuttle fly over for

I think she was armed with the best lens of anyone watching!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lucky #13: Dorchester Crab Run Race Report

I ran half marathon #13 on Saturday.

Finally broke two hours in a half!

I set a new PR.

I finished 4th in my age group.

And finally, after years of trying, I broke two hours in a half.

So lucky #13 was pretty good to me.

The day started early in the morning with a two-hour drive to the Eastern Shore for the Dorchester Crab Run. This is a super small event that uses the same course as the run leg of the Eagleman 70.3 race.

Since my friend Zach is eying Eagleman for next year, we thought we'd go out and do a test run.

When we pulled into the parking lot at the YMCA where the race started, I started having a minor freak out over just how small this race.

race tweet

I was fairly certain I was going to finish dead last.

I took these pictures trying to give you an idea of the tiny field at the start line.

In this shot you can see most of the pack.

photo (34)

Less than 25 feet in front of them was the start line.

photo (35)
The start line is that blue mat on the ground

I didn't hear the start of the race, but next thing I knew we were moving. Zach and I hadn't discussed whether or not we were going to race together. The last time we ran a half together it was an epic disaster, and neither of us wanted to repeat that.

Zach's Ironman training plan called for a longer, slower run so he decided to hang with me. (He's training for IM Louisville, if you were curious.) 

The beginning of the race was absolutely gorgeous. We were running right along the water, there was a slight breeze and the scenery was just breath taking.

photo (37)

Since I was not planning to race this race, I pulled out my phone and started snapping a few pictures as I was running.

We bent away from the waterfront somewhere around mile 1.5 and started running through some cute neighbors before veering out onto a long country road.

The runners were spread out a decent amount, but I never felt like we were totally alone. There was always a person or two not too far ahead.

Small races rock! Dorchester crab run!

Oddly enough, I enjoyed the solitude. Zach and I chatted a little bit in the beginning, but we were mostly quiet. This is the first time I ran an entire half without any music (though I'd brought it along), and the peace and quiet was really serene.

The course was a straight out and back and somewhere near mile 6, I could feel my hip and knee tightening up. We stopped for a quick walk break and afterward, I immediately felt better and started to pick up the pace.

I saw the clock at the turn-around point read 1:00:14.

Visions of a sub-two started dancing in my head, but I kind of squashed them down. I didn't want to start pushing too hard only to burn out during mile 11.

I kept things steady and in control. When we passed mile 8, we had exactly 47 minutes to run the last five miles if I wanted to break two hours.

That was the first time I let myself admit how bad I wanted sub-two, and that I knew it was in reach. I told Zach we were officially racing this race and that we were going to break two hours.

I had my Garmin set only to show the time of day, but Zach's was showing more data, and I was checking in with him every once in a while to see how we were doing.

All he'd say was that if we kept our current pace up, it was possible.

By mile 10, I didn't think I'd be able to keep the current pace up. It was sunny, I was getting warm and everything was starting to hurt.

Zach started saying something about thinking happy thoughts and I promptly told him to stop talking immediately.

As we turned back into the neighborhoods, I knew there wasn't too much farther. At one point, I told Zach all I wanted to do was be able to call my mom and tell her I finally broke two hours.

I kept imagining that phone conversation in my head the rest of the race. I just kept thinking how that was the phone call I wanted to be able to make, not the "oh gee, I came close again, but didn't quite do it" phone call.

Thoughts of calling my mom drove me through the rest of the race. Every time I'd get tired or something would hurt, I'd think about how great it would feel to say, "Mom, I broke two hours."

I kept asking Zach how I was doing, if I had any cushion. The doubts were banging around in my head quite loudly, but I kept trying to push them down. I knew I had this in me.

Near mile 11.25ish, I need to stop to walk again because something was nagging at me. It was for less than a minute, enough to let me catch my breath and shake things out.

We eventually made it back to the waterfront and passed the 12 mile marker.

photo (36)

At that point I wanted to cry. My quads were on fire and one more mile seemed impossible. Zach was starting to pull ahead of me and I couldn't match his pace. I was falling behind, and I was afraid my sub-two was slipping away.

I kept watching the minutes pass on my watch, knowing the finish line was still so far away. I was getting more and more nervous, and the doubts in my mind were getting louder and louder.

I kept telling myself I didn't push this hard for this long to blow it now.

We made the final turn onto the last street, and I had two minutes left. Zach yelled at me to give it all that I had and I yelled back there's nothing else left, but as I saw the finish line approaching, I dug a little deeper.

I wanted that sub-two more than anything in the world.


I found out there was still something left.

It wasn't much, but I leaned into my final kick, willing myself across the finish line.

I was panting. My quads were screaming. The few people around were cheering for me.

I saw the clock said 1:59:16 and I knew I had done it.

I started laughing and crying at the same time. I was just so emotional and so proud of myself, and so, so glad to be finish because every muscle in my body hurt. As a result, I have the goofiest finish line face ever.

I wrapped Zach into a big sweaty hug, graciously took my medal from a volunteer and plopped into the grass in some shade as the tears started to flow.

I've officially been going after a sub-two hour half marathon for nearly two years. I'd picked goal races, trained hard and just could never quite do it. I got close at last year's Wilson Bridge Half, another race that was just supposed to be a "fun run," but then followed that up with an awful day in Philly at my goal race.

It seemed like the sub-two half was just a monkey I couldn't get off my back.

Going into this race, I wasn't expecting anything great. I stayed calm, had fun and ran for the pure enjoyment of running. When I realized my goal was in reach, I put on my game face and pushed hard. I dug deeper than I ever have before in a race. Physically, I knew I could do it, and mentally, I kept my head in the game.

By the time the tears had dried up, I realized my finishing photo was bound to be bad, so we took this awesome, totally staged photo of me running across the finish line in my flip flops and sunglasses with a look of pure joy on my face. I was basking in the happiness of finally, finally breaking two hours.

Pure joy right there

Oh, and that phone call with my mom was kind of awesome. I called her while I was still crying happy tears and she thought something was horribly wrong because she couldn't really understand me and just heard me crying. When she realized everything was actually OK, she was pretty excited.

My final time was 1:59:16, good enough for 4th place in my age group. It's safe to say, I wore my medal for most of the rest of the day.


This race was amazing from beginning to end. The small size was perfect. It was a no frills, true runners race. I'm 95% sure I'll be back next year.

And the views, well they were just breath taking.


Friday, April 13, 2012

An Impromptu Half Marathon

I'm running a half marathon tomorrow and I totally wasn't planning on it.

It's another one of those races where a friend hooked me up with a free entry, and it's not like I can turn down a free race entry.

So tomorrow I'll be getting up bright and early to take a day trip to Maryland's Eastern Shore to run the Dorchester Crab Run.

I'm not planning to "race" this race, just run it for fun.

I think it's going to be a lot of fun since

1. It's on the Eastern Shore and the Eastern Shore is kind of cute.
2. It's the same course as the Eagleman 70.3 race, which my friend wants to do next year.
3. It's a really, really low key event and fairly small race, which I love.
4. They offer day-of-the-race packet pickup!
5. I love races with a crab theme. It tends to mean cute shirts and medals. (Like the Baltimore marathon.)
6. The weather is supposed to be amazing! Mid-50's at the start creeping into the low-60's by the finish.

The only thing I'm not totally looking forward to is the 2-hour drive there and back. My plan is to hijack the radio in my friend's car and blast country music while singing at the top of my lungs to make the ride super enjoyable for both of us. Or at least on the ride home. I think I will maybe nap on the ride out there.

Anyway, I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning than with a little 13.1 mile fun run in perfectly gorgeous weather.

What are you weekend workout plans?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Three Things Thursday: Bike Edition

1. I finally got around to buying a pair of bike shorts when I was in PA for Easter, and last night I tested them out. Holy crap, why did I wait so long to get a pair? They were amazing! My butt didn't hurt once the whole ride! That little bit of extra cushioning works miracles, I tell ya!

Bike shorts make all the difference in the world! #proof #fitfluential

The only downside to these babies is that I'm going to get some super awkward tan lines this summer. Runner tan lines were bad enough, but bike short tan lines....I'm pretty much dreading them.

2. Did you know it's possible to blow a tire while riding on a trainer? I had no idea, but my aunt told me she's blown three rear tires doing trainer rides. This makes me extremely nervous and I did my ride last night with pretty low tension to avoid any problems.

3. When I was home for Easter I hit the pool with my mom for a masters swim class, and I found out a lot of her swimming buddies are doing the Philly Tri too! I was super excited and asked them for lots of advice and got some details on the bike course. They assured me the bike course isn't that hilly and there aren't too many tight turns, which is one of the things I'm most nervous about. My turn radius is not good. I really need to work on it. But I am so excited that there's going to be a good group of people that I know doing the tri in Philly. That means I'll have lots of friendly faces to hang out with before the race starts when I'm feeling super nervous!

One more day til the weekend! Happy Thursday y'all!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Buying vs Renting a Wetsuit

One of the things I knew I was going to need for my upcoming triathlon was a wetsuit. The Chesapeake Bay in early May is certainly not going to be warm enough to swim in without one.

Annapolis docks
Docks where the race starts

My original plan was just to rent a wetsuit for the day since buying a wetsuit isn't cheap.

But then I signed up for more races, like the Philly Tri in June, which is oftentimes wetsuit legal, and an open water training clinic also in May.

So that's at least two, possibly three, events where I knew I'd need a wetsuit.

Meet my new friend

Wetsuit rentals vary in price, but the average seemed to be around $60 per event.

Assuming I'd need the wetsuit for two of the events that would be about $120. Kind of pricey, but still cheaper than shelling out several hundred dollars for a wetsuit.

I was all set to just go the rental route, making sure I actually liked triathlons before I spent even more money on gear for races, but then I got a tip from a friend that a local bike store was getting out of the wetsuit rental business and was selling all its old rental suits for $75.

To me, that's a steal.

I called the store to find out if they still had any in my size and lucky for me they did. So I bought it.

Me in my new wetsuit

So how do you decide when you should rent and when you should buy a wetsuit?

Consider renting if:
  • You're new to the sport
  • You're only signed up for one or two events
  • You live in a warm area where most races aren't wetsuit legal, but a few early season ones might be
Consider buying if:
  • You're planning to do lots of races
  • You live in a cooler climate and will be dealing with lots of races in cold water
  • You can find an awesome deal on a wetsuit that will save you a ton of money on rentals
If I hadn't found such a great deal on my wetsuit, I never would have bought one for my first season as a triathlete. But in the end, spending $75 to own a wetsuit is going to save me a ton of money on wetsuit rentals.

Did you rent or buy a wetsuit for your first triathlon?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tri Training Week 8

Well I'm back in DC after a wonderful long weekend in PA.

Seriously time at home just goes by way too fast.

As a result of my travel plans I had to be a little creative with workouts last week to make sure I could fit most of them in before I headed out of town.

I was fairly successful, only skipping one run because I was busy doing family stuff at home.

Previous Weeks:

Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four
Week Five
Week Six
Week Seven

This Week:

tri training week 8
Week 8 numbers

Monday: 2100 yard swim

2100 yds done! #proof #fitfluential

After my 25 mile bike ride last Sunday and my 10 mile run last Saturday, my legs needed a break. I switched some things in my schedule so I could get my swim in on Monday as a form of active recovery. I followed a workout from my mom's master swim group and knocked out 2100 yards without much of a problem.

Tuesday: 5 mile run

My legs were a little sore and tired when I started this run, but they loosened up nicely and the last miles were my fastest ones by far.

Wednesday: 60 minute ride, 6 mile run

55 minutes on the trainer. Rocked out to some Billy Joel while riding. #proof #fitfluential

I had to squeeze in two workouts on Wednesday because of my travel plans, so I decided to do them back to back as a brick. The 60 minute ride on the trainer was nothing exciting. Mentally, I struggled to finish it because I was looking forward to the run.

Unfortunately the run totally sucked. In the beginning my legs felt awful and tight and sore and well, like bricks. They eventually loosened up, but by that point I had no energy left in the tank because I had done a really, really poor job of fueling properly. I hit the wall hard at mile five. The last mile was pure torture with a lot of walking mixed in.

Thursday: Strength training

I woke up bright and early to meet Emily at the work gym to get in a quick strength session. I focused mainly on upper body and core, with a few leg exercises thrown in.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday: Rest

I had planned on running at least one of the days I was home this weekend, but it just didn't happen. I probably could have fit it in if I had wanted to make a real effort, but I was enjoying my time at home and enjoying a little bit of relaxation. Skipping my run just wasn't that big of a deal for me. Plus I finished reading the last two books in the Hunger Games series. Finding out the ending to the Katniss/Peeta story was slightly higher on my priority list than running this weekend. Don't judge.

Friday, April 06, 2012

My (Mis)Adventurous Trip to PA

Yesterday I was seriously starting to think the car gods didn't want me to make it back to PA.

I had done so much prep work to make sure I could get out of DC before rush hour started. Worked late on Wednesday, got into the office at 5:30 yesterday morning.

What my office looks like at 5:20 am
Office at 5:30 a.m. No lights and no people

I busted out of the office at 3 p.m. ready to cruise home to PA and not have to worry about traffic.

Except when I got to my car, I noticed a big ol' flat tire.


After a minor moment of panic, I realized the tire had enough air that I could drive my car up the street to the National Tire and Battery for them to fix it.

In less than an hour the flat was patched, and my car was ready to go.

But it was 4:30, the start of dreaded rush hour in DC.

I had two options: Sit in it or wait it out like I normally do and leave DC around 7 p.m.

I decided to risk it and see how bad the traffic really was. Lucky for me it still wasn't too heavy and other than hitting some nasty delays north of Baltimore, I mostly cruised home.

I was no more than two minutes from my parents's house, thinking about how happy I was the flat tire hadn't completely destroyed my drive home, when out of nowhere a big white barn cat comes dashing out into the street.

I slam on my brakes, praying that the cat will stop.

But no luck.

Right under my car. The sound was awful.

So yea, my trip home, it kind of sucked.

But now that I'm home, I'm going to enjoy every minute of it. I have a feeling this long weekend is going to go by much, much too fast.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Hunger Games Edition

I spent all last night reading the Hunger Games cover to cover.

Spent last night reading this cover to cover

I totally get the hype now. I will be borrowing books two and three from my friend on Thursday and plan to have them all finished by the time I get back from Easter vacation at my parents' house in PA.

Also, I kind of want to go see the movie immediately now.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Tri Training Week 7

This was a pretty great week of training for me. I was able to get in several really solid run, bike, swim workouts and I managed to find time to build strength training into the plan.

I can't believe my first triathlon, the TriRock sprint in Annapolis, is only a little more than a month away! I'm getting super nervous and excited all at the same time!

Previous Weeks:

Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four
Week Five
Week Six

This Week:

week 7 training
Week seven numbers

Monday: 2 miles

Two totally pain free miles in my brand new @MizunoRunning Wave Inspires! #proof #fitfluential
Two pain free miles in my new kicks!

After having knee problems late last week, I didn't want to push anything too hard on the running front. So I took it easy just to see how everything felt. I also wore my brand new Mizuno Wave Inspires, which I think helped. I had no knee pain, but I still came home to ice as a precaution.

Tuesday: 55 minute trainer ride

55 minutes on the trainer. Rocked out to some Billy Joel while riding. #proof #fitfluential

I was still babying my knee a little bit on Tuesday and I didn't want to throw the bike into a super heavy gear. I kept the tension medium to light throughout the whole workout, and enjoyed spinning to some old school Billy Joel. At one point I was rockin' out and singing along to "We Didn't Stay the Fire" (or as best as one can sing while riding a bike). I was pretty sure I was home by myself. Turns out my roommate was actually home upstairs in her bedroom. Uhhh oops.

Wednesday: 5 mile run

Oh you know just a five miler with no knee pain! Cue the happy dance! #fitfluential #proof
Five pain-free miles!

I started my run Wednesday planning to do three miles, but hoping I'd be able to get through all five if my knee held up. Luckily it did! This run was great. Nothing fast, nothing special, but I was happy to be able to get the miles in without any problem.

Thursday: Strength training

Opposites attract at the work gym with @ejcan! #proof #fitfluential
Me and Emily kind of matching during our workout

Emily and I hit the gym at work over lunch for a solid lifting session. I focused mainly on upper body and core work, but had some time at the end to do a few leg exercises. I'm definitely looking forward to our weekly lifting sessions.

Friday: Rest!

Saturday: 10 mile run

It's been a long time since I've done a double digit long run and I was really, really looking forward to this run. I went to bed at a reasonable time Friday night and sprung out of bed plenty early on Saturday so I could knock out the run before meeting my college roommates in DC for the National Cherry Blossom Festivals. I finished the 10 miles in about 1:35, a pace I was very happy with. Then I spent the day hanging out in DC with my roommates. Checking out the cherry blossoms and paddleboating in the Tidal Basin.

Roomie reunion in dc
Hanging out with my college roommates in DC

Sunday: 1700 yard swim, 25.5 mile bike

I have been dying to do a 1500 yard time trial in the pool to gauge where I stand for my Olympic distance tri in June. I did a 100-yard warm up and then swam 1500 yards straight (ewwww) finishing in 28:51.60. I've been told this is a pretty middle of the pack time and it gives me a good place to work from to improve before my tri. I wrapped the swim up with an easy 100-yard cooldown.

When I got home from the swim, I grabbed a quick lunch and then got ready for my longest bike ride to date. I was determined to ride at least the distance of the bike leg of the Olympic-distance tri in June to prove to myself that I could do it, even if it was slow going. I headed out to Beach Drive, because it's closed to traffic on the weekends, and set out to do several loops. I did 3.5 loops and by the end boy were my legs tired. Man, how am I supposed to have the energy to run a 10K after that?

Longest bike ride ever! #proof #fitfluential
Longest bike ride to date!

It was a solid workout though and I'm happy I put that kind of time in the saddle. But I did learn that I need to invest in a pair of tri shorts immediately so I can get some padding on my butt. Seriously, bike seats are not comfortable on long rides.

All in all, a great week of training. I am really happy to be getting more time in the saddle and I think I'm verrrrry slowly, starting to get more comfortable with the whole bike riding thing.

I rewarded myself for an awesome week of training with this heaping bowl of deliciousness from Fro-zen-yo on Sunday night.

My reward for a kickass weekend of workouts. 10 miles running. 25.5 miles biking. 1700 yds swimming.

Yes it was pretty much the perfect way to top off a great week of training.