Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Race Report: Living Dead Challenge (2-4-1!)

The Living Dead Challenge just sounded like a good time, right y'all?!  5k on Saturday night and half marathon on Sunday morning.  I'm typically a morning runner, but usually have faster times at evening 5ks...strange.  I was really looking forward to this particular 5k because it was at Starkey Park which is a very familiar course.  And flat.

The race directors also did a one mile kids run before the 5k, in which children (who were dressed up for Halloween), ran a mile and collected candy at "fuel stations" along the route.  It had to be the most adorable thing that I've ever seen!  After we cheered on the kiddos, I ran a warmup mile and a half with Ben and Tracey.

There's a small issue with my marathon training and racing.  I have to run before and after the races in order to get the assigned mileage for the day.  It's really not so bad, this is the first year that I've been incorporating races into my training schedule, and it's been working out pretty well so far.

The weather was actually really nice for a 5k, and the sun was just about to set as the 5k was finishing.  I set off and was trying to run the best I could knowing that I also had to run a half marathon the following day.  Ben caught up with me right around the finish and really helped push me to the end.

5k is the race distance that I love to hate.  I love how short they are, but I hate how you have to basically go all out in order to achieve the time you desire.  I've really, (really) been trying to break the elusive 25:00 minute mark.  I'm getting close...super close.  In fact, the Bride of Frankenfooter 5k is my new PR!!

25:03 - 4th out of 38th age group, 64th out of 329th overall

Ben actually got 3rd place in his age group, so he got this really cool looking bronze hand award.  We proceeded to use it as a prop whenever possible on the way home.

All hands on deck!

Hold on!

Shout out to the Saucony's that carried us through the 5k on Saturday night! (From left to right - Tracey's Fastwich, my old school Fastwitch, Ben's Ride)

The following morning for the half marathon, I wasn't really feeling it.  My original goal was to finish around two hours.  Ben decided that he was going to stick with my for this race (bless his heart!).  This normally goes one of two ways - it's either extremely motivating or really aggravating.  Ben is naturally a talented (faster) runner than I am and running just seems to come so easy to him.  Which can be a little frustrating for me.

About halfway through the half marathon course, the water stops were out of water.  Not good.  Luckily, Starkey Park had their water coolers full of ice-cold water.  This race just really fell apart after that.  I got some cramping from the Gels (I'm assuming), it was getting hotter, and there was no water.  It was really a tough race.  And I was very happy to finish.

2:03:32 -- 5th out of 24th age group/40th out of 128 females/88th out of  210 overall

And wouldn't you know it - Ben placed first in his age group!  (I told him that it was his award for being such a patient human being)  The award for first place was a gold foot (not nearly as cool)

We did clean up at the raffle afterwards.  I won a $50 gift card to my favorite running store Suncoast Running!  Tracey got some sort of light up balloons and a cigar bar gift certificate.

Overall, this race was a TON of fun.  I don't remember ever laughing so much before or after a race.  More importantly, check out the BLING!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wedding Update!

The countdown is also on until the BIG wedding day! Only 172 more days until I'm a married woman.  Wow, that seems so soon.  Thankfully I've been using Wedding Wire to keep me on track as far as what needs to be done in what order.  (You can also check out our wedding website HERE).  

Thankfully my honey is super talented in PhotoShop, so we designed our own Save the Date cards (pictured below):  Most of the inspiration for the photos came from PINTEREST!, but the idea to do the back side as a racing bib was totally mine!  Can you believe it?  They turned out much better than I anticipated and since we did all the labor ourselves we saved some $$$ too!



Photo credit for the Save the Dates goes to the talented Mrs. Rebecca Dodson.  You can see her website HERE , but sadly (for us, not her) she has moved to Nashville, Tennessee (and is expecting her first BABY!!!!).  She has done several photo shoots for us in the past, and is AWESOME.  Here is a link to our engagement shoot and Rebecca was also able to capture our engagement on film.

Here are some of the other vendors that we have chosen:

Accommodations - Brooksville Holiday Inn Express.  You can find their website HERE

Photography - Ms. Harmony Blackwell.  When it came to booking a photographer for the wedding, we were a little lost.  (As we are on a lot of wedding things).  Luckily, Ben went to college with fellow architect, Harmony Blackwell who has recently gotten in to photography.  Check out her website HERE!  We are very excited that Harmony has agreed to take part in our day

Flowers - Ms. Pamela Verschuere.  Pam is admittedly bad at internet and e-mail, but her telephone number is 813-505-6043.  Pam actually did the flowers for my sister's wedding in 2005.  She is very knowledgeable about flowers (which helps because I'm totally ignorant in regards to flowers) and very competitive with her pricing.

Catering - Luis Rovira of L & L Events.  You can contact Luis via his website.  Luis is super flexible and very nice.

Wedding Dress - Patricia's Boutique.  If you grew up in or around Pasco or Hernando counties, they you know Patricia.  I actually got my Senior prom dress at Patricia's.  They were really friendly, and I'm totally in love with my dress (which will remain a secret to most until April 13th).  The only downside of Patricia's is that they are really heavy in to pageants and suggested that I get my alterations done on my dress in November.  For an April wedding.  Dislike. So, if you know of a good seamstress in the area, please let me know!

And that's pretty much all we have done so far.  I've also been using my Bridal Bargins books (that I bought on Amazon to save money, but you can also find it HERE!)  The book has some really good ideas that I would have never thought of.  That's pretty much where are are at, it seems like a lot of work but it's pretty fun and exciting to research and learn more about weddings.

Monday, October 15, 2012

It's on, again

Marathon Training, that is!

I'm currently starting Week #6 for the Disney World Marathon. This time around I am going to try the Hansons Plan.  The longest run is 16 miles, but there is a 8 or 10 miler the day before. The schedules are based on the philosophy that no one workout is more important than another, not putting too much emphasis on one workout, and not doing 40% of your weekly mileage on one day.  Simply, teaching you to run/race on tired legs.

You can find a Runner's World article on the Hanson's Plan HERE. I actually read this article back in January 2011 when it was published and I photocopied it and but it on my fridge. The bottom line, there are many training philosophies that runners and coaches recommend for the marathon (and other distances). My goal is to find the right one that works for me.  I felt as if my training for Space Coast went really well, but race day was the pits.

I feel as though the training has been going really well so far.  Here is a glimpse of what I've been up to, the actual totals are in parentheses:

Week #1:
Monday: off (1.35 in Jenny's bootcamp)
Tuesday: off (5)
Wednesday: off (5)
Thursday: 3 miles (off)
Friday: off (5)
Saturday: 3 miles (6)
Sunday: off (0
Total: 6 (actual total 22.35)

Week #2:
Monday: off (4)
Tuesday: 2 (3.5)
Wednesday: off (3)
Thursday: 3 (4)
Friday: 3 (2)
Saturday 3 (3)
Sunday 4 (4)
Total: 15 (actual total 23.5)

Week #3:
Monday: off (0)
Tuesday: 4 (4)
Wednesday: off (0)
Thursday: 4 (4)
Friday: 4 (4)
Saturday: 4 (5)
Sunday off  (7.5) 
Suggested total: 20 (actual total 24.5)

Week #4:
Monday: off (0)
Tuesday: 5 (5)
Wednesday: off (0)
Thursday: 3 (6)
Friday: 3 (4)
Saturday 5 (6.3)
Sunday 5 (12)
Suggested total: 21 (actual total 33.3)

Week #5:
Monday: off (0)
Tuesday: 5 (5)
Wednesday: off (0)
Thursday: 4 (6)
Friday: 5 (5)
Saturday: 4 (8)
Sunday: 5 (10)
Suggested total: 23 (actual total 34)

There are a few things that I have learned so far.  Number one, doing yoga on my off days feel amazing on my legs!  Number two, my compression sleeves are my new BFF!  Number three, I can pretty much kiss any other physical activities good-bye for the remainder of this training plan.

There are also quite a few races coming up on my race calendar:

Sunday, October 21st: PHCC 5k (one of my favorite races because it benefit's the PHCC's Women's Cross Country team that I just have to be the advisor for)

Saturday, October 27th: Bride of Frankenfooter 5k
Sunday, October 28th: Frankenfooter Half Marathon (combined to be the Living Dead Challenge) (No idea why I signed up for this, but it should be fun?)

Friday, November 2nd: Richard's Run for Life (Always a favorite, the BEST post-race party in Tampa!)

Sunday, November 4th: Wildhorse Half Marathon (Very first trail half marathon - yikes!

In other running-related news since my last post...I ran the First Annual Cheval Cares 5k and somehow landed up in the Top Ten females: (with Kat, Melissa, Tracey, and Jena who were all much faster!)

Saw my very first water moccasin on the trails.  And it just so happened to be a part of a whole water moccasin family.  

Ben and I traveled to Utah for the very first time and had a blast.  Ben totally rocked his Xterra National Companionship trail half marathon, the people were super nice, and the scenery was breath-taking (this picture is from Snowbasin above the valley).

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Living Dead

Well I successfully missed the entire month of July on the blogging end.  Whoops.  There has really been so much going on lately.

We will start with work life (part of the reason for my "living dead" title).  The summer hours at work are Monday - Thursday for 10 hours and then Fridays off.  Started in May and ending August 10th.  It always seems like such a long amount of time; and in the beginning, I always wonder what I am going to do with all these available Fridays.  But with one week left, I feel as though the summer as flew by and on Fridays I'm so exhausted from the week that I feel as though I'm a living dead person.  So I will celebrate my last Friday off this Friday, August 10th and frankly it's kind of a relief.  I will certainly miss a "free" day while most people have to work, but getting off work at 4:30 will be nice!

Other goings on:

Picnic Island #3 was on Friday, July 13th.  The tide was fairly low again and Ben and I both had a good time at this third and final run.  36:57 was my official finishing time, good enough for: 187/620 overall finishers, 38/217 female finishers, and 6/34 in my age group.  Annnddd, a cool campfire mug (as pictured below with my fast friend, Vera):

My Boston Red Sox loving friend, Jamie, gave Ben and myself some cool Rays koozies that we broke out for Dave Matthews Band summer tour in West Palm Beach:

Ben was reunited with Chris for some lawn action:

Here we are rolling around in the grass: (It was hot as Hades this day)

Those sunglasses pictured above? Lost 'em in the Atlantic Ocean along with my favorite Bucs hat.  But the water was AH-mazing!

I bought some new Brooks Adrenalines for marathon training.  (I fought with Brooks to give me some black shoe laces, but they refused so I rigged up my own).  I believe they look much better with the black laces instead of white...but you be the judge:

Trail running has also been going well.  Notable accomplishments: had my longest ever trail run (8 miles), my fastest pace trail run (10:10 pace, also 8 miles), saw my first coral snake, had my first wild boar sighting (including a baby boar), took another tumble, and saw tons of water on the trails.  Trail running has really given me a chance to focus on my foot falls and breathing and just enjoy being outside in the woods. I never thought that I would be running 8 miles consistently (especially after running 10 or 11 road miles the day before), but it's been great.  

I must also say that I've been fortunate enough to team up with my buddy, Tracey, for many of these trail runs.  (Special shout out to Paul for holding down the Tripp household on those Sunday mornings!)  Having someone to chat with, laugh with, and share these new milestones has really been a great experience.  So much so that we have even considered doing a trail half marathon this year...stay tuned.

Other confirmed races coming up:

Sunday, August 26th Run for the Fallen 10k.  (This is a FREE event that I'm doing with a team from work)

Saturday, October 27th and Sunday, October 28th The LIVING DEAD Challenge (5k on Saturday NIGHT and Half Marathon Sunday MORNING! WHAT?!?).  This one should be fun and local!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Race Report: Picnic Island #2

This race went much better than I could have ever anticipated; however, it did not start off great.  Ben and I left the house at 5 pm to head over to Picnic Island, thinking that we would have plenty of time to get there for the 6:45 race start.  But, there was a TON of traffic.  We didn't land up getting to the park until 6:15 - ahhh!!

There was plenty of parking available, but not too close to where race registration was located.  We had to run to get our race numbers and while Ben can pee in the woods, I discovered the line for the ladies room was too long to make it before start.  I recalled seeing a restroom at the front of the park that was open, so I decided to make a run for it at 6:24, but it was over a mile round trip.  But, there was no way that I was going to be able to make it through the race with all the water I drank.

There wasn't anyone at the front bathroom so it was very quick and I ran back to meet up with Ben and spray down with bug spray before the start.  We jogged most of the race course and it was much more than a mile by the time we got to the start line.  We met up with our friends Vera and Joe and had approximately three minutes to spare before the start of the race.  Whew!

The water levels were really low for this race, so it made it a little easier than Picnic Island #1 because you didn't have to slosh through the water as much.  Unfortunately, there are also a lot of rocks in the water that were now on the shore.  Which I got caught on and fell in the first 1/2 mile or so.  SUPER embarrassing.

The remaining of the race was pretty uneventful.  I did loose my Sweaty-Band in the cargo net, but it's my own fault for wearing it to this particular race.  I will say that knowing the race course is a plus for Picnic Island.  Here are the splits from my watch:

Avg Pace

Overall, 7/58 age group, 32/298 females, 180/717 overall.  This was my best finish at at Picnic Island ever.  It was a little bit of a rushed experience at the start, but it was also helpful that the tide was low and there was plenty of cloud cover.

Here is photo of Vera and myself with our Top 50 finisher glasses:

Next and final Picnic Island will be Friday, July 13th! 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Long Run Socks

The summer in Florida is no joke, especially if you have to train in it.  And, like most runners, I am a creature of habit.  There are certain clothes that are "approved" for longer distances.  They are tried and true.  I know that they will not chafe, bunch, or irritate me on a longer run.  This includes my special pair of "long run socks".  However, I was having a hard time locating my special long run socks on Sunday morning a few weeks ago.

As I frantically searched my sock drawer for my coveted socks, Ben looked over to see what the heck I was doing.  I told him that I was looking for my special long run socks and that I need to find them ASAP or I would be late.  At which point, he rolled over and pulled the blankets over his head.  Perhaps, I should invest in another pair.  Apparently I had already worn them this week, so I had to go with my back up socks.  Sigh.  What article of clothing can you not go without?

Anyway, after I settled on my back up socks, I met Rhonda and Melanie at the Upper Tampa Bay Trail for a 8-9 miler.  The one thing about my friends is that if you talk about more than one distance, you can be sure that you are going to longer distance.  The nice thing about the Upper Tampa Bay Trail is the amount of shade that you get, especially in the morning.  However, there is a huge over pass that is not so pleasant.

Here are the splits (from June 3rd - it's been a while):

Avg Pace

On Saturday (June 2nd), I met up with Tracey for a quick, easier run in Longleaf.  There were a lot of things going on this particular Saturday, so we met at 6 (waiting a few minutes for Natalie to bail on us, ahem!) and set out to Dianne and Craig's house and back.  Dianne and Craig live half way between Longleaf and Starkey Park.  And they are gracious enough to have a Gatorade/water buffet for the Strider runners.  Here are our splits:

Avg Pace

Then, I also did a San Antonio Hill Run last Sunday, June 10th which was a long(er) run.  It was supposed to be another 9 miler, but I wasn't feeling it after the RAP River Run.  So I cut it shorter and ended up with 8.27 miles.  Clearly, I should have just done the 9 mile route.  Here are the splits:

Avg Pace

Check out THIS elevation gain!!!

Distance:8.27 mi
Avg Pace:9:11 min/mi
Elevation Gain:468 ft
Calories:964 C

We have been running the same 10 mile loop in San Antonio, but found another one on WalkJogRun to try.  It was much more difficult in terms of elevation gain and number of hills, but it was a nice change/challenge.  This particular run was Natalie's last hill run before her move for college.  We did our photo Kids Incorporated style:

Don't know what Kids Incorporated is?!?  Check it! (Excellent video quality of the 80s..)

(Looks like we made it!  Recognize Fergie Ferg?!?)

Finally, have you heard of this website? Hey Runner Girl  Here's a sample:

Talk about a dream come true!