Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Site

It's official! After too much annoyance with Blogger, I finally moved my site. Come visit me!!

Friday, July 20, 2012


The countdown is on! 4 hours and my plane to Chicago will be taking off :)

I packed! We also are sharing a bag, this is impressive, seriously impressive. 

 I haven't been back to Illinois in about 5 years and haven't been into Chicago since I moved to Boston (I was 11). The Chicago trip is for two reasons. One the Rock n Roll Chicago 1/2 marathon

GU galore! 

We also are going to see my dad and step mom! We are only there a short amount of time, tonight until Monday afternoon, but I'm so excited. There will be lots of walking around the city and eating Saturday, perfect carbo loading for the day before the race. The same will probably occur on Sunday, perfect for post race! 

The race starts at 6:30am, again pretty freaking early. We are staying right near the race start though which will mean a little bit of sleeping in. You know, until at least 5:30 right? It is going to be about 95 degrees out, so it will be quite the sweaty day. 

Luckily I own this shirt, which means I clearly heart sweat now, so sweaty races are good with me

I plan to stick with a pace team for the race, and hopefully will come in under 2hrs 45mins. Other than that, I plan to enjoy the race through a city that a miss! I think I'll recognize at least a few of the stops along the course, since I've been to just about all of them before. 

Happy Friday! Enjoy your weekend everyone!! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jamestown 1/2 Marathon

Wake up for Jamestown was at some unacceptable hour close to 4 or 4:30 am. After a quick stop at dunkin donuts for bagels and coffee, and we were on our way. 

So nice to be in New England and see Red Sox cups! 

Paul and I drove over to where packet pick up had been to load the buses to the race. The race information was very vocal about no parking around the race, so they had buses to take everyone over. The buses were very organized and we waited in line for maybe 2 minutes before getting on and taking the quick trip to Jamestown. 

We got let out of the bus on the highway, or at least I think it was the highway, but it was completely blocked off and shut down. It was a small group of people, I would guess around 550 showed up. Those 550 were all standing around looking not so happy. It had started to drizzle, which made me incredibly unhappy, but I knew that was not the reason for everyone being upset. Then I looked to my left and saw all the porta potties being delivered. This was at 6:15, and the race was scheduled to start at 6:30. The amount of unhappy runners who had been here for at least a half hour waiting for a bathroom was out of control. The race organizers and volunteers got them off the bus and ready for use (minus toilette paper) asap. I still had to go but hate not starting a race with everyone so skipped it and lined up. Paul and I say bye and good luck while he waited in line for the bathroom. Because of all the bathroom chaos, the race started about 5 minutes late, and about half the people were still waiting in line for the bathroom when the race started.

Course map from UHC Website.

The first mile was interesting. I was running easy and holding pace around 11:15, good for me. Usually people tend to settle into their pace, during the first mile, but because of the delayed bathrooms, people were flying by from time to time catching up. During mile 1 a guy that I had run into before the race ran up next to me. We had bonded over being the only two people not talking during the national anthem, and the lack of bag check. I saw him mouth the word time (had my headphones in) and stuck out my Garmin for him to see thinking he wanted to know how much time had passed. I took my headphones out to talk and he said "no, what are you aiming for?". I replied with 2:45 (which I was but knew wouldn't happen), and he said "ok I'll run with you I think". I thought the guy was crazy. "You want to run with me? The girl who walks a lot and can't pace herself for shit?" It was nice though, he was with me for about two miles before a hill showed up and  he left me in his dust.

This is my attempt at smiling at the camera. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I should not be photographed while running. It ends badly every time. 

I learned many things during this run, but one important thing I learned was that I cannot read a elevation chart to save my life. I read that there was one large hill in the middle of the course, which there was. I did not however, notice all the other less dramatic hills. No worries though, they all were there. I was running pretty continuously with walk breaks here and there for the hills. I continued this through the first 5 miles. I was happy with my time and was ahead of pace. One nice thing about this course was that there were very few turns, so a 1/2 a mile away you could see a mile mark. If I was tired or slacking, I would look and see the mile marker. It made the end of that mile seem that much closer. My legs didn't hurt, but I could tell I was getting a few blisters on my feet already from not running in my shoes enough. Then mile 6 came. During the mile I thought,  "if I don't PR, it will be 100% because of this hill". I pretty much lost it after that. The hill was so steep and was pretty long, a combination I didn't really think existed. 

I enjoyed the nice downhill after and tried to get back on track. I knew I had lost serious time and was worried. Miles 7, 8, and 9 went by quick, not that I was quick, they just felt like they were flying by. I hit mile 10 though and had no shot at having a PR. It was probably the only area of the race that wasn't on the water, instead it was back roads by houses. I was pretty over the race at that point. I had gone 10 miles, was still behind the same couple that I had been directly behind the whole time, and no PR was happening.  I got myself moving though, passed the couple I had been behind the whole time, and looked forward to the finish.

Please note the both feet of the ground. It's rare. I'm sort of smiling, another rare part of a race.

The last mile we were running along the water and had a great view. By that point I knew I wasn't going for time goals, and decided I might as well take a picture. 

Pretty freaking gorgeous

The last .1 miles was directly down hill, which is nice for a speedy finish, but you couldn't see the finish line at all until the last second. I saw Paul on the side cheering and I think yelled something about being over it and slow. I also almost threw my water bottle at him to hold but he had three gatorades in his hand, so I thought otherwise. 

It was finally over, and it took me about 3 hours. Not my best by any means, and again also not my worst. While I had no expectations for the race, I know I can do better. I let the hill at mile 6 get the best of me, and it went down hill (ha no pun even intended on that one!) from there. 

We headed back on the bus to our cars and went back to hotel. We showered and packed up to head out of the hotel. We made a few pit stops first though.  

Twix Iced Coffee!

Marylou's coffee, definitely a perfect post race treat. Then we made a special stop and my Uncle and Aunts house to see 8 of the cutest puppies. Ever!

I mean seriously? Does it get cuter? 

My favorite. Adorable

Bella had 8 of the cutest puppies! I think it will be an new pick me up requirement after every race, play with 8 perfect puppies. If you want more details check out Bella's Blog and see more pictures too! 

Jamestown and the second leg of the UHC triple crown is done. Now on to Rock n Roll Chicago 1/2, which is 3 days away. Goals for that race still to come! 

Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


The Jamestown 1/2 marathon was the second leg of the three leg United Health Care Triple Crown. 

Basically, I got free entry to the three races for blogging (including a race I've been waiting to do again) and get bonus swag. Who doesn't want bonus swag? Providence 1/2 marathon was the first leg and went surprisingly well, but I did not expect another surprise PR at this race. 

I have Friday's off of work in the summer which is AMAZING and what I have always had since I started working after Quinnipiac. This basically means if I ever have a job requiring me to work Friday's in the summer, I might cry. Paul had a job interview Friday morning, so I took advantage of a relaxing morning and sat outside reading my book. The Hunger Games part 1 if you are curious, I saw the movie and now am addicted. 

Yeah a little spoiled. The amazing view of the LI Sound from the porch. 

After Paul picked me up and grabbed some lunch, we were on the road to Rhode Island. I must admit that Rhode Island is one of my favorite places. I always have a great time while I'm there, and get to have the New England vibe that I miss sometimes when I'm in NY. After tons of unnecessary traffic, we finally made it to our hotel and HUGE room. Having more than one room in a hotel room (not including the bathroom) is a luxury that I do not have, ever. We dropped our bags and headed to packet pick up which was small. I talked myself into and out of buying a new pair of shoes that were on sale before heading to dinner at Carabas. One delicious whole wheat pasta with shrimp and lemon garlic alfredo later, I was a happy girl. Just about every race morning Paul and I will have bagels with peanut butter. Sadly, dunkin donuts does not have peanut butter, so we decided to make a quick stop at target to pick some up. 15 minutes, and $104 dollars later, we left target with peanut butter an this amazingness. 

Margarita maker! I mean come on it was 50% off! Largest impulse buy ever! 

Ok back to important things, other than all the margarita parties I will be having soon. We got back to the hotel and laid everything out for the next day, (we are both a little Type A when it comes to planning things out) before heading to bed early. I will leave you with that for now, because if I throw the recap in here too this post will go on for days! Also blogger is killing me right now and I want to switch. Well I wanted to switch before, and now I'm impatiently waiting to switch out of blogger. It took me forever to get this post to even slightly look how I wanted (it kept highlighting everything) and I still have weird spaces!

Happy Wednesday everyone!  

Monday, July 16, 2012


I realized a few things during the Jamestown half marathon this past Saturday. I will have a full recap of Jamestown up soon, but had so many important realizations that I had to share these first. By important I mean important to me, you may not find them important or you may have already realized them and during this whole post will be thinking "No kidding, Amy. Way to be late on this realization". That's cool, enjoy feeling more intelligent than me while reading.

One of the things I realized is just how much of a "run thinker" I am. I will have my music playing and enjoy it, but I spend the entire run thinking about one thing or another. My best problem solving comes during a run, and most of my "how did I never realize that before" thinking comes during runs as well.

How can you not do serious thinking about life when this is your view? Courtesy of UHC facebook page

If you don't train to PR, you will not PR. This sounds so beyond obvious. It is something I of course always knew, but actually fully realized during the race. I was around mile 6 and realized I probably wouldn't PR unless I some how started running 8min miles for the second half, and that was more than likely not going to happen. I got frustrated and then started to actually think about it. I hadn't trained to PR this race. I put very little effort into training lately, and the effort I did put in, was not PR worthy effort. It was completely half-assed. I did not PR at Jamestown and I did not PR at Fairfield because I didn't deserve to. I didn't put the time, effort, or energy into training for either of them, and that's what I got for it. If I want to PR the early morning runs and after work runs need to happen.

Doing math while running is incredibly difficult. I always try to calculate if I can PR and etc at my races. Doing math and trying to come up with "if I run this pace for the next however many miles, I can PR" is not easy. Math is not my best subject, but simple math should not be that complicated. At some point in the race I realized to PR I needed to run the last 2.5 miles in 20 minutes. I did some ridiculous calculation quickly and came up with 5 minute miles. Yes 5 minute miles. I thought to myself "that's not happening, it's not like I am...." and I thought and thought. For whatever reason I couldn't come up with a single name of someone who could run in the Olympics, and I couldn't for the life of me think of what pace that actually would be. Had I been able to do simple math I would of realized this was 8 min miles, I know plenty of people who can do 8min miles (the boyfriend included). Instead the final name that came into my head when I decided I couldn't run that pace because I wasn't...Jesus. Jesus, in my mind, is a fantastic runner. Moral of the story, don't ask me to do math or come up with names of famous runners during a race. It will not end well. 

My calf hurting is not a shoe problem. I have tried on far too many new types of shoes lately looking for "the right ones" that won't cause me any issues. I had problems with my right calf when I wore compression socks, so I stopped wearing them. Then I had problems with it again when I was trying new shoes. It happened with a few shoes and I continued to say "it's the shoes causing pain, I need new ones". While one of the shoe types did not work for me at all, the other ones hurting me more than likely had nothing to do with my shoes. It is either that I am not running enough (highly likely) or there is something wrong with my leg (far less likely). Either way, I, and by that I really mean my bank account, cannot continue to buy new shoes. If I am running more and my leg still bothers me, I go see someone. If it stops then I found my solution. The shoes I have now are staying, end of story. 

Races have hills, get over it. My Fairfield 1/2 fell apart at the first hill, which was about 1 mile into it. I hadn't trained for hills even though I knew there were plenty along the course. This goes back to not training for a PR. I knew about the hills, and I didn't train for them, so I ended up walking up the hills. You lose SO much time walking up a hill. It's one thing to be slow running up a hill, its another when you are just walking up them all together. Serious time (that I don't have cause I'm already not the fastest person in the world, which if you read above already know I consider this to be Jesus) is lost walking up hills. Jamestown also had hills, and again I thought "I'll walk up the hills, it will be fine". No it wont. Get off your ass (by your I'm referring to my own, you all can continue sitting and reading) and go run hills to get ready for the race. All the races have them, get over it. 

Running (or walking) past someone who has finished the race while you are still going is painful for everyone involved. I have been on both sides of this. I think it is a personal preference on how you want to handle it. For me, if I see someone walking by me with a medal while I am still trying to finish, I do NOT want them to acknowledge me. It's more of an "I'm so embarrassed I'm so slow" thing for me than a "I hate you for being done, don't look at me cause I'm still going" thing. On the other hand, if I have finished a race and someone is still going that I walk by, my first thoughts are to yell something encouraging. Clearly I am the person I hate during the race. The key to fixing this problem is run faster so you are not so embarrassed when someone walks by you. This goes back again to the whole training thing. Are we sensing a pattern? 

Running 9 races between March and November, may not be my best idea. I had not planned, at all, to do this many races in this span of time this year. My hope was for maybe 3 half marathons at the most and a 5k. Not 8 half marathons and a 5k. I am definitely feeling a little bit burnt out, which is causing some major slacking on training on my end. I knew going into these races it wasn't going to be easy, and need to pick the training back up for the 4 half's I have left. 

I listen to the most bizarre playlist when I run. It includes everything from Pink, to My Chemical Romance, to Pitbull, to Eminem, to DMX, to country. It's crazy and random and I love it. 

I need to eat better. I know, I know. I post far too often about the delicious cupcakes, awesome margaritas, or great fattening dinner I've had. Does this make you run faster? Nope not one bit. I'm not saying I need to cut out everything unhealthy, because lets be real, me without chocolate or margarita's is just scary. Plus I just purchased a margarita maker, I can't give it up now. I can however, eat healthier overall on a regular basis. 

Maybe having this as a random "I want dessert right now" isn't great? But so delicious!

I hate when people don't put there finish time on a race recap. I have done this before, just another example of how I really just do things to annoy myself apparently. But in reality, I hate when people do this. From what I can tell it is when someone doesn't like there time. That is why I didn't post it on one of my own recaps. Looking back though I think that's ridiculous. You will have good races and bad races, it is known all over my blog my absolute worst 1/2 marathon time ever was my first one (3 hours 27 minutes. True story). I have never had a time close to that since that race. If I'm good with broadcasting my worst time, whats wrong with telling people a time I'm not thrilled with. This is progress right here people if you didn't realize. 

I need to run with a tape recorder. I had many more realizations than these listed, and can't remember them all. Running with a tape recorder clearly would help. 

If I come up with the rest of my realizations, I'll post them at some point. The full recap for Jamestown will be up tomorrow, with hopefully some pictures if they are posted by then. 

Happy Monday Everyone!