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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

10388253 10202260751263298 1345177062 n Two years.

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?

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is a very special someone’s birthday.

1530406 10201780536698234 1984927123 n1 Happy Birthday, Mom!

Columbus Day weekend has been one of my favorite weekends of the year since starting college because my parents always traveled down to Maryland to see me, whether it was for a swim meet or just for a parent’s weekend. It also happens to be my mom’s birthday weekend every year.

184152 10150384312885162 1091910 n1 Happy Birthday, Mom!

This year it was parent’s weekend for my brother at Delaware, so they drove down Friday to see his crew races and visit with us for the weekend. I unfortunately had to work Saturday so I feel like I barely got to see them which was really hard, but we made the best of the situation. We planned our next vacation at the boat show, ate tons of food, and just enjoyed each other’s company for the short time we have together. Hard to believe next time I see them is Thanksgiving.

10298915 10203019205824188 3628686609290988081 n1 Happy Birthday, Mom!

While her actual day is today and I won’t be seeing her as they make the long trek back to New Hampshire, I’m so glad I got to spend part of the weekend with my family.

Happy birthday, mom!

Training 10/6-10/12

I attempted a run last week and it was too soon so I took the next week off. I’m not planning on running until I’m at Runner’s World. Scary? Yes. But it’s worth it.

Mon- 60 min spinning

Didn’t love this class. I probably won’t go again. I just didn’t like the instructor’s style of teaching.

Tues- OFF

Was signed up for spinning but ended up going to a late movie Monday night and knew it would be stupid to workout on 4 hours of sleep. Sometimes sleep>exercise

Wed- November Project

I planned on watching but the workout was pretty much made for injured runners (not really, it just worked out that way). I biked the 3 miles there, then we did 125 mountain climbers, 100 squats, 75 lunges, 50 pushups, and 25 box jumps, with a set of stairs between each (4 total). My butt was hurting before I even got back on the bike to ride home. I didn’t anticipate getting in a good workout but I was sore for 3 days after.

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Thurs- 60 min spinning

This has consistently been my favorite class of the week, well worth the 5:20am alarm. I was so sore for this class after the lunges from the day before. It was brutal. Although I did come home, shower, and go straight back to bed until 9am (best part about my job is not having to leave my apartment until 9:45).

Fri- 60 min spinning

This one was actually only about 45 minutes of spinning and another 15 minutes of core/strength work. I really liked it and will be adding it into the rotation of classes I go to.

Sat- 60 min spinning

This was one of those workouts that you just get done. I was out pretty late Friday night but didn’t want to get charged the $10 if I didn’t go, so I went anyways. It woke me up and I was ready to go for another long day at the store before I went to meet my family.

Sun- Walk with the family!

Best part about mom visits. Especially when the walk is through downtown Annapolis.

Lately my rest days have been totally unplanned. They are happening 1-2 (sometimes 3) days a week which is what I should be doing. Usually I have an idea of which days I’m going to take off, but lately the days I actually take off are completely different. It doesn’t matter as long as I’m not pushing my leg.

I can tell when I wake up in the morning if it’s going to be a good day or not. Thursday morning was the first time I’ve gotten out of bed and felt nothing. No twinges, no tightness, nothing. I was sore from NP but it had nothing to do with my calf for the first time in months. I still didn’t push it because I felt pain the day before and I want to be as ready as possible for the races next weekend. Whether or not I run is still up in the air. I will be upset if I can’t finish the hat trick but I’m also extremely concerned about my body at this point so I’ll be taking them one race at a time. If I feel good, I’ll keep going. If I don’t, I’ll stop right away. Luckily I’ll have friends with me that will have no problem telling me to stop being dumb if I try to run through the pain.

TOL: All the Excitement

Another week, another Thinking out Loud post. Let’s just jump right in.

1) I feel like now that I’m out of school and in the real world, I am beginning to understand why people love their weekends. I never used to care if it was a Saturday or a Tuesday when I was in school, but now Sundays (my weekend) can’t come fast enough. I don’t know if I would like having 2 whole days off every week, but I do enjoy waking up on Sunday mornings now knowing I don’t have to work. It’s even better now that I don’t have homework to do Sunday night. That is by far the best part about not being in school anymore.

2) One of my best friends is coming down tomorrow for the weekend. I haven’t seen him since graduation in May so tomorrow night will be one for the books. We’re having dinner at Woodberry Kitchen and then possibly meeting up with some of my friends/roommate to go out after. We are so long overdue for our life chats. Right now we talk a few days a week on the phone but it’s not the same.

10377869 10202235848000732 1766448696 o 768x1024 TOL: All the Excitement3) My parents are coming down! Because I’ll be with my friend (see above), I won’t get to see them until Saturday night after I get out of work but then I have the rest of the weekend with them in Annapolis. I. Can’t. Wait. I’m pretty sure my mom is even more excited than I am… she’s struggling with the empty nester syndrome.

10298915 10203019205824188 3628686609290988081 n1 TOL: All the Excitement

I’d do anything for them.

4) I saw Gone Girl the other night. It was so good. The movie didn’t end until 12:30am (later than I’ve been up in weeks) but I had no problem staying awake for the entire time which is saying a lot. I never read the books but now I want to. Highly recommend it.

5) Still not running. I tried it last Friday and my leg didn’t like it very much so I’m making the executive decision not to run until Runner’s World. The pain is the worst in the mornings so as long as I really stretch, I should be okay after the first few miles. After that I will take an extended break until I’m completely pain-free. My doctor in NH is referring to me a sports medicine doctor at Hopkins that I’m hoping to get in with in the coming weeks.

6) Still loving spinning. That unlimited membership is worth the price. I definitely made a face when I forked over my debit card but I love the classes. Even when my alarm goes off at 5:20am.

7) November Project. My favorite. All smiles, all the time. Yesterday we did 125 mountain climbers, 100 squats, 75 lunges, 50 pushups, and 25 box jumps. I’m not going to be able to walk today.

10603723 800626250001215 5261504718973632060 n1 TOL: All the Excitement8) Did anyone else see that lunar eclipse yesterday? It was insane! I can’t even get over how cool it was. I had just arrived at NP so I got to view it with some of my favorite people which made it even better. Totally worth the early mornings.

10689822 800626050001235 7094943417568029405 n TOL: All the Excitement9) I had to get a flu shot at work yesterday. I didn’t cry but it was the first time in since they came out with the nasal spray that I didn’t get the actual shot. The nurse clearly could tell I was not happy about it (they didn’t have the spray option) and kept telling me to relax. Easier said than done when a needle is going into your arm.

What’s going on with you?

Did you see the eclipse?

Things I’ve Learning from Spinning

Since this is the 3rd time I’ve dealt with the same chronic calf pains in the past year and a half, I had to find something else to occupy my time. Last summer during my first round of injuries, I picked up spinning at the local YMCA.  I didn’t expect to like it. I was just using it as an easy way to stay in shape for running since there are very few exercises that can give you the same workout. I definitely didn’t expect to love it.

Now I’m spending more money than I want to think about on a membership to Rev Cycle, the only cycling studio in Baltimore. I’m so spoiled by it that I don’t want to go anywhere else. The studio is so modern inside, the bikes are the smoothest I’ve ever been on, and the instructors’ energy is contagious. I’m addicted. Shocker.

I was thinking about what spinning has taught me since I started just over a year ago.

10696362 181749578677981 5715219885511441027 n Things Ive Learning from Spinning

1) It forces you to push yourself.

I never thought I’d be able to get a good workout in on a bike. I was just talking about this with someone the other day. My friend wants me to get a real road bike so we can go biking. I told him I couldn’t see myself wanting to go fast or work hard outdoors because there’s nobody there yelling at me to stand up in the saddle or work a certain interval. But at the same time, there’s nobody watching you to make sure you’re actually turning the resistance a full gear, yet somehow there I am challenging myself more and more every time I go. It becomes easier, too. Suddenly I am able to reach resistances upwards of 12 when just a few months ago I could barely manage resistance 9. That’s all self-motivation. Nobody is pushing you to do it, you have to be willing to push past the discomfort.

2) It works different muscles.

Running is awesome because it’s a total body workout, but there’s something about spinning that just works muscles you rarely use with other sports.  I know I feel awesome whenever I leave the studio and am often sore for days. Hello butt muscles I didn’t know I had. Even when I am running, I enjoy using spinning as a good cross training workout. My coaches always recommended biking when we were injured, so I guess that stuck with me.

3) It gives you almost the same rush as running.

The main reason I started spinning is because I was told that it gave you the same rush of endorphins as running. While I can’t say I feel the same after spinning as I do after running, it is the closest workout I’ve found. Can’t beat that.  It makes me miss running a little bit less.

4) It requires a lot of mental strength.

My favorite instructor is big on telling us we can’t use our towels or drink water for the last 10 minutes of class. You’re not even supposed to wipe off any sweat. That is a lot harder than it sounds when you’re literally forming a puddle beneath you and your eyes are burning with salt water. It’s hard to push yourself for an entire 60 minute class with some instructors that are intense the entire time. There are times I want to lower the resistance or slow down my legs- more so than running. Going to spinning regularly over the past few months (since June) has really forced me to push past that discomfort and embrace it, which I hope will translate into my running when I’m healthy again.

5) You get what you put into it.

I like that you can take a spin class but it’s still very much your own workout. I tend to be someone who pushes myself to the limits all the time (shouldn’t surprise anyone) but I also know that there are certain times when my calf hurts on the bike and I have to back off. You can make the workout as hard or easy as you want by adjusting the RPMs or resistance- the instructors are only giving out a guideline. I usually follow the workout pretty closely but if I feel the need to back off, I do. I like that I can take a spin class on a hard day or a recovery day and still get what I need out of it.

So while spinning still hasn’t replaced that love for running, it’s definitely a close second these days. I’m still trying to add yoga back into my workout rotation but for now this has been the perfect way for me to get stronger in ways I can’t with running and keep me from going insane when I don’t see any improvement in my calves.

How do you get through injuries?

Do you enjoy spin classes?