Wednesday, November 30, 2016

U Can Finish 5 miler - recap

Back on October 16th I ran the U Can Finish 5 miler, another race as part of the Track Shack Fanatic Series. 
U Can Finish 5 Mile & 2 Mile Presented by Florida Hospital

The last time I ran this race was back in 2010.  I was excited to run it again and see how much the University of Central Florida campus had changed. 

The day before the race was homecoming at UCF.  Since Ryan and I are alumni we decided to take the boys with us for some tailgating.  We didn't go into the actual game but did enjoy hanging out with some old friends and buying Mason a new UCF tshirt.

On our way home from homecoming I made sure to pick up a cheeseburger for my pre-race dinner (no picture and no review ... wasn't too memorable).

Sunday morning I headed out to campus on my own (the boys stayed home with Ryan).  I remember thinking to myself that I would actually try to race and try to run hard. 

I finished 6th in my age group, with a time of 38:20 minutes. 

I've realized that the women in Orlando are FAST.  The next race as part of the series is in January ... I better work on my speed.

Santa's Christmas Tree Forest

In between eating cheeseburgers and running, my family and I have been getting into the holiday spirit.  Early Friday morning we drove out to Santa's Christmas Tree Farm in Eustis, almost an hour away from us.  Heading out to a Christmas Tree Farm has been a tradition that Ryan and I started 6 years ago in North Carolina.  We were excited to continue the tradition in Florida.

Once we arrived, we loaded onto a hayride and were taken out to where we could choose our own tree.  My dad has been pretty handy with the saw, and did the honors of chopping it down for us. 

I must say the trees up in North Carolina are much prettier, but I'm just happy that we were able to keep the tradition alive that Ryan and I started so long ago.  Hopefully the boys will appreciate it as they get older. 

November miles total

Guess what everyone, I'm still running!  I may have stopped blogging about it (temporarily), but I've definitely been hitting the pavement. 

I finished my November miles this morning while Anderson was at the YMCA.  I squeezed out 4.15 miles to bring my grand total for the month to ....

I haven't had a 100 mile month in over a year (I think).  It's been a while ... and it's tough to do without any half marathon training going on.  I did manage to do a 10 miler back on November 13th just to see if I still could.  You never know when someone is going to challenge you to a 10 mile race ...
November was a fun month of running ... I ran with Ryan a couple of times and even ran with a mom group on early Saturday morning (hello 5:30am!).  Hoping December is full of fun runs as well. 
I'm so close to ending the year at 1,000 miles ... a feat (feet?) that I've been trying to do for almost 5 years. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Porch - cheeseburger review

After a little over 2 months of living back in Orlando, FL, I've finally managed to try a "new to me" burger.  My little family met up with my friend Katie and her tribe at The Porch, a sports bar type of place in Winter Park.  We picked a location that would hopefully be kid friendly; this place delivered.

Huge tv screens covered most walls and had college football games playing.  The beer special was $3.50 Corona Light drafts that Ryan and I loved.  The vibe was laid back and chill, just what we were looking for.

Thankfully I ran 3 miles this morning before going to Disney with Mason, so there was no doubt in my mind that I was ordering a cheeseburger for dinner. 

There were a few different burger options to choose from (along with the popular make your own burger).  I went with the "mama jama" on a brioche bun.

"Award winning combination of pimento cheese, bourbon bacon jam, crispy onions"
I demolished that poor burger.  I brought home my side, sweet potato tots, because I was so full from the burger and from all of the appetizers I ordered (oopsie).  The meat had great flavor and the combination of the salty fried onions mixed with the sweet bourbon bacon jam was heavenly. 
We had a great time at The Porch and I truly apologize to the poor server for having to pick up the ginormous mess Anderson made on the floor (not a fan of Chex cereal I suppose). 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Rock n Run 5k - recap

Last night race prep occurred like usual ... cheeseburger and a beer.  I repeated my same order from Smashburger from last Sunday ... classic smashburger washed down with a Fat Tire beer.

My alarm went off at 6:03 this morning and I quickly got ready for the race.  I left the house around 6:30 and headed to Casselberry.  It took close to 40 minutes to get near the race and a long time to find parking.  I walked almost a mile to the start line and had about 5 minutes before the start of the race.

The course was flat and pretty fast.  There were some shaded areas which was a plus. I really tried to push myself this morning and finished mile 1 in just over 7 minutes.  I finished the 2nd mile in 14:30 minutes.  And then I started to lose steam ...

Official time - 22:59 minutes, 7:23 pace
6th finisher - women's 30-34
30th finisher - women
118th finisher - overall
I'm proud of myself for finishing one minute faster than last month's 5k race.  Next 5k isn't until January so I'll be curious to see how my speed improves. 
Best part of the race was the mini craft beer festival.  Each runner was handed a card with 6 possible beer samples.  I only had time to finish 2 of the samples before rushing to the soccer field to catch Mason's second soccer game of the morning.  Such is the life of a mother runner ... 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

the past month ...

the good news is that I've continued to run and eat cheeseburgers during the past month.

the bad news is that I haven't written anything about it.

so I'll try to make it up to you.  I would give you all a virtual cheeseburger, extra pickles if that's your thing, but that isn't possible.  so instead I'll try to recap as best as I can.

first I'll start off by saying that I'm getting closer to reaching 1,000 miles for 2016.  in order to hit that goal I'll have to run at least 80 miles each month.  I honestly don't think I'll hit that in September, which means the last 3 months of the year will be ramped up considerably.

my right knee has been doing that fluid buildup thing again which is worrisome. 
(un)fortunately I've been so consumed with our new house that I've put medical issues on the backburner.  totally normal and responsible of me.

oh and you know what happens when you run in Florida?  there is a good chance that it'll start raining, without any warning.  both times I was stuck clutching my iPhone fearing that there would be water damage. 

the 2nd race of the Track Shack fanatic series is this Saturday ... Rock n Run 5k.  plans this week include picking up the race packet and hopefully getting myself ready for the race (ie. eating a cheeseburger Friday night)

on the cheeseburger front, this past Sunday night I picked up some Smashburger for Ryan and I.  tasty for sure, but nothing beats eating it fresh at the restaurant. 

and that's about it.  fingers crossed I do well at the race on Saturday morning and have a recap posted shortly afterwards.  hope everyone is running and eating cheeseburgers!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Celebration of Running 5k - recap

My recent move back to Florida fell perfectly in line with the beginning of running season.  I was able to sign up for Track Shack's "fanatic" which is a series of 6 races throughout the year. 

The first race on the schedule was the Celebration of Running 5k on Saturday August 13th at 7:30am. 

 As per race tradition, I had a cheeseburger the night before for dinner.  We got take out from East Coast Wings and the burger was not good.  Which shouldn't be a surprise since the restaurant specializes in chicken wings!

The morning of the race I headed off solo and let Ryan tend to the boys.  Although I love having my cheerleaders there it tends to be a circus trying to round them up so early in the morning.

My buddy Mike found me at the start of the race and we lined up next to each other.  The race was 95% brick roads which made it difficult; at least it wasn't hilly!  It was super humid and muggy, but hey that's Florida for ya. 

I finished in exactly 24 minutes and didn't think I had such a spectacular performance out there.  Mike and I took our picture and said our goodbyes. 

Later on when race results were posted I realized that I had placed 3rd in my age group, 30-34.  The prize was a pillow and I couldn't wait to stop by Track Shack to pick it up.
It was a great start to racing season in Florida ... Looking forward to the 2nd race of the Fanatic series, Rock n Run 5k on September 17th.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

back in Florida

this will be the quick and dirty update of what has been going on ....

we recently moved from Charlotte, NC back to Orlando, FL.  my mom and I drove the boys back on Friday while my dad drove Ryan's car.  Ryan and Alex drove the moving truck on Saturday.  after many hours of unpacking during the weekend we got our necessities into our 3 bedroom apartment.  the rest of our belongings are chilling in my parents' garage.

why the move?  we missed family.  I missed my parents so much and wanted my boys to grow up knowing their cousins.  fortunately Ryan is able to keep the same job ... and well so do I.

as far as cheeseburgers go I haven't eaten one in days ... over a week?  sadly I can't remember when the last one was.  I have, however, logged in some Florida miles.  the past 3 days I've run at least 3 miles and boy have they been HOT.  at least running in Orlando is virtually flat as a pancake so that's a plus.

no set races on the calendar ... although I have my eye on a bacon race in 10 days.  it's a 5k so I think I can rock it although my fastest 5k time lately has been averaging 8 minute miles.  I still have some work to do.

I'll get back here as soon as I can with some cheeseburger recaps.  I finally got internet so that's been a huge lifesaver so that Mason can chill with the iPad during quiet time.

hope everyone is having a good week ... keep running and eating those burgers!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Two Burgers in Two Days .... all the way in Rhode Island!

A couple of weeks ago I got to travel to Newport, Rhode Island to help celebrate my friend Shannon's bachelorette weekend.  A bunch of us flew in from Charlotte and met up with some of her friends and family from up north.

Even with staying up late and having a few cocktails Friday night, I managed to get in a run Saturday morning.  I ran from our hotel to the "Cliff Walk," a 7 mile out and back trail near Newport. 

For someone as clumsy as I am, I was pretty scared going over the rocky parts of the trail.  But the views made up for it!  It was a little cloudy and much cooler than it had been in Charlotte, and oh so quiet.  I ran and walked just under 5 miles and headed back to the hotel, coffee in hand, ready to party!

One of the fun activities that Shannon's sister planned for the group, was a trip to a local vineyard (Newport Vineyard), complete with a chauffeured party bus ... no drinking and driving for us!

After touring the winery and sampling our fair share of delicious wines, we headed to their in-house cafĂ© for lunch.  I settled on their beet & bean burger and chips.
BEET + BEAN BURGER                                                     9
herb mayo, arugula, tomato, brioche roll
It was tasty and definitely made me feel like I was eating healthy!

The next day found us on the water aboard a mimosa cruise.  Although I was too hungover to partake in any drinking, I did work up an appetite while sailing, and devoured a burger at our lunch spot. 

Not only did the Midtown Oyster House have a delicious burger, they also had a killer bloody mary that worked wonders for my hangover.

GOOD BURGER*          13
Bacon, Gruyere Cheese, Onion Jam Toasted Brioche Bun

I loved spending so much time with one of my favorite people in such a cool city.  Eating 2 burgers in 2 days wasn't so bad either :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Famous Toastery American 4 Miler - race recap

I was lucky enough to win a free race entry into the Famous Toastery American 4 Miler on July 4th.  There are a couple of reasons why I shouldn't have run this race ... I was still on antibiotics for my sinus infection (ie. hacking up a lung) AND I didn't have my pre-race cheeseburger the night before.

I made it to the race with time to spare; I parked 1/2 mile away at the nearby middle school and took my time walking over.  I wasn't feeling all that motivated to race and had a feeling I wouldn't be setting any PRs that morning. 

I didn't even make it to the 3 mile mark when I began to text Ryan.  I told him I wasn't feeling well and that I was stopping to walk.  A side effect from my sinus infection medication was DIARREHEA.  Boy oh boy did I have to poop.  I continued walking the course as I coughed up all sorts of green and yellow grossness. 

I finally crossed the finish line in 36:14 minutes, by far my slowest 4 miler time ever.  Although I was disappointed I didn't run faster, I was surprised that I actually finished the race.  I could've veered off course and found a shorter way to my car but instead I suffered through the 4 miles.  How noble of me right?  Wrong.  I should've skipped the race and gotten healthy.  You live and learn I suppose.

Run For Your Life always puts on a great race and the Famous Toastery American 4 Miler was no exception.

Did anyone else race during the holiday weekend?  Any fun patriotic running stories?   

"woah, we're half way there"

gotta love a little Bon Jovi to shake things up on a Friday night.  "Woah, livin' on a prayer."

it's July 1st.  to me that means that half the year is already over ... which means I should have already run at least 500 miles to hit my goal of running 1,000 miles in 2016.

lucky for me I ran 507.4 miles in the first 6 months of 2016.  492.6 miles to go!  so close, yet so very far.

I'll have to remain pretty aggressive with my weekly mileage to reach my goal this year.  I'm up for the challenge and have run (slightly) more each month since January (77 miles).  I'll have to run more than 90.35 miles in July to continue this trend.  Fingers crossed we stay away from injuries and/or sicknesses that would prevent this from happening. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

my first attempt at speedwork

After so (many) years of running I finally decided that incorporating some speed work could help make me faster.  I'm 99% positive that I've never attempted to do any speed work in the past. 

Today while at the indoor track at the Harris YMCA I completed what I considered a speed work out.

12 laps = 1 mile

I alternated walking 1 lap with 3 laps (1/4 mile) of running.
1/4 mile - 1:48
1/4 mile - 1:40
1/4 mile - 1:43
1/4 mile - 1:39
1/4 mile - 1:40
1/4 mile - 1:38
1/4 mile - 1:41
1/4 mile - 1:41
1/4 mile - 1:43

then I jogged for 1/2 mile as a cool down.

total - 3.5 miles in 29:43 minutes

I would love to try this again on an "actual" track where each lap is 1/4 mile.  I was a sweaty mess when I was finished and was glad that I had taken 30 minutes to complete my work out.  I think I may try to incorporate some speed work outs into my weekly runs. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

save that pickle juice

Summer time running is rough.  It's hot.  It's humid.  And I'm usually sweating buckets by the time I'm done.  This morning was no different after slogging through 4.5 miles. 

I had heard about drinking pickle juice after running so I used trusty google to find an article highlighting the miracle drink.

An article published on Women's Running mentions numerous benefits of drinking pickle juice after a run.  It helps with muscle cramping, hydration, and to restore energy levels, due to the acetic acid (vinegar) found in the juice.

I poured 2 ounces into a cute little glass and drank the salty, vinegary liquid.  Yum.  Cheers to wacky running aids! 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

taking advantage of the weather

The past couple of mornings have been gorgeous in Charlotte!  I've been heading to the YMCA at 9am to drop off the boys in childcare and then running around their outdoor track. 
Yesterday morning it was only 66 degrees out!  Between the mild weather and the first song of my run being "Run" by Vampire Weekend, I knew I was in for a great time.
I love that most of the songs on the Vampire Weekend station on Pandora are so upbeat and lively.  I felt like at some points I was just gliding through my run and finished with a huge smile on my face.  Cooler temps and low humidity meant faster times which allowed me a few minutes in the weight room to work out back (something I haven't done in months). 

Clearly there are days when I drag myself out for a run, but this week has not been like that at all. 

Hope everyone else is taking advantage of our great weather before we hit 100 degrees ... EEEEEK!

One Charleston run and lots of eats

So this probably should've been posted a couple of weeks ago but alas I'm just getting to it now.  Although I didn't get to eat a cheeseburger while in Charleston, SC I did get to sample lots of other delicious food which I wanted to document.

Ryan and I were in town for my friend Liz's wedding on Sunday May 29th.  It was a gorgeous event and I felt so honored to share her special day with her.  Since my parents had driven to Charlotte to watch the boys for us, Ryan and I decided to spend an extra night in Charleston to have a mini-vacation. 

On Monday morning we packed up our things in our hotel and headed out to breakfast.  We had been staying in Mount Pleasant and found the cutest coffee shop to dine at.  Not only was the coffee at The Collective divine, their food options hit the spot.
I ordered the Pimiento Cheese biscuit, with brown sugar bacon, egg, and cheese.  YUM!

After breakfast we headed to Sullivan's Island to hit up the beach.  It definitely started drizzling on us but I wanted a chance to walk along the water since we rarely see the beach.
We spent about 1.5 hours walking along the beach collecting seashells, before we decided to head over the bridge to Charleston.  Our hotel room wasn't ready yet so we changed into running clothes in their bathrooms and headed out for a jog/walk around the city.
We love that there is a street in downtown Charleston named Chalmers Street and always try to take a photograph while we are there.  We managed to run 3.5 miles before heading back to our hotel.  We were disappointed that our room still wasn't ready, but that didn't stop us from heading to lunch in our sweaty workout clothes.  We sat at the bar at Amen Street Fish & Raw Bar and had a couple of beers and fresh seafood.  No pictures were taken but we did enjoy our food (I ordered the ceviche).

After lunch we managed to check-in to our hotel and quickly showered and got ready to head back out to happy hour.  Hitting up the happy hour at Pearlz Oyster Bar has become our tradition and we didn't want to miss the 4pm start time.
We polished off 2 dozen raw oysters!  I also ordered corn fritters and pork rinds.  Among all of the draft beer we drank, we also took 2 oyster shooters.  Now we were ready to party!

The rain was off and on so we headed to another bar to avoid getting soaked.  We found Craftsmen Kitchen & Tap House and settled in at the bar.  I ordered a beer flight and their fried pickles off the happy hour menu.

Clearly by this point Ryan and I had been eating and drinking most of the day.  That didn't stop us from continuing our mini pub crawl through Charleston!  Our next stop was Cypress for some wine and a cheese board.  We sat the bar upstairs and felt pretty swanky in the fancy restaurant.  We then headed to High Cotton for a more relaxed vibe and some live music.  Plus I heard their espresso martini was to die for.  And it was.  Super tasty and way decadent.  As you can probably guess I was pretty drunk at this point and demanded dessert.  We ended our night at Carmella's Dessert Bar where I proceeded to order everything in their dessert case.  No lie. 

So there you have it.  A little bit of running and a whole lot of eating in one of my favorite cities in the world.  Check out any of the places I mentioned for some tasty treats. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Mimosas and a Meck Day celebration

On Friday we ordered take out from Smashburger in preparation of my "5k" Saturday morning.  Ok ok we all wanted burgers and were looking for any excuse to eat them.
I went with the regular Smashburger on an egg bun, American cheese, lettuce, pickles, onions, with the smash sauce.  On the side I split some of their spicy buffalo French fries (dry seasoned with Frank's RedHot) with Ryan.  In honor of Meck Day I drank some Captain Jack out of my OMB pint glass. 

from Wikipedia: The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence is claimed by some to be the first declaration of independence made in the Thirteen Colonies during the American Revolution. It was supposedly signed on May 20, 1775, at Charlotte, North Carolina, by a committee of citizens of Mecklenburg County, who declared independence from Great Britain after hearing of the battle of Lexington.

May 20th is the day that those of us in Charlotte, recognize Captain Jack's delivery of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence to the Continental Congress.  Olde Mecklenburg Brewery crafted a delicious pilsner and named it after Captain Jack.  It is one of the beers that we constantly have on draft in our kegerator. 

On Saturday morning I headed to the Mimosa 5k with Steph and knocked out the run.  Although it was originally planned to take place on the greenway, it got re-routed to a nearby neighborhood due to flooding.  I kept a decent pace (definitely was not trying to go all out) and I finished 2nd.  No prizes but always good for the 'ol pride ;)

Afterwards we hydrated ourselves appropriately with mimosas.  Run for your Life raffled off some socks and pint glasses.  Steph won herself a pair of Balega socks which are super comfy. 

Read more here:
It's always fun to run with a group of people, but it's definitely more fun when your bestie is one of those runners!

Hope everyone had a good weekend, full of running ... and beer ... and cheeseburgers!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

my runs lately

After taking 2 days off from running while visiting Atlanta, GA this past weekend, I hit the ground running (haha I love puns) on Monday morning.  Anderson and I took it easy around Mason's school and completed a little over 4 miles. 

On Tuesday I headed to the indoor track at the YMCA to run 4 miles.  I lost Anderson's "on-the-go" pacifier and didn't have one with me when I dropped him off at childcare.  I knew I was on borrowed time and tried to finish as quickly as I could. 

Today I lucked out and was able to run outside without a jogging stroller.  SCORE!  I finished just over 4 miles while Anderson napped.

There's a good chance I'll run tomorrow (my clothes are already laid out) and I may take Friday off.  My friend Steph and I signed up for a free 5k held by Run For Your Life on Saturday morning so fresh legs would probably be best.   

mimosa run 
I haven't run with her since my birthday race so I'm looking forward to our time together, and of course those mimosas post-run.  Yum! 
I'm still working on my mileage goal for the month of May so I'm going to have to run a couple of 7+ milers in the next 2 weeks.  There's no taking it easy in the next 13 days. 
Anyone miss reading about the cheeseburgers I eat?  Maybe I just miss eating them and then blogging about it.  I'm going to try to get some more cheeseburger reviews up here.  Promise.     

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Friends Run 10k - recap

This past Sunday I ran The Friends Run 10k for the first time.  The race start and finish was at the Jewish Community Center.  The course was pretty hilly and challenging; maybe the hardest course I've run in Charlotte?

The start of the race was based on gun time so I started pretty close to the front.  There weren't a lot of participants; results showed around 60 runners (the 5k seemed more popular).  I maintained a position of 3rd female for most of the race.  Somewhere around 4.5 miles I caught up to the 2nd female and she told me to speed past her.  I wasn't sure how much speeding I was going to do.  By then my legs were tired from all of the hills and I had started to get hot.  I managed to speed past her and found myself crossing the finish line in a little over 48 minutes. 

One of my favorite parts of a Start 2 Finish race is the ability to look up race results instantly at their tent.  The print out showed 1st overall female which stunned me; what happened to the other girl?  I never passed her so I was super confused. 

After talking to some race officials I was told that the 1st female had gotten lost and didn't complete the race course correctly.  It was my first time placing 1st overall female!  The prize was a $50 gift certificate at Dick's sporting goods which will not go to waste since Mason's budding sports career has been costly.

Although I will probably pass on this race in the future (I'm a wuss when it comes to hills) I must say that there were a ton of positives!  The crowd support along the course was great ... lots of volunteers.  The mimosas post race were a great incentive to finish quickly.  The race t-shirts are made out of the softest material and aren't oversized.  

If you don't mind the hills you should definitely challenge yourself next year and run this race.   

Thursday, May 5, 2016

april goal achieved

Feliz cinco de mayo mi gente!  Wish I could say I ran 5 miles today in honor of the festive holiday, but instead I ran 4.25.  Close enough?  Wish I could also say I had an icy margarita but alas that didn't happen either.  I did make tacos, homemade tortilla chips, and some guacamole. 

It's been a hot minute (Ryan hates when I say that) so I thought I would check in.  Last month I had given myself a goal of running 85 miles.  Every day I would tally up my mileage on dailymile to see how many more miles I had left to run.  By the end of the month I found myself in Florida on a vacation with my family. 

I rarely get the chance to run with Ryan so I jumped at the opportunity to get an early morning run done with him while my parents watched the boys.  We finished a little over 3.5 miles in the muggiest, most humid weather. 

My total for April ended up being 89.15 miles!  Each month since the start of the year I have managed to run a little more than the previous month.  I have a goal for May in my mind but don't want to jinx myself ... every time I find myself on a roll with running I injure myself or catch a cold.

Ideally I would love to hit 1000 miles for 2016.  I've tried to hit that total in the past but have been sidetracked by a baby, a broken wrist, another baby ... you get it.  Fingers crossed nothing comes up in the next 7 months!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

65 pounds may be my limit

The morning somehow escaped me.  Anderson and I knocked out some errands (including buying Honey a birthday treat) and before I knew it lunch had arrived followed by Mason's pick up from school.  Notice there was no run mentioned?

I joked to Mason that I was going to take him in the BOB jogging stroller for a run once Anderson fell asleep for his nap.  He instantly agreed and would not stop talking about it.  He was so insistent that I finally said ok to a short run with him, only because I knew I wouldn't get another chance to run at all today.

We slowly made our way through my (hilly) neighborhood and somehow managed to run 2 miles in 23ish minutes.  I'm pretty sure half of it was spent walking and cursing myself for thinking pushing Mason in the stroller was a good idea.

Mason + BOB Jogging Stroller = 65 pounds

He was a good sport and is thankfully doing quiet time in his room while Anderson continues to nap, thus giving me some time to shower!   Hallelujah. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Penguin overboard!

The weather in Charlotte has been gorgeous lately!  Instead of doing my daily run around the indoor track at the YMCA, I've been pushing Anderson in the BOB jogging stroller.  We start right after dropping Mason off at school and cover 3-5 miles. 

Anderson is usually pretty content while riding in the stroller.  I'm sure looking at trees and birds can get boring though so he has started finding other ways of entertaining himself.

Yep that's his "lovey" affectionately called Penguin.  Original name right?  Anyways ... we had just ran a little over 1 mile and I was actually thinking to myself how great the run was feeling.  We had been cruising at a good speed and everything seemed lovely, until I looked down into the stroller and couldn't locate Penguin.  After coming to a complete stop and looking for Penguin I realized Anderson must've thrown the poor guy overboard at some point during our run.

So we had to turn around and head back to our starting point in hopes that I would come across Penguin.  Luckily the stuffed animal was about 1/4 mile away looking pitiful on the sidewalk.  We scooped him up and tried to continue our run without any more drama.   

We managed to do 4 miles before Anderson's Little Gym class.  If we do another run together tomorrow I'm pretty sure Penguin will wait for us in the car. 

A little DOSE of running

This past weekend I spent a couple of days in Nashville, TN.  We were in town to celebrate my friend Liz's upcoming wedding and needed 14 girls to truly do the bachelorette party justice.  We rented a super cute home in Cherokee Park.  One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new city is to literally run around and explore.
Between the time change (TN is in central) and naturally being an early riser (thanks kids), I was up pretty early Saturday morning.  I convinced my friend Steph to go on a slow/short jog with me to a local coffee shop.  We managed to avoid major roads up until the very end and made the 1.25 mile trek to Dose
I love supporting local businesses and this little coffee shop was awesome.  The shop has been around since 2009 and serves coffee, tea, and some bakery items.  We ordered some coffee at the counter and I went with the cortado (equal parts espresso and steamed milk 4 ounces).

While enjoying our coffees I took the opportunity to call my family and say hi to the kids back home.  It was nice to know that I was missed but I'm pretty sure the boys were enjoying "no-mom" time.

Steph and I walked back to the house shortly after.  Clearly I wanted another excuse to go running and (un)luckily my friend Kat needed to get a toothbrush since she left hers at home.  We ran together to the store and ran back to the house once our errand was finished.  By this time my combined runs were so close to hitting the 5 mile mark that I ventured out for 1/4 mile on my own.

It was such a beautiful day in Nashville and a wonderful way to see some of the city.  I love running in new towns, especially running with friends!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Pick me! Pick me!

A few days ago I entered the search for the Charlotte Marathon ambassador program.  from the website:

"The Charlotte Marathon is putting together a select team of runners to serve as ambassadors throughout the year. We’re looking for go-getters skilled at bringing people together and motivating others towards a common goal."
I think it would be super cool to be one of the people that help spread the word about the marathon changing its name from Thunder Road to the Charlotte Marathon.  Who knows it might even convince me to run my first full marathon ... although if I did get chosen to be an ambassador I'm leaning towards the half marathon option. 
Fingers crossed I get chosen to be an ambassador!  Hopefully we find out in the next few days ...

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Mason is 4 years old!

For those of you who actually know Mason's birthday, it's March 29th, which means he turned 4 almost 2 weeks ago.  But since we didn't make it to the doctor for his wellness check until this past Friday I think we can let the tardiness slide a bit.

He's almost 40 pounds (77%) and 3' 7" (95%).  The doctor asked if Mason was the tallest kid in his class ... I think so.  He gained 3.5 pounds and grew 3.5 inches since last year. 

He received 2 vaccines and is as healthy as can be. 

Mason had a birthday party at the Harris YMCA with his classmates and his close buds.  It was only 1.5 hours but felt like FOREVER since it was a drop-off party and most of the parents jetted at the start time.  After some playtime in the gymnastics center, snacks, and a cupcake it was time to say farewell to the kids.  Then we celebrated his birthday at school with donuts.  The last (final) birthday celebration was dinner after soccer practice.

He's usually in bed by 7pm and sleeps until 6:45am.  The last nap he took was on March 17th so I'm not entirely convinced he's ready to give them up completely.  He still does quiet time in his room most days to give me some sort of break! 

He loves school and is excited to go 5 days starting in the fall.  He's playing soccer and t-ball and is a big fan of the snacks afterwards. 

He likes to go to the library and get new books weekly ... currently he loves Piggie & Gerald books.  If you've never heard of them look them up ... surprisingly funny. 

I took him to his first school dance and he was so kind to his friends.  When a boy from his class didn't want to dance by himself Mason took him over to the dance floor and danced with him.  He truly has the biggest heart and can be so sweet ... but he's also such a loose cannon and can get into so much trouble.  I try to remind myself (almost daily) that he's only 4 and doesn't know any better, but sometimes I think he does know better and just likes to cause trouble. 

Oh Mason I love you so much and can't wait to see what happens in the next year.  You make us so proud and are so smart and funny. 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Better late than never

Once both boys were in bed I did what every parent does with a little bit of freedom ... I went downstairs, took out the ice cream from the freezer, and served myself a heaping bowl of Talenti gelato.  Yum.  Actually before that I took the dog outside to do her nightly business and checked the mailbox.

Even though the Elizabeth 8k Road Race was weeks ago, I was reminded of the event when I saw that the race organizer (or someone associated with the race) had mailed me my medal!

It was a total coincidence that I was actually wearing the race shirt today.  It's really comfortable and fits well for a typical race shirt.

Anyways I'm so glad that they took the extra time and energy to mail me my medal ... I MAY have asked them once (or five times) about picking it up myself but I suppose the person thought I was too crazy and didn't want me near their home.  Joking.  Maybe.  Either way I have it and can't wait to show Mason the medal tomorrow morning since he asks me after each race if "I won" ... yeah kid this time I (kind of) did.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

An Easter run

This morning the boys slept in until 7:15 ... anything past 7 is sleeping in lately.  Once we headed downstairs I made our usual sunday breakfast, chocolate chip pancakes.  Mason couldn't contain his excitement to open his Easter basket that was sitting by the fireplace.  We kept telling him to wait but finally had to cave to his begging once we were done eating. 

He quickly tore through the eggs and then turned to Anderson's basket to "help" him with his loot.  Within minutes the baskets were dismantled and empty eggs were scattered throughout the floor of our living room.

At that point Ryan and I decided to "divide and conquer" and he took over Mason duties and I took Anderson upstairs.  I knew Mason was getting antsy of being indoors so I asked him if he wanted to go on a run with me while in the stroller.  I really thought he would say no but instead he said sure and got ready.

We managed to do 4 miles in around 42 minutes.  It.  Was.  Tough.  He's roughly 40 pounds and was hanging out of the stroller cause he's too tall.  I worked hard and even walked up most hills instead of running them. 

Glad I was able to get a run in today ... but I'm even more glad it was with my little buddy. 

Know Your Craft 5k - race recap

Two years ago I ran in the first ever Know Your Craft 5k.  I finished the race in 22:25 minutes and placed 3rd overall among the females. 

On Saturday I ran the race and finished in 22:25 minutes again!  Talk about consistency.  Out of 655 total finishers, I finished 63rd and 12th among females.  This time I placed 2nd in my age group and received a pint glass and a gift card for a local running store as my award. 

Since the race began at 9am Ryan and the boys were able to tag along with me.  They dropped me off near the start line and then went to find parking while I was running.

Ryan was able to control both boys and snap this great action shot of me finishing the race.  I started off the race pretty strong and finished mile 1 in 6:58 minutes.  I finished the 2nd mile in under 14:30 minutes and still thought I had a decent shot of PR-ing.  By 2.75 miles I felt like throwing up and kept dry heaving as I was running.  I slowed down considerably but somehow managed to finish in 22:25 minutes.  As soon as I crossed the finish line I walked off to the side and threw up behind a car.

Once I threw up I felt a ton better and was ready to drink my pint of beer from Triple C Brewery.  Hey, whatever works right? 

Mason stayed with me while we waited for the awards ceremony and Ryan headed home with Anderson to grab Mason's t-ball equipment for his practice later in the day. 

It's a great race and definitely one I'll continue to run.  The shirts were awesome this year and the free beer at the end of the run is spectacular. 

I made sure to keep up with pre-race tradition and had Bad Daddy's take out the night before.  Mason was a train wreck so we knew better than to take him out in public for my cheeseburger.  Instead I called in our usual order and we picked it up from their Ballantyne location. 

I stuck with making my own burger and chose American cheese, whole wheat bun, with pickles and onions and a side of garlic mayo.  I wish there was an option for burger size because these are honestly just too big.  I could barely finish it and felt super full by the end.  I didn't even finish the tater tots, but Mason helped me with those. 
Just another day of running for a cheeseburger!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Shorts, socks, and six miles

On Sunday I took advantage of the not as cold weather and ran my 6 miles outdoors. I was getting tired of running laps around the indoor track at the Harris YMCA.

Since it was just under 50 degrees I wore shorts. To keep my legs a little warmer I wore my PRO Compression hot pink compression socks.

Why wear compression socks (aside from warmth)? Well here are a couple of reasons (from the PRO Compression site):

- improves blood flow, resulting in better, more consistent performance and faster recovery

- support critical muscles and tendons while reducing inflammation, swelling and soreness

I currently own two pairs and use them when I'm running more than 5 miles, after running half marathons, and if it's chilly out (for example I'll probably wear my "shamrock" ones during a St. Patrick's day 4 miler). 

Have you ever tried compression socks during or after a run?  

Checking out the new kid in town

I love working out and in general most fitness related things.  I'm lucky I live in a city where there are so many different options for exercising, besides the normal run-of-the-mill gym.  This morning I had the opportunity to check out the newest cycle studio to hit Charlotte.  CycleSouth is located in uptown and is officially opening its doors on January 11th. 

I lucked out with a free preview ride through Scoop Charlotte and couldn't wait to try it out. 

Uptown is about 20 minutes from where we live so I jumped on the highway this morning and made it to the studio with 10 minutes to spare.  Fortunately there is a parking garage in the same building as the studio.  CycleSouth provides free validated parking with your ticket. 

Once I entered the studio I was greeted by a super friendly employee who told me to check in and leave my things in the locker room.  Lockers are provided free of charge but remember to bring a lock with you as they do not have any (not sure if they will have any in the future).

I was going to break this review down into pros and cons, but since my pros and cons may not be the same as everyone else, bullet points seemed like a good choice :)

  • Schwinn bicycles have cages or snaps on the pedals ... if you don't have your own cycling shoes (I don't) then you can secure your sneakers in with the straps on the cage side.  If you do have cycling shoes just snap them right in!  My feet felt secure the entire ride

  • 4 rows of bicycles with 9 in each row, stadium style (the last row may have had 8 bikes not sure)

  • huge fans all around the room

  • lots of speakers to hear the music

  • Erica did a great job of walking around before class to make sure everyone's bicycle was adjusted and to answer any questions

  • clean towels provided by studio

  • Jason was the instructor and kept the class motivated and entertained along the way.  You could tell he was working as hard as the class was!

  • 45 minute ride, with cool down afterwards (stretches on/off bike)

  • GREAT playlist ... lots of awesome jams

  • no tracking on bicycle (no way of knowing calories burned/mileage cycled) ... resistance is done through red knob on bicycle.  you're basically in charge of how hard you make the ride.  you also have to have some sense of rhythm (or should) to keep timing/speed correct.  Jason did help at times with prompts to keep cyclers on beat

  • 1 ride costs $23, but current promotion offers 5 classes for $75

I really liked my experience at CycleSouth this morning and am considering purchasing the introductory special.  With our YMCA membership it is hard to justify too many other costly work outs, but I like having variety in my exercising and can easily spread those classes to once every week or every other week. 

Check out CycleSouth if you're looking for a new cycling studio. 

(although my class was free through Scoop Charlotte I am not getting anything in return for writing this.  Just thought local Charlotte readers may want to know about my experience!)

Elizabeth 8k road race - recap

On Saturday March 19th I ran my first race as a 34 year old.  It was the Elizabeth 8k Road Race and I'm surprised it took me so many years to finally run it. 

Race Website

The race distance is a little less than 5 miles and goes through the lovely Elizabeth neighborhood in Charlotte.  Although it was originally forecasted to rain during the race, the waterworks stayed away and left us with a pretty chilly morning.

I did a lot better with pacing during this race than last week's 4 miler where my first mile was the fastest time.

mile 1 - 7:46
mile 2 - 7:37
mile 3 - 7:17
mile 4 - 7:39
0.97 - 6:54 (really pushed it at the end!)
4.97 miles - 37:12 minutes, 7:29 pace
The course itself was hilly, but not as bad as other Charlotte area races.  After crossing the finish line I grabbed a banana and water and headed out to find the boys.  They had dropped me off at the race start and we were waiting for me by the finish.  Unfortunately that meant that I didn't get to stay for the awards ceremony which is a bummer since I placed 3rd in my age group.  I've contacted the race in hopes of obtaining my medal at some point.
All in all it was a great race and I would love to run it again next year!