#hlbbookclub Miami & Fort Lauderdale MEETUP!!!

Happy Sunday Everyone,

I have such exciting news!!  As part of the Healthy Living Blog community, I have the opportunity to organize a meetup with all of you out there in the Miami & Fort Lauderdale areas on March 17th.  We will be going to see the brand new movie, Oz: The Great & Powerful.

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I am excited for this for many reasons.

1) HLB is starting a book club which is inspiring this event.  Remember how one of my goals for 2013 was to find a book club?  Mission accomplished 🙂

2) I get to meet YOU!!  Since I’m so new to the blogging community, I haven’t had the chance to connect live with anyone, so this is a great chance

3) The movie looks awesome 🙂

Since we’re trying to include the Fort Lauderdale & Miami folks, I tried to pick a somewhat central location of Aventura (North Miami Beach).  Here are the MEETUP details:

March 17th, Time TBD

AMC Aventura 24 Theaters (Aventura Mall)

If you’re interested in coming, please email me at maureen@morunsmarathons.com  I’ll then email you guys the final times and directions, and we’ll be sure to find some dessert or coffee so we can chat before or after the movie 🙂  You don’t have to have a blog to participate, and feel free to bring a friend!  Everyone will be responsible for paying for their own ticket.

If you’re not available to come see the movie with us, you can still participate in the book club!  Check it out here.  This month’s book is The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  You can post a review directly to that link, or check out what everyone’s saying about it on twitter with the hashtag #hlbbookclub.

Fort Lauderdale A1A Half Marathon Recap

Well….

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I did it!!!!  I ran in the half this past Sunday, and my official time was 1:57:57 🙂  A little behind my training plan, but beat my goal of 2 hours!!

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s rewind a day.

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On Saturday, after my MBA class, Jeff, his parents and I went to the Pre-Race Expo:

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I’ve never been to a race expo before, so I was really excited!  I grabbed my bib and packet right away and took another look at the course map.

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There were tons of goodies and free snacks so of course I had to sample some 🙂  I also spotted a sunglasses table since I’ve been wanting a pair to run in.  Quickly picked one out and kept on going.  There was a mix of food, running apparel, and event vendors and I’m pretty sure I stopped at every single table.  Yes I’m a nerd.  Even Jeff got involved when an e-stim vendor pulled him over to their table 🙂

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I have a feeling I know what I’ll be looking for when the next holiday rolls around.  I made one last stop to pick up some Shot Blox to have during the race (I knew they were offering Powerade Gels at the water stops and they kind of freak me out) and then headed to get some of the best pizza I think I’ve ever had.

We went to sleep nice and early since I had a 4am wake up call!  Before going to bed I made sure to lay everything out so I wouldn’t forget anything.

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I had my brand new sunglasses, a tank top from Target (hello why did I not know their exercise clothes were so cute?!), oiselle arm warmers, Pro Compression Marathon Socks, Shock Absorber Sports Bra, Under Armour Shorts, and of course my Mizuno’s.

4am wake up didn’t seem as bad as I expected.  Got ready, had some Ezekiel toast with Almond Butter & Apple Butter with 2 cups of coffee.

Ready to GO!

Ready to GO!

I headed out and found parking at a parking garage a few blocks from the starting line.  It was a point to point course, so they actually offered shuttles to runners that wanted to park near the finish line to get them to the start.  I decided that I knew the parking near the start line better and didn’t want to stress at all.  Of course, as soon as I was a few blocks away, I realized that I had forgotten my sunglasses.  Oh well, too late to go back.

A few things to set the mood: 1) I was still feeling sick – sneezing my head off and coughing a bit and 2) this was definitely the COLDEST morning I’ve ever experienced living in Florida.  When I got out of the car, it was 41 degrees.  I know that compared to most places during the winter that is nothing, but the coldest I had run in training for this race was a good 20 degrees warmer.  Nonetheless, as soon as I made it to the start line and checked my bag, I started to get excited.

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I made my way for a quick stop at the porta potties and when I came out the starting line was packed.  Because I still wasn’t feeling 100%, hadn’t run in over a week, and it was so cold, I immediately made the decision not to put pressure on myself, and hopped in a little behind the 10 minute mile sign.  I felt good about the decision but had that pang of feeling disappointed as my view forward was the sign for the 2:00hr pacers.  Next time I kept telling myself.

The gun went off right on time for the wheelchair racers, and then again for us 10 minutes later.  There were about 4800 people racing, and everyone left at the same time – all paces, both half marathon and marathon runners.  The course for the half and the full is the same until about mile 9 or so, then the half marathoners make a turn while the full runners keep going.

I took a look down at my garmin about half a mile in, and it said 11:30 was my pace.  I tried not to let that deter me as I knew the first mile is always going to be slow until the course empties out a bit.  I guess I was able to make up for it because when I looked at my splits after the race I finished that mile much faster.  The first few miles of the course are running straight toward the beach, and it was absolutely beautiful.  I checked my phone with my bag so I couldn’t take any pictures, but we were running toward the sunrise and if you’ve ever seen a Fort Lauderdale sunrise, it’s undeniably gorgeous.  Jeff got a shot from the finish line though –

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Before I knew it, we were there – on A1A, a quarter of the way done with the race and turning on to the next road.  At this point I was feeling pretty good, and I told myself to treat it like a tempo run.  That I would at the very least get a good 5 tempo miles in after the first mile and then I’d see how I felt after that.  I saw the next few miles clock in around 9 minutes each and tried to push each one just a little harder than the last.

I skipped the first few water stops (they were at every mile practically!) and we then turned off A1A to take a loop of a nearby park.  Here is where I started to feel even better.  It was the first time that I realized that I kept passing people.  Not being used to racing AT ALL, or even used to running with other people, this was such a strange thing to me.  My mind was racing – why am I passing these people?  Am I going too fast?  Am I going to burn out?  They look like they’re doing just fine, what do they know that I don’t?  Is there a secret hill we’re about to climb?  It’s funny how my mind will always jump to doubting myself first.  But I was able to push those thoughts out and keep going.  Grabbed some water, at one stop, had a shot block, grabbed some more water or so I thought, wound up being Powerade and got it in my eye.  I never claimed to be coordinated.

Right around mile 8 I realized that the past few miles I had done were between 8:30 and 9, and that I might be able to push myself through the whole thing and come somewhat close to 2 hours.  There weren’t many spectators on the course but the ones who were there were plenty energetic!  There were also dj’s or bands at some of the water stops with volunteers that were dancing so that made it that much more fun.  I was shocked at how good I was feeling.  At this point, the sun was out but it was still cool.  I had anticipated needing to roll down or take off the arm warmers, but I never did.  I didn’t even feel like I was sweating since it was so chilly.  I kept cruising along until about mile 10, where things got a little bit tough.  I felt my pace slowing and those last 3 were definitely tough love miles. There was a ton of self talk going on because at this point I knew that if I kept pushing myself that I could make it under 2 hours, my goal was within reach only if I didn’t give up.  I’m pretty sure I kept saying ‘Push!’ out loud.  I’m also pretty sure that I was getting a few stares from other runners, but I didn’t care.  This was my goal and my race and I was going to own it.

When I saw 12.5 miles on my Garmin, I tried to find that last gear and really kick it, but there was nothing left.  I was in cruise control and couldn’t go any faster than my pushing it pace.  That was ok, I knew I had it.  I slowly made it to the finish line where I saw Jeff and his parents screaming their heads off.  For that last .1 or .2 miles there I finally found my kick and past the last handful of people who were slowing down before the finish.  In my head I was brought back to softball practice in high school training to run through first base – don’t slow down right before the finish line!!! I didn’t want to cheat myself out of any last second.

I saw I had done it and I couldn’t be happier!  And look how cool the medal is:

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All in all, it was a great experience.  Everything about the race was incredibly organized and they definitely had runners in mind when creating the course.  You can’t beat the beach!  And I have a shiny new PR to hold on to 🙂

Did anyone else race this weekend?

What are your big goals?

Wicked Karma

Happy weekend everyone.

At this time next Sunday I will have finished my first half marathon in 7 years.  My first race in 7 years.  My first 13.1 miles in 7 years.  7 years.  2013.  Lucky number 7.  Lucky 2013.

Will I finish it in my goal time of under 2 hours?  A week ago, I would have said I absolutely have it in me.  That’s because a week ago I was looking at this:

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11 easy, slow feeling, had more in the tank, progression miles.  The longest that I’ve done in training.  I’ve said that a lot over the past few weeks, and it’s my favorite thing to say.  The ‘longest’ makes me feel accomplished.  I’m making progress and it’s growing upon each run.  Then on Wednesday I did a 7 mile tempo – 1/2 mile warm-up, 6 tempo miles and 1/2 mile cool-down.  I can say that that was my fastest and longest tempo run of my training.  The ‘fastest’ makes me feel STRONG.  So with that run I felt both accomplished and strong.

Then I woke up on Thursday, and I couldn’t swallow.  I didn’t think anything of it and went to the gym for a killer leg workout.  There were JUMPING lunges involved.  Two words that are not at all appealing when placed next to each other.  I still didn’t feel 100% but I went to work for a downhill disaster.  Where I was reminded that while over the past few weeks as every single one of my coworkers were bit by the flu or strep throat bug I sat happily by working away saying ‘oh me?  I don’t get sick’ Boy was I wrong.  The Karma police came for me and sentenced me with the scratchiest of sore throats and the most feverish of fevers that afternoon didn’t begin to break until Friday night.  After taking a sick day on Friday and sleeping most of the day yesterday after my MBA class, I decided that doing my last long run before the race would be skipped.  The effort it takes to have a conversation or take a deep breath is a little too taxing to consider putting my body through another 11 miles.

So that is a very long way of explaining that I am not 100% confident that I’ll break 2 hours next week.  I’m going to fight like hell, but at the same time remind myself that this is precisely why I chose February to do a half.  If I don’t break 2 now, I have 10 more months in 2013 to do so.  I’m a little bit stubborn.  So the idea of not holding myself to the 2 hours next Sunday is really hard for me to consider.  But at the same time while ‘I don’t get sick’, when I DO get sick it tends to stick around.  So I probably won’t be back to 100% until next weekend.

There is always an upside.  On race day, I will put less pressure on myself if I see the clock ticking and miles slipping to a pace I don’t like.  And skipping today’s run means I get to be awake and not sore and hang out with Jeff and his parents who are visiting for the week.  And I will get over whatever this thing is that I have that much quicker if I don’t go out today and this week trying to be a rockstar that I’m not.  So there are always good tradeoffs to make too.

In other news, last Saturday Jeff and I got to see this:

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Not only was it an amazing show with really great seats (aside from the unusually tall man sitting in front of Jeff making it pretty difficult to see), they had THEMED CUPCAKES.  I wanted to get about 5 of them but I decided to show some self restraint and chose the Tin Man over ‘Ruby Red Velvet’ and ‘Flying Monkey Fudge’.

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We were happy campers 🙂

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Anyone have the winter bug this year?

How do you deal with being sick right before a race?

 

Welcome to February

Can you believe that January went by so fast?!  I couldn’t either, then I started to think about it and January was a pretty productive month:

I ran 87.5 miles, two of those runs were 10 milers.  I’ve never felt so strong.  Only 17 days until the half marathon!

I tried cooking a few new foods and new desserts including poached eggs, egg nog cupcakes, no guilt brownies, and last night halibut for the first time!

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Nothing special, just some spices in olive oil but it wasn’t bad.  I am also more than halfway through the 2nd book of the Hunger Games series, and have had 3 MBA classes.  So I guess it does make sense that January is over after all 🙂

Anyway, this week was packed.  It was my first week doing a long run on Sunday, and also my first week having class on Monday nights after work.  Made it seem like I would NEVER make it to Friday.  Here’s what it looked like for workouts:

Monday – 2 miles, easy 9:48/mile pace

Tuesday – 2 miles, easy 9:24/mile pace then upper body workout – more SPIDERMAN pushups, this time with my feet elevated on a bosu

Wednesday – 7 mile SPEED: 1 mile warm-up, 5 miles @7:45ish with 1/4 mile jog in between each one.  Except the last mile I went nuts and did it in 6:40.  Done on the treadmill and I LOVED every second and each bead of sweat I earned on that one.

Thursday – squat central with a leg workout and worked on my balance a bit (I have none)

Friday – slept in 🙂

I wanted to sleep in today because I have class all day tomorrow 8-5 and then Jeff and I are going to see Wicked!  I never got the chance to see it on Broadway so this is the next best.

I saw this on facebook today and needed to share:

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So true!  And it is universal, it applies to everything – not just running, not just fitness.  Want to learn how to cook new foods?  Look up a recipe and head to the grocery store.  Hate your job and want to move in a different direction?  Do some research or take a class in a different area to see what your options are.  Take all the ‘wouldn’t it be nice’ and ‘I hope’ thoughts and get out there and make them happen!  Nothing’s going to change if nothing changes.

How was your January?

Anyone see Wicked?

What changes have you made in your life lately?

January Foodie Penpals Reveal!

 

Hi Everyone!

Sorry this is a little bit late in the day, but today is my very first Foodie Penpals post!  I’ll include some details about the program at the end of the post, but basically it is penpals with FOOD 🙂  I joined last month but unfortunately my match didn’t follow through.

This month more than made up for it though!  I was paired with the cutest Mallory from Mal’s Miles.  She contacted me right away to see what I would like for my box.  I left it pretty open but hinted that I might like chocolate just a little bit.  Well lookie what she put together!

DSCN0627I think I died and went to chocolate delicious heaven when I opened it.

What’s inside:

  • Dark Chocolate covered Pretzel Slims
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Chocolatey Cat cookies (they taste like teddy graham’s shaped like cats!)
  • Cocoa Almond Butter
  • ‘Reduced Guilt’ Chocolate Brownie Mix
  • the Sweetest Note
  • Dark chocolate cookie butter bar (not pictured, I couldn’t wait to take a picture to devour it)

Now this box was doubly excited because they were all items from Trader Joe’s.  Every single blog I read goes Lady Gaga over Trader Joe’s and I have been so jealous because there are NONE here for me to try all of the fun goodies.  In her note, Mallory mentioned that she had fun putting the box together because her husband is allergic to chocolate?! Mal I agree it is the saddest allergy ever!  To me, chocolate = instant happiness.  I also loved that she put a note on each and every item… it made me that much happier to dig in and enjoy all of these new to me packages of fun and made me feel like I was having a conversation with Mal about the snacks she sent 🙂

I wasted no time in trying the goods.  I snacked on the Pretzel slims which I loved because they weren’t as filling as the usual chocolate covered pretzels.  I also wasted no time in making the brownies:

Yes me too please!

Yes me too please!

chocolatey goodness

chocolatey goodness

The Finished Product!

The Finished Product!

I added some walnuts in there, and they were delicious.  And I did not feel guilty.  Not one bit.  I also loved this cocoa almond butter:

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It was great with a banana and also apples, toast, celery, a spoon, on steak, ok I did not try it on steak but I’m sure it would be good on that too!

Thank you Mal for such a thoughtful and delicious package – I could not have imagined anything better and I loved each and every item and the notes with them!

I sent my package to Amanda from NJ.  She doesn’t have a blog but I hope she enjoyed the box!!

And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US, Canadian & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 

If you’re from the US or Canada and are in participating for November, please CLICK HERE (www.theleangreenbean.com/foodie-penpals/) to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by February 4th as pairings will be emailed on February 5th!

*If you’re from Europe, please CLICK HERE (www.thisisrocksalt.com/foodie-penpals/) to sign up.

So that’s it, my very first FPP.

Anyone participate in Foodie Penpals?

Chocolate lover or hater?

LOVER

Come back soon, I’ll be posting an update on my GOALS and other February fun!