Thursday, February 26, 2015

Friday 5: Races to Run

Ok, so I really need to check ahead on the Friday 5 schedule, because it turns out Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia have some great topics.  Last week a ton of bloggers wrote about their 5 races to run (or that they want to run!)  and it made me sad that I missed out.  So officially catching up...

1. Shamrock Half Marathon:  Guys, it's getting so, so close!  I'm really excited! It's a fast, flat course, and J&A does a fantastic job with race logistics (think porta potties at every corral).  Read my recap from last year here. One day I might shut up about this race.  But probably not any time soon.

I will probably wear this for a month straight.

2. Crawlin' Crab Shell Yeah! Challenge: This was my first ever challenge, and I LOVED it.  One of my favorite parts was that after the 5k I actually wanted to drink my post race beer! (A lot of times after halfs I'm just not feeling it right away).  For all you craft beer lovers, this is your race!  The course is amazing, too.  Read my recap of last year's race here.

3. Mud in Your Eye XC Series: I really wish I lived in the Hampton Roads area still, because I loved running these races when I was in high school and college.  My dad and I would run them together and they were a blast.

4. Boordy Vineyards 5k:  Guys, you run for 3 miles and then get bread, cheese, and fruit plates, and WINE.  Best idea for a race ever.  You can read my embarrassing recap here.  (I think I'm destined to be embarrassed with this race. I had a moment registering for the 2015 race....totally freaked out because I thought it was sold out and Charm City Run kindly sent me the link to register since I was looking at last year's link.  Oops.)

5. Surf-n-Santa 5 Miler: I loved every minute of this race.  I'm a big fan of evening races and the fact that you get to run under the boardwalk lights was amazing.  The post run party has Samuel Adams beer and a delicious bread bowl.  I realize it sounds like the only reason I run is to eat soup in bread bowls and drink good beer after this post....  Only partly true!  You can read my recap here.

A couple other runner up races that deserve to be in here are the Tower of Terror 10 Miler at Disney, the Scarecrow Classic 5k, and the St. John the Jogger 5k.  I love the last two because they are small, laid back and it's nice to just have an easy race morning.

What are the best (stress free--like I can park at the race site with ease.  I'm not all about the metro.) races in the DC area? I need some more local races!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Weekend Update

Happy Monday!  It's hard to believe that it's so cold again after it was practically spring like yesterday!  I hope everyone got to get out and enjoy a little fresh air!  I'm linking up with Tara at Running 'n' Reading for her weekend update!

Friday night was really laid back.  My sister and I ichatted while catching up on Scandal and HTGAWM <--don't want anyone finding my blog by typing in the full name haha!  I started Lickety Split by Mary Kay Andrews (written as Kathy Hogan Trocheck--her name before she became Mary Kay!) as my "book by a favorite author" category on my reading challenge.  To be honest, I'm really glad I didn't read this one first!  The books she writes now are fun, girly, and total beach reads (a new one comes out in May!  I can't wait!) and this one is nothing like it!  While it's been a quick read, it's not exactly my kind of book.

Saturday morning I woke up fully intending to go to my group run.  After looking at the temperature and impending snow, my coffee and pancakes were looking better and better.  I opted for a treadmill run later and was really glad I did!  It started snowing a lot earlier than predicted and the roads in my neighborhood were a mess.  My walk to the gym was probably more of a workout than the actual run because of all the snow!  Can't tell you guys how thankful I am that I bought my boots earlier this year. Seriously guys, they are the best ever!

Sunday was the day to tackle my long run.  Even though it was a lot warmer, my side walks were still super slushy and I wanted to stay on the safe side.  I opted for the treadmill once again and it ended up being a fantastic run.  I even ran a little further than I had set out to because I switched treadmills after my favorite one freed up about two minutes into my run.  I wanted to see those double digits and figured 10.5 was better than 10.2.  I'm actually a little surprised with how not bored I was this week on my treadmill long runs.  I think the combination of music and Wait...Wait...Don't Tell Me! helped.  It probably doesn't hurt that Shamrock is getting closer and I'm thinking a PR is more doable than I had originally thought!  My brother and sister included me on a massive group text as well, and it's really hard to be bored when you have constant alerts going off.  Thanks, guys! :-)

I felt great this whole run! Can't wait for Shamrock!

Maddux and I got in a short walk Sunday afternoon (he wasn't a fan of getting his paws wet) and then I made it out of the house for a Petsmart and Target run.  All in all, a great weekend!

Ignore my weird hair and the angle of this picture.
 Maddux's face was too good to not share!

Tell me something good about your weekend!  Any other treadmill warriors out there?  Stay warm and have a great week!

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Random Friday 5

Happy Friday!  I hope you all are staying warm! We're supposed to get hit with more snow and ice this weekend and I am not thrilled.  This is going to be a bit of a random post, but I realized I haven't updated you guys much on my Shamrock training, and what's a good Friday 5 post without everything typed into a list?  As usual, I'm linking up with Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney!  If you're snowed in you will have lots of great reading material!

1. I've been spending a lot of time on the treadmill.  In a perfect world I would have a nice balance of treadmill and outside runs.  In this frozen world, I have opted out of snow and ice and have been kicking it inside.

2. Speaking of Frozen...  Did you guys see that there's an arrest warrant out for Queen Elsa?  It made me smile.  Hope they catch her soon!

3. Maddux is really funny in the snow.  This is the one part of snow that makes me happy.  My pup gets so playful after the first good snowfall.  It lasts for about 2 minutes, but for those 2 minutes he romps around like he is a young pup again.  I love seeing him having so much fun!

4. I have had two races cancelled because of the cold.  Yep, two.  One was a 14k and another was a 10 miler.  They were supposed to be part of my long run training, but such is life.  I have a 15k coming up in two weeks.  Hopefully the snow will be out of our region by then!

5. I've had some really good runs.  Despite it all, I've actually been feeling pretty good.  I ran 9 miles on Monday and felt amazing.  I ran 3.5 yesterday (I thought I was going to be running 15 between Saturday and Sunday--might still happen, so I figured I would keep it short for my Thursday run) and ended up feeling pretty speedy!  I need a couple more long runs to feel confident going into Shamrock, but at this point it's looking like I'll have a pretty good race.  27 days away!

BOOM.  I'm thinking that 5k PR is on its way!

Stay warm, friends!

Have you had any races cancelled because of the weather?  How's your training going!?  Even though we have to deal with this crap weather, I think I do better training during the winter than the summer staying on track!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Weekend Update #4

Happy Monday!  I hope you guys get to spend the day lounging around in your pajamas, reading good books, and drinking coffee like I plan to today!  I'm linking up with Tara over at Running 'n' Reading for her weekend update round up.  Make sure to send some love to the other bloggers!

Friday night I decided I would head to the gym and knock out my weekend 5 miler because rumor had it that I would not feel like running after Pure Barre on Saturday.  Well, the rumor was true.  Guys, I spent Sunday being so, so sore.  I will say though that Pure Barre was an absolute blast!  I'm not sure what I was expecting (I guess I was thinking more graceful movements with calming music), but it was completely different than I could have imagined.  It was upbeat and a huge butt kicker.  I can't remember the last time a workout burned the way that one did.  It was no joke!  I really wish the classes weren't so expensive, because I would love to be able to go on a more regular basis.  Unfortunately, they just don't fit in the budget right now!

The rest of Saturday afternoon wasn't too remarkable.  I cleaned a little, read a little, and napped with my pup a little.  No complaints there!  In the evening my nice friend came over.  We don't really celebrate Valentines' Day, but I had a gift card that we had been meaning to use for a while at Rock Bottom, so we figured we may as well have date night.  When we got in the car it wasn't snowing at all, but as we made our way over to the restaurant it came down harder and harder and the wind was making it a real pain.  (Remember I live in an area where we don't really do snow--I know you folks in Boston are laughing at our "dusting.")  At that point we figured we may as well just eat since we were almost there anyway, but by the time we left the roads were a mess.  I'm not sure why DC can't seem to pretreat roads, but I was not a happy camper on the way home.  Since we made it home alive we decided that yummy pizza and beer was totally worth it though!

I felt obligated to drink this beer because they donated
some of the proceeds to firemen.

On the way home there is a big hill and we decided to be smart and avoid a slippery, icy slope, but I guess a lot of people had the same idea.  When we tried to turn out of the little neighborhood onto the road leading back to my place there was a huge back up.  We opted to leave my little car in the neighborhood instead of sitting a quarter of a mile from home and ventured out into the wind.  We ended our Valentine's with lots of blankets, some good beer (Frostbite Black IPA ha!), and Harry Potter on ABC. All in all, not a bad way to spend Valentine's!

We spent a lot of Sunday bumming around waiting for the roads to clear up enough to retrieve my poor car.  I knew it was safe in the quiet neighborhood, but I always feel better when it's closer to home!  By late afternoon the sheet of ice coating the roads finally melted.  Poor Maddux didn't get much of a walk because of all the salt on the sidewalks and the crazy powerful winds.  I'm really thankful we have a little dog run close by!  He just kind of wanders around, but my weirdo dog refuses to do his business in our yard, so it was good that we have a salt free area for him to take care of it in.

Pretty sure he doesn't mind napping.

I hope you guys are staying warm!  I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for the snow we're supposed to be getting later tonight.  I'm sure you guys can guess how thrilled I am about that!  Have a great week!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday 5: Love Edition

It's Friday!!  I am looking forward to having a three day weekend!  I'm linking up with Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney for the Friday Five!  I'm excited to see what I'm sure will be many valentine themed posts.  My parents always made Valentine's Day fun for us growing up and I've been a long time lover of the holiday (and let's be real, can a holiday that coats your chocolate in various shades of pink really be bad?).

1. Maddux.  I'm sure no one is surprised he made the list!  Every day I am reminded of how lucky I am to have this pup in my life.  After a hard day at work, seeing his happy face erases all the stress I'm feeling and completely turns my day around.  I don't know what I'd do without my boy!

2.  Seeing corgis on my runs.  No matter how a run is going, seeing a corgi makes it 10,000 times better.  At least for that moment my run is a happy place.

3.  Peanut Butter M&Ms.  Yes, the Valentine's ones are awesome, but the Easter ones are where it's really at.  Pretty sure they have more peanut butter in them than the regular ones.

4. Kate Morton books.   I just finished The Forgotten Garden (first book checked off my 2015 book challenge!) and like the others I have read, it did not disappoint.  I can't wait to exchange books with my mom next time I'm at her house! (We bought a few and I took some home and she kept an ideal world we would live about 12 hours closer.)

5. J&A Races.  Yes, I know you guys know this, but Shamrock is only a little over a month away!  I could not be more excited!  I have a very chilly 14k race scheduled for this weekend in lieu of my long run.  Guys, the race email literally said that the water at the aid stations would probably freeze.  Yuck.  I can't wait to head to Virginia Beach next month!  My best friend also suggested that we run the Big Blue 5k!  It will be my first time running it and I'm thinking it might be a good time to go for that sub 27 minute!

Post race beer taste even better when you're with your best friend!

What are some things you're loving this Valentine's Eve Friday?  I hope you guys have a fabulous, chocolate filled weekend!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Weekend Update #3

Happy Monday!  I'm linking up with Tara over at Running and Reading for the weekend update!  Make sure to check out everyone's fun weekend posts!

My Saturday started waaaay too early.  We had gone out Friday night to celebrate my nice friend's sister starting a new job, so getting up to do my group run was a bit painful.  I was glad I went, but maaaaan those hills kicked my butt!  I know they'll make me stronger, but I was cursing our leader just a little.

Maddux says sleeping on the couch is better than running hills.

After a quick shower, I headed out to the mall to meet up with my cousin.  We strolled around, got coffee, and did a little bit of shopping and it was great to catch up!  We're both really excited because my mom and our aunts are coming to visit next month!  I bummed around most of the night and caught up with my ABC shows I'd been neglecting.

Can't wait to drink margs with the aunts on the east coast!

Sunday was one of those run around days.  I went to Target first thing in the morning and spent way too much time there.  How is it so easy to walk out with so much stuff there?  I had literally 2 things on my list.  After Target I had to go to the grocery store, which also ended up taking a lot longer than I expected.  If anybody knows where to find dried figs, I would love to hear your advice!  So much for trying to meal plan! (Yes, I'm a little obsessed with my Runner's World cookbook!)

After whipping up some Coconut Almond Energy Bars (for those of you who hadn't tried them out of the RW cookbook but want to, just know that it makes a TON) I took Maddux to the park.  It was gorgeous outside and I wanted my pup to get to enjoy the 65 degree weather, too!  We had a great hour long walk and loved every minute of it.

Not the same visit, but still a pretty park picture.

By the time I got home, it was time to get ready to run.  I don't know if it was a combination of running around and hills from the day before, but I was exhausted.  I didn't leave enough time to do my planned long run (oops) and ended up only doing 5 miles.  I was totally fine with my unplanned short cut though because the weather was amazing (shorts!! in February!!) and I got to enjoy some miles with my pup which I wouldn't have had I gone straight to my run.  Plus, I saw a corgi on my run.  Totally worth it!

To make up for my lack of plan following I ended up signing up for a few local races.  I'm really excited for them and I think it will be a nice way to get a few long runs in.

Tell me something fun about your weekend!  Anybody else sign up for races to make long runs more exciting?

Have a fabulous week!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday 5: 2015 Goals

This post is just a little late, but I hadn't had time or energy to really process and if you're going to make goals for the year they should be ones that are well thought out in my opinion.

I'm linking up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia!  Be sure to stop by--so many great blogs link up every  week!  Now onto some of my goals!

1. Foster 5 Dogs.  I started fostering last April and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.  I've fostered 5 pups already, and each time it was an incredible experience.  I'm looking forward to helping more pups find their forever families this year!

Snuggles with my sweet Jessie!

2. Run a sub 2 hour half marathon and a sub 27 minute 5k.  These have been wants of mine for a long time.  I'm ready to finally chase them down!

3. Try a new recipe from the Runner's World cookbook each month.  I've tried quite a few since I was gifted it in November, but want to make sure it doesn't become another book collecting dust on my shelf.  

4. Complete the 2015 Book Challenge.  I love, love reading.  I know that I will have no problem reading 12 books this year (I've already read several), but I'm looking forward to trying some that I might not have otherwise picked.

5. Run as many J&A races as I can.  I want to say all of them, but I know that might not be a realistic goal since there are 2 in October, 1 in November, and 1 in December.  That's a lot of driving back and forth in a few months time.  I'm shooting for at least Crawlin' Crab and Surf-n-Santa (and of course Shamrock!)!  We shall see though.....  You guys know I love my J&A races!

I'm sure you guys have already written out your goals for the year, so tell me how you're doing with them!  Or, if you're a slacker like me, tell me a goal you're working on!

Have a happy, happy weekend! I'm looking forward to the good weather they've predicted!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Weekend Update 2

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!  I'm linking up with Tara over at Running 'N' Reading for her weekend update!  My weekend ended staying up too late watching the Super Bowl.  It was an exciting game!

I started the weekend with Kate Moving Forward's banana baked oatmeal (one of my favorite breakfasts!) and then headed to my group run.  It was so chilly, but I had a great run.  Any suggestions for keeping toes warm would be greatly appreciated!  After my run I was pretty sure I would never be warm again, so I grabbed a carmel macchiato from Starbucks and then curled up with my pup for a nap.  I think this is going to be my routine until the cold weather is gone!

That face.

Saturday night I made another recipe from my Runner's World cookbook.  I wasn't as sure of this recipe as some of the others, so I was glad my nice friend was there to try it out on!   I had to adjust a little bit because I didn't have all the vegetables required, but it was pretty good. Not sure this one is going to be on my regular rotation, but I'm glad that I have stayed out of my food rut lately!  After dinner we went to Denizen's, a local brewery, and sampled some beer.  We hadn't been there yet (and had been meaning to try for a while!), so I was really excited!  I highly recommend it if you are in town.  It's a fun atmosphere and they have a BBQ bus.  How can you not have a good time?

I picked the hoppy sampler.  Hoppiness is happiness after all. 

Sunday morning one of my friends and I headed to Founding Farmers for brunch.  We hadn't been before and it lived up to the hype!  Guys, the beignets?  To die for.  I can't wait to go back one day!  After brunch, pup and I may have taken another nap and then headed to the park.  It was cloudy, but it was nice to get out and about instead of our normal neighborhood walk.

Sunday also marked the beginning of my 2015 reading challenge!  I'll write more later, but basically there are 12 different categories (totally doable) and I started The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton for my "you've been meaning to read" book and am already loving it!

What were some of the highlights from your weekend?  Anybody have any fun Super Bowl parties?  We kept it low key (I had some work to do bah), but it's always fun to watch!