Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Letters

Happy Friday Readers!!!

Are you as excited as I am for this weekend?  This is the first week back after spring break so there is a lot of catching up on and I am beat.  This is also the first weekend I am going to be staying in town in 4 weeks!  I have plenty of exciting plans but nothing beats being home!  Birthday parties, running, and family coming into town, oh my!

As much as my blogging is off and on, Friday Letters are one of my favorite things to do.  So here they are!

Dear Friday, once again, I am so happy you have shown your face.  Every Monday I can't wait for you to come around.  You are seriously my favorite day of the week!  Dear Toes, you have been in pain for the last week since you PR'ed the Sarasota Half marathon.  You need to get your act together so I can continue training for the Irongirl Clearwater Half marathon.  Trader Joes, you rock!  I was able to find such yummies this weekend, they are all gone.  Dear Irongirl clearwater, you were originally my last goal race.  I am very excited I can go into you enjoying you, not worrying about a time and being happy just to be done for the season.  I am ready for a break before NYC Marathon training begins.  Dear Sleep, you are mine this weekend!  Dear 2013, you have been pretty good so far.  I hope it stays that way and I am hoping opening my big mouth doesn't jinx me.  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Gate River Run 15k Recap

As many of you know, I am not the best at doing race reaps, but lucky for you, I am on Spring Break which gives me a few minutes of free time.

Friday after work I went up to Jacksonville to visit one of my best college friends.  I registered for this race probably the day it opened.  I was very excited for this.  Not only would I be doing the race, it was the perfect excuse to see my friend.  We were going to make it a fun weekend with the other half of our crew coming up, but unfortunately, they were unable to make it.  

Friday after work I hit up the expo because Jamie home yet.  I picked up my packet, walked around a bit, shopped some and saw Marcia.  It is so nice to always see her.  It was also her birthday weekend and she killed it with a PR!  She was ma wasn't nning the Donna 26.2 booth where I picked up a pin for Jamie and I to wear in her moms honor.  This is actually how she noticed me along the course.  Luckily, I did not need anything from the expo so I just walked to kill some time.

After the expo, I went to Jamie's, but my stuff down and did a nice little two mile shake out run.  Once Jamie got home, we ran to Target for a few things then waited for her boyfriend to come home.  He just was awarded a promotion so we went out to carbo load and celebrate.  We went to an italian place near their house which was very good.  I am a very picky eater whose stomach cannot handle much before races so I thought our server would murder me, or spit in my food.  All I wanted was plain pasta and grilled chicken with marinara sauce on the side.  I didn't think that was too hard.  Just saying.  We went home and went to bed.  
Get in my belly!

Saturday we were up bright and early.  I knew I would not have time to do my scheduled warm up, per Mary's request, so I woke up a little earlier and got out there.  We met at J's friend, Kerry's house at 7 to head downtown.  It makes me laugh that we met at 7 because I love early races, especially if they start in the dark.  Call me crazy, but I don't like seeing my watch and the pace and if it dark, I can't see the watch.  We all carpooled on over, got stuck in traffic, went to the pottys and went to find our corrals.  This was Jamie's first race and I told her I can run with her, walk with her, or do whatever.  She told me to rock it and run my pace, which is exactly what I did.  See, I am training for this Irongirl Half Marathon so.. I sort of wanted to see what I had in me.  They were in wave 3, I was in wave 2 so we hugged goodbye and wished them luck.

Let me start off by saying, this was not an easy run.  There are two bridges.  One is worse than the other.  The Hart bridge is a terror, a bitch to say nicely, luckily it was at mile 8.. Thinking back, I sort of wish it was at the beginning so I still had energy.

I accidently went into wave one to start.  I had my phone out about to take a picture of the start line and people started walking, I figured I had time and was just being moved forward, I was wrong.  I was in the wrong wave.  I am not complaining.  This was beneficial because I wasn't stressing out.  I just went.  The first few miles flew by.  By mile 1.5 is when the first bridge, the Main Street bridge was up.  The elevation was not bad, the bad part was the grates in the bottom.  It freaked me out, and being from NY where this is normal on the street, I do not like that and always walk around them.  

 I was scared I was running to fast when at the 3 mile marker I was under 30 minutes.  At least that was a new PR for me.  I just kept running.  I sort of had a goal in mind but did not want to commit to it because I wasn't sure if I was going to run with my friend or if the bridges would get the best of me.  This is about where Marcia ran into me, she said HI, and took off!  Who would think there is a hilly course in Florida, but it seems as I always seem to find them.  I sort of figured that besides the bridges, the course would be flat, I was wrong.  Rolling hills, lots of rolling hills.  I just kept treking on.  The course was beautiful when we went by the water and the houses, WOW!  I was consistently holing about a 10  min mile pace, give or take a few seconds.  I was very excited and was hoping not to crash!  Jamie's boyfriend spotted me, gave me a shout and gave me some extra motivation.  My stomach started to cramp and I got nervous.  I knew I just had about a 5k left.  I had a Powergel with me, I wish I would have taken it at about mile 6.5 because at mile  I started to burn out.  I knew I can maintain my pace till I got to the Hart Bridge.  I did just that.  I stopped twice during mile 7, once to get an orange from a spectator, the second to get some water.  You can see my pace dropped there.  Then it was the bridge!!!  I ran that bridge..or so I thought.  You would never know I was running, it looked like walking, felt like walking but the energy was running.  I promise, I was running.  Once to the top, I sprinted down.  I know I had to get in the last kick!  I saw that before I hit the bridge my pace was about a 10, after the bridge.. a little more!  I wanted it down, I was determined to get it down.

And there the finish line was!  I made it, and a shiny new PR!  The last and only time I ran a 15k my time was about 2:04.  I was out of shape!  I wasn't running.  I just said, OK, this is better than doing the Half.  So that is what I did.  This time I was training, and I used this as a training run for Irongirl.

There were certainly some pro's and cons about this race so I will just give you a few of them:

*I loved our names on our bibs!  It is great to hear people call your name out while your running.

*I did not like that there was no Gatorade or anything of that sort on the course.  After we started, it got hot and I think that would have really helped me the last few miles.  

*The line to get the medal at the end, a cluster mess

*Free post race bags of ice and massages

*A beautiful race shirt (I will have to post that) and it fits perfectly!

*hilly course, you tell me..good or bad?

*Great Crowd support!

And I almost forgot.  My official time was 1:35:11.  Just what my Garmin read! Perfect!


 After the race, Ryan got us flowers!  So sweet!  And we headed for a post celebratory lunch at a bar!  It truly was a great weekend with great friends!  I am so glad I was able to do this!
Post Race celebrations!

have you ever done this run?  What were your thoughts?

Did you go into a race and crushed your expectation?

Also, did you enter the lululemon and race entry giveaway yet?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Saucony Virrata: Product Review

These beautiful sneakers came to me in the mail the other week!  

The laces glow in the dark..or in my imagination
The Saucony Virrata sneakers were sent to my to try out and review.  I was so excited to see how bright and pretty they are.  I am not going to lie, I was obsessively checking my mailbox for about two weeks.    After all, don't we all want shoes that look nice.  Time and time again I have had to settle for shoes that were not all that aesthetically appealing but were the shoes that fit my feet.  

When I first put these shoes on I was in love.  They feel so comfortable and natural to just walk around in.  I run, sometimes a little and sometimes a lot.  

According to Saucony:
"Stripped down to strong. The Virrata is our lightest and most flexible training shoe and allows your foot to move naturally. We removed everything that isn’t helping your run improve. What remains is a feather-light, ultra flexible shoe with advanced cushioning that promotes a powerful stride and allows your foot to move the way it was meant to. Built on a 0mm offset, this shoe lets your feet do the work while providing plenty of protection from the road. The breathable mesh upper makes the shoe incredible lightweight and quick-drying to run in wet weather conditions. Weight: 6.0oz.

Sorry about my cankles
I am currently transitioning into a more minimalist shoe and am wearing a 4mm drop.  The Virrata's are a 0mm drop meaning there is no difference from the heal to the toe.  They are super light and it feels as if I am walking on clouds.  As a "Floridian", I say that with pride because I am also New York City girl, we do not wear sneakers out and about.  Now I can say I do.  I have put these on multiple times just to wear them.  I prance around the house, have gone to Target, race expos, and I may have taken a nap in them..shh..  My shoes are a size 7.5 and they are just a tad big.  The toe box is nice and big which I like so I should hopefully have no blisters that I am prone to. I have a narrow heel and they fit just perfect.  There are enough laces to make them as tight or as loose as you need.  I bring that up because I have issues with other laces because I may have custom orthotics in a pair which doesn't allow the laces to double knot.  I did not put the orthotics in the shoes because they are minimalist and would defeat the purpose.

I was able to take these babies out for two test rides and unfortunately they were not my best runs.  Were they the shoes or was it outside influences, I am not sure but since I started the new training cycle for the Irongirl Half Marathon in Clearwater, those were the two stinky runs I have had.  The first run just felt hard which is normal because of the new shoe and form.  The second one I had really bad knee pain in my right knee but that could also have been from running a 15k just two days before hand ( I PR'd).  

I will continue to run in these, testing out smaller distances and see if I still have any issues.  If I do, they are my new to go to walking shoes!  I always think about going to Disney in sneakers and these wold be amazing!  I normally walk around in Toms or flip flops but there is no support in them.  These just may be the ideal Disney sneakers.  I know that is not the intention, but whatever works..right?

Have you seen the pictures I have posted of them on instagram?

Do you run in a minimalist shoe?
Have you transitioned from a stability shoe like me?

*Disclaimer: I received these shoes for free to test and review as a FitFluential Ambassador. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Monday, March 11, 2013

Huge Group Giveaway: Lululemon + a Race Entry

A group of 14 bloggers, who love running and lululemon among other things, came together and decided we wanted to have a group giveaway. As we were emailing about what the prize should be, we decided it should be appealing for people who run and people who don't run. So here's what we came up with:

One winner will win a $200 Lululemon gift card as well as a race entry of your choice (up to $95). If your race costs less than $95, or you don't want the race entry, that value will be added to the Lululemon gift card. So, that could be up to a $295 Lululemon gift card! Or, it could be that race you've been dying to enter as well as a pretty sweet gift card! It's up to you (if you win). I mean, at the end of the day, we're all addicted to racing and workout clothes, so some combination of the two seems like a pretty sweet deal.

And because we wanted to have more than one winner, another winner will still get a $25 Lululemon gift card. And hey! That could totally buy you half of a tank top.


We're runners. We're bloggers. Many of us are marathoners. All of us are half-marathoners. We're all addicted to running...and we all appreciate our blog readers. Here is a recent race picture from each of us, and the links to our blogs are below the pictures.

Enter below the pictures with the Rafflecopter!
Enter below through the Rafflecopter widget!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Amazing blogger giveaway!

I am so excited to announce that some of my favorite runner bloggers, including myself, are doing an awsome giveaway!
We are giving away a race entry of your choice and a lululemon gift card! It starts I day, but unfortunately, I am out of town due to family obligations! (my grandma is 93 and not doing well). I thought I would have access to the Internet to upload the information here, unfortunately, I do not but will be back home later tonight or tomorrow . As soon as I am home I will have the information uploaded. please stop by the other hosts sites and enter. Don't forget to come back here though ;).

go follow me on bloglovin or google friends, and even twitter @risforrunning

Good luck and happy winning!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy Friday

Every day, each and every period, I greet my students "Happy (Insert day of the week)", or "Good Morning/Good Afternoon Boys and Girls"!  They know how to respond but sometimes it takes us a few rounds to get it correct.


Friday letters are my favorite and I have been pretty absent on the bloggosphere lately, but here goes nothing!.

Dear Friday, I am so happy you decided to finally show up.  It has felt like forever since I have seen you last. 
Dear Brother, I am so excited I get to spend the weekend with you.  I am sad the other half of our B-Squad couldn't join us but we are going to have so much fun.  I am excited for your first race!!  We are going to dominate the gate River Run
 Dear Spring Break, hallelujah!! Even though I am already stressing out that I won't see any of you, I may only be home one day, I am determined to make the best of you.  I am determined to revamp myself.  My eating, my room, and learn to make some ME time. 
Dear Thursday Run, I need to give myself credit here.  This is a run I would have normally skipped, I was exhausted, overwhelmed with what I needed to get done, such as packing, cleaning, eating, and I actually went out to run.  I had 5 easy miles on schedule so I just went out to clear my head.  I came home with the overall pace right under goal pace and a few miles a little too under goal pace for it to be an easy run.  Yay for finaly making changes and progres.
Dear Friends and Family, thank you for putting up with my this week, especially Thursday when I had a near meltdown.   

This week is going to be super busy with lots of traveling and running.  I am excited to announce a few of my favorite bloggers and I are hosting a giveaway!!!  It is a nice BIG one with a GREAT prize! It should go live Monday at Midnight so check back here!!

What are your weekend plans?
What do you like to do with your vacation time?
How do you get through the chaos of life and remember what is important?


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Getting dirty..

A few weekends ago I was given the opportunity to partake in my first mud run. This was part of the Dirty Girl series! It was such a great first experience as everything was so well organized and thought out. If you know me, I am not a "dirty" girl. I may not be all dainty and frilly but the one thing I hate about visiting New York is when dirt gets under my nails.
Late me preface this by saying how this was not the bat day for me to be partaking in this event because I had to run over to St. Pete for wedding dress shopping with my Big. Getting dirty right before hand, I was a little nervous and was on a time crunch.
When I arrived at little Everglades ranch, I immediately met up with Misty and the other Tampa Bay Bloggers! They were near experts ans told me I should bring my stuff to change into after the fun mud run becayse that is where all the changing tents are, I forgot my towel. We then headed towards packet pickup and bag check, took tons of picture, of which I took none as my camera is broken and was scared to get my phone all muddy!
Once they called for our 8am wave, we made our way over and they prepped us with Zumba. At about 8:15, we were off. Caitlyn mentioned wanting to do this in 45 minutes so I stayed with her knowing I really needed to get back. The bloggers started out together but after a few obstacles we slowly separated. I really wish I could have stayed with everyone as I know it would have added to the excitement and experience. Not only was this a 5k, there were tons of fun obstacles! You could have gone around the obstacle if you needed to, but they were all "easy" or "hard" enough for women of all shapes and sizes! There was sloshing through mud, climbing up a air staircase which Misty literally hoisted my rear end up so I made it up. She landed face first in the mud. We about died laughing! From obstacle to obstacle, we were dodging through cow droppings which was loads of fun! We got to climb ropes, ring bells, crawl on our hands and knees! I didn't realize how hard I worked until the next morning I was sore! I couldn't figure out why I was so sore!
These pictures were from Lydia. Her husband was nice enough to be our race day photographer. Raffi was also on hand for more pictures!
This was my first and probably my last mud least for a while! This is defiantly a great race and I would highly recommend it! It is an all womens 5k with obstacles! all ages and abilities can definatly participate! To make it better, they donate to the National Breat Cancer Foundation!

I was comped entry for a review of this race. All opinions are my own.