Seven for Saturday

What a week! I missed Five for Friday this week, so I thought I would join in on Seven for Saturday instead. Here we go!

1) Vega

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As a #SweatPink Ambassador I had the opportunity to review Vega Sport as part of the #FueldYourBetter campaign. I was originally introduced to Vega through their Vega One wellness line and was happy to see them dive deeper into a sport-specific line. The Vega Team sent me a box of sugar-free (super important!) pre-workout energizer packets in the lemon-lime flavor. The energizer is taken 20-minutes before a workout and enhances mental focus, increases energy, and boosts your endurance. At least 4 times a week I bike to and from work, and run when I get home. I find that after a long work day I am exhausted by the time I ride the 4 miles home and it is difficult to get my butt back out the door for a run. This week has been a little different! After being sick on Sunday and Monday I got back in gear on Tuesday and started using Vega Sport before I got on my bike. By the time I got on my run I felt stronger and was able to run my hill intervals at a more consistent pace than a usual work-day-drag. My super picky (but lovely) husband has even take packets to his office to use for his runs. A co-worker saw me mixing my packet and cringed at the green (and I mean GREEN) color of Vega and I let him try an ice-cold mix. He cringed a little more when I read off the plant-based ingredients, and he grew a little skeptical, and held the cup with caution. He was happy to find out that it in fact did not “taste green” but tastes a lot like a glass of iced tea! Vega Sport products come in three phases: prepare, sustain, and recover. I’ve only tried their prepare stage — so I cannot account for their other phases — but I am very impressed with it so far!

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2) Mother’s Day
This year we are spending mothers day with my mom by having brunch with my mom, cousin, sister, and her fiance. My mom loves the Elizabeth Arden perfume line, so we got her one of their spingy scents as a mothers day gift. Mama B is in the midwest so we mailed her a care package with a set of Bell & Jack preppy beachy earrings and a Super Bowl 43 shirt (Go Hawks!). Now go hug your mothers everyone!

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3) EnergyBits
As I mentioned above, I was out sick for a few days. I fit in a short run on one of those days (not advised) and sat out the second day. Whether it was food poisoning or a stomach bug I will never know…but I sure am happy it’s gone. On day 2 I received a great little package from ENERGYbits with a tin of their bits to try. Ever heard of them? They are tiny tablets of organically grown NON GMO spirulina algae and chlorella that eliminate fatigue and hunger instantly in just 1 calorie tabs. I took one as soon as I got the package with the hopes that it would help bring me back into the world of the living as far as my stomach problems went. The smell is a little hard to handle, but once you swallow the pill there’s barely any taste. It kind of reminded me of feeding my fish as a kid! I haven’t used EnergyBits on too many runs yet, but I am really looking forward to carrying it on longer-runs and half-marathons to take with salt tablets as a source of energy. We tested it out today at the 5k and loved it. Kyle compared it to drinking coffee post run minus the jitters, I agree. I’ll keep you posted on the progress. If you would like to try ENERGYBits out you can use the promocode “blog” when you check out for a 10% discount!

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4) Truckeroo
Once a month DC food trucks get together outside of National’s ball park for a food truck rally with bars, live music, yard games, and tons of great food trucks. My friends Christy and Kyle were over for the weekend so we rounded up the troops and went over for dinner. It may not have been the healthiest choice before a race day…but I knew we were taking this race easy and indulged a little! YOLO! Sorry…I said YOLO…moving on! My dinner included a Maine lobster roll, corn fritters, ice cream, and cider. Cheat day? Sure! But who could say no to this?

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5) MyOatmeal
Several SweatPink Ambassadors are big fans of MyOatmeal and I’ve read several reviews of their product. I was really happy to partner with them in reviewing their oatmeal. They have a really neat feature where you can customize your own blend from a whole host of ingredients and toppings in three different sizes. I made two “small” blends to try — and the small packages were actually larger than I expected and were packed full to the top! You really do get your moneys worth. The first mix was a “cookie” themed mix with oats, cookie dough, snickerdoodle, sugar cookies, flax seeds, pecans, and brown sugar cane. The second mix was “apple” themed and contained oats, apple pie, apple, gingerbread, apples, chia seeds, walnuts, and brown sugar cane. The flavors are AMAZING and I love all of the add-in’s like chia seeds and flax seeds that they offer. It’s hard to pick from so many amazing choices. For the past 2 weeks I have kept one bag of my “cookie” flavored mix at my office and one bag of my “apple” flavored mix at home. I use the at-home bag for snacks and breakfast and the at-work bag as a morning snack to eat after I bike into work. My little morning bike workout can leave my hungry during the day, but a small cup of oatmeal fills me up until lunch time and give me the energy I need to focus during the day. They’ve also extended a 15% discount on their oatmeal and PBLean blends for my readers. Simply enter “healthy15” when you check out! Oatmeal’s often listed as one of the “cheaper” health-foods and I 100% agree…MyOatmeal just proves that!


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6) BrokenMillenial
My best friend from high school has an amazing blog and writes for several outlets including Forbes and most recently TaxAct. Erin interviewed me for her most recent piece. Check it out!

7) 5k
Today we ran/walked the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure 5k in DC. My mom is a breast cancer survivor, as is my mother-in-law, and they are both some of the strongest and most wonderful women I know! My mom actually took part in some of their breast cancer research while she underwent surgery and treatment here in DC this past year. It was great to come full-circle and be there with her on this special day. My mom, sister, and her girl-friends walked the 5k and me and two of my friends ran the 5k. You know me, if there was a 5k run option…I had to run! It worked out well because we were able to get photos of my mom finishing and set up a cheering section for her. It was also really great to run with some of my best friends on this special day – these races always get me choked up. After the race, we headed to my mom’s house and we hosted a PartyLite party through Kyle along with a brunch for family and friends. Check out her site! And lastly, one of my cousins came into town this weekend to start his internship on Capitol Hill for the summer so he joined us as well. All-in-all a blast!! I will leave you with some of my favorite pictures from the race:

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Race Recap: Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon

This weekend Max and I ran the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon through Virginia, DC, and Maryland. Pretty cool! The race was originally scheduled for October, but was moved to November due to the pesky government shutdown. Luckily for Max and I, this fit right into our schedule. After watching Amanda run the Marine Corp Marathon we were inspired to sign up for a distance race as well.

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The race is small in size (capped off at 5,000) and is young as far as area races go (in it’s 4th year). The half marathon starts at the beautiful Mount Vernon Estate of President George Washington and heads down along George Washington Parkway and over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge before coming into National Harbor for a big finish.

Max and I stayed at the race hotel the night before to make parking and the morning transition a little easier. We checked into the hotel on Saturday and were excited to receive a cute gift bag from the hotel with popcorn, water bottles, and a cookie when we checked in (hello, Holiday Inn Express points!) to start the day off. We then went to the mini-expo and picked up our race packets and bags in the hotel lobby. All of this took under 15 minutes — very efficient!

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We hung around the hotel relaxing and watching Lockdown on TV before our dinner reservation at Bonefish grill that night. We love their food and the hotel was so close! They give you crayons to draw on the table with and we got a little creative (ok…maybe I asked for them…) which included Star-wars, the Seattle Seahawks, and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon. The waiter got a chuckle out of our drawings.

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We were hungry and devoured our jumbo coconut Thai shrimp appetizer, fish and chips (Max), and salmon and veggies (me) before finally saying “no thank-you” to the pumpkin cream brule. after dinner we stopped by Safeway and picked up a pack of water bottles before heading back to the hotel to kick-start the hydration process. I know I always cramp with distance runs and worked hard all week to overload with Nuun and water. Apparently I did not do enough — more on that later!

Our alarms went off at 4:30 AM the next morning and we ate our Cliff bars and bananas for breakfast (mmmm the delicious life of a runner) and by 5:30 we were walking out of the lobby to board on of the race shuttles. The ride from the hotel to Mount Vernon has to be one of the most terrifying parts of the race. It was pitch black and felt like it lasted forever! The whole time I kept thinking “oh gosh…I have to RUN back here…and that’s 8 miles?! I’ve got how many after that?!” but I knew it was just my nerves getting the best of me. Once we arrived at Mount Vernon we hit up the ever-so-lovely race porta-potties and stretched our cold muscles. A group of Ethiopian runners (who ended up placing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd) started stretching right next to us. We felt out matched but inspired at the same time!

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7:00 AM was there before we knew it and we got in line with the 13:00/mile pace group and took off. Max started the race with me…but I really wanted him to PR so he took off running and ran closed to an 8:00/mile pace.

The course itself was absolutely beautiful! The first mile was almost entirely downhill before you hit a series of rolling hills and the bridge. Miles 1-5 flew by and mile 6 was the first mile marker I really noticed. I was in the zone and running a sub 13:00/mile pace and felt great! The view was stunning, the leaves were bright yellows and reds, and we ran along the Potomac River for the entirety of the race. Thankfully I had the view to distract me as my IHeartRadio App stopped working at mile 2!

At mile 7 I started to hit a bit of a wall and sucked down a chocolate Gu Gel with some Nuun and made friends with a fellow runner named Teri. I ended up running most of the next 5 miles with her and her husband and they were a ton of fun! I love meeting people along the course and helping out fellow runners who look like they could use and encouraging word or two. Along with Teri I met a group of 3 guys: 2 of whom had run the MCM followed by the NYG ING marathons back to back and were helping a 3rd friend finish his first marathon. Were they not in pain?

Mile 8 was the cut off point and you had to reach is by 9:00 AM (2 hours into the race aka a 15:00/mile pace). I was not too worried about the cut off, but was sad for runners who I had met along the way who fell back…and I am not sure if they made it to the cut off (aka “The Rude Awakening”) or not. I hope they did!

Mile 8 led up to the foot of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and we were greeted by rows of balloons, a water station, and police officers cheering us on. This was where I planned to kick it into gear! I had made it to the bridge..I could see National Harbor…and I knew I had a 10k in me to kick butt and take names! This is where I grabbed that 2:30 PR!

I picked up speed from mile 8 to mile 9 and kept my eye on my Polar Monitor for a 12:00/mile…and then…BOOM! Calf Cramps! I was half way between mile 9 and mile 10 and my right cramp seized up. I let out a loud exploitative I will not share on this blog, apologized to the runner next to me for swearing, and used the bridge railing to stretch. I started to slow jog and made it to mile 10 before…BOOM…left calf cramps! This is when I cried (just a little) because I saw my PR disappear as I starred at the distant Gaylord Hotel.

Max sent me a text message to let me know what he had finished in 2:01 and I told him that I was coming in slow with calf cramps. I had to walk most of miles 10 to 13.1 and tried my best to smile and cheer other runners on as I hobbled along the course. By now my PR was gone…I watched my Polar Monitor tick past 2:30 while I passed mile 11 and kept a smile on my face (thanks to the wonderful volunteers who encouraged me along).

My mom and sister came out to see us finish the race and were having brunch at the Westin hotel when runners started coming in. They just watched a runner in little more than a swimsuit (hard core in that cold weather!) run by following the group of Ethiopian runners we stretched with…so they thought they had some time still! They were still eating when speedy-Max came running into the finish line! My mom jumped up with her iPad (yes, iPad)  to head out and take pictures of him before he crossed the line. They finished up their yummy brunch and waited for me at mile 12. As I rounded the gravel heading into mile 12 I could see my sister and started waving. I was SO excited to see them! This was the first time my mom had seen my finish a race since my high school track days and this was the first time Alicia has seen me finish since my first Marine Corps 10k in college. Alicia jogged along in her boots and cringed at the site of my charlie horse cramps. Mom jogged for about 20 feet and was tired. Alicia joked with her that she needed a Gatorade and needed to run faster — the funny thought took my mind off of my calf pain. I knew the finish line was just around the corner now and Max was waiting for me there.

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The crowd was pretty loud as I came in and I was happy to hear it! I think people felt bad as they saw me slow jog it in, draggin’ my rock-solid cramped right leg along with me…but I needed the cheers!

I may not have PR-ed…but I finished and I enjoyed the race, the beautiful course, the wonderful volunteers, my family, and the small size!

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After the race, we headed back to the hotel to shower, grab some coffee, and head out to watch the Seahawks beat the Falcons at our favorite bar. We also started a new post-race tradition of Chipotle dinners 🙂 I see a lot of half-marathons in our future and am thankful for a husband who is as competitive as I am!

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Lesson #1: Increase pre-race sodium intake and always run with salt tablets for distance running. This is the second half marathon where I have cramped at mile 9 and I could not be more angry with myself. I was on pace to set a PR and double calf cramps set me back. Salt tablets are little miracle workers for distance athletes and I should have taken my dads advice and run with them. This is why runners often eat pretzels or very salty snacks before a run. Salt tablets, like SaltStick, help replace electrolytes, enhance fluid absorption, and minimize muscle cramping. Next time round you can bet I will be taking one before the race and will carry one for mile 9! I also need to eat a more high-sodium diet leading up to a race. I was great about Nuun and EmergenC, but needed to eat a dinner higher in salt content.

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Lesson #2: Ice after every race. Around mile 6 I felt a strange tingle on the outside of my knee. I shook it out and kept trucking along. The hip pain I had from two weeks ago has almost entirely subsided and I ignored it for the entire race. Turns out the 2 were connected –> IT Band! I iced immediately for the first 24 hours and foam rolled my IT band and the pain is almost entirely gone. I even experimented with a bit of KT tape and that seemed to have sealed the deal. The thought of foam rolling the pain away in the first 24 hours was brutal. I essentially started at my foam roller and considered it foam rolling…but now the recovery work begins (I promise)!

So what’s next? Turkey Trot 5k for Thanksgiving!

Keep finding your strong!

Race Recap: Marine Corps 10k & Marathon

This weekend was hands down one of the best weekends this year. My Ohana was all in town, many of them running a 10k race for their first time, and Amanda was running her first-ever MARATHON! You can read her blog recap at the link – try not to cry too much! She is amazing!

The weekend started out Friday night when people started trickling into town. On Saturday the race festivities began and we made our way to the DC Armory where we navigated the crowded parking lot and jumped in line to wait for our race packets as the power went out in the tent. It was a littler terrifying to walked through a pitch black dark tent with no lights to find out bib stations. Then we grabbed out gear and headed to the expo. I think that is when it really sank in for everyone that we were doing this! The expo was great and I picked up a few stinger waffles and stinger gels for the in-between period between my two race (more on that later) and the girls bought everything from new shoes, an official MCM race jacket, water bottle holders, sweaty bands, and free samples. The expo had it all!

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On Saturday night the girls and I cooked up pizza, pasta, salad, and garlic bread for out carbo loading feast and did our best to make it into bed before 11! why so early? Well…because we had to be awake at 5:30 am! But first we laid out our race gear and checked our to-do lists.

5:30 AM came around a lot fast than I wanted too and of course the race day jitters had the best of me. Alarms went off and us bleary eyed runners and rock-star support team got dressed and hit the road. We took the metro three stops down to Smithsonian and I bolted for the pota-poty line. I swear I always try to use the bathroom at home before a race but no matter what I do I always end up having to pee right when I get to the race start! Maybe it’s nerves? Either way, those things are a rare form of HELL! *barf*

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Post porta-poty photo op

We lined up at the 1:15 mark knowing that our group of runners would be all over the pace from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. This was safe! We watched marines parachute out of a plane with a giant American flag and land at the MCM start, we listened to the national anthem, and we howitzer cannon went off!

My plan for the day was a little different than I had originally planned so I knew I needed to take it easy. Amanda was running the marathon for Team Not Alone and was running in memory of her beautiful mother Glenda who we miss deeply and all ran for. She carried us all through that day – you could feel Mrs. Glenda all around. My original plan (which was approved by the MCM fyi) was to wait to start my 10k race until Amanda reached the 20 mile mark so that we could run the 6.2 together. On Saturday we realized that the courses were slightly different and that our plan would not really work out the way I has planned. So I made a decision on Saturday at the Expo to run the 10k with the group and metro to the 20 mile marker of the marathon and run with Amanda. 12.4 miles. I was nervous since I had not done a distance like that since my half marathon earlier this year but I knew it was going to be great! One of the best choices ever and our friend Andrea joined me as well!

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My trying to truck it up the hill behind zippy Beth – she killed that hill!

For the 10k, I had the pleasure of running with Beth who was running her first ever 10k and started training 6 weeks before. We live in the same neighborhood so we were able to get in a few training runs together before the big day which was great. During those training runs we ran with a consistent 1 minute run 1 minute walk plan that ended up with a 13 minute mile. Beth was comfortable with that and knew that she could finish the 6.2 with that plan. We stuck to the plan and poor Beth got a foot cramp (those suck!) at mile 2 so we had a couple of stretch breaks to keep her toes from cramping and 1 porta-potty break so we finished with a 14 minute mile pace which was still AWESOME! 11 months prior to this race I race Beth’s first 5k with her and I realized this close to the finish line and ran behind her up the finish line hill and was so incredibly proud of how far she had come. How about a half marathon, Beth!? The rest of the group finished 8 minutes ahead of us and speedy-speedy Andy finished in under an hour! Crazy! Beth and I high-fived as we received our medals and we met the group for watermelon, beer, and bananas. Man…that sounds nasty now. We really were lucky to have a rock-star support crew of friends who carried out gear for us to the finish line and took photos so that we could do our best to look like that ridiculously photogenic marathon guy (this one). THANK YOU ALL of cheering us on and carrying around very heavy bags – Tory, Caroline, Max, Matt, and Danielle.

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SO proud of these awesome 10k-ers!

By this time I was HUNGRY and knew I needed to get some food in my stomach before I jumped on the metro to make it to mile 20. The options were pretty limited so I went for a plain McDonalds egg mcmuffin (gross, I know, but it was pretty basic and not horribly greasy). I gobbled it down and Beth, Christy and I made our way to mile 20 to meet up with Team Peacock. One of the best added surprises was getting to mile 20 right as my friend Melissa was running by. This was also her first marathon and we ran the Rock and Roll Half Marathon together this past spring. I heard someone call my name and immediately ran over, hugged her, and jogged along with her for a bit until I needed to turn around. She beat the bridge! I made my way back to Team Peacock and Mr. Brian (Amanda’s dad) hugged me and told me that he was so proud of us and that we were killing him that day with all of our love – that was the second time I cried that day. To call is an emotional ay was an understatement

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Mama Caroline braiding my hair pre-run & a post-run banana

We were tracking Amanda up to that point on our phones and knew that she was near. She had run a consistent 13 minute mile for the entire 20 miles and did not stop! Wow! I stood on the barrier and looked for Amanda’s teal under armor shirt in the crowd and could see her running up the on ramp. We started SCREAMING! The crowd went crazy and Amanda raised her hands and Andie and I jumped in. Our plan – have fun for the last 6.2! Boy did we! We continued running til we made it to the end of the never-ending bridge and started to power walk. Even power walking we were till passing people left and right which was pretty funny to me. We danced through the bands and people playing music on the side of the street, we made ourselves look SUPER good in our best running poses by photographers, we looked out for the best signs, we laughed at the vodka shots some spectators tried to hand us and gagged at the smell of the spilled vodka in the heat, and we cheered on other runners around us. It was the fastest 6.2 of my life because e were having fun while doing it. For those 6.2 I forgot about the blisters on my heels, forgot about my IT band pain, forgot that I was hungry and wanted another drink, forgot that I had to get my butt to work the next morning. It was amazing!

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*Photos from Andrea :D*

before we knew it we were at mile 26 and picked up out pace and started running again. We could see the hill and started up it together – the three of us in a line. We rounded the corner and saw the Team Peacock cheering section and I started to tear up again seeing everyone and I could see Amanda holing back tears too. Her dad ran out and high-fived her as she ran the very last bit to the end and Andrea and I ducked out and joined the group. It was amazing! We met up with Amanda at the family meet up and it was hugs all around.

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Killing that hill!

Amanda wanted beer and pizza and we all agreed that the combo sounded amazing after a day of running. We headed back to Beth’s house and ordered 9 pizzas, a case of Sam Adams, and 2 six packs of Angry Orchard. We finished it all. YUM!

To say that I have the best friends in the world is an under statement 😀 I am blessed and need to remember that more often. I am SO proud and will remember this race forever. So what’s next? Mr. Husband was certainly bitten but the distance race bug while watching the marathon. I race more than he does…but he is a MUCH faster runner than I am. We found a half marathon (13.1 miles) that was 13 days away and figured, what the heck? Let’s do it! I essentially ran a half marathon this weekend and am walking fine and ready to exercise again 2 days later (thanks foam roller) and Max is in much better shape than I am. So on Nov. 10th Max and I will be running the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon from Mount Vernon to National Harbor – that goes through 2 states and the District of Columbia. Pretty cool!

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Mission Accomplished.

Race Recap – Dewey Goes Pink

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This afternoon I ran the Dewey Goes Pink 5k for the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition. This particular race really held a special place in my heart because my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer just over a week ago AND my mother-in-law won her battle with breast cancer this past summer and is now cancer free. What can I say, I surround myself with strong women!

The morning was a little rough and threw a few curve balls into my game plane. My in-laws live on the bay in Delaware and there are several corn fields in the area. As we drove in last night, we passed through huge dust clouds that almost looked like fog…

picstitchwith the windows down! I was wearing a long sleeve shirt,but my neck and face and hands were exposed. I have pretty strong seasonal allergies and woke up in the middle of the night itchy all over and forced myself back to sleep. Around 7 AM I woke up feeling like my neck was on fire and walked downstairs to Max who was watching the news. I told him I felt like I was having an allergic and he looked at me like I had three eyes. Actually…I had one eye! My left eye was swollen and shut and my neck/face were covered and a painful, raised red rash. Luckily my in-law’s has benadryl and anti-itch cream and I hoped into a cold, cold shower to get the rash down. I popped another benadryl, downed the coffee and protein shake my father-in-law so nicely made me (so yummy), and us running ladies headed over to the race.  I was reluctant to do this…because I looked like a monster…but here is a photo.

We parked, got our time chips, cute shirts, some water bottles, and waited for the men to arrive so we could hand-off our goodies and hand off Marcel (who was so handsome in his breast cancer scarf!). By the time the race started my eye was still swollen but my rash had gone down significantly. Thank GOD! We are having an unseasonably warm weekend down here and were in the 90’s by the time the race started. So the gun went off and I tried to keep up with the front group…and was way out of my pace group! The guy in front ended up finishing in 18 minutes! I ran the first mile, hit up the water table for another cup, and went on a loose 1 min run – 1 min walk strategy for the next 2 miles. It was just WAY too hot and I stupidly did not carry water with me. It was that kind of heat where you feel like throwing up. Not fun. But I really enjoyed the race! We had to cross one major road so runners were stuck waiting on one end as they let cars through so that messed with my time a little. A total of 1,600 runners racing in a small town is always a challenge! The course was pretty flat which was great (hello beach running!) but Bendryl was really taking it’s tole on me and I felt a little like a zombie on the road.

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As we hit the 2.5 mile markers I knew I needed to kick it into a gear a little more. I am one of those runners that gets a real kick at the end of a race and I could see people dropping around me. I caught up to one guy who reminded me of my dad and I started running with him. He

had just stopped to walk and I turned to him and encouraged him to finish strong and that I would help him run the last 0.6 miles. He did it! We picked up the pace and crossed the finish line at 36 mins and 24 seconds. He thanked me when we got to the finish line and that felt great. I love encouraging other runners and helping people make their way to the finish line. The struggle is real, runner friends, the struggle is real!

I crossed the finish line, grabbed my water bottle and ice pack, and made my way over to “our spot” at the Starboard. Our speedy 1.5 milers had already made there way back and gotten their drinks by the time I finished – they did great!! They had a huge spread of cookies, WHOLE pigs, BBQ chicken, pasta, fruit, cookies, drinks, and beer for everyone afterwards. Marcel enjoyed eating my bag of ice, haha, he is a funny little puppy! I on the other hand enjoyed two bottles of water, bbq, and 2 pink crushes (whatever that was? grapefruit juice and vodka I think!

Races like these are my favorites. I didn’t PR, I wasn’t overly proud of my time at all, I ran it mostly on my own, and you don’t get a fun medal…but they MEAN a lot. They mean the world! We raised over $30,000+ for breast cancer research and like the VP of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition said, “we are doing this so that future generations do not need to be affected by breast cancer like ours have.”

Next up? The Marine Corps 10k with Team Peacock!

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Dear Diary #10 – One Emotional (AND Awesome) Race

This week has been a rough one to say the least. Maxwell and I were making dinner on Friday night and got one of those calls that no one wants to receive. My parents had spent two weeks away from the Philippines visiting Thailand for what I thought was a vacation (in case you missed me complaining on Instagram). Turns out they were visiting with breast cancer specialists at a hospital in Bangkok (I knew their 2 week vacation felt a little long). Mama has breast cancer – early stage invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) breast cancer. We had no idea and my parents did not want to tell us until they knew more about the diagnosis, which I completely understand.  She has her annual mammogram done in this summer while she was visiting and they found an abnormality. Sadly, they didn’t get the results back until my mom was already back in Manila. They order a second mammogram in Manila and again found the abnormality. That’s when she was sent to Thailand because their specialists are better than in Manila. They did the biopsy and then went in and removed the cancer and some of the healthy tissue around it while in Bangkok. Next step? She’s flying back to DC in a week to meet with doctors at G.W. Hospital and start treatment.

It’s going to be a rough couple of months ahead of us as we figure out treatment and find ways to help out – but I am glad she is able to come back to DC for treatment. The early stages of IDC breast cancer have high recovery rates and we are all very hopeful! Please keep her in your prayers. She’s super woman, just like mama B, and I know she will be ok! I believe that – I really do.

Interestingly enough my next race is Dewey Goes Pink – a fun 5k run or 1.5 mile walk for breast cancer research. You see, my awesome mama-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and finished her treatment this summer. She is cancer free and full of awesome! She is why I have full faith that my mom will be ok too. She never complained during treatment or surgery and she stayed so positive throughout her battle with breast cancer. It even inspired my sis-in-law to participate in her campus Relay for Life and now she chair’s her campus’ College’s Against Cancer group. Right now she is working with Cancer Care Connection to fund raise – check it out! We are going to be running Dewey Goes Pink on Saturday October 5th and the profits go to the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition. There’s going to be a ton of pink (you know how I love pink), post-race drinks, many strong breast cancer survivors, music, tech shirts, and a BBQ! Races like these are always inspiring…but running it this weekend has double meaning for me – my mom’s!

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[[EDIT: On of my best friend’s signed up for the Abolish Breast Cancer 5k in Connecticut and will ALSO be running on Saturday. This is her first race in a while so send some encouragement her way!]]

“The Bug” – Dear Diary #4

Have you ever get bitten by the race bug? I’ve been bit…and now I need to cure it! Yesterday I saw a friend write up a Facebook status about joining a triathlon and I thought to myself “I want in!!” 😀 but refrained. Most of the restraint came form the face that USTA memberships are basically required for triathlons and are so expensive (and mins expired).  I’ve got a big 10k coming up in October that is very important to me, but I need something in between. Perhaps an August race? Perhaps a September race? I need something!

It’s been over a month since my last race. I ran a great 5k late-may (finished between 25-30 minutes) and a horrible 5k on Cinco de Mayo (it took me over 45 minutes to finish…I stopped counting). It was my first race back post-ankle fracture and I rolled my ankle over a speed bump. I cried my way to the finish line and my husband and mother-in-law helped me feel better. But that’s the past!

I like to run…but I LOVE to race. People used to think I was crazy because I’d go run these races without any training and not die. However, I’ve never medaled in a distance race – I did all the time in track for sprinting – but I have yet to medal in any of the local 5k’s I enter. Usually the Boston-Marathon-Jacket-Wearing-Ladies and the Iron-Man-Tattoo-Clad-Women happen to be in my age group and BOOM there goes any shot. I’m in a competitive age group and I know I have a long ways to go before I medal. But I also know that I will get there! I want to win a medal one day that’s not a finisher’s medal (not that finishing is not a huge achievement).

I always find it funny how right before a race you’re a little nervous…you might even be re-thinking the race…you might be a little scared…you might want to quit BUT as soon as you finish you are ready to sign up for another!! Let’s so it again!!

So ladies and gents, I have been bit by the racing bug and need to find a fun 5k in the next month to run! Max and I really like a running group based out of Rehoboth, DE (where his parents live – I know we are veryyyy lucky because we get to visit them and they live by the water!). The group is called Seashore Striders and they have races every week or two, give great tech-shirts out to participants, use timing chips, and have medals for the top 3 men and women. The best was the huff-and-puff for your pumpkin pie 5k the morning of Thanksgiving. The weather was cool but the leaves were beautiful and Mr. Husband won the 3rd place men’s medal! I was pretty jealous…so I walked around in it while we grabbed our post-race Starbucks coffee and like to pretend that it was mine. I was pretty proud of him! He’s pretty fast! He’s my cheerleader, my biggest motivator, and my inspiration. While we were in college he drastically changed his diet and fell in love with running to loose over 100 lbs! Racing together is one of the coolest things — I love it! We don’t run together because…well…I cannot keep up with him. But we race together and start together and it is always nice to have some there cheering for you when you cross the finish line. It’s nice to have the same hobby because he understands that I would rather get a box of Nuun as a gift instead of flowers and he knows that a great adventure out can include getting new running shoes!

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That’s time with his shiny medal in the freezing cold 😀

Untitledand that’s us before the race 😀

So what will it be? The SPCA race for the puppies 5k? The Labor Day 5k? Who knows! I need one! Ready—-set—–go!

Keep finding your strong,

Laura