Annapolis Running Classic Half Marathon

When I was chosen to be an ambassador for the Annapolis Running Classic, I thought it was the perfect amount of time after Newport for me to fully recover and train for a solid half marathon. I also love Annapolis and I’ve always wanted to run this race.

I didn’t recover from Newport as well as I had hoped. I didn’t get injured (thankfully), but I also pushed myself to run before my body was ready. Then I signed up for Rock n Roll Philly which ended up being a PR. After that race, all of the running caught up with me and I had to cut way back on mileage. My hamstring has been bothering me to the point where I just wanted to finish without getting seriously hurt.

Rock n Roll Philly

Because I knew this wasn’t going to be my race, I didn’t “train” for it. I knew I could finish the distance; it just would likely not be my best time. I also chose a different Charm City Run store for packet pickup (I work in Timonium and my bib was at the downtown location). By the time I realized it, I had to wait until race weekend to pick it up which was not a big deal thanks to a well-organized race. I was in and out of the expo Friday night with my bib and a new pair of arm warmers in less than 5 minutes.

I stayed near Annapolis and woke up around 5:45 to leave by 6. We got to the race around 6:25 and because traffic had started to back up, Tim let me out before parking and I ran the rest of the way to meet up with the other #NapRunATeam ambassadors for a team photo. I was worried the traffic would mean a delayed race start, which wouldn’t be ideal with the cold weather, but the gun went off right at 7:00.

annapolis half ambassadors

After the ambassador photo, I found a couple of my November Project buddies and we took another picture.


The bathroom line looked long but again, it moved quickly. The race only had about 4,000 runners between the 10k and half marathon, so Tim was able to grab all of my layers right before the gun went off which meant I didn’t have to worry about gear check. I found Lauren and another NP friend and we headed to the corrals. All of the pacers were near the front so we ended up starting behind the 2:20 group. At 7:00 sharp, we were off.

This is the first race in….ever?…. that I didn’t wear a watch. I’ll talk more about it later, but I’m really glad I didn’t for a few reasons. I was hoping it would hold me back from racing at the beginning and allow me to run by feel but I think not knowing my pace made me more anxious. I was already tired by mile 2 from doing a lot of weaving to “make up time” I didn’t need.


The early miles were really enjoyable once we got past the crowds. I loved that the race went down Main Street and through downtown. It’s my favorite part of Annapolis and I wish we had spent more time running along the water. Most of the course was on a highway. The first several miles were winding up and down the smaller roads which I didn’t love. There were a lot of sharp turnarounds that made it difficult.

There were very few mile markers throughout the course (they only had them at miles 2, 6, 8, 9, and 10) which made it hard to gauge how I was doing without a watch. When we finally reached the bridge at mile 6, the hilliest part of the race, I was tired. Luckily I knew I’d be seeing my great uncle around this point so that distracted me momentarily.

After the race

After the race

The last 7 miles were a struggle mentally and physically. I had wasted so much energy early on that I didn’t have much left in the tank for the second half. The course was also extremely windy on the bridge and near the water.

From miles 7-10 we were off the highway and on back roads with a lot of sharp turnarounds again. I saw a bunch of my November Project friends at this point but I was in a dark place. I just told myself I needed to stay in front of the 1:45 pacer. If I could do that, I’d be okay. I had no idea what my pace was or how many miles I had left.

annapolis half

Right after the mile 10 marker I saw a guy wearing his Garmin and he said his watch read 10.4 miles. This seemed to be the general consensus. I kept pushing through but mentally this race was really hard for me to stay in the moment. I forced myself to stop thinking about how I still had a “whole 5k to go” and instead thought about putting one foot in front of the other. I’m really glad I didn’t have a watch on because knowing the distance was that far off would have really bothered me.

We went over the bridge again and it was even windier. I tried distracting myself as we made our way towards the Stadium by taking mental note of a bagel shop. We wound our way around the stadium parking lot until we turned the corner and saw the finish chute. I didn’t have much in me to kick but I could see the clock and was pleasantly surprised. I saw a 1:43:XX and knew I had started a minute or two back so if I pushed, I’d be in the 1:42 range.annapolis half finish I ended up with a time of 1:42:57 which I’m not thrilled with, but not unhappy with either. Everyone I talked to said their watches read about 13.5-13.6 miles which is significantly longer than just running a few tangents. I chatted with my NP friends, threw on clothes, and went to the tent to grab my shirt (you get them after you finish to minimize bags pre-race). As someone who is not a fan of oysters, I did not stay for the after party. Instead, Tim and I grabbed bagels on my way to my aunt and uncle’s house to catch up with them for a few hours.  annapolis half tim 2 Overall, this was a well-organized race and I’m glad I finally had the chance to run it. I do wish the course was measured correctly and that there were fewer sharp out and back turnarounds to take advantage of how scenic Annapolis can be, but I’d definitely consider doing it again.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary bib for this race in exchange for a review and promotion via social media. All opinions are my own.

Have you ever run a race that was long?

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The Thing About Social Media

The thing about social media is that you only get to see one side of someone’s life. The fact of the matter is this: my weekdays are boring so I rarely talk about them. I need those nights to catch up after a busy weekend. But it wouldn’t be very exciting to blog about waking up, running, going to work, coming home, eating salad, and watching Gilmore Girls until I fall asleep at 9. I’d personally rather read about someone else trying new restaurants and taking pictures of biking, hiking, and being outside than see the same picture of a salad 100 times.

The only downside is that you don’t get the full picture. It’s impossible to show everything that goes on in a week. So instead, I, along with most bloggers, share the more exciting snapshots.

My highlight reel includes pictures of milkshakes and french fries after a sweaty spin class at Rev Cycle even though 80% of the time, salads and baked potatoes are my dinner of choice. This Christmas Cookie milkshake was everything. And so worth not sleeping very well after the sugar overload (side note: I never thought I’d be someone advocating reduced sugar, but the difference in how I feel is incredible).

shake shack

My highlight reel shows fun workout classes and runs where I look like I’m on cloud 9, when in reality, not every run is awesome and more often than not I’m just running or spinning on my own. Not every run or spin class is one big party. Sometimes I just like to go for a quiet run or bike or spin for me.

lauren shake shack

From last week’s Rev Cycle/Shake Shack Duathlon with Lauren!

My highlight reel shows lots of biking pictures even though I run far more often than I bike.

panaramoa jamestown

My highlight reel is filled with pictures with my boyfriend because I really only talk about my weekends on the blog. But in reality, I don’t see him all that often. We usually have one weekend day together and we don’t talk a lot during the week. It works for us. So when I do have the chance to see him on a weeknight, it’s a nice surprise that I do share. And when he’s dragged to come hang out with my family after a race, we’re forced to pose with a turkey in front of the fireplace for documentation.

annapolis half tim 2

My highlight reel is filled with cool new restaurants even though I order the same thing at most places we go. I typically eat burgers at restaurants because I won’t make them myself, but this weekend I was really craving some pasta. So a picture was necessary to show me branching out.

jimmys fettuccini alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo Sunday night at Jimmy‘s

My highlight reel is filled with races even though I don’t race very often and prefer to run long, slow distance. This past weekend was the last race I have on my calendar for the year. I have my eyes on a potential late spring marathon but other than that, I’m going to play it by ear for a bit for a mental break as much as a physical one.

annapolis half finish

recap to come tomorrow!

My highlight reel talks about dates with friends even though on a normal night, I prefer to stay in so I can get to bed early. Last week, I went out for dinner with a friend, then had a work potluck, then the Shake Shack run, and finally headed to Annapolis for the weekend. Usually my nights are spent in my room watching Gilmore Girls until it’s time for bed. Rory and Lorelai just make me more excited for the day that I live close to my parents. But in the meantime, I’ll take those impromptu visits with my mom’s aunt and uncle in Annapolis where I teach them how to upload pictures to instagram for two hours. It was a really great time and a reminder that I should visit more often.

annapolis half knorrsMy highlight reel includes pictures from work lunches, happy hours, weekly yoga, and other fun events when in reality, the day-to-day is not like that. My company does a fantastic job at keeping its employees happy and well-fed (the mac and cheese last week at our work Thanksgiving was out of this world) and I love what I do. We have a great work-life balance so that during stressful weeks like this one leading up to Black Friday, we mean business.

work thanksgiving

My highlight reel is not my every day life. Sure, those are all pieces of it, but they don’t make up the big picture. I’m not always full of laughs like I was last weekend when I had dinner with my friend that I haven’t seen/spoken to in a few years. In all honesty, I’m a pretty happy person, but I’m not this happy. It’s been a long time since I was this happy.


I had a pretty great weekend. I ran a half marathon with friends (recap coming tomorrow), spent Saturday afternoon with family, ate really good food, and slept a ton. It was everything I needed. And this morning I’m on the plane flying back to New Hampshire for potentially the last holiday ever in my childhood home to work from home so I can spend 7 solid days with family. Life is good, even when it’s not as exciting as my “highlight reel.”

What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

Do you typically share your every day life on social media, or the out of the ordinary?

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Training 11/15-11/21

This is likely my last formal “training” recap for awhile. I don’t know if I’ll continue posting workout recaps or not, but I do know that I need to take a break for a bit from intense exercise. I’m heading home on Tuesday for a week so I foresee lots of walking rather than running. I’ll still make it to an NP workout in Boston on Wednesday but other than that, zumba, walks, and couch time will be the name of the game.

Sun– 31 miles biking


I drove down to DC to see Tim after a late night Saturday with friends (he stayed in Baltimore Friday) and we met up with some people for a bike ride on the Mt. Vernon trail (aka what we do pretty much every weekend). I have a hard time keeping up with these guys because they’re so fast. I love being outside, especially in the fall, and the views are pretty nice so it makes for an enjoyable Sunday activity that isn’t too taxing on my legs.

Mon– OFF

Tues– 5 miles running

Just a nice head-clearing run. I don’t get many of those right now because the bulk of my running is to/from November Project or other events. I think I need to start going back to running at least once a week just for me. It makes the world of difference.

Wed– 4 miles November Project

I had a work dinner Tuesday night and didn’t get home until close to 9. Then I talked to my best friend on the phone about some things and by the time I got to sleep, I knew I would be exhausted for NP. My alarm went off at 5:45 and I could barely open my eyes. The bags under my eyes were worse than they’ve been in a few weeks so I went back to sleep for another hour and a half and got in 4 solid miles solo. I missed going to NP but this was the smart decision.

Thurs– Rev Cycle + 4 miles running to/from Shake Shack

Just like my Soul Cycle experience last week, Shake Shack paired with Rev Cycle for a ride in Baltimore. We did a 45 minute class with Nick (one of the co-leaders of NP) followed by a 2 mile run to Shake Shack. While the Soul Cycle duathlon was fun, this one was so much better because I knew so many people and I love Rev. I actually bought a class pass to use there because I haven’t been in so long. I finished off the night with a sugar cookie milkshake and fries and all was right with the world. Until I had to run 2 miles back to my car filled with said milkshake and fries. That did not feel good.

This is one of the only pictures until Allan uploads the others

This is one of the only pictures until Allan uploads the rest

Fri– OFF

Sat– 13.1 Annapolis Half Marathon

Recap to come!

Total– 26.1 miles running, 31 miles biking, 1 spin class, 2 rest days

I was tired this week. Really tired. I didn’t get nearly enough sleep last weekend and I just crashed. I had a busy week too so I wasn’t able to catch up as much as I had hoped. When I’m fully rested, I’ll wake up at 6:15-6:30 but this week I was sleeping until 7:30 so I know I was tired. Luckily I have no reason to be waking up at the crack of dawn right now so I was able to sleep in a little.

My hamstring was still bugging me for most of the week so I had no expectations going into the half Saturday. I just wanted to finish on a high note for the year before I go into a resting period. I’m looking forward to the time at home to fully recharge next week.

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Healthy Living Survey

I haven’t done a survey in forever so I decided today seemed like a good day for it. I’ve seen this floating around (Julia, Sam, and Hayley, to name a few) and felt like filling it out. My idea of healthy definitely differs from the average HLB, but I do believe I have my own version of a balanced lifestyle that works for me.

1. What did you eat for breakfast today?

I have a bagel and hot chocolate every morning. My office is catered by THB (best bagels in Baltimore) so I legitimately look forward to going into work. On the weekends, I typically crave bagels but occasionally mix it up with french toast or something. I still drink hot chocolate, but I get a smaller size now in my efforts to reduce sugar intake.

2. How much water do you drink each day?

I’m the “girl with the water bottle.” If I had to guess, I’d say I consume about a gallon of water a day on weekdays, and less on weekends. I actually have to make sure I don’t go overboard. I’ve been known to bring my water bottle to parties. It’s like that safety blanket.

water bottle

RIP water bottle. You were my favorite.

3. What is your current favorite workout?

Running! That hasn’t changed. For me, there’s nothing that replaces those endorphins. Biking and spinning are a close second. Oh, and walking. Nothing beats a long walk with my mom when I’m home. I’m long overdue for some of those next week.

newport marathon

4. How many calories do you eat each day?

I honestly don’t have a clue. After years of disordered eating and counting calories, those numbers are forever ingrained in my head. However, I trained myself to stop counting and haven’t tracked in years.

5. What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Grapes are my go-to right now. I also eat a ton of carrots. Apples when we have them in the office. Popcorn is another favorite.

6. What do you usually eat for lunch?

Lunch is my least favorite meal. I actually hate it. Pizza is the one thing that I actually semi-look forward to, so I will either pick up a frozen single-serving pizza at the store, or I’ll make a pita pizza. Sometimes nothing sounds appealing and I snack my way through. I almost always pair whatever I have with green beans (raw or cooked).

7. What is your favorite body part to train?

I guess legs because running and biking are my favorites. But strength-wise, abs. Whenever I’m at November Project, I prefer the core workouts.


8. What is your least favorite body part to train?

Upper body. I have zero desire to pick up a weight. Whenever people ask me how I “motivate myself” to work out, I say I do what I love. I don’t like weight training, so I don’t do it. If I hated running, I would find something I did like. I usually get upper body training through yoga or at November Project.

9. What are your “bad” food cravings?

I don’t eat “good” or “bad” foods. I eat foods that are “good for the body” and foods that are “good for the soul.” My “good for the soul” foods are things like red velvet cake or ice cream. Some people might say my burgers on the weekend are “bad,” but for me, they actually benefit my health because I have low iron and immediately feel more energized.

Crazy burger is my favorite

10. Do you take daily vitamins or supplements?

I never used to but recently I read an article about magnesium and noticed that I don’t eat many foods that have it. I also had a lot of symptoms associated with a magnesium deficiency and decided it wouldn’t hurt. I’ve been taking it for a month and I have more energy and my appetite is more stable. Whether it’s the increased magnesium or reduced sugar, I don’t know, but it’s working.

11. How often do you eat out?

I eat out most weekends at least once. On the weekdays, I tend to stay in because I crave veggies after weekends of heartier meals.

12. Do you eat fast food?

I don’t eat fast food. I don’t like it. I can’t remember the last time I went to a McDonald’s. I occasionally get takeout from a fast-casual pasta place on a weeknight, but I wouldn’t consider it “fast food.”

Pasta Mista

Pasta Mista

13. Who is your biggest supporter?

I have so many people who support me. That might be cliche, but it’s true. I can count on several people in my life for honest answers when I’m doubting myself or need help making decisions (always). I’m a lucky girl. My mom is always my #1.


14. Do you have a gym membership?

Who needs a gym when you have November Project?

12208721_1015444208519417_120917519866051049_n15. How many hours of sleep do you get each night?

Usually 8-9 hours. Less is if I’m out late the night before NP. I have always needed at least 8 hours of sleep and if that means going to bed before 9, I have no problem doing so. This is how much I need in order to feel my best and I make it a priority.

16. Do you have a cheat day?


17. Do you drink alcohol?

I don’t. I had my first drink on my 21st birthday. I wasn’t interested in it. My mom doesn’t drink and warned me that I would face a lot of judgment- she was right. I’m not embarrassed about it and answer honestly when asked why I’m not drinking. My friends accept me for who I am and I don’t judge others for choosing to. When I did finally try my first alcoholic beverage (the milkshake pictured below), I hated it and didn’t have another for 6 months. I can probably count on two hands the number of drinks I’ve had. I don’t like the taste and get stomach pains after a few sips. It’s not worth it to drink something just because “everyone else is doing it.” I’d rather drink water and eat an ice cream sundae.

21st birthday

18. Do you have a workout buddy?

So many. I rarely work out on my own these days and I love how social exercise has become.

Chatting? Or working out...

19. What’s the best thing that’s changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?

For me, healthy is about letting go of the control surrounding food and exercise. It took years of work and a lot of encouragement from family, friends, and my RD before I trusted myself to give my body what it needs. I’m so much happier and healthier now. I crave vegetables and fruits after days without them, and I crave red meat and higher calorie foods when I’m not getting enough. I used to be miserable. My relationships with family and friends were rocky at best. I pushed away people I cared about and was not in a place where I could have been in a long-term relationship. Now, I’m living.

Nike top from TJ Maxx, UA shorts on sale

20. What’s the last healthy thing you did?

Yoga. I love having that hour in the afternoon at work to break up my day.

What do you usually eat for lunch?

What are some of your favorite snacks?

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When Life Does a 180

On Thursday morning, I woke up and everything was normal. Then a few hours later, I found out two things that were pretty shocking so I was all out of sorts for most of the day/weekend. Sorry, I know this is vague.

After work Thursday, I met up with someone I went to school with that was here for a conference. We hadn’t spoken in two years or seen each other in almost three but we used to be very close. We made plans to catch up before my meeting at Charm City. Because an hour wasn’t enough time to cover two years of lost time, we decided to make plans again the following night. From there I went to Charm City Run to learn more about what we can do to make the customer service experience even better than it already is. CCR is the best running store I’ve ever been to, and I’m not just saying that because I work there. I love that the GMs and leadership team want to continue improving it to truly be the best of the best. By the time I got home at 10pm, I was wiped.

Friday mornings are for November Project. Nothing new here. I was feeling sluggish after a late night but I’m always happy to be there. Last week was the two-year anniversary for Baltimore which made it extra special.

two years Novembe ProjectThe rest of Friday was pretty normal. A typical workday followed by dinner with my friend at an old favorite. We again didn’t have a ton of time but talking a mile a minute worked. It’s crazy that there are certain people you can be separated from for years yet you just pick up right where you left off.

Saturday morning I was up at the crack of dawn for absolutely no reason. I ruled out the thought of going for a run before I went to bed yet still woke up at 6am with nowhere to be until 10. Tim and I went for a walk to get coffee (for him) and enjoy the sunshine and fall weather. I had to work at Charm City Run for most of the day but as always, I had a blast with my coworkers. It doesn’t feel like work when it’s something you really love.

balloons CCR

This weekend, our rep from Brooks Running paid us a visit to celebrate the Adrenaline’s 16th anniversary. The Brooks Adrenaline GTS is the most sold running shoe in the country (note: it does NOT mean it’s the perfect shoe for everyone. My mom has gone through about 20 pairs of them, whereas they do not work for me even though we have similar gaits). At Charm City Run, we get a large shipment of them weekly to replenish our stock so to celebrate, we had a huge party. There was a fun run, raffles, and free lunch from The Jolly Pig food truck just for trying on a pair of the new Adrenalines.

charm city run food truck

I really need a haircut…

After work, I ate some leftovers, talked to my mom on the phone about how she’s going to bury some statue in our front yard so the house sells faster (don’t ask), and tried to stay awake. I met up with a couple of friends later in the evening and it ended up being an extremely late night. But because we don’t see each other often, it was worth it. My abs hurt from laughing and my cheeks hurt from smiling. That’s how you know it was a good night. We ended up at Blue Moon Cafe at 1am for french toast and cinnamon rolls. I think I finally made it to bed around 3. I can’t remember the last time I was up that late. These days, if I make it past 11pm I’m living on the edge. #grandma.

Image (8) captain-crunch-french-toast.jpg for post 9795

Sunday morning, I drove down to DC to bike with Tim and friends. We covered just over 30 miles riding from National Harbor to Georgetown and back. It was a gorgeous fall day to be outside. I still can’t keep up with these guys because they’re so speedy so it ends up being a game of chase. One day…


I was still completely exhausted from a late night Saturday so the rest of the day was spent on the couch. I’m pretty sure I didn’t get up except to eat dinner. And then crashed after two episodes of Blacklist which still terrifies me. I’m not into the gory blood scenes.

This was a pretty crazy weekend. It was a good one with a lot going on. One more week until I’m home with my family for a week at Thanksgiving. Then just a few weeks after that I’m back again for Christmas. And a few weeks after that… HAWAII.

Have you ever watched Blacklist?

Have you ever eaten at a food truck?

The Jolly Pig was my first experience (it’s a taco truck but they also have sandwiches so I got a grilled cheese) and I was pleasantly surprised!

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