Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon Training Log – Week 9

Am I really halfway through my current half marathon training cycle?!?  Its really hard to believe just how quickly time is flying by!  Before I know it, it’ll be September 6th and I’ll be crossing the start line of my fifth half marathon!

This past week, I enjoyed a cutback in my mileage.  After running an eight miler last Sunday, it was nice to only run a 5k as my long run this past weekend.  This week I’ll be increasing my long run to 10 miles, so the break in mileage this past weekend was needed both physically and mentally.

I ran two races this past week.  Thursday evening I ran my second virtual race, the All 4 Run Virtual 4 Mile Race, and then on Saturday I ran the annual Firecracker 5k.  Its always exciting to run two races within only a couple of days!

Thursday evening after completing the All 4 Run 4 Mler Virtual Race

Thursday evening after completing the All 4 Run Virtual 4 Mile Race

After Saturday's Firecracker 5k

Saturday morning after running the Firecracker 5k in the pouring rain

Mon 6/29 – 30 minutes on the elliptical, abs, glutes

Tues 6/30 – 3.15 mile run, 0.34 mile cool down walk

Wed 7/1 – 1.12 mile walk with Riley

Thurs 7/2 – All 4 Run Virtual 4 Mile Race, 0.65 mile cool down walk

Fri 7/3 – Rest day

Sat 7/4 – Firecracker 5k

Sun 7/5 – Rest day

Total Weekly Mileage – 15.10 miles (1.95 miles less than week 8)

Total RnRVB Mileage – 127.04 miles

QOTD: What are you currently training for?  How far into your training are you?

Posted in RnRVB Half Marathon Training, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Friday Five – Potpourri v. 3

Happy early Fourth of July everybody!  Anybody have any big plans for celebrating our nation’s birthday?  Preston and I will be spending the holiday with friends, first with dinner followed by us all going to see the fireworks together.  Its going to be a semi-low key evening, just what I’m in the mood for.

I’ve been enjoying my first full week of summer vacation.  I’ve taken full advantage of my extra time this past week, getting lots done both at home and on the fitness front.

1.  I ran my second virtual race last night, the All 4 Run Virtual Four Mile Race with Gone for a Run.  It was a fun way to get my miles in yesterday.

all 4 run

2.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time this week working on our baby registries.  Its amazing how much stuff kids need, and how many choices are out there!  Its all a bit overwhelming, which makes me very thankful that I’m getting an early start.

3.  Preston and I made our first big baby item purchase this week!  The pack ‘n’ play that we want was on super sale at Babies ‘r’ Us, so I headed there Tuesday afternoon to make the purchase.

4.  Tomorrow I’ll be running my ninth race of the year, the Firecracker 5k.  This will be the third year that Preston and I have run this race.  Its a fun way to kick off the 4th of July festivities.

5.  On Monday I head back to work part time for two weeks.  I’ll be working on a curriculum development project for 20 hours each week.  Its a nice balance of time off and earning a little extra money.

QOTD: What are your 4th of July plans?

As always, thank you to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting the weekly Friday Five Link Up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!

DC_linkup

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My Goals for Saturday’s Firecracker 5k

I’ve been going back and forth as to whether or not I should continue to set race goals for myself while I’m pregnant.  I’ve been having this debate with myself for a couple of weeks now.  However, last night I came to the realization that just because I’m pregnant doesn’t mean that I can’t continue to push myself, especially on days or during weeks when I’m feeling great.

This week has been one of those weeks that I’ve been feeling energized.  The weather has been less humid and not as warm as it has been in previous weeks.  I’m optimistic that the weather will cooperate Saturday morning for the race, and that I shouldn’t face too many obstacles.

The other factor working in my favor for Saturday’s race is that I’ve run the Firecracker 5k the past two years.  I’m familiar with the course, which should assist me in better pacing myself for the full 3.1 miles.

Based on my running recently, my three goals for Saturday’s race are:

Goal A – Finish the race in under 31:04 (10:00 pace)

Goal B – Finish the race in under 31:51 (10:15 pace)

Goal C – Beat last year’s Firecracker 5k finish time and finish in under 32:35 (10:29 pace)

firecracker 5k finish line - Copy

After last year’s Firecracker 5k

My C Goal last year was to beat my 2013 Firecracker 5k finish time, so I’m hopeful that I can continue that trend this year.

QOTD: Will you be running a Fourth of July themed race as part of your Independence Day celebration?

Posted in Races | Tagged , , , | 41 Comments

July 2015 Monthly Goals

Where is time going?!?  How can it already be July 1st?  It feels like 2015 just started and that I was setting both my yearly goal as well as my first set of monthly goals for the year!

Unlike May, June went far better as far as my fitness goes.  I’m attributing that it to the fact that I spent all of May battling nausea and exhaustion, and by mid-June was feeling mostly like my old self again.  I’m definitely trying to take advantage of my rediscovered energy during this second trimester of pregnancy, especially since we have lots coming up on our calendar and I’m trying to take care of a lot of chores at home now that I’m also on summer break.

So how did it go it terms of my three goals this past month?

june 2015 goals

1.  Run, walk, and elliptical at least 70 miles.

Grade: A

I successfully logged just over 71 miles last month, which included three long runs of 6, 7, and 8 miles in length.

2.  Listen to my body.

Grade: A

I’ve become pretty good at recognizing when I need extra rest.  Although I completed all of my planned runs last month, there were some weeks where cross training took a hit because my body screamed for extra rest.

3.  Use the elliptical.

Grade: C

I only used the elliptical twice this past month.  I’m not disappointed in myself, I just wish that there had been fewer days that I had come home from work exhausted and ready for bed before dinner was even on the table.

I’m hopeful and optimistic that with my rising energy level that I’ll be able to have another successful month in July.  However, that doesn’t mean that I can just neglect what my pregnant body tells me it needs.

july 2015 goals

1.  Run, walk, and elliptical at least 75 miles.

Since I met my mileage goal in June, its only natural that I up the ante this month.

2.  Continue to listen to my body.

This will likely be a part of my monthly goals between now and when the baby is born.

3.  Enjoy the month’s social activities.

Preston and I have a lot on our calendar this month.  We’ll be celebrating Independence Day with friends on Saturday, and then later this month will be headed to Seattle to celebrate the marriage of two of my college friends.  I’m also co-hosting a bridal shower for another friend whose wedding I’m in next month, and the same weekend we also will have a night on the town for her Bachelorette party.  At the end of the month, Preston and I will also be celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary.  Its going to be a very busy month!

QOTD: What are your goals for July?

Posted in Motivation, Training | Tagged , , , | 40 Comments

15 in 2015 Update

Its hard to believe that today is the last day of June.  This year is just flying by!  With this being the halfway point of the year, I wanted to take time to reflect on my big goal for 2015: to cross the finish line of 15 races this year.

Now that I’ve completed eight races, I’m officially just over halfway to reaching my goal.  The eight races that I’ve completed this year are:

St. Patrick’s Day Double (5k followed by 10k)
Shamrock 8k
Shamrock Half Marathon
Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run
Jaguar 5k
Manassas Runway 10k
Fit Foodie 5k

And if you count the Bad Ass Runner Virtual 5 Miler, then I’ve actually completed nine races so far this year.  However, my goal was never to use virtual races as a way to complete my 15 in 2015, so I don’t want to count that race, at least not yet.

Some of you might be wondering if my pregnancy is cause for me to alter this goal, or to neglect it altogether.  Just because I’m pregnant doesn’t mean that I’m not still going after my goal!

I'm still running and sweating for two of us!

I’m still running and sweating for two of us!

I’m currently registered for another three races:

July 4th – Firecracker 5k
September 6th – Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon
October 31st – Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon
(I’m also registered for Wine and Dine Half Marathon, but will be deferring this race to 2016.)

That leaves me with another four races to choose.  There are a number of races that I’m contemplating, all shorter distances, as I think that completing two more half marathons while pregnant is more than enough for my pregnant body to handle.

The other races that I’m considering include:

September 5th – Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Mile on the Sand
September 19th – Dulles Day 10k
September 26th – Clarendon Day 10k
November 8th – Veteran’s Day 5k

If I complete all four of the above races, then I’ll complete my 15 in 2015 goal.  However, as I continue to do on a regular basis, I’ll be continuously evaluating how my body is handling working out and whether adjustments need to be made.  My health and the baby’s health are more important than completing this goal, and if I need to take a step back from running then that’s exactly what I’ll do.

Here’s to a great second half to 2015!

QOTD: How are you progressing in meeting your yearly goal(s)?

I’m linking up today with Erika from MCM Mama Runs, Patty from My No-Guilt Life, and April from Run the Great Wide Somewhere for the Tuesdays on the Run Linkup.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!

Tuesdays-on-the-run

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon Training Log – Week 8

After a couple of weeks of super hot and super humid weather, we finally got some relief here in Northern Virginia.  By mid-week this past week, the humidity finally broke and the temperature was no longer in the 90s-100s.  It was definitely a welcome change!

With the nicer summer weather, I was able to spend more time outside exercising than at the gym, which was also a welcome change.  Since I’m not sure how long the cooler and less humid weather will be around for, I put more of my focus into cardio and less into weight training this past week.  I know that at some point the heat and humidity will be back on the rise, and I’ll be headed to the gym in order to exercise in the air conditioning.

Because it stormed all day on Saturday, I completed my long run yesterday.  The last thing I wanted to do was run eight miles on the treadmill, and as yesterday’s weather wound up being perfect for summer running.  When I finished my run it was 75 degrees, partly sunny, and the humidity was less than 50%.  Because of the perfect summer weather conditions, I decided to challenge myself by running on a very hilly route.  Although I questioned my decision mid run, I was very pleased with myself when I finished my eight miles.

8.02 mile run

The only thing that I wish I would have had more of this past week is time.  Although the school year finally ended on Monday, I spent Tuesday-Friday doing professional development.  My days were consumed with lots of discussion about AP World History, the AP course that I teach.  And with a couple of horrible traffic days, by the time I got home some evenings I was far too tired to do anything beyond making dinner and relaxing on the couch.  Now that I have a work free week, I’m looking forward to finding a better balance between relaxation and putting more time and effort into cross training.

A glimpse at the traffic that I dealt with last Wednesday.  I went less than 2 miles in 30 minutes! :(

A glimpse at the traffic that I dealt with last Wednesday during my drive home.  I went less than 2 miles in 30 minutes! :(

Mon 6/22 – 3.10 mile run on the treadmill, 0.32 mile cool down walk, kettlebell squat swings, abs, arms, shoulders

Tues 6/23 – Rest day

Wed 6/24 – 3.26 mile run, 0.34 mile cool down walk

Thurs 6/25 – 1.60 mile walk with Riley

Fri 6/26 – Rest day

Sat 6/27 – Rest day

Sun 6/28 – 8.02 mile run, 0.41 mile cool down walk

Total Weekly Mileage – 17.05 miles (4.16 miles more than week 7)

Total RnRVB Mileage – 111.94 miles

QOTD: What struggles do you face in balancing training and relaxation?

Posted in RnRVB Half Marathon Training, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Friday Five – Five Things I Was Doing Ten Years Ago

I love looking through old photos and taking walks down memory lane.  I used to scrapbook and print off pictures to put into photo albums on a regular basis, so its fun to pull them off of the bookshelf and reminisce.  I’ll admit that over the past couple of years I’ve gotten way behind on my photo albums, but hopefully I’ll get back on track soon since, let’s face it, its much more fun to look through albums and scrapbooks than it is to just scroll through pictures on the computer.

This week’s Friday Five theme with the DC Trifecta is “Five Things I Was Doing Ten Years Ago.”  Oh what a fun trip I took down memory lane last night as I wrote this post!

Ten years ago I was:

1.  In the midst of my summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college.  (Wow, I feel old now!)

2.  Working two jobs during my summer break.  During the day I worked at my dad’s law firm as the summer receptionist while the college interns were on break, and on nights and weekends I worked at Old Navy as a Sales Associate.

3.  Taking one community college class (World Civilizations) in order to get ahead on credits for my History degree.

4.  Spending as much time with my high school friends as I could.  I was one of the few people from my close knit HS group that left Illinois for college, so on school breaks I spent as much time with my friends as I could.

With my friends Jon and Kathleen

With my friends Jon and Kathleen

5.  Not running.  Instead, I was still dancing.

QOTD: What were you doing ten years ago?

As always, thank you to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting the weekly Friday Five Link Up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!

DC_linkup

Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged | 44 Comments

2015 Fit Foodie 5k Weekend Recap

Disclosure: As a Fit Foodie Ambassador, I received a complimentary VIP pass to the weekend’s events.  However, all opinions are my own.

If you follow me on Social Media, then you know that this past weekend was a very exciting weekend.  Fit Foodie Weekend was filled with lots of delicious food, running a 5k, and most importantly, time with friends.

fit foodie banner

As an ambassador for the Fit Foodie weekend, I received a pass to the entire weekend’s events.  I also received a complimentary pass for a friend, and was so happy when my lifelong friend Becca was able to come down from Baltimore to join me for the weekend.  I always received a number of “Acts of Kindness” gifts from some of the race weekend’s sponsors, including foot care items from Lather and a Canadian maple syrup package from Pure Canada Maple.

fit foodie sign

All of the weekend’s events were held at the Mosaic District in Fairfax, Virginia.  Our fun weekend kicked off on Friday evening, when Becca and I headed to Target to pick up our race bibs.  Bib pickup was held in the lobby, and was a super easy process.  We were in and out of Target with our bibs and shirts in less than five minutes, and we both managed to not spend a dime at Target.  Score!

packet pickup

After dropping our bibs and shirts off at the car, we headed around the corner to the VIP Cocktail party, which was held at Gypsy Soul.  During the two hour party, we had the opportunity to mingle with editors from Cooking Light and other bloggers, sample plates made by Gypsy Soul chef RJ Cooper, and enjoy a cheese and meat spread courtesy of Fit Foodie sponsor Satrori Cheese.  There was also an open wine and prosecco bar courtesy of Cupcake Wines.  While I didn’t partake in the wine drinking I did eat plenty of the Gypsy Soul samples (the chilled red pepper soup with bacon was absolutely delicious!), and ate plenty of cheese to make up for the lack of alcohol that I had at the party.

food spread

We were treated to such a delicious spread at the VIP party!

Other than the food, the highlight of Friday evening’s party was getting to hang out with fellow Fit Foodie Ambassadors.  I finally got to meet Lauren (aka Salt) and Amy in person, and it was equally great to see Courtney, Mar, Erika, and Sue.

ambassadors

With Mar, Amy, Courtney, Erika, and Sue

As we left the party, we were spoiled with a gift bag full of Sartori Cheese.  I think I currently have enough cheese in my fridge to last me for a year!  Many thanks to Sartori for the generous gift!

Saturday morning Becca and I woke up bright and early to head back to the Mosaic District for the 5k.  Our goal was to arrive and park by 7:00 a.m. since the race started at 7:30, and we pulled into the parking garage right at 7.  However, as I pulled the key out of the ignition I realized that I had forgotten to put my Garmin watch on my wrist.  Although I didn’t go into the Fit Foodie weekend with any time goals in mind for the race (my one and only goal was to have fun), I’ve never run naked.  I began to panic, but then realized I could use my backup option, RunKeeper on my phone.  Though its not as reliable as using my Garmin, RunKeeper was better than nothing.

start line

The start line

After leaving the car we made our way to the Finisher’s Village to get on line for the porta potties, only to find that there wasn’t a line!  Score!  After quickly taking care of business we made our way back to the start line, stood around for a few minutes, and before we knew it runners started lining up at the start line for the start of the race.

Before the start of the race

Before the start of the race

At exactly 7:30, we were off and making our way through the Mosaic District and the surrounding neighborhood.  Despite there not being a wave start, I didn’t find the course overly crowded, but boy was it hilly!  Part of the course doubled back, but I found the signage very clear, and it wasn’t confusing at all to know where I was supposed to run.  The only bad part of the course was that we ran past a very smelly dumpster behind an apartment complex twice, so I hope in the future that the race directors are able to find a way to avoid having runners run past that dumpster.

Photo Credit: Fit Foodie

Photo Credit: Fit Foodie

Since I didn’t have my Garmin I had to run my intervals based on feel.  I ran the first 10 minutes without any walking, and then realized that because of the 100% humidity, and the hills, that running this race straight wasn’t going to be a great idea.  About every five minutes I took a brief walk break and also drank a sip of water (I decided that being pregnant it would be best to bring my handheld water bottle with me instead of relying on the water stops), but because I wasn’t wearing a watch my walk intervals were of inconsistent length.

I crossed the finish line at 31:53 (10:16 min/mile pace).  Given the humidity and the fact that I ran the race naked, I’m more than okay with my finish time.  Did I run this race anywhere close to my current 5k PR?  Absolutely not (and no, its not because I am pregnant, as I ran my current 5k PR when I was 5 weeks pregnant).  I’m actually shocked I ran this race as fast as I did, especially given how hilly the course was and how inconsistent my run/walk intervals were.

Becca and I post race

Becca and I post race

After the race I met up with fellow ambassadors Mar, Courtney, Erika, Amy, and Lauren.  We wandered around the Finisher’s Village, enjoying a variety of food samples.  Some of my favorite samples included a salad from Sweetgreen and more cheese from Sartori (there’s no such thing as too much cheese!).  We also received a water bottle with infuser from Rove.  We also made our way through the Cooking Light tent, where we were treated to an endless array of Aveeno samples, flavored popcorn, and energy balls.

Post race with Erika, Courtney, Mar, and Amy Photo Credit: Erika at MCM Mama Runs

Post race with Erika, Courtney, Mar, and Amy
Photo Credit: Erika at MCM Mama Runs

A sampling of all the delicious samples in the Finisher's Village Photo Credit: Erika at MCM Mama Runs

A sampling of all the delicious samples in the Finisher’s Village
Photo Credit: Erika at MCM Mama Runs

Lots of samples in the Cooking Light tent!

Lots of samples in the Cooking Light tent!

Although I had planned to head to the final event, Yoga and Barre class followed by brunch, on Sunday, I woke up Sunday morning with very swollen feet.  After standing in heels for a couple of hours Friday evening, followed by running a race and remaining on my feet following the race, I made the decision that it was best for me to stay off of my feet that day, and sadly, didn’t attend the Yoga session.

Many thanks to Fit Foodie, Cooking Light, and all of the amazing sponsors.  It was such a fun weekend, and an incredible experience.  I hope that they come back to Fairfax again next year, though I might suggest that they not choose Father’s Day weekend, as its usually a very busy weekend for families and many friends who wanted to participate couldn’t because of Father’s Day plans.

QOTD: Would you want to participate in a future Fit Foodie weekend?

Posted in Races | Tagged , , , | 42 Comments

I’m a For Two Fitness Ambassador!

Over the past couple of days, you may have noticed that a new badge has been added to the sidebar of this blog.  A couple of weeks ago, I was accepted as a For Two Fitness Ambassador, which is an honor that I don’t take lightly.

ForTwoFitness-AmbassadorSeal_200

My mindset and approach thus far in my pregnancy, and what I hope to continue practicing, is that staying active and fit will not only ease my discomfort during pregnancy, but that it’ll make delivery easier and that it will also make it easier to get back to my pre-pregnancy fitness routine after delivery.  Although there have been plenty of days over the past 13.5 weeks that I have been exhausted and not wanted to work out, I’m so happy that most days I’ve still pushed myself out the door.

One of the reasons I applied to be a For Two Fitness ambassador is because of the company’s commitment to helping pregnant women maintain a healthy and active lifestyle throughout pregnancy.  Their vision fits my pregnancy fitness goals, and I could not be more honored to represent this company.

For Two Fitness

As the baby has grown and my belly has started expanding, its become more and more difficult to dress my body, whether its for work, running, or everyday life.  I cannot even begin to count the number of articles of clothing that I’ve ordered online or tried on in a store that have come nowhere close to fitting, especially when it comes to shirts.  My biggest challenge is that I’m short (5’3″) with a short torso.  The majority of my non-maternity shirts are Petite sizes, but very little Maternity clothing is available in Petite sizing, especially when it comes to shirts.

The majority of the Maternity workout shirts that I have tried on are super long on me, reaching well past my behind, some almost to my knees.  The last thing you want when you’re working out and sweating is extra fabric that will just become drenched in sweat.  Thankfully, the For Two Fitness tops haven’t been on the long side, at least in the size that I’ve found fits best.  Not only do their tops fit well, but they are also super comfortable, and I feel cute while wearing them.

Before the start of the Fit Foodie 5k on Saturday

Before the start of the Fit Foodie 5k on Saturday

In the couple of weeks that I’ve been wearing their tops, I cannot tell you how much more comfortable I’ve been while working out.  My regular workout bottoms still fit (thank goodness for elastic and drawstrings!), so I can’t comment on the For Two Fitness bottoms yet, but I have a couple pairs of capris ready to go when I need them.

If you know me, then you know that I’m honest, and I’m not bluffing when I tell you that I love the For Two Fitness line.  I cannot wait to continue working out throughout my pregnancy while sporting their clothing.

And good news, if you’re pregnant (or are planning to become pregnant soon) For Two Fitness is offering readers 30% off all merchandise, excluding gift cards.  Just use code DANCING2RUNNING.  The discount is valid until July 18, 2015.

QOTD: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to dressing your body?

Posted in Pregnancy | Tagged , | 47 Comments

Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon Training Log – Week 7

This past week was more about survival than anything else.  With it being the last week of the school year, things were super busy at school with administering final exams, submitting final grades, and packing up my classroom.  Because of graduation on Wednesday, I was away from the house from 6:15 in the morning until almost 10:00 at night.  To say I arrived home exhausted is an understatement.

I didn’t work out nearly as much as I would have liked to this past week, but at least I did manage to complete all three of my planned runs.  I didn’t get to do much other training, but given how busy my week was I’m not sure that I could have fit anything else in.

Other than finishing out the school year, the other highlight of my week was Fit Foodie weekend this past weekend.  I can’t wait to share my recap, but for now let’s just say that it involved eating a lot of delicious food and getting to hang out with some amazing DC area bloggers.  And while I didn’t come anywhere close to running a 5k PR at the race on Saturday, it was still an extremely fun race experience.

At the Fit Foodie VIP Party Friday evening with Mar, Amy, Courtney, Erika, Sue, and my friend Becca

At the Fit Foodie VIP Party Friday evening with Mar, Amy, Courtney, Erika, Sue, and my friend Becca

Before the start of the Fit Foodie 5k

Before the start of the Fit Foodie 5k

Mon 6/15 – 2.69 mile walk around the neighborhood with Riley

Tues 6/16 – 3.10 mile run on the treadmill, 0.53 mile cool down walk, kettlebell squat swings, abs, arms, chest, shoulders, glutes

Wed 6/17 – Rest day

Thurs 6/18 – 3.10 mile run around the neighborhood, 0.37 mile cool down walk, abs

Fri 6/19 – Rest day

Sat 6/20 – Fit Foodie 5k

Sun 6/21 – Rest day

Total Weekly Mileage – 12.89 miles (3.64 miles less than week 6)

Total RnRVB Mileage – 94.89 miles

QOTD: What was the highlight of your week?

Posted in RnRVB Half Marathon Training, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 50 Comments