Monday, December 31, 2018

Weekly Review

Happy New Year's to everyone!  It's New Year's Eve and time to say good bye to 2018 and wave hello to 2019.  Here's to 2019 being a great year.  But in the meantime, here's a summary of last week.

Monday - Yoga for runners

Tuesday - 4 tempo miles

Wednesday - Body pump and a warm up on the elliptical

Thursday - Rest Day

Friday - 4 easy paced miles

Saturday - 5.8 miles

Sunday - 7.8 miles

Sunday we also went out with a friend to catch up and watch the Aquaman movie.  It was silly and big and dumb but still fun.  Which I guess is pretty much what we expected out of it.  And that was pretty much it for the week.

I've got today and tomorrow off so that also helps make it a little easier to get my work outs in again this week. Here's the plan for this week.
Monday - Yoga + 3 easy milesTuesday - 4 tempo milesWednesday - Body PumpThursday - 3 easy milesFriday - Rest DaySaturday - 4 miles Sunday - 6 miles

I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap.


Friday, December 28, 2018

Friday five - random things

I hope everyone is doing well and had a good week!  We've got another rainy Friday here but I'm hoping it will clear up in time for a run in the afternoon.  When it's again supposed to be in the 60s!  I'm not going to complain about warm weather though :)  In the meantime, I realized it's been a while since I've linked up with the Friday link up from Fairytales and Fitness and I figured I have to join up with the last one of the year! So here are some random things that have been on my mind.

Library books - I finally fixed the issue with my library card earlier this year and I'm able to borrow ebooks and audio books from the library again.  I've definitely been enjoying that. I got super excited last week because I thought library books came with the function that you could read them or listen to them as audio books.  But nope, that only works if you get both the ebook and audio book. And they may not both be available at the same time.  But still, it's a nice option for when it works out.  Last week, I was really into a book, but had to go for a run.  Then I realized I could listed to the audio book when I ran and that made it much better!

Blogger card exchange - I participated in Fairytales and Fitness' blogger holiday card exchange and got my card last week.  It was so cool, and I love that it included a shoe charm.  I've already put it on my running shoes!  Thanks to Meg Go Run for the really cool card :)

Cat tree - My cousin got us a cat tree for the cats and they've been loving exploring it!

So that's it for me this Friday :)  I hope that everyone has a great Friday and a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

My 2018 Year of Running

Well, there's less than a week left in 2018!  In some ways the year has seemed like it has lasted forever and in other ways it seems like if has gone by in a blink of the eye.  Before the year ends for good, I wanted to look back at my year and running so I'm joining up with Courtney's link up and looking at my 2018 year in running.

  • Best race experience: I definitely had fewer races this year due to my tendinitis in the Spring.  But I made up for it with a half in October and a half in December.  I would definitely say the best race experience of the year was the Race 13.1 Baltimore half in December.  This was my second time doing the race and I loved it again.  It's a beautiful course and a well organized race, and small enough that the logistics are pretty easy. 
  • Best run: I think it would be the 14 miler I just did with a friend.  We did this route last year and loved it too.  It's a point to point run from Bethesda, Maryland to downtown DC on the Capital Crescent Trail.  It has pretty varied scenery starting out with suburbs, then some wooded views, running through the shops in Georgetown, running by the water as we pass the Kennedy Center, and then running around the monuments on the Mall.  It also helps that we finish with a yummy brunch in the city and that it's mostly downhill.

  • Best new piece of running gear: I love the Aftershokz headphones I got earlier in the year!   
  • Best running advice you’ve received this year: I think it was just to take it slow and not push my recovery when I was coming back from the injury.
  • Most inspirational runner: I think it's all of you!  Just reading everyone's blogs about getting out there and being consistent and keeping on with running is always inspiring to me.
  • Favorite picture from a run or race this year: I didn't love my race experience at the Baltimore Running Festival but I did enjoy all the crowd support!  And I love this photo I took of one of the spectators out there dancing for us :)
  • Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: The Pacer's St. Patrick's Day race.  This is always a fun one, flat course and well organized. I didn't get to fully enjoy this year because I had tendinitis at the time but I still loved it and would definitely want to do it again. 
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be? Consistency.  That's really what I was working on for most of the year, just trying to be consistent about getting out there and running/walking, no matter the pace.
 So that was 2018 for me!  How was year in running?

Monday, December 24, 2018

Weekly review

Hope everyone had a great week!  It's Christmas week and that means we get an extra two days off work.  We are using those days to be as lazy as possible and just relax at home :)  But here's how last week went before we get to this week.

Monday - Rest day

Tuesday - 4 mile run in the neighborhood

Wednesday - Warm up on the elliptical and body pump

Thursday - I was sore from body pump so I stuck with the elliptical instead of the treadmill

Friday - 6 miles during a break in the rain.  It was warm enough to run in a t-shirt!

Saturday - 14 miles.  A friend and I decided to run downtown from Maryland, run around the monuments, and end with brunch.  I decided to try to work on my pacing again, take it easy for 6 miles and pick it up for the next 6, and then a cool down as we headed to the restaurant.  I love this route and hope we can make it an annual tradition :)

Sunday - I did a short recovery run in the morning and some recovery yoga.

After that, we went back into the city since we had tickets to see the Beautiful musical.  We enjoyed it but it was really the songs that made it.  I had no idea Carole King had written so many popular songs before she even started her own singing career.

So that was last week.  We've got today and tomorrow off so that also helps make it a little easier to get my work outs in. Here's the plan for this week.

Monday - Yoga
Tuesday - 4 tempo miles
Wednesday - Body Pump
Thursday - 4 easy miles
Friday - 4 easy miles
Saturday - 6 miles 
Sunday - 8 miles

I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap.


Thursday, December 20, 2018


We went to visit my brother in Dallas a couple weeks ago.  We had a great time and most of our time was spent just catching up and hanging out.  Plus, my brother got a new puppy so plenty of time playing with dogs too :)  But here's a quick summary of some of the things we did get to do while we were in Dallas.

1.  Running - We were there the week of the Dallas Marathon but I didn't run any of the races.  However, I did go for several runs.  My brother lives near Swiss Avenue which is a historic residential neighborhood with lots of beautiful houses.  I went for a couple runs here and it was a great choice for short runs.

We also went to the Katy Trail one day and this was a beautiful paved trail and a great place for a run or walk.  We saw lots of families out and lots of cute dogs.  There were plenty of water fountains and benches along the way, and there was even a bar and grill right on the side of the trail with heat lamps and fire pits.

2.  Food - We ate lots of wonderful veggie food while we were in Dallas.  There are two places that really stick out though.  The first is V Eats Modern Vegan.  We went for dinner one evening and were so impressed with the food that we actually went back on the weekend for brunch.

The second place we went was Fearing's at the Ritz-Carlton.  This one is definitely more of a special occasion splurge type of place.  But it was well worth the money.  The setting was beautiful, the service was impeccable, and they actually had a whole vegetarian menu!  That's difficult to find at high end places. For entrees we had a vegetarian mexican sampler with an enchilada and a flauta, a vegan curry, and a vegetable pasta with shaved truffles.

3.  Sightseeing - We went to the Dallas Arboretum and it was beautiful.  We spent a couple hours there and only scratched the surface.  They were having a special holiday display with pavilions decorated around the theme of the 12 Days of Christmas.  It was a beautiful place to walk around and enjoy the scenery as well as enjoy the seasonal holiday decorations.

So that's a bit about our time in Dallas!  We had a great trip and hopefully I can get back to see more of the city at some point.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Weekly Review

How is it already the middle of December!?!  The end of the year has totally crept up on me.  Overall, this past week was a good week.  It was busy and completely flew by but I still got all my workouts in.  Here are the details.

Monday - Planned rest day

Tuesday - 3 easy miles on the treadmill

Wednesday - Strength training at home (3 rounds of squats, calf raises, crunches, glute bridges, clam shells, planks, push ups, super mans, lunges, bicep curls and tricep curls)

Thursday - 3  easy miles.  Holiday party at work meant that I got home early enough to run outside before the sun set!  I also met up with an old friend from New York who was in town for work and had a great time catching up over dinner.

Friday - 4 tempo miles before the rain started.  We had dinner with friends after work too which was a nice start to the weekend.

Saturday - 5 miles on the treadmill.  Ugh, it rained all day.  I tried to go out for a run in the morning, got to the end of the block, and turned around and came right back inside given how hard it was raining.

The evening was the Into the Spiderverse movie, it was so good!  We also had brunch with another old friend who had knit some cat beds for our kitties.

Sunday - 8 rainy miles + recovery yoga from Runner's World.  I sucked it up and went outside in the rain for this run.  It was cold and wet and pretty miserable but I felt better having gotten out there.

And we tried out a new taco place afterward that was pretty delicious!  They had three veggie taco options, 2 of which were vegan and one which could be made vegan pretty easily (Kale and Mushroom, Roasted Cauliflower, and Tofu were the three options).

So that was last week.  Here's the plan for this week.

Monday - Rest day
Tuesday - 4 easy miles
Wednesday - Body Pump
Thursday - 4 tempo miles
Friday - 6 easy miles
Saturday - Long Run
Sunday - 4 easy miles + yoga

I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Weekly Review

It was a busy week for me last week and I'm a day late with my weekly review.  But better late than never :)  Yesterday was a travel day for us and we got back in to town in the evening.  Here are the details of last week.

Monday - 30 minutes on the elliptical plus body pump

Tuesday - Unplanned rest day (since I had doubled up the day before)

Wednesday - 4 miles tempo

Thursday - Planned rest day and flying to Dallas after work.  It was pretty late when we got to my brother's house and we went straight to sleep.

Friday - 4 Easy miles in the morning near my brother's house.

I loved this house decorated like a Christmas present :)

Saturday - 2.5 easy miles.  We had thought about participating in the Dallas Marathon 10k and 5k this morning but it ended up being cold, windy and rainy.  So we decided against it and I just took my brother's new puppy for a short run in the morning.  She was a handful but it was fun going for a run with her :)  She was definitely happy to be out of the rain when we got back to the house though.

Sunday - 5 easy miles on the Katy Trail.  This trail is a couple miles from my brother's house and we all went there to get some morning exercise.  There was also a bar conveniently located right off the trail, with fire pits and heat lamps, and that's where I found the rest of the group once I was done with my run :)

And then Monday we flew back home.  We had a great time in Dallas mostly just hanging out, playing with the dogs, and indulging in lots of good veggie food!  I'll probably share more on that later this week.  Hopefully you all had a great week too :)

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Race 13.1 Baltimore - race review

Saturday, December 1st was the Race 13.1 Half Marathon in Baltimore.  They also had a 5k and 10k option.  This is the race's third year, I did the race their first year (2016) but I had to miss it last year.  I'm glad I was able to do it again this year because I really enjoyed it.  It's a pretty course and relatively flat.  It's well organized and the logistics are pretty easy because it's on the smaller side.  I think there were less than 1100 people in the half and maybe another couple hundred in the 10k and 5k, so around 1500 total or so.

Packet pick up had multiple options.  Two days before the race, they had packet pick up at a running store in a Baltimore suburb.  They also had packet pick up at a hotel near downtown Baltimore the day before the race.  Lastly, they had packet pick up the morning of the race.  I had gotten a hotel room the evening before the race in Baltimore so I stopped on the way in to pick up my packet.  I made it 15 minutes before packet pick up closed.  It was well organized and super quick, I'm pretty sure I was in and out of there in 5 minutes.  I was also able to pick up a packet for a friend.

Our hotel was a couple miles from the start line and right on the race course.  Of course, that meant that the road would be closed and the hotel warned us that we wouldn't be able to get out of the garage between 6am and 11am on race day.  So we left the hotel bright and early at 5:50 am on race day.  The half marathon started at 7am.  There was plenty of parking right by the start line so we were able to stay warm in the car until closer to the race start.  We paid $10 for parking but there seemed to be street parking options as well. We liked having a spot in the lot though and not having to worry about finding parking and how far away it would be.


We left the car only 15 minutes ahead of the start time.  I love that you can do that with smaller races like this!  We had a beautiful sun rise while we were waiting for the race to start and then it started pretty much right on time at 7:00.  The 5k and 10k started at 7:15 I think.  There were no corrals or anything, but there were pacers holding signs and people were asked to line up where they felt would be the appropriate time.  There was a DJ at the start who was full of energy and there was even an accordion player playing Chariots of Fire.  That was a fun little touch.

We lined up near the back.  This wasn't a goal race and I was specifically using it to work on not going out too fast during a race.  The plan was 8 miles at an easy pace, picking it us for the next 4 miles, and then picking it up even more for the last mile.

As you can see, this is a pretty curvy race.  There are a lot of little twists and turns in the course.  For the most part, the turns were well marked and the volunteers were well placed to show you what direction to go.  This was especially important for the back of the pack because there were definitely times that I felt like there was no one else around us.  The course had changed a bit from the first year and there was this weird extra loop that the half marathoners did around mile 3.  We looped back toward the finish line (which always sucks) and basically ran on the same section we would run on again at the end of the race.  You can see that on the map where mile 3 is between miles 12 and 13.

I didn't mind this change since it meant that the turn around point was at an earlier location and we got to skip the only big hill that was on the course in 2016.  I'm all for keeping the elevation flat.  But that section was confusing.  They had signs and volunteers, but I almost missed the turn anyway.  I'm pretty sure I saw people cut the course there, and I don't think it was on purpose.  I'm sure they were disappointed at the finish when there watch would have read more than a mile short.


The first 3 miles or so were city streets.  Then the extra loop was by the water, which was nice.  Then we were back on city streets around mile 4 and ran through the neighborhoods of Canton and Fells Point.  There was no crowd support but they were still charming neighborhoods.  We ran by the water from miles 5.5 to 7 and then a slightly more industrial neighborhood.  The turn around was around mile 8.5, right after the Under Armour headquarters.  We were back by the water around mile 9.5, back through Fells Point, and then finishing up running the path by the water where we had run earlier.  The roads we ran on were all closed but the promenade area by the water was of course still open so on the way back, since it was later in the morning, there were more tourists, people walking their dogs, out for their own runs, etc.

I'm happy to say I was able to stick to my plan and get negative splits!  I took it was until mile 8, picked up the pace, and was still able to pick it up even more for the last mile.  And I felt great at the end of the race, as opposed to the last half marathon where I felt horrible at the end.  That one was super hilly, but I think I had also gone out too fast and that affected the whole race.

They had plenty of music going on at the after party, and a nice spread of food from Panera.  We didn't stay long after we finished since we had a breakfast reservation nearby and figured we'd just get food there.

My pros and cons are pretty much the same as last time.

Pros:  Easy logistics with the small field, scenic course by the water for a lot of the race, relatively flat.  It was well organized, with plenty of water stops and volunteers.

Cons:  This race doesn't have some of the excitement and fan fare that big races have.  Also, much of it is on the promenade which isn't closed so lots of non-race foot traffic, especially on the way back.  And if you're in the back of the pack, there are times when there aren't that many other race participants around.  The course does have a lot of twists and turns.  And the parts by the water are brick.  It was well maintained but my friend felt that the varied surface hurt her feet a bit.

Post race selfie

 But overall, I'm a big fan of this race.  I would definitely consider doing it again and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a Baltimore race as long as you don't mind that it doesn't have a lot of fan fare.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Race 13.1 Baltimore Training - Week 5

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  It was race week for me and the week went pretty well overall.  Here are the details.

Monday - Planned rest day plus 30 minutes on the treadmill desk at work

Tuesday - Strength training at home (squats, crunches, glute bridges, clam shells, planks, push ups, calf raises, lunges, bicep curls and tricep curls) 2 sets

Wednesday - 60 minutes on the elliptical

Thursday - speed work on the treadmill, .5 warm up and 3.5 tempo

Friday - 5.4 miles easy pace before work

Saturday - Race 13.1 Baltimore half marathon.  I really enjoyed this race!  It helps that it was a flat course and I wasn't doing it for time so went at an easy pace for the first half of the race :) A full review will be up later this week.

Sunday - 3 mile recovery run in the afternoon.  It was warm enough for a t-shirt but still a little wet out from the rain.

I have some more travel this week so that complicates the plan a little but it should still work out fine. Here's the plan.

Monday - Elliptical plus body pump
Tuesday - Speed work (4 miles tempo)
Wednesday - 4 miles easy
Thursday - Rest day and travel to Dallas
Friday - 4 miles easy
Saturday - 6 miles
Sunday - Strength training

I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap.