Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Accountability Tuesday: August 30, 2016

Short and sweet this week, friends.

It's been busy at work because all of our students moved in over the weekend and we've been going non-stop with programs and events. But, I still managed to get all my miles in for Walt Disney World Marathon training!

Tuesday- 2.3 miles in 30:51, 13:23 pace
Wednesday- 2.63 miles in 30:02, 11:25 pace
Saturday- Shippensburg University Service Fun Run/Walk, 3.37 miles in 37:12, 11:03 pace

The university I work for sponsored a fun run Saturday night and even though it was supremely hot and hilly, I was impressed that I kept just over and 11 minute/mile pace. I still went out too fast. My splits looked like this: 10:42/11:24/11:36/9:31. All. Over. The. Damn. Place. Someday I'll learn about pacing, someday.

The weak link for me this week was strength training. I don't enjoy it and it is so difficult to MAKE myself do it. Ultimately, I know it's an important part of my running AND maintaining my weight. My goal is to make that more of a priority this upcoming week.

Too fast to capture on camera ;-) 

Food Find & Non-Scale Victory:
No cool food find this week, but this week was the second time that I had Smart Points left over at the end of the week! (My Weight Watcher week runs Wednesday- Tuesday) I am super proud of myself for sticking closer to my Smart Points goal each day and making healthier choices.

Anything left at the end of the week is a miracle. 

+ .4 from last week.

Not concerned. .4 is just a bathroom break ;-)


So, as you know, I'm an ENELL Race Ambassador. In addition to getting some races sponsored, we also get new limited-edition bras before the general public. Yesterday, I got the new, SURPRISE color bra and I was so freaking excited! I even filmed my reaction so you can see how pumped I was when I saw the new color- it's gorgeous!

I'll have a special post here on Thursday (when the color will be released) with my newly created YouTube account. Trust me, I haven't got a clue what I'm doing when it comes to videos but I think you'll like seeing the genuine reaction to the new color.

Have a great week, friends!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Enell Ambassador Race Recap & Review: Baltimore Women's Classic

Note: As an ENELL Racing Ambassador, I receive race entry fees and merchandise, but I genuinely love the brand. All opinions here are my own. 

For the third year in a row, on the last Sunday in June, I ran the Mid-Atlantic's largest women's only race, the Baltimore Women's Classic. [check out 2014 and 2015's recaps!]

While the things I love about this course- the bling, the price, the atmosphere- stayed the same, there were a few differences. First, I was running this race as a part of the Enell Racing Team so I got to wear my sweet Enell tank and my newest favorite Enell, Biscay Bay. Or as I like to call it, the "Green Goddess."

The second thing that was different about this year's race was that I decided to run this race in memory of a former student intern of mine, Amanda Strous. On June 18, a little over a month before she was to be married, Amanda was murdered in her apartment, most likely by her upstairs neighbor. The night before the race, I decided that I wanted to run with Amanda's name on my back. I felt so incredibly helpless (and still do, to be honest) and this felt like something small I could do to honor her and share her name with others.

Flat runner.

The morning of the race, Matthew and I arrived to downtown Baltimore about an hour before the start. We'd pre-purchased parking (thank you, Parking Panda!) and then walked about a half mile to get the to pre-race expo/festival. My dad had already picked up my packet earlier in the week so we just walked around to see the different vendors and what they had for sale. I also might have eaten some watermelon :-)

While waiting near the start line, Matthew and I consulted the course map to see where he would station himself to get some good pictures. We didn't have long to wait and soon enough, the race began and we were off!

My strategy for this race was to reserve as much energy as I could. It was sunny and warm and I tend to get dehydrated and very light headed when I run in the summer.

Waving to Matthew, not saluting. ;-)

The biggest challenge of this course is the monster hill that you hit about a mile in. It's a heck of an incline but the good thing is that after that hill, there really isn't much elevation change throughout the rest of the course.

As you can see from the following pictures, the course was crowded. I'm not sure how many women raced this year but it felt close to 2,000. Given that I'm usually towards the middle-to-back of the pack, it was especially crowded on the parts of the course that narrowed. Sometimes I struggled to find room to slow down and take my walk breaks.

Beginning of the race... elbow to elbow.

End of the race... still elbow to elbow.

Despite the heat and the crowded course, I finished the race in 35:06. As I walked through the finisher's chute, I grabbed my medal, a bottle of water, and a cold towel- they take such good care of runners at this race. Then I walked towards a volunteer handing out roses- he went to grab one rose and accidentally came out with two as they were caught up on each other's stems and leaves. He said, "You get two!" with a big grin. I took both roses and immediately knew why I'd received two- one was for me; the other for Amanda.

After the race, I ran into two friends: Dr. Iannone, my undergrad psych professor, and Tara, an IG friend that actually won my blog's second birthday giveaway. It was awesome to see both of them and catch up. Matthew and I also headed over to a new vendor this year that was giving away free finisher photos. I also might have eaten some more watermelon :-)

Dr. Iannone, me, and Tara. And then me again. :-)

Thanks, Baltimore Photo Social!

All in all, this was another great Baltimore Women's Classic race. I was thankful for my beautiful new Enell for supporting me in style and always keeping the girls in their place. And I am so in love with this green color; it looks so great with my tanks/racer-backs.

I was also thankful for the 3.1 miles of quiet reflection I had during the race when I was able to think about Amanda's life and legacy that she left on this earth. It was a privilege to run every step with her name on my back.

This event has all the elements of a great race: semi-challenging course, ice-cold towels and watermelon at the finish, free photos, awesome bling, and easy race-day logistics. I think this one will be on the calendar for years and years to come!

Have you ever done a race more than once? If so, why? If not, why not?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Accountability Monday: August 22, 2016

Good morning!

Today is a very special day- it's Matthew's birthday! Happy birthday to the best friend, best running partner, and best husband that I could have ever possibly asked for. Enjoy your day, boo! :-)

Thanks for always making me laugh- happy birthday, love!

Ok- so here's last week in a nutshell:

Monday- PT workout
Tuesday- 30 minute run, 2.5 miles, 12:33 pace
Wednesday- PT workout
Thursday- 30 minute run, 2.58 miles, 12:23 pace
Saturday-  7 miles on the trail, 1:33:38, 13:21 pace
Sunday- PT workout and Leslie Sanzone's "Walk Away the Pounds" 60 minute 4 mile walk

This week marked the first "long" run of this marathon training cycle. Technically, it should have been nine miles but since I'm still nursing this inflamed knee, I've cut back all my long runs by at least two miles.

While my knee was a bit cranky after the run, it felt fine the next day and feels ok today. It was a HUGE confidence boost to be able to run seven miles on Saturday- I'm looking forward to longer training runs in the upcoming weeks :-)

Food Find:
This weekend we visited my brother in Rehoboth Beach, DE so we ate out every meal- which is usually very challenging for me because it's harder to eat healthy when you are constantly eating in a restaurant. While I did overindulge a bit, I am very proud of my choice to get the "Light & Fit Breakfast" at Ihop Sunday morning. Little victories, right?

Don't worry, the hashbrowns were Matthew's :-)

+1 from last week.

Lots of travel + out of my cooking routine = weight gain/maintenance

Non-Scale Victory:
I tracked all my food this weekend, including the two appetizers I had late-night at Applebee's- even though it was semi-ugly :-)

Have a great week, friends!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Accountability Monday: August 15, 2016

Good evening, friends! I hope your Monday was simply awesome :-)

Matthew and I have been traveling a TON this month and it's showing in how little I've posted here- I promise I have a race recap coming very, very soon and will be writing more about my fall race schedule/WDW Marathon training in the upcoming weeks.

Monday- PT workout
Tuesday- 2.3 miles in 30 minutes, 12:58 pace
Wednesday- PT workout
Thursday- 2.43 miles in 30 minutes, 12:21 pace
Friday- PT workout
Sunday- 2.25 miles in 32:57, 14:27 pace

Monday- PT workout
Wednesday- PT workout
Saturday- 3 miles in 38:46, 12:54 pace

I had a session with my Physical Therapist last week and he was very pleased with my progress- so much so that he added two more exercises to my routine and told me I didn't need to come back to see him unless the pain was really flaring up again. Knock on wood, the pain has been pretty minimal since I've started doing more strength training and keeping my mileage low. I'm hoping to do a semi-long run this weekend.

Old-school training journal for this cycle.

Food Find:
Ok, so this isn't much of a food find, but while Matthew and I were in Canada this weekend, I had poultine for the first time! It's basically french fries, gravy, beef, and cheese curds. Wow, it was HEAVY. It was good but we definitely didn't eat the whole plate.

When in Canada...

-2.4 over the last two weeks.

Yay! Finally seeing some movement on the scale has been incredibly motivating- I can finally see some of my work paying off.

Non-Scale Victory:
Even though we were traveling this weekend (and it was hotter than the surface of the sun!), I got up early Saturday morning and got in a solid three mile training run. And didn't get lost in Canada! :-)

Minutes per kilometer sounds a hell of a lot faster
than minutes per mile.

Make it an awesome week, friends!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Accountability Monday: August 1, 2016

Hello friends!

It's August- ugh, summer; slow down!

As a quick update, my MRI results came back last week and everything looks great! No torn cartilage or meniscus or anything serious- just swelling in and around my knee which is treatable with anti-inflammatory medication, rest, and physical therapy.

I went to my first PT appointment on Friday and let me tell you, I'm still sore. I'm definitely out of shape; especially when it comes to core and overall muscle strength. Luckily, my PT has a plan for me that includes a return to running this week (yay!) and a focus on strengthening my legs and hips. I showed him my marathon training plan and he feels confident that I should be able to complete the marathon in January.

Friday: PT exercises (single leg squats, ball bridges, leg lifts, etc.)
Sunday: PT exercises at home

Ball bridges for days. Also, I discovered the Prisma app for photos and it makes boring photos look neat :-)

Food Find:
This weekend, while traveling to see my brother perform at Clear Space Theater in Rehoboth, DE, I ate out A LOT. Luckily, I found a bar at Wawa that I have been wanting to try out for a while- a chocolate chip cookie dough Quest bar. Holy. Deliciousness! And only 4 Smart Points! It was so good I ended up buying three boxes when I got home. There are some pretty cool recipes out there that involve different flavors of Quest bars- I'll try some out this week and let you know how they turn out.

-.6 from last week.

After a conversation with my WW leader, I am going to print out my food log from this week and give it to her to see what I'm missing. These past few months of weight gain have been frustrating but I know I'm making healthy decisions- even if the scale isn't a reflection of my effort.

Non-Scale Victory:
On the beach road trip this weekend, my family brought a bunch of "snacks:" iced animal crackers, donut holes, twizzlers, honey roasted peanuts, doritos, and "healthy" muffins.

I didn't have a single thing. I stuck to my pre-planned, low-point snacks. :-)

Have a great first week of August!