We’re Off to Cabo + Things I’m Diggin’+ I Hired a Coach!

Happy Spring Break to me!  In case you can’t tell, I am super excited to head to Cabo on Sunday with my other half and relax in the sun with a cocktail and endless amounts of yummy food.  I guess endless amounts of cocktails too, I ain’t gonna lie!

Brandon and I celebrated five years of being awesome together being married in September, but wanted to set up a fun trip to celebrate.  We booked our Cabo trip a few months ago and we’re both so ready for our little getaway.  I’ll take lots of pics to share when I get back!  Make sure you follow me on the Insta to see some pics 🙂

As you know, I just completed my third half marathon!  I ran 4 slow, easy miles on Thursday and although my legs are still feeling a bit stiff and heavy, it was nice to get back out there.  I doubt I’ll exercise while I’m on vacation (does walking on the beach count? Walking to get cocktails?), but once I return home it’s time to start training again!  I’m running the St. Michael’s half on May 21st.  This one is special to me because not only was it the first half marathon I’ve ever run, but I actually get to run right past my Grammy’s driveway!  The course is nice and flat, so I’m looking forward to no hills!

Even though I didn’t meet my 2:00 goal time in my last half, I came super close at 2:05.  My goal for my next half is to finish in 2:00 or just under that, but with seven weeks to train, I wasn’t really sure where to start and what to do.  I hemmed and hawed for a bit, then decided to try working with a coach!  I chatted with Laura the other night and am really excited to work with her.  I like that she’ll take all the guesswork out of developing a plan, and that I’ll have someone to check in with on a regular basis to see how things are going and tweak things as needed.  All I have to do is follow the plan and give it my best shot.  I’m excited to share my next training cycle with you guys!

Also, since it’s Friday, I gotta share a couple things I’m currently loving!

1. House of Cards.  I freaking love this show, and I’m seriously loving the newest season.  The last season was a little ‘meh’ for me, but the current one is juicy and full of drama!  Brandon and I differ on our thoughts on Claire Underwood though–I think she’s fierce!

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2. Wedding Season!  It’s that time of year again, when everyone gets married!  Brandon and I have two weddings in May we’re attending, and we’re so excited for both.  They’ll both be little weekend getaways too, which makes it even more fun!  I love dressing up, hanging with my squad, and bustin’ a move on the dance floor!

3. Flo Rida ‘My House.’  This song is my jam!!  Also I totally identify with it, because sometimes you just don’t feel like going out and just want to party at your own crib where you don’t have to pay a cover or deal with annoying people.  I’m definitely playing this song when Brandon and I have our backyard bash in June.  Flo totally gets me.

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I hope you guys have an awesome weekend!  Can’t wait to catch up after my trip!

What’s on the weekend agenda?

Best trip you’ve ever taken?

Any upcoming races on your calendar?

 

 

Weekend Wrap-Up + Dallas Rock n Roll Half Marathon!

Sorry for the day late weekend wrap-up post!  I arrived back into DC Monday late afternoon, and I was too exhausted Sunday to do anything other than lay on the sofa, eat pizza, and drink champagne.  I’m sure you understand!

First things first, I completed my third half marathon!!  Even though I finished right at 2:05, I still met my Goal C and am really proud of myself.  That means I’m that much closer to a 2:00, or even a sub 2:00, half marathon!  My next one is towards the end of May, so I’m excited to see how much more I can accomplish.

Backing up, Brandon and I flew out to Dallas Friday afternoon.  We had a layover in Newark, and let me just tell you, the first flight was the worst freaking flight I have ever been on in my life.  I’m talking serious turbulence the entire time, and multiple people barfing.  Thank goodness our next flight to Dallas was much better and no one was puking.  Thankfully, none of that mattered once we pulled up to my Little Bear’s house.  We were so happy to be reunited!

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They took us to a really cool restaurant, Ida Clare, Friday evening.  It was so freaking good! Obviously we started with some cocktails.

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I had a really good chicken caesar salad with cornbread croutons, plus a side of cheese grits because hello, we were in Texas.  We also shared a slice of the most ridiculous pecan pie ever.  Sorry for the lack of food pics, I was too busy stuffing my face and enjoying time with my favorite people!  My Little Bear also had a cute little welcome basket in our room after we got back to the house.

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Obviously the white cheddar corn puffs were for Brandon, ha!  There was also a container of my favorite sea salt/turbinado sugar almonds from TJ’s–she’s the best 🙂

Saturday morning, we were up early to head to the Convention Center and pick up my race bib!

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I was assigned to corral 5 but opted to start in corral 7 since that’s where the 2:00 pacers would be lined up.  The pre-race nerves were starting to kick in!

 We headed to Breadwinners afterward for brunch, then my Little Bear and her husband had to fly to Florida.  We were both really sad, but we’re planning a trip to Miami in July so we will see each other soon.

Saturday evening, Brandon and I headed downtown to our hotel, then grabbed some dinner.  I kept it easy with roasted chicken and mashed potatoes, and was in bed by 10 pm.  

Sunday morning, it was time to race! The race started at 8, so I was up at 6 and ate 1/2 a banana.  I then ate my cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread and almond butter with a little coffee at 7:00. 

It was super windy and chilly the morning of the race, so I was a little nervous about how I’d do in those conditions.  Brandon reminded me to just relax and have fun.  I lined up with the 2:00 pacers and before I knew it, we were off!

Right off the bat, I felt like they were going faster than they should’ve.  Every time I checked my Garmin I was running under a 9:00/mile.  I stuck pretty close with them through mile 4, which was right where I saw Brandon cheering me on!  I stopped to give him my jacket since I was warmed up, then continued on.

Then it was time to cross a bridge.  It wasn’t too bad, but it slowed me a bit.  Thankfully I was met with a pretty sweet downhill, and continued on, and spotted Brandon again at mile 8!

What killed me was the hill at mile 9.  I remembered it from the course map, but man did it kill my legs.  I told myself to just keep running and not stop, no matter how slow I was going.  I knew if I stopped to walk it would be really hard to try and run again.  

Mentally, mile 9 was a doozy.  I kept thinking about my Little Bear and that Brandon was waiting for me at the finish.  I just had a few more miles to go.  Once I saw the mile 11 marker, I told myself to give whatever I had left in the tank.  I knew I wasn’t going to hit the 2:00 mark, but I told myself to push as hard as I could and not give up.  I knew I could come close.

I could hear the music at the finish line right around the corner, so I told my legs we were almost there and ran as fast as I could.  I spotted Brandon right before I crossed the finish line, which gave me the extra push I needed.  I was so happy to get my medal!


My official finish time was 2:05:09.  A PR from my last half marathon a year ago!! I’m proud of myself, and confident I can beat that time during my May half marathon.

After the race, I did some light foam rolling, then we headed back to the house where I took a nice hot shower.  Then it was time to chow down!

 

Man I love me some In n Out!  I had a card and bottle of bubbly waiting for me back at the house from my Little Bear 🙂

 
Now I know they say you should have a protein shake or chocolate milk after a race to help your muscles recover, but I popped that bottle of bubbly and figured it would be just as good, if not better.

  
Aaaaaaand that’s where I spent the rest of my Sunday–sprawled out on the sofa with bubbly and pizza.  

Overall, it was a great weekend!  Yes it sucked my Little Bear missed my race and I finished over 2 hours, but the feeling of accomplishment I felt beating my previous time was awesome.  And to top it off, I had the support of this guy the entire step of the way.

  
For now, I’m going to take a few days off from running but still cross train and do lots of stretching.  I have a four day work week this week, then we’re off to Cabo for vacation!  I can’t wait to bask in the sun with a drink in my hand to celebrate finishing my third half marathon!

Hope you all have a great week!

Rock n Roll Dallas Half Marathon Goals

I officially finished my last run for my training cycle (an easy 2 miler Thursday morning) and Brandon and I are hopping on a plane this afternoon to Dallas!  However, I am a little bummed because my Little Bear got some unexpected news, and she and her husband unfortunately have to fly out of town Saturday evening and will miss the race 😦  I’m trying to mentally remind myself that as much as this may bum me out, I still didn’t go through weeks of training and hard runs to give up now.  I’ll just imagine them standing in the crowd cheering me on!

Now that race day is approaching, I decided to share my goals with you.

Race Goals

Goal A: Run a sub 2:00 half marathon.  I don’t care if that clock says 01:59:59.  Coming in under two hours would be the greatest accomplishment ever, and will require an overall 9:05/mile pace.  Yes that will be tough, but I’m confident I will attempt my best at this and that I’m ready to push myself mentally and physically.  If I’m able to, I’ll sign up to run with the 2:00 pace group so I have a visual to follow, then attempt to peel away around the 11-12 mile mark.

Goal B: Run a 2:00 half marathon.  This is the time goal I entered for myself when I signed up for the race, and would still be an amazing accomplishment.

Goal C: Beat my previous half marathon time of 2:08.  I can’t lie and say I wouldn’t feel disappointed in myself if I don’t come in in at least 2:00, but beating my previous time is still progress.

Right now, I think the hardest thing for me is having to mentally prepare myself that I won’t see my Little Bear’s face in the crowd, so I’m going to have to practice some positive visualization techniques to push me along the way and not let negative thoughts creep in.  I should have Brandon make a sign with her face on it, ha!  Speaking of Brandon, I have to definitely give him a shout out for being so supportive of my training–not once has he complained about the early morning Saturday alarm, and he’s always been so positive about it all, even on the days where I wasn’t.

Wish me luck!  I’ll also be thinking of Courtney and Lauren, who are running half marathons the same day!

Any last minute tips?!

 

Preparing For A Destination Race

It’s crazy to me to think I’ll be running my third half marathon in four days!  This one is unique in that it’s the first race I’ll be traveling for (we’re flying to Dallas), so I really need to put in some extra time to prepare and pack for it.  Nothing worse than waking up on race day realizing you forgot something essential!

Below are some tips to help prepare you for a destination race:

  1. Print out necessary items and set them aside in advance.  I printed out my race confirmation sheet and have it ready to go.  This is super important because the race will not accept anything on your phone/mobile device, only the hard copy.
  2. Wear compression socks on your flight (or drive, if you’re traveling by car).  I actually do this on long flights anyway, and it helps my legs feel refreshed and well-rested.  Also, get up and walk around when you can to stretch your legs.
  3. HYDRATE.  This is unbelievably important, regardless if you’re traveling for a race or not.  I always make sure to take in at least half my body weight (in ounces) of water daily, and increase it a bit a day or two before my race.  I’ll be bringing my favorite water bottle with me on the plane, since airplanes are super dry environments.
  4. Make sure to set aside necessary gadgets/electronics ahead of time.  For me, this would be my Garmin/charger, and my Ipod/charger/earbuds.  Yes you obviously want to make sure you pack your favorite race gear; however, if you forget a tank top/shorts/socks, you can easily buy those items at the race expo or local running store.  What would be more expensive to replace would be something electronic, so I’m making sure I set those items aside early on.
  5. Check the weather forecast.  Right now, I’ve been running in long sleeve tops and either shorts or capri’s in D.C., but the weather in Dallas is a bit warmer this time of year, so I’ll most likely be packing a tank top and shorts, plus a visor to keep the sun off my face.  Nothing worse than being overdressed for a race!
  6. Pre-race breakfast & Gu.  You’ve heard it before and I’ll echo it–don’t ever try anything new on race day when it comes to food.  You know your stomach and what works for you, so pack whatever food works!  For me, this means I’ll put a piece of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread in a bag, a packet of Justin’s almond butter and my favorite Espresso Love Gu gels.

And there you have it!  My list of packing essentials for a destination race.  I’m already starting to set stuff out now 🙂

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Any packing essentials you would add to my list?

What’s the one item you would freak out if you forgot for a destination race?

Weekend Wrap-Up+New Sunday Ritual

I cannot believe I am one week away (well, six days now) from running my third half marathon!  To say I’m excited is an understatement.  Plus I get to see my Little Bear!  Yes I’m nervous, especially because I took a week off, but I’m feeling much better after a PT appointment and foam rolling like a champ.  I found the tender spot right above my knee and have been using my foam roller plus a tennis ball over the area at least twice a day, which has really helped.

Saturday morning, I allowed myself to sleep in a bit and headed to the gym to test out an easy run on the treadmill with my brace.  I was supposed to run 12 miles, but I knew I should take it easy and save what I have in me for race day.  I didn’t eat anything before my run since I knew I wouldn’t be doing anything long.

I was nervous as soon as I stepped on the ‘mill, and I ran my first mile at a 9:40 pace.  My knee felt good, so I decided to bump it up a bit and finished 5 miles at an overall 9:30 pace.

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I’m actually really happy with this run!  My knee wasn’t hurting, and I felt like not only could I have kept going endurance-wise, I also felt like I could definitely up my pace.  I’m really hoping that all the rest of my training runs/speed work will make up for the week off.

After my run, I refueled with my chocolate protein oatmeal and soy dirty chai latte, and iced my knee.

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One of these days I’ll figure out how to take a delicious pic where my oatmeal doesn’t look like a bowl of dookie.

I foam rolled/stretched multiple times that afternoon, then made my new favorite lunch–an egg sandwich on Ezekiel bread with hummus!

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I know it sounds weird, but it’s so good!

Saturday evening, Brandon and I headed to our favorite local Mexican joint for some delicious, cheap food!  Every time I tell myself I’ll try something new, I always end up getting the same thing–carne asada with black beans.  It’s seriously the best ever.

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Plus a beer, because duh.  Also I ate that entire steak and most of the rice/beans.  Are you surprised?  You shouldn’t be.

And if our entrees weren’t enough, we shared an order of sopapillas for dessert!

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Fried dough, cinnamon, honey and ice cream?  Yes please.

We passed out pretty early that night–must’ve been the full bellies 🙂

Sunday morning I was up around 7:30, feeling well-rested and ready to stretch out my legs.  Normally I’d do a recovery run, but I decided to do 40 minutes on the elliptical instead.  The gym was super dead when we got there–I’m guessing people hadn’t adjusted to the time change yet!

Bet you can’t guess what I had for breakfast after the gym!

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I stocked up on groceries for the week from TJ’s, and prepped a crockpot meal of ground turkey slawghetti for dinner.

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Such a good and easy recipe!  After I got the crockpot ready, Brandon and I headed to the mall and Target to run some errands.  I was hoping to get a new bathing suit for our Cabo trip, but they didn’t have anything I liked in my size.  Also, bathing suit shopping is a pain in the rear.

That evening, I decided to treat myself to a relaxing warm bath.  It’s starting to become my Sunday night ritual and I’m loving it.

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But this time, instead of using a Lush bath bomb, I used two cups of this stuff to soothe my tired muscles.

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Epsom salt!  I can’t tell you how relaxing it was to sit in a warm bath with a glass of wine, a candle, and some jazz music.  Best way to end the weekend and get ready for the week ahead!

I hope you guys have a great Monday!

Share your weekend highlights!

Do you tend to order the same thing when you eat out at a restaurant?

Runners: do you find Epsom salt baths helpful?