The Extreme Update I have Been Putting off for About 2 Weeks

Here goes nothin.

I went to Costa Rica for ten days with my husband. It was our 1 year anniversary and since we didn’t take a honeymoon, we decided to take a big trip for our 1 year anniversary. We left for the airport at 4am. Starbucks wasn’t even open and the security line didnt open until 4:30am, but we were first in line for that!!!

We flew from DC to Miami and then on to San Jose, Costa Rica. From San Jose, we had arranged transport to our first of 2 stops on our ten day trip. We headed to Monteverde. It was BEAUTIFUL there. Green, 70+ each day and amazing. The roads were not as awesome. Half of the ride to Monteverde was extremely turbulent because the road was not paved. We got to Monteverde and our hotel and realized it was a slight hike from the hotel to town to get any kind of supplies or eat (somewhere other than the hotel).  We spent 4 days in Monteverde where we spent our time hiking, wandering around cloud forests, ziplining, horseback riding and doing many other outdoorsy things. We had a great time but when it came time to head to Arenal, we were ready to move on.

The ride to Arenal was much better than the ride to Monteverde. Getting out was bumpy, but once we got out of Monteverde and Santa Elena, we got on some paved roads and headed on out and over to Arenal. We had to go around their large man made lake that was there. Arenal is one of the last active volcanoes in Costa Rica. This was super neat because 1) I had never seen a volcano and 2) holy crap it’s ACTIVE?!

When we got to Arenal we were informed that there the volcano hasn’t been that active the past two years but that it is still considered active. In Arenal, we had some real treats! Our hotel had some hot springs! How cool is that?! Our first full day in Arenal, we went on a volcano hike and then went to Tabacon where there were more hot springs. I just want to take a moment and describe how AMAZING tabacon was! It put our hotel’s hot springs to shame! This place was so nice. With our evening entrance, we got dinner also, which was EXQUISITE! Anyway, if you ever go to Arenal, you must spend an afternoon at Tabacon!

Aside from the hot springs and hiking, we went on a safari, looking for monkeys and tucans; white water rafting and had a generally good time! Coming home was bitter sweet. Life there is so relaxed and just different. It isnt all money motivated or materialistic like here, but they don’t have internet everywhere like they do here either. hehe. I enjoyed my time, but was happy to be headed home.

My husband’s and my trip home was not as smooth as the rest of our trip. Our flight was late leaving Costa Rica (because it was late arriving from Miami) so we got to Miami late and had to get through customs and immigration and recheck all of our bags in an hour. We were checking our bags as our flight was boarding… no good. So we went on the next flight. Found out at the gate we were flying standby as opposed to the guaranteed seats that were implied… but we got home. My pop picked us up and everything was fine!

Overall, Costa Rica was amazing and I would definitely go back and do it all again! I was happy my husband and  I brought rain coats (as it rained a lot in the cloud forest areas) and that we prepped by getting quick drying clothing so that we could do our own laundry and didn’t have to take as big of bags because more clothes could fit in with the quick drying clothing. For some reason it folds up smaller…?

Anyway, after Costa Rica, we have been trying to chillax and such. I got back into my training. Last week, I ran 4 times and this week I will be hitting 4 runs also. Two of my friends and myself have signed up for the Jingle All the Way 8k on December 9th. I do not expect a PR at all, but I do expect to finish strong! hahah possibly contradicting. who knows.

Other than that, not much to report. I am the featured blogger over at fitblogger today!  I am honored to be the featured blogger on this wonderful Friday as I go into this weekend with a 6 mile run planned for tomorrow. I haven’t run over 5 miles since I started my training two weeks ago, but I don’t expect a lot of problems. Meeting with Michelle tomorrow morning to embark on the journey together! Excited to be running with her again as it has been some time since we have ran together!

Anyway, thanks for the continued support and I hope y’all have a good Friday and a happy weekend!

 

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Marine Corps Marathon 10K and Giveaway!

So I ran on Sunday morn. In my mind, I did pretty well. I will go through the list of why I think I did well:

1) I finished

2) I didn’t stab ANYONE

3) I averaged 10:48 a mile, pretty good for me especially with the amount of people crowded in there gettin their run on.

4) finished 6.3 miles in 1 hr and 8 minutes!

Unofficial results, viewed above.

My buddy Adam did pretty well too! He finished a full 1000 people before me with a time of 1:01 and waited for me at the finish to get our medals! The whole experience was pretty awesome!

me, waiting for my husband to wake up before the expo!

It was my first big race expo! I waited until Saturday morning when the husband could go with me to pick up the race packets (mine and my buddy’s, who was running with me) and go to the expo to see all of the neat stuff!
Outside of the expo, my husband and I got on line and began to wait to get in.

When we were almost up to the door, my husband realized he had a pocket knife and was unwilling to part with it (my dad gave it to him), so he went and walked around a little and then hung out near the car while I went into the DC Armory to mill about the expo.

The expo was great! There were so many awesome vendors there.

RunDisney was there and I got information about staying at the resorts and going through the parks at a discounted rate for runners — I am running the Disney Princess Half in February. They had all of the medals there for the upcoming races! It was very exciting and informational and the woman there was excellent with answering questions and very knowledgeable.

Brooks was there with MCM and MCM 10K gear. Pacers made a showing (I got gu and gu blocks). Clif bar was there (not all of their stuff has nuts!!!), there were some safety at night people. I bought a couple of pink running lights since I run so early and got a rolling bar for my dad and me for our knotted muscles. It was a great expo!  After the expo my husband and I saw my folks and did a couple of errands.

A group of my friends had a party the night before and we left early so that we could come home and get enough sleep for the race. We got up bright and early at 5:14am and got prepped and ready for our 7:55am start on the National Mall. They opened the metro up early at 5am for the MCM and there were many a-runner on the train with us. Some, who were running the full marathon, got off at the Pentagon. We were running the 10K and went on to L’Enfant Plza. We had a nice walk from Maryland and 7th to the start line. We arrived a ridiculous amount of time early and so we walked around to stay warm until the start. THERE WERE SO MANY PEOPLE! and no one lined up according to finish time, so I was running past people maintaining slower times for at least 2 miles. It took 5 minutes to get across the start line because there were so many people but we got to listen to gangnam style while we were waiting where I showed the wonderful women behind me how to do part of the dance. Then I tried to Tebow while gangnam stlying (fail). After that, we were off.

Adam started with me but quickly outpaced me! So I was left to my own devices. As I was running, I passed a lot of marines that were on the sidelines helping out. I also passed a lot of participants that had shirts with dedications on the back to lost loved ones — fallen soldiers. It was emotional, to say the least.

Miles 1-3 were relatively easy to get through. 4 and 5 got a little tougher, but 6 was terrible for me! at mile 5.5, I got the worst stitch I have ever gotten in my side. I started running a little hunched over (bad), then my back started aching so it was a constant alternation between standing up straight so my back wouldnt hurt and leaning over so my stitch would stop with the shooting pains. As I approached the finish, spectators picked up and I saw my mother and husband at the bottom of the short steep hill that led to the finish line (YES! a hill right at the finish line!).

And here is Adam, he finished before me.

This is Adam and I at the finish. He waited for me at the very end and we walked to get our medals from marines together.

And here is the view of the marine corps memorial (iwo jima memorial) from the finish

I was really proud to have finished my second post and to have made a new PR AND gotten some bad ass bling!

Hurricane Sandy rolled in that evening and my husband, pug and I snuggled up under blankets on the couch to hang out and catch up on missed tv

Now for the reason you all are really here!

As you all read when I made a Big Announcement a week or two back, I am a blogger repping the Falls Church store of Road Runner Sports! And I have a giveaway going on for a $25 gift card to Road Runner Sports! I am pretty sure, you have a Road Runner Sports near you! They have stores all across the country and a great online ordering system! They have a wide variety of apparel and equipment! So I guess now all that I need to know is who wants a $25 gift card that you can use at any of the stores or online?

HOW TO ENTER: (you can do any or all of these)

Leave me a comment saying what your favorite way to exercise is and some way to contact you.

For Bonus entries:

Follow me on twitter and leave me a comment telling me you did and your twitter handle.

Tweet about this Giveaway and leave me a comment telling me you did, with the link to the tweet!

_____________________________________________

And that’s it. The giveaway will close on Monday November 5th at 10am and I will pick a winner randomly through random.org!

Any entries AFTER the cutoff time will be ignored (this is assuming that I fail to cut off comments)

annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd GO! (lord I hope this works — it’s my first giveaway!)

Pretty Awesome News Announcement

WOOOO WOOOOOOOO!!!!! Pretty awesome news announcement for me and this blog!!! I am now repping Road Runner Sports as a blogger for their Falls Church, VA store!

Road Runner Blog Pick

STOKED!!! I will be at the events at the Falls Church store and then coming back here and telling y’all all about it! I think my day could not get any better than it is right now and I have fun engineering class tonight, so that is saying something! This is very big news and more things to come!!! Stay tuned!

Pre race jitters, questions about food choices and general tips on how to be awesome

tips to being awesome:

1) Admit to yourself and even to others that occasionally you fall in love with bad songs that happen to be ear worms and make your head bounce and bob… for example, for me recently, songs like Call me Maybe and I want U Back are songs that I freakin love and I am NOT ashamed (ok, trying not to be ashamed)

2) When on the bike trail running, don’t be shy. If a biker forget to say on your left as they pass you (as they so often do on the Mt Vernon Trail), it is ok to shout after them saying LEFT loudly and throwing hand into the air. It helps to relieve the anger (and terror) you get as someone whips by you with no forewarning and very little noise. I threw my hands in the air and shouted left once and almost hit another biker because HE failed to say on your left and he shouted for me to be careful, I shouted back ON MY LEFT DUDE! YOU BE CAREFUL! — As a cyclist on this trail also, I make it a point to tell runners and bikers alike, on your left. Don’t be a jerk if you don’t have to be.

3) Spread the love. Let people know you want them to do well. Shout them some encouragement, cheer them on through social media, emails, blog comments, or honking your horn while rolling down gw pkwy knowing that your friend running 15 miles prolly wont know its you or see or hear you… 🙂

4) If you have an idea, form it and do it. Don’t wait too long or you will start to talk yourself out of it. AKA: Big things are on the horizon, y’all! Stay tuned!

On to other things… (more tips later)…
Aldy went with me to packet pickup yesterday! He wants to race too!!! I am def having pre race jitters. I haven’t run a race since I was a sophomore in high school and believe me when I tell ya, I totally sucked. I did. True story. I sucked in high school at running. I would make up excuses to not run the races because I was embarrassed at how bad I used to be (no lie). Side note: I started getting those thoughts this morning and my heel started hurting and I verbally said out loud at 530am to myself, NO NO YOU WILL NOT DO THIS AGAIN! You are GOING to man up damnit!

It was weird cause my foot stopped hurting after that.

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Aldy with his race packet after pickup. He was starting to look away and this is the best pic i got!

When Aldy and I got home from the Fairfax Pacers and the packet pickup, we started to go through the packet and see what all was there. Aldy realized quickly that there were no dog bones in the bag and changed his mind about racing; told me I could have his bib.

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Me in my Run! Geek! RUN! glasses (yay, packet pickup!)

Well in my last post I stated that I am now officially a sweat pink ambassador! This is awesome! The ladies over there are so supportive! Actually, when I was unlacing my shoes after my run this morning, I realized I don’t know what I should and shouldn’t be eating as far as race food. Do y’all have any thoughts?

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my shoesies with #SweatPink laces

This pic of me all sweaty after my run is an important one. I dunno why it’s important but my gut says it is, so here it is 🙂

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sweaty after my short easy run this morning, in my Oiselle shirt.

Well, getting fired up for tomorrow. Definitely nervous even though I have run 5 miles several times before, it isn’t a question of if I am physically capable of finishing it… it is a question of if I can defeat this mental thing goin on. (I know I can, but yknow fear… it can get the better of us if we let it… I won’t let it)

Also, PS: I am totally afraid of my shadow! LIKE TOTALLY AFRAID OF IT! Especially at 5am in the absolute darkness of the Mt Vernon Trail.

PPS: I am putting together a team for the ragnar relay in the DC area for NEXT year (ragnarrelay.com) — so far, I have my brother, me and two of our friends.

Happy Friday y’all!

fitfluential, attempts at athleticism and possible running costumes

fitfluential is a site i stumbled across, first while on fit2flex.com and then again while on thewannabeathlete.com — and this was pretty neat so I thought I would check it out which caused me to sign up for their blogging dealy. They seem to have some pretty good tips. And I am not one to turn down tips on running and improving and doing things better. I like doing things better.

I am a natural athlete as far as contact sports go. Soccer, field hockey, rugby, etc… but my body is not what you would call “built for running” nor is it built for doing it well. My torso is longer than my legs. I carry a fair amount of weight on me, some muscle, some fat — this by no means is me calling myself fat, but it is just a fact I have to face. I cannot get my index, or even my middle finger and thumb to wrap around and meet at my wrist, I have thick soccer player legs and what some might call canckles, but the muscular kind… if that makes sense.

The day Jerid proposed to me in front of my favorite memorial, the Lincoln memorial, also one of the only full length pics I have

See? Soccer player legs. Not fat, just got the muscle.

So with running a lot more than ever before, my joints that have caused me problems before (like my right knee and ankle) have been causing me some problems in addition to the lower back, shooting pain down my leg issue which will hopefully get somewhat helped today during my ortho appt.  My knee starts hurting on the longer runs, after I have been pounding pavement for some time. <shrugs> not sure why yet, but I have some speculation. Anywho. neither here nor there. I have made many attempts to improve on my running athleticism and I am guessing that this will come with a lot more practice.  I have been working on this. I was running shorter distances every day for weeks, but then switched to a combo of shorter and longer distances and I think this psyched my shins out cause I started getting the beginning of shin splints, so i had to cut back to every other day, which is a little frustrating but I am thinking that once I get insoles for my arches, things will get better (speculation). I think things will get better either way. Cause this isnt gonna get me down! IN IT TO WIN IT!

I have been thinking a lot about possible running costumes for the Disney Princess half marathon. Then in the bathroom this morning, it all popped back into my head, dunno why it happened when I was in the bathroom and it certainly sounded very weird when I told Leah, one of my buddies who is going to be running with me, that I was thinking about the half marathon and her while in the bathroom……. yes, it did sound that awkward. haha. sweet. So yea, I started discussing possibilities and then asked if Mulan counted as a Disney Princess. My friend said hell yes. I have to say, I think Mulan is seriously underrated and often times forgotten as a disney princess. Other than her, I would consider tink or Mrs. Incredible (even though she might not count as a Disney Princess) or some others… still pondering. Saw some great possibilities online. Also, saw a neat one for the evil witch in snow white. THAT one was pretty awesome.

Also, IT’S OFFICIAL! I HAVE REGISTERED FOR MY VERY FIRST RACE (since my epic fail in high school as part of the cross country team)!!! I brought many a-person onto the high school cross country team, including my brother Ben and my best friend Rachel. I also SUCKED at cross country, avoided the races at all costs. made up excuses for everything… wasn’t really into it for running but more for soccer and didn’t care to race at all. Didn’t like not being the best at something. Didn’t like failing at something as my life always felt like a constant competition between my brother and I, even though my folks were never comparing. It took 27 years, many trials and tribulations, one failed attempt at grad school and a heart felt surprise letter from my dad to tell me that my parents (and specifically, my father) were not comparing my brother and I and that I had made them proud. Weird how life works, huh?

Anyway, so I have registered for my first official race! An 8K along the Potomac on September 15th called Run! Geek! Run! I am pretty nervous and excited. A little afraid… mostly because I know how I used to think of races and I know how things used to be and how I used to feel on the CC team… BUT things are different now! I am doing this for me! FOR NO ONE ELSE! This is my statement, my run, my race. I don’t expect to win, but crossing the finish line will be trophy enough. To finish and know that I did it… defeating my own fear. I tried to convince some buddies to run the race too because I am terrified, but some had prior engagements. One friend is still a maybe. Anyway, either way… I can do this!

Here’s to trying and NOT failing at something. Only took me a decade to get there, but at least I got there.

Fabulous Friday, Runspiration and YOUR FACE!

TODAY IS FRIDAY!!!!

NASA/NERD Style of Friday:

*** This video is a parody of this terrible song here… definite improvement….

I only mention that this is Friday, specifically because this is also the end (technically it ends Sunday night) of my 6 week hell class. YAY! During this class, I had to read approx 200 pages a week , 3 hours of class (1.5 hours tues and 1.5 hours thurs), a quiz every week AND three group projects, plus lots of forum participation and such. HELLACIOUS! 12 weeks crammed into 6 weeks! But we are down to proofreading one final project (due tomorrow) and one final quiz! WOOOOOOOOOOOO! STOKED! so while this may be a little preemptive, this is also amazingly celebratory!

With that being said, I have to take note of my husband who was incredibly patient with me as I went through this class. He cooked dinner and encouraged me and took care of aldy when I needed to work or study. He was great! Also, my friends were very understanding and accommodating. They worked around my schedule and it was awesome! Very appreciated!

Ok, moving on. Runspiration, cause I def need it… I have been feeling the beginning of shin splints (it could be a number of factors…. found this article here and have been looking into possibilities of causes). I am also getting kinda down on myself for failing at making my desired splits, so I have been collecting blogs and pics to inspire me. Here is some of what I found.

Truest of all true statements above….

Anywho, Hope if you need runspiration that these helped you like they helped me.

ANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNND here is the YOUR FACE portion:

 

and here is the terrible song these are parodies of…

Thoughtful Thursday, Running Update and No News being Good News

You ever get that feeling where you have a lot you want to say and then you sit down to write it all out and all of your thoughts disappear and you forgot completely what you were going to say? I seem to be having that right now…. so I present you with this until I remember:

“Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy

but here’s my number, so call me maybe…”

hahahahaha ok, so that song might be my current guilty/dirty pleasure. Today, while on facebook, I saw a post by my awesome coworker AND outside of work buddy, Lauren. She had made a post about what she has done in the past year and how amazing it is. I saw that and thought to myself something very similar. A year ago, I didn’t know I would be living again in DC, working at NASA, married, owning a condo and semi-training for a half marathon. My life is ridiculously different from where it was in August of 2011.

On updated things, my friend Michelle arrived on Tuesday night and she is training for the NYC marathon in November. She is in week 3 of her training program and the past two days she has gotten up at 5am to run with me. She has pushed me to run almost a mile longer than I was in close to the same amount of time. My high school cross country coach would be proud… it only took me a decade and a half to get motivated to run and attempt some sort of success/pride with it. Anyway, this morning on our run, Michelle and I got to talking about the Disney Princess Half Marathon. She said she would do it with me…. shortly after that, on gchat, I was talking to my good friend Leah (she has truly made my return to DC from Oklahoma much easier than if she hadnt been around–while she wasn’t the only one, she was one of the primaries 🙂  ), who is a runner also and who put the Disney Princess half marathon idea in my head. I told her Michelle had agreed to go with me in Feb and that I was terrified. I told Leah she should come, and she said “I’m in.”  — This literally made my day. Two of my close friends, both experienced runners, were going to embark on a journey with me to race the Disney Princess half marathon. Stunned, all I could type was you just made my day.

For inspiration, read this: http://marathontrainingacademy.com/runners-you-should-know

Following this up, I will say, I feel truly blessed. I have a lot of unique and amazing friends who support me and care about me, who get me through good and bad times… not just at home, but at the office as well. I am truly blessed.

not even gonna lie to you, it was freakin GOOD. And just remember. whatever you do, no news is good news.

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