TOL: One Week Closer

1) I’m kind of over the whole introduction thing on posts. It’s probably the hardest part to write so I’m just going to ignore it and jump into thinking out loud. I skipped it last week and I haven’t been talking about everyday life as much lately, so it seems like a good time to talk about random things going on right now.

2) The title of this post (one week closer) is about the fact that I’ll be home in LESS THAN 3 WEEKS. I haven’t been home to my house in NH since early July, and even then it was only for a day. I haven’t been home for more than a week since last December. That’s a long time. I can’t wait to spend 8 days with my family in NH, in Boston, and in Rhode Island.

3) Tuesday night we had a Saucony tech session at the store. I love staff meetings. Except when they don’t start until 8pm. I love Charm City Run and I will say that 1000 times. We did get some free saucony shoes and cool pictures out of it though, so I guess it was worth the after 10pm bedtime. Also, in case you didn’t know, my managers are the coolest.

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#whoaface is officially a thing.

4) I’ve been home a lot more this week. A certain someone went out of town so I wasn’t booked nearly as much as I usually am after work. I had plenty of time to get my bike fixed, eat rainbow cake on my couch watching the season finale of Below Deck (while reminiscing about #boatlife), and get up at dark ‘o clock for spinning. I live on the edge.

5) BIKE PARTY is tomorrow! Thank goodness I got my bike fixed this week so the brakes work (gears still don’t even though they said they fixed them) because I can’t imagine a better way to spend Halloween than on a BIKE with my November Project friends and 1500 Baltimoreans. Last month Bike Party was pretty much the highlight of my month, so I have a feeling this will be even better, since it’s a holiday and all.

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These people are okay I guess

6) Speaking of bikes, as great as mine my mom’s is for just getting around town, I’m wondering if it’s worth investing in a good one. Except I wouldn’t know where to begin searching for one that isn’t going to cost me 3 months salary. Thoughts?

7) November Project makes me happy. This week was PR day and because I’m still not running, I just watched. But I did do a couple sets of stairs and did squats to Sally with everyone else. I’m hoping that one of these days my legs decide to magically stop hurting so I can do Friday workouts again too.

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8) Kind of a random topic (aren’t they all?) but I’m realizing that while I had all of these dumb rules for myself when I finally gave the whole relationship thing a shot, those went out the window the first month. I knew what bugged me about my friends’ relationships and I swore I would never be like that (I think I’m doing a decent job) but I also had all of these things I said I’d never do (spend more than 2 days a week with said person, etc)… that didn’t last long. Not a bad thing at all (I’m really happy) but I’m definitely eating my words now that I’m the one in the relationship and my friends remind me of when I used to say “I’ll never…”. This may make zero sense to anyone else, but it made sense it my head.

9) I haven’t been drinking enough water lately. I don’t have an excuse, really. We have a water cooler at work and I had a cute (albeit semi-defective) water bottle, but my water consumption drastically decreased after graduation last May. I blame a lot of this on said cute water bottle that only held 18 ounces compared to my previous Siggs, which were always 32 ounces. I found a happy medium and went with a 24oz CamelBak with the Charm City Run logo (told you I’m obsessed) and I’ve been drinking water up a storm ever since. I feel a huge difference in my body already.

 TOL: One Week Closer

Please excuse all of the post its on my monitors

10) I FINALLY made it to yoga. I don’t really have a good excuse. The studio is literally outside of my front door. I planned on going last night but it didn’t happen. I get out of work and I’m exhausted. I didn’t really do a workout at November Project yesterday morning, but I also realized I was borderline overdoing it on the exercise this week and my calf pain has been flaring up more than usual again. I’m sure that isn’t a coincidence, so I took the night off to lay on the couch. It was the right decision even though I debated it for quite awhile.

11) Tonight I’m going to a Floyo Fit class at Beach Body Baltimore with Lauren and BMoreToned! I’m really excited to see what they have in store for us since most people who have been reading for awhile know about my obsession with SUP icon smile TOL: One Week Closer

I need bike advice!

Do you keep track of how much water you drink a day?

 Do you make time for yoga/stretching in your week?

When you get overwhelmed…

Last week was insane. I felt like I was playing catch up from being at Runner’s World last weekend. I was behind on grocery shopping (not that I keep much food in the house) and laundry, didn’t feel well, and just felt unsettled. I had plans almost every night last week (and had to cancel my plans Thursday night because I didn’t feel well) and it just started to feel like too much.

Then I got an email from my manager at the store. She asked me if I wanted to cut back my hours as we enter the slower season. I had been waiting to talk to her until after marathon season was over so it felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. As much as I love my job at Charm City Run and could never give it up completely, I can’t work 10 hours on Saturdays after working 50 hours at my other job during the week, which is obviously my priority. I can’t dedicate the same energy I would like to helping customers. For now, I’m working half days and I may eventually become a sub.

Getting away last weekend made me realize how much I need a weekend off occasionally. I keep having to cancel plans because I have so much going on. Then I have one day of the week to cram in as much as possible- errands, a social life, and “me time.” It’s a lot. I don’t know how those of you who work 2+ jobs, 6-7 days a week do it.

This weekend I took a step back. No plans, a half day at work, and plenty of couch-time. I can literally count on two hands the number of times I’ve sat on my couch since I moved here 3 months ago. That’s sad.

Aside from a pumpkin themed party Friday night (where I tried pumpkin cornbread and pumpkin mac and cheese- winning), a few spin classes (4 in the past 3 days), and a half day at work, I took it easy. And by easy, I mean Saturday night while my roommates were out of town, we literally laid on the couch and watched some of the World Series before falling asleep at 10.

Sunday I went to back-to-back spin classes- one was “Church of EC”  (best class of the week) and the other was with all of my November Project friends and then literally sat on the couch online shopping (didn’t buy anything) and stared at our brick wall because I’m a really exciting person.

10485841 10153263390505410 5865095562921973405 n When you get overwhelmed...It was hard to sit still and do nothing. I wanted to go for a walk, but had no errands to run. I wanted to make plans with friends, but didn’t want to put on real clothes. I wanted to go running, but was afraid it would hurt my calf. I wanted to go to yoga, but didn’t want to take another shower. I wanted to go shopping, but didn’t want to spend money.

All of those “buts” were telling me something- I needed to just sit on the couch and let myself do absolutely nothing. Those 4 hours of solitude were enough- then my lovely roommates finally came home and we caught up on life for a bit while watching Make It or Break It (good show, if you’re an ABC family fan like we are).

Sometimes I think we fear having nothing to do. I’m constantly on the go.  I never give myself a second to breathe. My bedroom still looks like I never finished unpacking, we still don’t have kitchen chairs, and I still haven’t gotten my bike fixed. I have literally been packing so many things and people into my days, that I haven’t had any time for myself. And that’s fine, because I love my life the way it is right now, but it’s not okay when it gets to the point where it makes you nervous to have no plans. I was definitely uncomfortable doing nothing on Sunday.

So instead of getting my butt off the couch to make myself busy doing another (probably necessary) task, I forced myself to stay put, continued staring at that brick wall, and did my best to enjoy those few hours of stillness. Because sometimes, they’re exactly what we need.

Training 10/20-10/27

Mon- OFF

Slept in until almost 8 (unheard of for me) and gave my legs a second day to recover after Saturday’s races. 11 hours of sleep was just what I needed to start the week.

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Tues- 60 min spinning

I missed a lot of spin classes last week due to “taper” and other very good reasons so it felt good to be back on the bike. I almost decided to take this as another rest day but I didn’t feel as sore as I thought I would so I decided to get a sweat session in. I took it easy and didn’t up the resistance too much but it was still a good recovery workout.

Wed- November Project

Yes, I went in a monsoon. It was just as awesome as usual. I probably biked 4-5 miles (to and from), ran 1-2 miles, and did about 8000 squats/lunges. I looked like a wet dog at the end. Loved every second of it. Lots of smiles, even when my legs were about to fall off.

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Thurs- OFF

Unless you count 5 minutes of planks just because. I’m trying to get back into doing core workouts regularly again, but knowing me, that won’t happen unless someone’s standing over me yelling.

Fri- 60 min spinning, 15 min core

Esther teaches a strength class on Friday mornings which gives you a total body workout. We did 45 min regular spinning, then 15 min with weights. After, we went into the barre room for 15 minutes of straight core. I felt like my abs were going to rip in half by the end. I woke up really sore Saturday morning.

Sat- 60 min spinning

Same class as Friday but with Jami from BMOREtoned! I’ve been wanting to take a class with her but my schedule hadn’t allowed it until this weekend (I’m backing off my hours at Charm City Run so I’m only doing half days now). It was awesome. I might actually make myself work out after work now so I can go to her Tuesday night classes!

Sun- Spinning x2 (2 hours total)

Esther taught the first class which I never miss if I can help it. October has been a busy month for me so I haven’t gotten to go as much as I would have liked. I had already signed up before Nick (co-leader of November Project) announced that he’d be teaching his first real class so I wasn’t about to miss that either. Followed by brunch with all of my friends, you just can’t beat it.

Clearly a lot of spinning this week. I’m really loving it. I never thought I’d find the bike to be an acceptable replacement for running, but it is. Rev Cycle just lowered their monthly unlimited pricing to something that is slightly more reasonable. It’s still going to be expensive but I think it will be worth it, so I’m going to be continuing my membership even though I said I wasn’t. Having a membership helps me to keep my running mileage lower (when I can run) and it is really good cross training (both when I can and when I can’t). Plus, I love it there and I didn’t want to give it up. So I’m not.

As far as running goes, my leg is still up and down. I have an appointment with a specialist at my mom’s office over Thanksgiving break and hopefully my doctor can recommend someone at Hopkins down here so I can continue treatment. Because I have no races on the horizon for the foreseeable future, I’m not going to push the recovery. I know how long it takes for me to get back out there based on the last 2 times I’ve gone through this injury, and the more I rush it, the longer it’s going to take. I might as well enjoy spinning and November Project (modified workouts, obviously) and embrace the time off. Running will be there when I’m healthy again.

Runner’s World Part 3

Last post about the weekend, I swear.

After the races Saturday morning, we went in search of lunch. The seminars we wanted to go to started at 1:30 so we didn’t have a ton of time, but we found a really good place on Main Street to eat. I also found the gas station next to my hotel for some hot chocolate. I didn’t have any on Friday and it just about killed me, so it was necessary.

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recovering right with hot chocolate and Pro Compression. Always.

The first seminar we went to was with Mark Remy. It was described as a “fun, interactive session” and it did not disappoint. He brought us through his writing process as we “helped” him create his blog post for Monday. We learned the steps he takes in crafting a post and he brought in his humor which was great.

Bart Yasso also held a seminar which was amazing. His stories are so inspiring. The people he’s met, the races he’s done (over 1500!!), and the lives he’s touched are incredible. He shared humorous moments and serious moments along with pictures from races he’s done throughout his life. I was blown away by some of the tougher ones. Bart is a truly amazing guy and it’s no wonder he’s the mayor of running, as he’s often called. He deserves the title more than anyone.

10620548 10203120187588669 5306927989245237348 n Runners World Part 3We had a few hours between the seminar with Bart and Liz Miele’s comedy show, so we decided to go out and explore a bit. We stopped at a few local stores in town, a coffee shop, and an ice cream place (duh). It brought back memories of when I was last in Bethlehem for our track conferences and I wanted to go to this particular ice cream place, but nobody would go despite everyone talking about it all weekend. Luckily this time i brought someone with me who I knew I could count on. I did learn that I’m not a fan of apple dumplings though.

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His and hers. Can you guess which is mine?

Liz Miele was the keynote “speaker” of the weekend. She is a New York comedian that talks about running, dating, cats, and living in NYC. She was absolutely hilarious. If I’m ever in New York, I’ll be sure to go to one of her shows.

10703669 10203120188828700 7454330598886487632 n Runners World Part 3Next came a pasta dinner with the editors. I had never had Alfredo sauce before (I know) but I was feeling brave and decided to give it a shot. The verdict? So good. It was probably the best meal I’ve had in months. I went back for seconds, with more sauce the next time.

Screen Shot 2014 10 21 at 9.42.30 PM Runners World Part 3By the time dinner ended I was exhausted. I pretty much passed out the second we got back to the hotel. I woke up, had some french toast at the hotel breakfast, and we headed out to catch part of the half marathon. We positioned ourselves at mile 11 just in time to see Lauren run by, and then hung around until a few other bloggers passed us. They all killed it and I was so excited to see them. We didn’t make it back to the finish because of all the road closures, but we were tracking them on the app so we knew how they did.

To be honest, if I hadn’t had a certain someone with me this weekend, I would have probably tried to run the half marathon. It would have been really stupid, but it’s a lot easier to be smart about racing when you have someone to keep you company and help distract you from the fact that you can’t run a race you really wanted to do, especially when all of your friends are doing it. I’m not saying I think I would have finished it, but I would have been more likely to attempt it. I’m really glad I didn’t.

We hit the road shortly after and made a few stops on the way home. We had lunch at Red Robin and browsed the Nike and Adidas outlets in Lancaster, and then went for a walk/hike at Chickie’s Rock Overlook Trail to take in the views and stretch out our (incredibly sore) legs. It was absolutely gorgeous and the perfect end to an already perfect weekend.

10703587 10203120189348713 7172183389716814142 n Runners World Part 3This weekend was absolutely amazing. I got to spend it with so many friends in a gorgeous place. As Bart Yasso said, “every runner should be treated like Shalane Flanagan, and that’s what we try to do at Runner’s World.” Well, Runner’s World, mission accomplished. I was blown away by every last detail that went into putting on such an incredible race weekend. I can’t recommend it highly enough and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Going back to the real world on Monday was rough. Really rough.

So thank you once again Runner’s World for an amazing experience. I will definitely not forget it.

Disclaimer: I was invited to participate in the Runner’s World Festival. My meals, hotel, swag bags, and races were paid for but as always, all opinions are my own.

Have you ever run a race when you shouldn’t?

Runner’s World Race Recaps

Continuing on with the Runner’s World Weekend festivities

The races. We should probably talk about those. Obviously the main reason I was in Bethlehem.

Lauren and I woke up around 6am and went downstairs to grab breakfast. I made myself a cinnamon belgian waffle (SO good) and brought it back upstairs to our room so we could eat while we got ready. It took me longer than I’d like to admit to figure out what I wanted to wear for the races. It was chilly but I knew running in long sleeves would be too much. We met everyone downstairs at 7 to walk down to the start of the 5k.

Because most of us weren’t taking the races seriously, there was no warming up involved. We made our way over to the porta potties where there was almost no line (and they were still relatively clean!), took some pictures, and got into the corrals. The first race started at 8am.

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pre-race

I hadn’t planned on pushing any of the races. I’m still nursing a mysterious injury and was hoping to make it through all 3 races (5k, 10k, half marathon). As soon as the gun went off for the 5k, I knew there was no way I’d be able to finish a half. My calf was aggravated from the first step but it surprisingly went away until I crossed the finish line. It was after that first step that I decided to see what I could do with the 5k, take the 10k easy, and scrap the half marathon all together.

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My first mile was around 7:30, I think. I wasn’t wearing a garmin and didn’t really pay much attention to my splits, but I vaguely remember thinking that I could hold that pace for all 3 miles. All I remember about the first mile was how much I had to weave in and out of people. I probably tacked on a lot of extra distance doing so, but I started out in the 8:30 corral so I had a lot of catching up to do. I wasn’t shooting for a PR, so it didn’t bother me, it’s just something I remember. In Boston, I ran most of the races with other bloggers, whereas last weekend everyone kind of did their own thing so I didn’t really run with anyone.

Mile two came just over 15 minutes if I remember correctly. I was starting to get tired at this point but I was taking note of all of the scenery. The course was truly beautiful and is exactly what I would picture a Pennsylvania fall to look like. The leaves were still colorful and the ground was covered with them. I may have been riding the pain train, but I was enjoying myself immensely. The last mile was really hard. I ended up finishing in 22:49, about a minute slower than what i ran last month. Considering that I haven’t run more than 2-3 times in the past month, I’ll take it. Lauren said she thought the course was a little long, but I’m happy with my pace regardless.

After the races I met up with all of the other bloggers, found my boyfriend, and met a girl from November Project Philly! That was probably a highlight. She took a picture of me towards the finish. Once a member of the tribe, always a member of the tribe.

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not the most attractive picture…

It was really cold but luckily they left the Arts Quest building open so we could stay warm for the hour between races. My calf was bothering me a decent amount so I tried to stretch but I was okay once the 10k started. We managed to get most of the bloggers in one picture…

unnamed5 Runners World Race RecapsI knew I wouldn’t be able to push the 10k so I just decided to run it “easy.” I forgot that my “easy” pace is not the same as it used to be so I was trying to run 8 minute miles which felt hard. Mile 1 was already painful and I came in around 7:45. My calves felt okay; I was just tired. I haven’t run that many miles in over a month, so trying to do 9+ miles in one day was stretching it.

I’ll be completely honest- I was pretty bad with the negative self-talk for most of the race. As much as I enjoyed the scenery, I was too tired to care for the 10k. I just wanted to be done running. I continued pushing and stayed right around 8 minute pace for all 6 miles, but I can’t say I had a great attitude about it while running. That had nothing to do with anything Runner’s World did. It was me feeling frustrated with myself for the fitness level I was at. I know I shouldn’t have been, but I was.

 Runners World Race Recaps

Meredith snapped this of me before the 5k

The 10k course was just as gorgeous as the first race, and at least 10 times as hilly. The course was really windy and every time you turned a corner, you would think you’d have some reprieve from a hill but really another one was there to break you just a little bit more. I know some people did PR, but I don’t think I could have done it on a course like that, so I give those runners major credit. It was NOT an easy course. Pretty, yes, PR friendly, no.

I crossed the finish line in 50:50 for an 8:11 pace. Because of the winding roads, I definitely didn’t follow the tangents and likely ran significantly more than 6.2 miles, but without a garmin we will never know. I’m very happy with that time even though it’s nowhere near a PR.

 Runners World Race Recaps

post-race

I finished the race, once again found my boyfriend (who also ran the 10k… 10 minutes faster than me), and chatted with the other bloggers before heading back to our hotel rooms to shower and find food so we could go to the seminars.

Capture Runners World Race Recaps

Last part coming tomorrow- I promise!

Disclosure: Runner’s World sponsored my involvement with the race (hotel, meals, seminars, swag bags, races, etc), but all opinions are my own. I had planned on running these races before I was invited back and if it fits in my schedule, will do one of their festivals again next year.

Have you ever run a race after taking a lot of time off running?

Favorite season to run races in?

Runner’s World Weekend

Nothing I write will do this weekend justice. I’m going to attempt to recap as much as I can but I also don’t want to drag it out into too many posts. Today I’ll talk about Thursday and Friday, and then I’ll recap the races/rest of the weekend tomorrow and Wednesday. There’s so much to say, but I also know that too many recaps might not be interesting to people who weren’t there. I have a feeling this is going to turn into more of a photo dump because who doesn’t love looking at a million pictures?

I left work around 1:30 on Thursday and drove the 3 hours to Bethlehem, PA. We stayed at the Comfort Suites which was about a half mile from all of the festivities. I would absolutely recommend that hotel and I’d stay there again in a heartbeat. I shared a room with Lauren who had already checked us in when I got there and we caught up for a few minutes before it was time to board the limo-bus to Runner’s World headquarters!

When we arrived at the headquarters we were greeted by Bart Yasso and all of the Runner’s World editors. The food they prepared was all local and a lot of it came from the gardens at Rodale. I had a burger and salad and a few “healthified” cookies. So good. As soon as dinner was over we took a tour of the headquarters.

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From left to write: Bart telling us about the cupola, December issue being laid out to print, international magazines, and all of the reviewed bikes from bicycling magazine

After the tour we went outside to make s’mores! It was starting to rain but that didn’t stop us. I had 1 real s’more and then 2-3 toasted marshmallows, because we all know I’m obsessed with anything marshmallow.

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Lauren and I called it an early night when we got back to the hotel. We had to be downstairs at 7am for the “Amazing Shakeout Race.” We were split into 4 teams (Mine was “Team Domination”) with 4 bloggers and 1-2 Altra employees on each team. We started with a race sponsored by Running Skirts and as soon as we finished outfitting our entire team, we received the first clue. My team ran in costume. We had to take a group selfie at each location where we received the next clue. Our last stop was the Sands Casino where we got in trouble with the security guards for running. Once we received the final clue to meet at the location where we would be eating breakfast, we had to complete a crossword puzzle. My team was the first to finish (Team Domination, duh) and we all received gift cards to Altra Running.

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After all of the teams had finished we had breakfast- muffins, yogurt, and fruit (no yogurt for me) while we started listening to various presentations. First up was a breathing seminar from the author of Running on Air, Budd Coates. It was crazy to see how you’re supposed to breathe versus what feels natural to me. Budd recommended breathing in for 3 steps and breathing out for 2 during a normal run, and breathing in for 2 and out for 1 during a tempo run. When we put our hands on our stomach to practice breathing in and out at the right time it felt really counterintuitive, but if it’s going to keep me injury free, it might be worth a shot!

After Budd was finished speaking, we heard several speakers from Altra speak.  They were the primary sponsor for the weekend and I absolutely loved hearing Golden Harper, one of the founders of Altra, tell his story. Golden grew up working for his family’s running store and they began cutting heels off of traditional running shoes, melting them in a toaster, and creating a “zero drop” effect. Injured runners began coming in looking for these modified shoes and noticed a huge difference. It was fascinating hearing how much thought went into everything from the drop of the shoe to the shape (he made sure to mention that the toe box isn’t “wide,” it’s “foot-shaped”).

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Next up was a presentation by the marketing team at iFit, who are actually owned by the same parent company as Altra. I may not love running on treadmills, but if I could put in a course I run in Rhode Island via google maps, I might have second thoughts.

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Next up was a running form clinic with Golden. There are 4 main steps to having good form: 1) proud posture, 2) compact arms, 3) bent knee, and 4) cadence. I won’t go into all of the details because this post is already getting too long, but we were all laughing as we practiced some of the ways to make sure we were holding ourselves correctly.

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After the running clinic, we headed to a different building for yoga. We were given yoga mats, resistance bands, bags, foam roller, and massage stick, all from various icon fitness brands. I haven’t done yoga in far too long, so it was great to stretch while learning how to incorporate our new gear into our routines.

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I’m in the purple sweatshirt/shorts on the top right. Photocred goes to RWzelle IG which just went live Friday!

Then we had lunch with Bart Yasso and company! All food was from the Runner’s World cookbook. I ate cornbread and salad… picky eater problems. But it was really good cornbread!

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“Bartie” with Ali and Lauren!

Sean from Team RWB came and gave a really inspirational speech about battling addiction with running after being in the army for years. It was definitely one of the most serious moments of the weekend.

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We had a few hours after lunch to head back to the hotel and regroup before the expo, so we were finally able to get out of our sweaty clothes. We headed to the expo before dinner to pick up our bibs and watch the kids races!

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obligatory IG in front of the Steel Stacks

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I highly recommend looking AT the camera next time you have the opportunity to be on the cover of a magazine

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Caught watching the kids races by David, one of the RW PR people

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Bart leading the way for the first race of the weekend

Around 5 my boyfriend (yes, boyfriend) joined us and we all headed to dinner at Mama Nina’s with some of the other bloggers. I had plain pasta and the BEST garlic rolls. By the time we finished dinner it was almost 9 so we called it an early night again since we had to be up early.

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source I definitely had 4 of these…

Look out for part 2 tomorrow!

Disclosure: Runner’s World sponsored my involvement with the race (hotel, meals, seminars, swag bags, races, etc), but all opinions are my own. I had planned on running these races before I was invited back.

Have you ever been to a blog conference/race?

What’s your go-to pre-race meal?

Mizuno Wave Rider 18

I didn’t get home from Bethlehem until dinnertime last night so the recaps will have to wait a day or two. For now let’s just say words can’t even begin to describe how amazing this weekend was, and nothing I write will do it justice.

It’s not exactly a secret that I’m obsessed with Mizuno. I’ve professed my love for them several times on the blog, on instagram, on twitter, on facebook, pretty much anywhere people will listen to me. I used to have over 10 pairs before my mom donated them this summer and I’m slowly growing my collection once again. I’m back up to 5 now.

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While I typically wear the mizuno wave inspire, a stability shoe, I have worn other models as well. I loved my wave riders I wore during cross country season 2 years ago, I raced in my sayonaras last month, and I loved the trail shoes I received as part of the last fitfluential campaign I did. I’m obsessed with my mizuno tights and wear them more than I probably should before they desperately need to be washed, and I am building my collection of other mizuno apparel slowly but surely thanks to my weekend gig at Charm City Run.

When I was given the opportunity to participate in this mizuno campaign, I jumped at the chance. There are very few other shoe brands I would agree to review on the blog simply because my legs are so finicky. I know what does and doesn’t work for me and I’m not willing to risk an injury to test out a new shoe. Mizunos have been working for me for years and I tend to stick with them. You could say we’re in a committed relationship of sorts.

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in case you needed further proof of my addiction…

I literally went into the leasing office every single day for 2 weeks when I received notice that the shoes were being shipped out. The leasing agents might not have known who I was before, but they definitely do now. When I finally had them in my hands, I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning. You don’t even understand how happy I was (well, unless you’ve been following my shoe dilemma for the past 11 months, then you might.).

I put them on and they definitely did what I had hoped they would. The calf pain I get is easily aggravated by certain shoes, and these completely alleviated the pain. I wore them around my apartment the first day I got them, then took them out for a long walk the next morning. They felt great immediately. Since then, I’ve gone for a few short runs in them and have had zero complaints. Once I’m back to training regularly again, I will be adding them to my rotation.

unnamed 2 Mizuno Wave Rider 18

For those of you who wore the Wave Rider 17s or the Inspire 10s, you may have noticed drastic changes from the Rider 16s and Inspire 9s. I personally didn’t love the upgrades they made last fall, and had been hoping the 18s and 11s respectively would feel better on my feet. I had talked with the mizuno rep for the running store I work at and he told me they were combining some of the new features of the latest model while going back to some of the features everyone loved about the previous models. They delivered on that promise.

unnamed Mizuno Wave Rider 18

What I’ve always liked about Mizunos are the shape. They are known for having a relatively narrow heel that holds your ankle in place with a wider toe box so there is plenty of room for your feet to spread out. While the newer models aren’t as wide as the older ones (16 and earlier), the Wave Rider 18s are definitely a huge improvement. I have a pretty narrow heel and I’ve always felt really secure wearing these shoes. The other really unique feature about the mizunos is the wave plate technology that they use instead of foam like other more traditional running shoes. The plate in the bottom of the shoe is molded to provide just enough support and guidance while maintaining the lightweight.

unnamed 4 Mizuno Wave Rider 18

The main feature that was new to the Rider 17s and carried over to the 18s is the material of the upper. It is one piece of mesh with synthetic overlay to create a “dynamotion fit.” This relieves the stress that the foot naturally puts on footwear to eliminate distortion, according to the website.

Obviously I really like mizunos. I love how light they are, I love the fit of the shoe, and I love the company in general. Their campaign “If Everybody Ran” is probably my favorite running company motto. The research they did and found is amazing and while some of it was common knowledge (the world would be a healthier place) there were other facts that were a little more unusual. So Mizuno, you did it again with the Wave Rider 18s. I will continue to be a fan and I’m really glad you listened to all of the feedback from the 17s to make your shoes better than ever.

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Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Mizuno. All opinions are my own.

What do you look for in a shoe?

Do you get frustrated when a brand makes major changes to your shoe?

Training 10/13-10/19

It’s hard to call this week a taper week since I haven’t really run in about a month now, but I did make sure to take extra rest days and not push my legs too much. I have been feeling really run down lately and I tried to take care of myself to make sure I didn’t come down with a full blown illness. I fell asleep at 8:30/8:45 most nights and skipped spinning Thursday morning in favor of sleeping in. Much needed. My body will thank me this weekend.

Mon- OFF.

I worked my legs a lot at the end of last week between spinning and walking upwards of 10 miles on Sunday. I needed a serious rest day. I don’t even think I hit my “steps.” I thought about going to spinning after work but I was exhausted and I know it wouldn’t have been smart, especially since I haven’t been feeling great.

Tues- 60 minutes spinning.

This was a sweaty workout alongside a few of my best November Project friends. Can’t complain about that!

Wed- November Project + 6 miles biking

I took it really easy but wasn’t about to miss a morning with my friends. I didn’t want to attempt a real “run” so I kept that to a minimum throughout the workout. The bike ride there is 3 miles each way. When we got there, the workout was 100m lightpole suicides, which I skipped in favor of just jogging 100m to the next station. Then we did 50m walking lunges, 1 set of stairs (just over 100m long), I replaced the jump squats with 50m walking lunges again, and then we repeated the entire thing about 5 times (I think?). I got in a good workout but didn’t feel like I was sweaty or sore by the end, which was for the best given what I have going on this weekend.

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I’m in the middle-back area doing hoisties with my friend Kristine

Thurs- OFF

Sleep is more important than exercise sometimes. Especially when you’re getting sick and have a lot of running to do over the weekend.

Fri- Shakeout run with Runner’s World and yoga with one of the Altra shoes founders!

Sat- 5K + 10K at Runner’s World Festival! Recap to come!!

Sun- walking around Bethlehem. I’ve made the decision not to run the half. My body is not ready for it and it would be dumb to attempt it. I’ll be out there cheering on my fellow runner friends but I will not be participating.

I’ll be recapping the events of the weekend throughout the upcoming week so I guess we’ll find out soon if I end up running or not. Your guess is as good as mine icon wink Training 10/13 10/19

The hardest thing about growing up

Happy Thursday! Or if you’re me, happy “Friday”! I’ll get to that in a second but for now, let’s do some thinking out loud.

thinking out loud The hardest thing about growing up1) So. Today is my Friday. Why? Because I have a half day at work and then I’m off to Bethlehem, PA for the Runner’s World Festival! I’m sure I’ll be back next week with tons of details about the weekend, but for now just know I’m really excited about it.

2) This is the first time I’ve taken time off work since I started almost 3 months ago. We have floating holidays that have to be used before the end of the year so I decided to put them towards this weekend. I haven’t had more than 1 day off work in awhile. I know some people work 7 days a week year-round, and I do like working at the store on Saturdays, but I am looking forward to having 3 1/2 full days off work. I’m going to be exhausted come Monday, but it will be the best kind of exhausted.

3) I didn’t do a weekend recap because I wasn’t willing to accept the fact that the weekend was over, but I had such a great time with family. We had dinner at Gordon Biersch, ate ice cream at Kilwins (obviously), and spent Sunday in Annapolis at the boat show. I love touring the giant boats that I can only dream about but my parents are more interested in the boats that are closer to the size we have. We split our time between both and began planning our next family vacation- chartering a catamaran in the Caribbean! It won’t be for another 3-4 years, but there’s nothing wrong with planning ahead icon wink The hardest thing about growing up

 The hardest thing about growing up

excuse the awkward facial expression

4) While I was with my family this weekend it hit me. I have had a pretty easy time with this move to Baltimore for the most part. But as we were sitting down to dinner Saturday, I realized that we will have a limited number of weeks a year where we’re all in the same place at the same time. That hit me hard. That is by far the hardest thing about growing up and joining the real world. I took those family dinners for granted. Now, I’ll be lucky to get them at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and maybe a handful of days throughout the year unless we are all living in the same place again, which won’t happen for several years (at least until my brother graduates). I still plan on moving back to New England within the next few years. Dinner Saturday night made me realize that as much as I love living here, I miss nights like that most.

IMG 5130 The hardest thing about growing up

Miss those three every day. Sorry for cutting you off Alex.

5) Sunday night I was invited to a private shopping event at lululemon because one of the ambassadors just published a book and he had a party to celebrate. I didn’t buy anything because I wasn’t really in the shopping mood (I pretty much never am, but I was still trying to shake off the goodbyes to my family so I was in an extra funk), but it was tempting. I’m still trying to figure out this whole budgeting thing. Apparently that means I am actually supposed to check my bank account every couple of weeks to see if I’m dipping into the reserves…

6) I haven’t attempted to run in a couple weeks and while I have been missing it, I know I’m being smart. My legs haven’t felt this good in months and I was able to do a half-run across the road the other night with zero tightness in my calves. As of now, I still have no clue if I’m going to do all 3 races. I’m definitely going to attempt the 5k, but after that, we’ll see how I feel. I am pretty optimistic I will make it through the 5k/10k combo, but the half marathon is still up in the air. It will be a game-time decision and if I do run, I’ll definitely be carrying my phone with me just in case I need backup. And wearing my old mizunos that my mom brought down for me.

IMG 5143 The hardest thing about growing up

7) Yesterday’s November Project was another good one. I am trying to take it easy this week with exercise (slept in this morning in place of my favorite spin class) because of the upcoming races but I never miss a Wednesday morning with the tribe. Even if I have to modify the workout to keep my legs pain-free. Wednesdays are one of my favorite days of the week because of these people. Getting up at 5:45 is easy when it means spending an hour with so many friends.

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8) I’ll be rocking these new socks at the races this weekend! Check out this month’s pro compression SOM! Enter BOOM at the checkout for 40% off! I am a huge fan of all the colors icon smile The hardest thing about growing up

IMG 5138 The hardest thing about growing up9) Let me tell you a story about this cookie butter ice cream. My mom told me about it forever ago and I have gone to Trader Joe’s 1-2 days a week for the past 6 weeks looking for it. Saturday I hit jackpot… except I wasn’t going straight home. I called my old roommate to see if I could leave it at my old apartment but she wasn’t home, so I asked my parents if I could bring it to my uncle’s while we were visiting. I did. And it was so, so worth it. This is going to be a routine purchase if I can ever find it again.

IMG 5137 The hardest thing about growing up

no judgement… this happened the other night

That’s all I’ve got! Depending on when you’re reading this, I’m either sleeping, getting through my morning at work, or making the drive north to Bethlehem to hang out with my Runner’s World friends!

Have a great weekend!

Do you have fun plans this weekend?

What’s the hardest part about growing up to you?

Two years.

Sunday was my two year blogiversary (I missed it because I was out enjoying the real world/celebrating my mom’s birthday). I never thought this space would turn into something that people actually read. I remember being shocked when I woke up the next morning and had 3 whole page views. I randomly wrote that first post and never looked back.

For awhile I couldn’t imagine my life without it. In the early days I became obsessive with posting and stats as I have that type of personality that falls head over heels for whatever I’m doing in the moment. It took a long time to really figure out what I wanted to make of it. I wasn’t in it for the the products, the ambassadorships, or money. I didn’t even know that was a thing. I never wanted it to be my full-time job. I literally just wanted to be a part of this community of people. If that’s all that I had gotten out of blogging, I would have considered it a success. But what I didn’t realize was just how much blogging would change my life.

1) blogging gave me perspective.

I have heard so many incredibly inspirational stories since I started this blog. I would write a post and my inbox would be full of emails from friends, readers, fellow bloggers, sharing their stories with me. I was blown away and it made me realize how good I had it at times. As bad as things may have gotten when I hit my “rock bottom,” they could have been much, much worse. It made me so much more grateful for what I had, feel so lucky I was able to get better, and thankful for the support system around me. It also introduced me to an entirely new world of people with different jobs and lives that I never knew existed and opened my eyes to what I could do with my life when I had no idea what I wanted.

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Always love chatting with Caitlin about life!

2) blogging helped me recover.

As most of you know, I started my blog in the middle of eating disorder recovery. Being able to write about it, share my story, and interact with others who were in a similar place made the world of difference. Writing out my thoughts and struggles allowed me to see exactly what I still needed help with and where I needed to work on. I can’t put my finger on the exact moment it all clicked for me, but suddenly food was no longer my focus. It’s just something I ate when I was hungry, and didn’t eat -or think about- when I wasn’t hungry. While the blog world can be detrimental to recovery in some respects (i.e. triggering), I truly believe it helped me get to the point I’m at today- symptom free for about 8 months now.

3) blogging forced me to be more open.

When you blog, regular readers expect honesty, and if you aren’t telling the entire truth, they can usually see right through the BS. I’m not someone who will ever pretend everything is sunshine and rainbows if it’s not, but I’m more likely to put on a false happy face in real life than I ever was on my blog. When people reached out to me with concern, I let them in. I talked about things I never thought I’d be comfortable sharing with anyone- let alone random strangers on the internet. That ability to be more open and trust people is still a work in progress but it has also translated into my personal life offline. Friends who have known me for years literally tell me they feel like they’re talking to a different person. That is the biggest compliment in the world.

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these girls are awesome.

4) blogging introduced me to people.

Obviously this is a huge one. It’s the sole reason I started blogging. Up until I created this space, I had friends but I never felt like I “clicked” with them, especially at school. Suddenly I found this entire community of people who came from similar backgrounds, shared my interests, and had incredible stories. Some of my best friends are now bloggers- people I’ve met in real life and people I have never met in person but feel like I’ve known forever. My blog friends are now my “real friends.” That is without a doubt my favorite part about the blogging community.

Screen Shot 2014 08 09 at 8.06.40 PM Two years.

blog friends turned Rhode Island friends

5) blogging gave me a voice.

I consider myself an “extroverted introvert.” I’m a pretty social person when I’m comfortable, but if I’m somewhere I don’t know anyone, I shut down. I need my alone time and I’m happier spending time with one or two friends than a large group of people. I’m one of the most opinionated people I know, but I don’t often voice those opinions “in real life” until I’m comfortable. In the blog world, I have written some pretty controversial posts (mostly back when I was talking about eating disorders) and was never afraid to say what I thought, even if others didn’t agree. Overtime, that translated into my life at school and work where I’m no longer afraid to stand up and say something.

6) blogging gave me opportunity.

It took time and I never expected it, but eventually as I grew my readership, various brands began approaching me asking to write product reviews, sponsored posts, and eventually, I was invited to the Runner’s World Festival (and again in a few days!) for one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I’m so, so grateful for these opportunities. I learned how to network, learned about an industry I hope to one day work in, and discovered this new world that I never imagined being a part of. I can’t explain how incredible some of the experiences have been. I will never take any of them for granted.

10422049 10202318136697898 2647509621164548730 n Two years.7) blogging gave me passions.

Without blogging, I don’t think I ever would have quit cross country and track. I most likely never would have gotten the idea to work at a running store. I never would have found November Project. I wouldn’t have realized how much I love writing. I wouldn’t have discovered places I wanted to visit or the career path I wanted to take. I probably would have been stuck in the same safe bubble I put myself in years ago and never left. Suddenly I found what I love and I couldn’t be happier. It is far from the life I imagined for myself but it’s better than I ever expected it to be.

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so excited to room with Lauren this weekend at Runner’s World!

I could continue but this is long enough. If I had gotten nothing out of blogging other than good friends, it would have been worth it. It has been an incredible two years and I know this space helped me figure out who I was during an incredibly confusing time.

How has blogging changed your life?