It’s that time of the year again people! Who’s excited?!? It’s fall race season! If you couldn’t tell I am thrilled! My very first race of the season is on Saturday! I will be making the journey to Leesburg, VA to run the DC Wine Country Diva Half marathon. (Yeah that’s a mouthful).

Happy Weekend to me!

Happy Weekend to me!

So I have some points of irritation with this race and it hasn’t even started yet.

1. It’s not in DC. It’s in Leesburg, VA which is an hour outside of DC.

2. Packet Pick up is only on the Friday. Traffic in DC is the worst! I will never make it. Therefore I have taken a half day from work to make it to packet pick up.

3. The closest hotel to the race is 10 miles away. This wouldn’t be such a big deal except that I have no idea where I’m going and I need to find the official parking lots by 5:15am or 6am in order to grab the shuttles. The race has an anticipated 7:30am start. I say anticipated because last year it didn’t start till 9am.

Every just have a bad feeling.

Ever just have a bad feeling. 1.5 hour delay last year? Please tell me they learned a lesson or 2 from that.

Thankfully, my friend decided at the last minute to run this race with me. Otherwise I could tell this would be 13.1 miles of What the Hell moments and maybe some general confusion. She is doing the 5K with her mom the day before and we’re getting a hotel to make our lives easier on Saturday morning. Then I checked the weather for Saturday…

So that's something.

So that’s something.

Ever just have a bad feeling about a race? I hope I am pleasantly surprised. Even though it looks like this could easily be a hot mess, however I am still excited. I can’t help that I love race season! 🙂

Have you run a diva’s race? Did you do this race last year? Ever run a race that was not quite what you expected, good or bad? Any tips for running through lots of rain? 

I don’t know about anyone else out there, but my fav gifts are experiences. You’d think with the amount of shopping I do, I would like to get stuff. But alas, that is not the case. Most of my family is aware and have been gifting me gift cards for future trips, classes, race entry fees, tickets, or even mini vacays since I was much younger. This year was no different! For my birthday my husband gave me tickets to see one of my FAVORITE music artists, Cher. I’m sure you did not expect that. Yes, I am a huge Cher fan. (It’s prob cause my mom loves her too.) When I found out he’d gotten  tickets, I literally jumped up and down and screamed a little. Spoiler Alert: I have never seen her in concert and I have wanted to since I was 8 years old. I hope husband is prepared for total happiness meltdown.

Get It Girl

Get It Girl

On the actual bday, my hubby and I went to Bonefish Grill cause they’re Bang Bang Shrimp rocks my world. We had a great time. I’m a low key kind of lady, so after dinner we drank champagne and rented a movie. This to me, is ideal night. I also knew that we had more festive plans for the weekend.

On Saturday AM, the weather wasn’t holding up well for kayaking, so instead we went to see Guardians of the Galaxy. If you haven’t seen it, you probably should. It was totally awesome.

If you like superheroes and sarcastic humor

If you like superheroes and sarcastic humor. Go see Guardians of the Galaxy… now.

Saturday evening hubby and I took a cooking class. It was my parents bday gift to me and a fun surprise. We took the class at Sur la Table. As a whole, we loved it. In the class we learned to make crab cakes, grilled asparagus with taragon butter, sirloin, and creme brulee.

Date Night. Let's make lots of food!

Date Night. Let’s make lots of food!

 

IMG_4179[1]

My new fav gadget is the creme brulee torch.

Unfortunately, I don’t usually eat such rich foods, especially all in one night. So afterwards, I had to take a few tums and house seltzer water. But it was worth it… well for one night at least.

The rest of the weekend was fantastic. I hung out with my wifey (yeah that’s what we call each other) and explored an exhibit at the National Gallery that I wanted to see. For those interested it the Degas/Cassatt exhibit. It was good, didn’t rock my world, but I did enjoy it. Afterwards we enjoyed champs and drinking alfresco, followed by a great tapas dinner at Barcelona.

I'm like a modern day Annie Oakley

I’m like a modern day Annie Oakley

Birthday weekend was a wild success and I had a fantastic time. It proved to be a wonderful distraction from my marathon set back. It also helped me realize that I super excited about lots of upcoming races and the possibilities of trying new elements in races.

Today, I’m accompanying a friend to the National’s Triathlon expo in hopes of learning more about triathlons. I started swimming at our rec center and looove it! This could be the perfect cross training element I need to keep myself injury free. (and did I mention that I looove swimming)

How was your week? Did you do anything fun over labor day weekend? Do rich foods not agree with you either? Do you do triathlons… tell me all about it!?! 

 

Well this sucks. Despite trying to get in training and run the Marine Corps Marathon, it’s not going to happen this year. With moving, oral surgery, and lots of other events that popped up this summer I could just not get the miles in. So instead of killing myself to cross the finish line… (what I did at my last marathon)… I decided to put it off for a year. I will run it in 2015. My husband, has also decided to put the race off for an additional year. Truthfully,we just had a lot going on and neither of us would do as well as we’d hoped (plus we’d both probably hurt ourselves.)

NOOOOO

Yeah.. this sucks.

Additionally, I am super excited about a lot of upcoming half marathons. These races I am not concerned about regarding training. For me the miles between a half and a full are a huge deal. Training for halfs are much easier in my opinion. The long runs aren’t 3 hours and I can function afterwards. Therefore, I ‘m still going forwards with my halfs this fall and into next spring.

well #disappointment

well #disappointment

When I had this epiphany over the weekend that first person I told was my husband, who was relieved. Together we could push each other to the finish line of 2015 and we don’t plan on moving/buying a house next summer. However, the next person I called was my mother. I felt the need to explain myself and my actions. For some reason, I was very concerned that she would be disappointed in me. Turns out, it was quite the opposite. She was proud that I had decided to listen to my body for the first time and not put myself in a situation where I am setting myself up to get injured. She was also thrilled when I told her that I plan on doing a for fun cycling race as a way to strengthen my knees.

It was very difficult to write this post, because I feel like I am disappointing all of you as well. Coming to this decision was not easy and I still wonder whether I made the right call. I will admit I am more excited about other upcoming races now and feel like a weight has been lifted. Instead of focusing on adding miles, I can focus on speed, strength, and increased stamina.

But I will try not to be too bummed. Tomorrow is my birthday 🙂

Time to stop wallowing and start making margaritas!

Time to stop wallowing and start making margaritas!

 

Have you ever had to defer a race? Was it one you were looking forward to for awhile? What do you do to battle race disappointment whether it’s poor performance or inability to execute? 

So instead of my usual 5 random things, I figure we’ll talk about fun music again this Friday. I’ve been listening to a lot more music lately whether it’s while exercising or just dancing around my house. Generally, I’ve been in a pretty happy place and I think these songs highlight that. I don’t know about anyone else but the type of music I listen to usually relates directly to my life. Let’s check out 5 songs that I have had a repeat for the last few weeks.

1.I’m a curvy girl. No matter what size I am, I always have a booty. There is no denying it. I am a huge fan a silly fun songs that embrace being who you are. I don’t need a sappy ballad, I want an upbeat pop song that I can jam out to. I love this song because I can relate to it. I’m not a stick figure, but if you are that’s okay too. There’s no need to change your appearance drastically for any person in particular.

2. Who doesn’t love a great song to dance to? Anytime I hear this song, I have to start dancing even if I’m out on a run. I am obsessed with the beat and for a minute think I have the Moves like Jagger. (Nobody wants to see that, but there’s a good chance if you see me at a race it will happen at some point)

3. A list of upbeat dance songs wouldn’t be complete without my the Princess of Pop, Ms. B Spears herself. I love me some Britney. I blame it on the fact that Hit Me Baby was the first CD I owned. But this song in particular is just fun. The video to a little silly, but that’s expected.

4. Okay, if it’s not obvious from other posts already, I am huge country music fan. It started back in college when I interned at a top 40 station and a country station. The top 40 artists really weren’t that nice (in general) however, the country artists were fantastic. Because I knew nothing about country music, I got to be the intern that took pics and actually meet these people. Here I learned that not all country music is sad, some can be awesome. Like this one.

5. Ready for a song that makes you want to enter an old school dance off? Always! (Good answer) Sorry guys it’s the clean version below.

What’s songs are you loving right now for exercise or just for funsies? What are you up to this weekend?

Motivation for people can come from anywhere. Sometimes it is to realize a goal, achieve what you didn’t think possible or other times it’s to reach a health/fitness level. Motivation for me has been all over the place. I’ve been inspired by achieving faster times, losing weight, or my personal favorite proving to someone that they were wrong and I could run a half marathon. (In case you were wondering that’s how this whole crazy thing started in 2008). Recently, I have been motivated by raising funds for the ALZ Stars and becoming a healthier version of myself.

I also enjoy mermaid dancing

I also enjoy mermaid dancing

Get it Girl!

Get it Girl!

Sometimes we forget what motivates us, when we’re out on the trails and the last few runs have been rough… #thisgirl. A new low was experienced on my Saturday long run when my pants seam broke… on my fav pair of capris that I have had for 2+ years. (UA Shatter Capri, you will be missed… but thankfully I have 4 more pairs just like you.)

But I find that it helps to re-center myself and remember what inspires or motivates me. I am inspired by my friends and family who have joined in the running and fitness world. I am motivated by how much I love the feeling of accomplishment after a great run. I am moved by seeing how open the running community is to helping one another even if it’s just giving someone a positive shout out when they pick themselves up from stretching and get back on the trail. (True story… thanks nice man by reflecting pool. Your positive words really helped.) I am encouraged by feeling myself get stronger and more capable week after week.

dreams

Sometimes, it takes longer than expected to see a change whether it’s physical or mental but, when you do it has a great impact on your will to continue on your journey. The desire to follow through with your goals can be a powerful motivator and when you realize those goals the sense of accomplishment is unimaginable. I am looking forward to the next few months to see where my journey takes me.

Also thanks to my friends for nominating me for the ice bucket challenge. I did donate but apparently you have to ICE yourself too?!? For more information on the cause visit ALSA.org.

AND!!!

AND!!!

There is much I wouldn't do to raise awareness for a charity or a good cause.  And it kind of felt good post workout.

There isn’t much I wouldn’t do to raise awareness for a charity or a good cause. And it kind of felt good post workout.

Did you do the ice bucket challenge? What motivates or inspires you? Have you achieved your goal? Are you working towards something now or possibly a new goal? 

August Sale—10% Off

I was approached a few weeks ago from a company called Bio Skin. I’d heard the name but wasn’t really sure what they were all about. So naturally, I googled them. Well turns out they’re a physical therapy and overall human performance gear company that has a focus in athletic wear. Now to me, that’s a match made in compression heaven. So I was thrilled when they sent me a pair of calf sleeves to test out.

Being the impatient child that I am, I had to put them on the second they arrived. So I tore open the box and just starting trying to put them on. Well was I in for a surprise. Compression gear from Bio Skin is REAL compression gear. I have a lot of different compression sleeves from all the big dogs in the field and NOTHING is this tight. I almost couldn’t get them on. My husband had to help me out.

Imagine super duper strong spans

Imagine super duper strong spanx

Once on I could tell these were heavy duty! They’re made of heavy duty moisture wickening fabric that reminded me of a cross between performance running tights and a wet suit.  The material is thin and cooling which allows you to wear it during vigorous physical activity. Then I realized that I didn’t need to keep playing so I took them off.

I really need a pedicure

I really need a pedicure

After my long run on Saturday, I wasn’t able to test them out, or stretch, or ice. My parents came over for a BBQ and arrived while I was showering post run. Therefore there was no time to test. However, when I woke up on Friday AM my whole body hurt. It was one of those days that I seriously regretted not taking the time to relax after my run. Unfortunately, we had a full day of furniture shopping so I had to suit up. This was the perfect opportunity to try out the calf sleeves when needed. I put them on this time when my legs were completely dry and used socks. They went on MUCH easier. I was able to get them up without giving myself a hernia. That day I had my calf sleeves and my black maxi dress on… in my head it matched.

My cat is also very curious about compression and calf sleeves

My cat is also very curious about compression and calf sleeves

The amazing part is when I got in later that evening, I had my less pain in my shins and calves. Thus far, I am very impressed with Bio Skin Calf Sleeves. I will certainly be using these as my first go to when reaching for compression sleeves. And you’ll probably hear me talking about them here and there because yours truly is also a new ambassador for Bio Skin, which means I’ll eventually get to share great discounts with all of you… just no today. Sorry guys next time.

Have you tried Bio Skin before? Do you use compression gear? When do you use compression gear? Are you a fan of calf sleeves? Have you ever worn them in a race or while training? What other braces or gear do you find yourself wearing? 

Disclaimer: Bio Skin provided me with complimentary Calf Sleeves and I am a Bio Skin Ambassador for more information on my policy check out my Disclaimer policy here. 

Alright runners! It’s August. If you are anything like me you are gearing up for some upcoming races, but you’re planning one step ahead. Planning your race schedule early is a great way to save some money and ensure that you get into the races that you really want. I’m a huge fan of early planning. Mainly because the earlier out you register for a race the more you save and therefore the more you can spend on fun running gear.

More savings = More shopping

More savings = More shopping

I already have my sights on a few awesome spring races, one of which is the Asheville Marathon & Half Marathon. This race considers itself a boutique race. It takes place on one of the most amazing private estates in the US, the Biltmore Estate. This place looks like something out of a Disney movie.

I mean look at that beautiful place! I'm gonna run all over it! :)

I mean look at that beautiful place! I’m gonna run all over it! 🙂

This year’s race will take place on March 15th, 2015. Once in Asheville, you can tour breweries, check out the Biltmore estate, listen to some amazing music, enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway, and take in a mountain scene that I’m told will take your breath away. I plan on making my trip to Asheville a long weekend so I can thoroughly enjoy all it has to offer (and it’s near my anniversary so a little racing and romance are in order)!

And just for you all I have an exclusive friends and family discount! That’s right, just for knowing me you can save money on this year’s race!!! If you’re running the half I have a $10 off coupon and if you’re doing the full I have a $20 off coupon. Just send me a message and I’ll send it to you personally! Just click here! 

AMA

So who’s joining me? Have you ever been to Asheville, NC? What do I need to check out? Do you have a favorite off the beaten path race that is awesome? What racing are you running this spring?

Disclaimer: I am being providing complimentary race entry, but all opinions are my own! 

When #Runchat announced that applications were open to become a Key West Half Marathon Blogger, I jumped at the opportunity. I mean why wouldn’t I want to run in Key West?!? When I found out that I’d been picked, I was thrilled. Now all I had to do was convince the hubby (and a few friends too) to fly down to Key West with me.

Well thankfully, that wasn’t too hard. The hubby and I loooove Key West! I was actually looking for an excuse to get us back there, so this worked out perfectly!

Preach

Preach

The Key West Half Marathon will take place on January 18, 2015. This also happens to be MLK Jr. weekend. Therefore, most people have Monday off from work! We’ve already decided to make a long weekend out of the event and enjoy all that Key West has to offer! I see a pub crawl, vespa ride, and lots of sunshine in my future!

2015-Key-West-Half-Marathon-Ad

 

I can’t wait to fill all of you in on more details about our trip, race planning, and prepping for this winter race! Maybe I’ll get to meet some of you too!

Have you ever been to Key West? Do you enjoy destination races? What’s your favorite Jimmy Buffett song? 

Disclaimer: Key West Half Marathon has provided me with free race entry. All opinions are my own. 

This week has been filled with lots of exciting news that I cannot wait to share with all of you!! So let’s dive into my Friday Favorites. This week it’s just a mix of my five favorite things that happened this week or really whatever pops into my head! (So this was written yesterday and I forgot to post… WHOOPS!)

1. Key West Half Marathon – Looks like I’m traveling to the land of margaritas, sunshine, and conch! That’s right I am a Key West Half Marathon Ambassador! I’ve loved Key West since I went there for the first time when I was 12 years old. I am no stranger to Duvall Street, Conch Fritters, Fury Booze Cruises, and the shenanigans that occur in a city that does not have an open container law (I think….). Key West is also home to the Little White House, Hemingway House, and an amazing Butterfly Conservatory. I am really looking forward to getting to race along the water and enjoy a vacay! There will be lots more information to come and I can’t wait to share it with all of you! Check out these gorgeous pics I took from a weekend trip my hubby and I took for my birthday a few years ago

We took a sunset cruise for my birthday in Key West a few years ago

We took a sunset cruise for my birthday in Key West a few years ago

Hola CUBA

Hola CUBA

2. Asheville, NC Marathon & Half Marathon – Well, it just keeps getting better. I will also be an ambassador for the Asheville Half Marathon. I found out the good news last night! I’m not from Asheville nor have I ever been there. What I do know is that, this is a locally oriented race that takes place entirely on the Biltmore Estate (which is gorgeous!). Asheville, NC is near an area known as the Blue Ridge Mountains. I’m really looking forward to embracing all the Asheville, NC has to offer and enjoying this race!!! This is so exciting and I know more information is coming! Maybe I’ll get to meet you at the race!

I mean look at that beautiful place! I'm gonna run all over it! :)

I mean look at that beautiful place! I’m gonna run all over it! 🙂 Source

This is exactly what I looked like when telling my hubby... "We're going to Asheville... LOOK! It's my name!!"

This is exactly what I looked like when telling my hubby… “We’re going to Asheville… LOOK! It’s my name!!”

3. This video! Under Armour — Product of UMD (GO TERPS!!) has announced it’s doing its largest female oriented campaign, ever. They are focusing on the athletic female. Their first commercial has already debuted and I love it. It’s moving and captivating. As someone who grew up doing dance, I think it’s amazing that UA has decided to feature a ballerina as the focal point. The young woman speaking is actually reading rejection letters Misty Copeland had received throughout her career. She pushed through and is a soloist in the American Ballet Theatre. I found this very inspiring.

4. Running in costume during a race! Yes, I know Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon is 100 days away. However, I’m from the school of thought that you test everything out before you race in it. That includes your race costumes. Now, you don’t have to test it all together but at least each individual piece. Also, there’s tons of other races coming up that allow/encourage costumes, therefore I had to get my orders in early. The most amazing part is…. I convinced my hubby to do a his and hers costume!! We’re still compiling the pieces but I assure you… it’s adorable.

Wine and Dine... this seems appropriate

Wine and Dine… this seems appropriate

5. Grilling! Our new house has a backyard therefore my hubby went out and got a grill our second week there. At first I teased him about a man and his grill. I take it back. Grills are amazing, especially when he’s cooking! I just had to share, I’m pretty excited about it.

6…. I’m going to sneak in a 6th! It’s my birthday this month! YAY! It’s not till the end of the month but, I am still super excited about it!

That my signature dance move too!!

That my signature dance move too!!

So how was your week? Any chance I’ll be meeting you in Key West or Asheville? Are you an ambassador for another awesome race? What do you think of the UA ad campaign? Do you have any insight into the relationship between a Man and his grill? My birthday celebration this year will also have a long run, any suggestions of how to make it a fun one? 

Marathon training doesn’t just stop. It is a continuous process for months leading up to the big day. Just because I took an impromptu trip to the Northeast last weekend doesn’t mean I get to skip my run. While up there I decided to visit family, yeah that’s right I’m originally from the Jersey Shore. Yes, that Jersey Shore. I went to high school across the bridge. And worked at a short order beach shack restaurant on the board walk most summers. No, it’s not like the show.

Ignore the little woman running and check out that beach!

Ignore the little woman running and check out that beach!

So I woke up bright and early Sunday morning to hit the boardwalk. Which also happened to be the scene of the dreaded Seaside Heights Half Marathon & a place I use to run a lot in High School (talk about deja vu moments). I woke up before the rest of my family was awake to make a quick getaway. It’s more difficult to pull yourself away once everyone is awake and breakfast is being made.

So I made my way down to the boardwalk. There was a rain like mist covering everywhere and it was a bit colder than I expected. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my run. I logged about 6 miles, which is less than planned but I knew that I had a day full of activities including my cousin’s graduation party. Long runs when I’m home consist of me going home afterward icing and binge watching netflix for a few hours. On Sunday, I did not have that option. While running, I smelt that fantastic salty sea water and just enjoyed my miles.

Love the ocean, shiny things, boats, and hats... obviously I missed my true calling... pirate

Love the ocean, shiny things, boats, and hats… obviously I missed my true calling… pirate

First Sandy then a Fire. Jersey has had enough.

First Sandy then a Fire. Jersey has had enough.

After my run I grabbed some coffee at WaWa. I may have gone 4 times over the course of the weekend. I love their French Vanilla and self service milk. This way the barista doesn’t look at me like I’m crazy when I fill 1/4 of my cup with milk. That afternoon at the party I ate way to much food but it’s okay because my cousin and his wife are Chefs so…. I had to. Yum!

That night I made the 4+ hour trek home from NJ to MD to drop off my mom and sister and grab my car. Then I went another hour  to my home in VA. #LongDay

On a side note… if you’re traveling and not familar with the area check out Ramblen! They have tons of great info on restaurants and other fitness oriented locals like yoga studios! Check out my review of one here!! 

What did you do over the weekend? Do you take your coffee with lots of milk too? Are you from NJ or judging me because I am? What’s one of your favorite place to run? Do you think you would make a very good pirate? Do you try to incorporate exercise when out of town?