Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Year in Review and 2013 Goals

On December 2nd I ran what I thought would be an 8K. It turned out to actually be a 9K thanks to being in the woods. The race director even changed the name to accommodate the distance.

It was cold but I got hot chocolate and chili afterwards. Plus my family cheering squad was there and there's nothing I love more than crossing the finish line with Jack watching and telling me to go!

I hadn't run in 4 weeks, since the above 9K, and I knew I needed to get back to it. I ran 3.5 miles in the snow on Saturday. It was great except for when I fell and banged my knee. It felt okay and I was able to keep going, but last night Jack bumped it and it's sore today. I'm not too worried about it though and I'm planning to run tomorrow.

The 9K turned out to be my last race of 2012, bringing my total to 10 for the year. I ran 2 half marathons, 3 10K's, 1 9K, 1 5-Miler, 2 5K's, and a 1-Miler. I know I'll be running a lot more than that in 2013 and I'll even be starting the year off with a New Year's 5K! I calculated my total distance for 2012 and I ran 399.65 miles. I also walked 56.63 miles for a total of 456.28. Not bad! May was my best month with 74.33 miles.

I'm not going to have crazy goals for 2013. My main goal is to run at least 500 miles. I also have a busy racing schedule and I want to successfully finish those races plus whatever other ones I decide to do. I want to do 24 races, which would be 2 every month. So far I'm planning on doing a few club races in January and February and then come March I'm really in for it. Here's what I've gotten myself into:

March 16th- Rock n' Roll Half Marathon
April 7th- Cherry Blossom 10-miler
April 28th- Nike Half Marathon

That's 2 half marathons and a 10-miler all within 6 weeks! And if I'm really crazy, I'm going to run another half on May 5th, just 1 week after Nike. Since that one isn't a lottery or at risk of filling up I decided to wait and see how I feel. I think I'm going to need a medal display for all my bling!

I'm still doing various Jillian Michaels DVD's, mainly Ripped in 30, and I'll continue to do them. I did her Extreme Shed and Shred the other night and it was intense! It's a 2 part workout and you can do 1 or both parts. I opted to do both parts, making it a 60+ minute workout. I'm going to save that one for the weekends when I have more time; it's definitely worth it!

I'm not where I thought I'd be but I'm moving in the right direction. 2012 changed me as a runner. I ran my first and second half marathons, ran farther in 1 month than I ever had before, gained confidence and courage, and changed my attitude. The holidays and cold weather have set me back a little, but I'm not making excuses and I'm not giving up. I'm going to move forward. I hope 2013 is ready for me!!

Friday, November 30, 2012

November Foodie Pen Pals Reveal!

The Lean Green Bean

November was my second month participating in the Foodie Pen Pals program and I'm hooked! I had a lot of fun putting together my box this month and I loved what I got. I sent a box to Heather at In Her Chucks and you can see what I sent her here

This month my box came from Lindsay at Itz Linz. Everything came from Trader Joe's. In case you didn't know, Trader Joe's is one of my most favorite places. There's one about a half mile from my office and I go regularly on my lunch break. The crazy thing is that I had never tried any of the things Lindsay sent me! 

Here's what I saw when I opened the box:

The first thing I noticed was the Roasted Coconut Chips. I've been eyeing these in the store but hadn't picked any up. I was so excited to see them in my box! They're delicious and not like anything I've tried before. I think they would be great as an ice cream topper. :)

Here's what I got:

2 other things I've been wanting to try are the Cranberry Apple Butter and Pecan Praline Granola. I seriously did a happy dance when I saw them! I still haven't opened either one since we were out of town for a few days for Thanksgiving, but any day now I'll be trying them out and loving them.

I love snack bars and am a bit partial to Lara Bars. I didn't know too much about KIND bars but I immediately tore open the cranberry almond one (not pictured). It was delicious!! I'll definitely be buying more! I was also excited to see the Candy Cane Green Tea. I was even more excited to see that it's decaf. I don't drink coffee and when I do, I only drink decaf. So this is great! And perfect to enjoy while wrapping Christmas gifts. :)

Also in the above picture is Roasted Seaweed Snack. An unusual treat that I was happy to try.

Lindsay also sent "17 Bean & Barley Mix" that I can't wait to make this weekend! I love making (and eating!) soup and this time of year there's nothing I love more than a bowl of warm, hearty soup. Jack also loves soup so we'll definitely be enjoying this!

Last but not least, she sent a Burt's Bees Lip Balm. What a nice treat especially for the dry, winter months. And I love the way it smells!

Thank you for an awesome FPP box, Lindsay!

For the month of December Foodie Pen Pals is going to be for charity (awesome idea!). Please go to The Lean Green Bean for all the info. And if you want to sign up to send and receive a box of goodies in January, you can sign up after December 18th. I'll definitely be signing up! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Potomac River Run Half Maraton Race Recap

I'm only a week late posting this but better late than never, right? On Sunday November 18th, I ran my 2nd half marathon. I was nervous and unsure but also really excited. I left Jack and Sidney at home (it was pretty cold and the only shelter was in the car) and got there with plenty of time to spare.

Packet pickup was at a picnic shelter and the start of the race was a little walk away on the towpath, which is also where the race took place. It ended up being an out and back- 6.5 miles out, turn around, and come back to finish. The runners doing the full marathon had to do 2 out and backs. I can't even imagine!

There weren't very many runners and once we got started and everyone spread out, I was last. There wasn't a single person behind me. I tried not to think about it and reminded myself I needed to run my race and keep a pace that was comfortable for me. I was pretty sure I'd have to walk at some point and I knew it would be a difficult race (not the terrain but my lack of preparedness). I just wanted to take it easy.

It was a beautiful run. On one side we had the C&O Canal and on the other side was the Potomac River. There were other people out walking dogs or doing their own runs. It was great. There weren't any clocks, mile markers, or other distractions.

I was so happy to see the turn around point. There was someone there recording bib numbers so no one could cheat and turn around sooner. It was a manually recorded but electronically recognized timing system. There was also a gentleman with bowls of oranges and bananas as well as water and coke. I took some water and an orange slice, finished, and was on my way. That ended up being the only time I stopped. I never walked like I had expected to!

The last few miles seemed to take forever. I had had some Shot Blocks, but I was hungry. I was tired and really wanted to see the finish. I kept thinking about the pizza that they said would be there after the race. I couldn't wait for a slice of pizza! Somewhere in the last mile I increased my speed. After a while I cursed, wondering where the finish line was. I was afraid I had sped up too soon. I just kept going, knowing it would end eventually.

As soon as I caught a glimpse of the finish, I did what I do best and let go. I gave it all I had and finished strong. The clock said 2 hours, 43 minutes. I wasn't sure what the seconds were but I knew it was close to beating my previous time. I couldn't believe it! I was handed my medal- my first (last time I got a necklace) and went searching for the pizza. There were 2 empty boxes and a 3rd box with one slice left! I grabbed it and enjoyed that cold slice all the way to the bathroom. But then it dawned on me...there were still a lot of runners out there doing the full marathon. I really hope they were planning on getting more pizza for them!

I ended up finishing ahead of 3 other women doing the half. I might start out slow but I finish strong!

Here's a pic I took before the race. I feel like I have a weird look on my face but I was freezing!

My first medal:

 And my official race photo:

I'll definitely run this race in May if I don't get into the Nike Women's Half in DC the week before. I don't know if I want to do back-to-back half marathons, especially when I'm also doing one in March. We'll see! Either way it'll be a busy and awesome spring!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

10 mile run

This past Saturday I set out for my 10 mile run. I knew it would take me over 2 hours to complete and I had mentally prepared myself. I had an audiobook on my iPhone, Sport Beans and Clif Shotbloks in my pouch, and water and Gatorade in my bottles. I headed out around 10:30am.

At about half way I stopped at a community center to use the bathroom. I also took a few very short walking breaks, which is something I never do! I ran very slowly, around a 13:00 mile, but my legs felt like they were going to give out on me. I had a few minor aches and pains and I didn't want to risk injury so I just took it nice and easy. It was one of the hardest runs I've ever done.

Like I said, I was mentally prepared for this run and having an audiobook really helps on my long solo runs. But physically it was challenging. I pushed through and finished in 2 hours, 11 minutes. I was so happy when it was over!

Here I am before starting out:

After showering and icing my legs for a few minutes, I enjoyed a rewarding lunch at Elevation Burger with my family. Definitely worth it! :)

Last night I was able to join a group for an easy 4 mile run. They run every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. After Thanksgiving I'm going to try and join them on Saturdays, but it's hard for me to go during the week. Sidney works most nights and I won't take Jack out in the cold. He ended up being off last night and I was able to get in 1 last run before the half.

It was great! I've gotten so used to running by myself that I had almost forgotten how nice it is to run with others. I kept a good pace and afterwards I felt like I could've kept going. The 10 mile run made me nervous but I got my confidence back last night. I know I'm going to be fine on Sunday. And dare I say I'm actually looking forward to it?!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I Must Be Crazy

I told you all that I ran a lot in October. In fact, it was my best month in the 6 years I've been running. So good that I might be ready to run a half marathon in less than 2 weeks? Depends on your definition of ready. It doesn't matter because on a whim, I signed up for a race that's on November 18th. Yes, a half marathon less than 2 weeks away. I must be crazy.

I did run a 10K, then an 8 mile run, then another 10K all in the last 3 weeks. And I felt great and still do. I'm on week 4 of Ripped in 30 and I really think that it has helped to make me a stronger runner. But 13.1 miles when the most I've run in 3 months is 8 miles?

I'm planning on doing a 10 mile training run this weekend and I'll just run the half with finishing as my only goal. The most I ran before my first half was 11 so I definitely think it's doable. No matter what, I'll be finishing my 2nd half marathon in less than 2 weeks!!

So why did I decide to run this race? I got an e-mail listing upcoming races in my area and it caught my attention. According to the race website it's "the easiest marathon in America". It's a Boston Marathon qualifier, although that means nothing to me. It's supposed to be an almost totally flat, out 'n' back course. Because there will be a full marathon going on as well, I'll have 6 hours to finish. Definitely doable! They're only accepting 350 entrants so it's not going to be overly crowded. Despite my "late" registration, the entry fee wasn't too steep. I'll get a technical shirt, goodie bag, post race picnic, and even a finisher certificate and printed results mailed to me. And the best part? I'll get my first medal!! That right there sealed the deal!

This Potomac River Run Marathon is apparently held every spring, with the 10th one scheduled for next May. They're holding a special 91/2th one now in memory of Dean Shulman who I think worked with the Safety and Health Foundation, the company putting on the race. They're also giving anyone who was entered to run the NYC Marathon a $20 discount. In case you didn't know, it was scheduled for last week and was cancelled due to the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy.

I'm excited and a bit nervous, but I've done it before and I know I can do it again! My only real concern for this race is the weather. I hope it isn't freezing! We're expecting nice weather for this weekend so at least my 10 mile run should be a pleasant one. Fingers crossed!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Rockville 10K Race Recap and A Zombie Run

My local Fleet Feet holds fun runs every Thursday night. Basically you just show up and run about 3-4 miles. Some weeks they hold raffles, and have games, pizza, and beer. I was taking Jack over the summer before it got too hot. I still shop there but haven't run with them since July. When I heard they were doing a zombie fun run on the day after Halloween I knew I had to go!

I left Jack with Grandpa and headed out not knowing what to expect. We ended up doing the same 3.2 mile route I was used to and right from the beginning I was on the lookout for zombies. They weren't allowed to grab you which was good to know! There would be 2 or 3 standing around any given point. Not scary, just really funny. I even laughed out loud a bunch! See, running can be fun! In the last half mile or so there were 3 zombies out in the open and as soon as I passed them, one jumped out from behind a fence right in front of me. That got a scream out of me!

Afterwards we were given a ticket to take to a wine bar in the same shopping center for a free drink. I grabbed a bottle of beer and tried my best to socialize. I recognized some people but don't really know any of them. I stepped out of my comfort zone and ended up having a great time. I had to relieve Grandpa and couldn't stay too long but all in all, it was a fun experience! I'm really glad I went and will definitely participate again next year.

Yesterday was the Rockville 5K/10K. I ran the 5K in 2006 and the 10K in 2008. This was only my 6th 10K and I was hoping to get a PR. I knew it was going to be close. My fastest 10K is 1:04:10 and my fastest time for the Rockville 10K is 1:05:39. If nothing else, I wanted to beat my course record.

It was freezing! Jack and Sidney came to cheer me on with Jack bundled up in the stroller. I wore a hat and gloves, it was that cold! I ended up taking my gloves off with about 2 miles to go. There were some rolling hills but mostly it was a pleasant enough race.

The last quarter mile I gave it my all and sprinted to the finish. My official time was 1:05:29. 10 seconds faster than in 2008. Not a 10K PR but I'll take it!!

This happened to be my 35th race overall and it's crazy to think I've run 35 races! But that is over a 6 year period. I love running and I love racing even more. Here's to 50 and beyond!

Here's my official race photo. Notice how I'm smiling and waving this time? Looks much better than my "running face" right?

I also got to see some friends I hadn't seen since April at the last 10K we all did. They commented on how skinny I look. That definitely made my day and gives me motivation to keep going!

Sorry for the super long post. I should've broken this into 2 posts but it is what it is!
Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Foodie Penpals Reveal

I mentioned in a previous post that I had signed up for Foodie Penpals. October was the first month I participated and it is super awesome! I can't wait to do it again and again!

This month I received my package from Shannon at Skinny Sometimes. Check out her blog if you get a chance. She has some amazing looking recipes posted! I told her I'm trying to eat healthier but that I also enjoy sweets. I got a lot of yumminess!

I wasn't sure where to start and I haven't tried everything yet, but I'm looking forward to!

These veggie crunchers are so good! It took some serious willpower to not eat the whole bag as soon as I opened it. This is definitely something I would buy.

These raspberry tartlets are super sweet and oh so delicious! I was very surprised (and pleased) to open the box and discover the tarts individually wrapped (although it says so right on the box!). They're small and because they're so sweet, one is enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. I can't overdo it and I love that!

I would love to receive items I can share with my family, especially Jack. I told her I have a 2 year old son and she completely surprised me by sending a few items just for him!

These Disney fruit crisps are way healthier than fruit snacks and he loves the Teddy Grahams cookies! Thank you so much for including Jack in this month's package!

The Fiber One PB&J bars are just about gone. Everyone in my family participated in eating those! I was happy to receive snack bars that I had never tried before. I look forward to trying the individual ones as well as the smoothies.

A big thanks to Shannon for the wonderful package and for making my first month a great one! :)

Wanna join for November? You have until November 4th to sign up and matches will be sent out on the 5th. For all the info, go visit Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean!

The Lean Green Bean

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

8 Mile Run & Upcoming Races

I've fallen off track with Ripped in 30 the last week. I got a little sick, then I was home with a sick 2 year old who was throwing up all night and day. Not fun! I plan on getting back on track tomorrow! I'll start week 4 next week and then I might start the whole thing again or go back to the 30 Day Shred. We'll see!

I did run as much as possible, even when I wasn't feeling too hot. I knew last week would be the last week I could take Jack out for runs after work so I took advantage of it. Saturday I went to a baby shower in the morning so I planned my long run for that afternoon. I wasn't looking forward to it but knew I'd feel worse if I skipped it. I was planning on doing a route that takes me about 6.5 miles. I did 7 a couple weeks ago and something in me wanted to push for 8. I decided I'd see how I felt.

On long runs it always takes me a couple miles to warm up and settle in. At first I was tired and feeling like it would be a struggle to even do 6. Then I got more into it and I let my legs take over. I listened to an audiobook and I think that helped. Instead of focusing on the run I was focused on the book. It was great! I hit 7 and kept going for 8. When I get into the zone like that I feel like I could run for hours. It makes me wonder just how many miles could I run if I didn't have a goal? Running is just as much of a mental sport as it is physical and I think if I had someone to run with or had an audiobook to distract me, I could run for over 3 hours. Maybe running a full marathon wouldn't be as scary as it sounds! But that's years down the line!

For now I need to focus on training for my upcoming races! I'm registered to run a 10K this Sunday and it'll actually be my 35th official race. Crazy! I'm looking forward to it and again, I'm not going into it with any time goals. Although I have run this race in the past and I'm curious to see how my times will compare.

I'm also officially registered for the Rock 'n' Roll half marathon in D.C. next March! It'll be my 2nd half and I can't wait! I'm not sure how training will go since I won't be running during the week very much, if at all. I'll still run long runs on the weekends but I love the shorter weekday runs and I think they're important. I might run with a group 1 night a week but with Sidney working nights, I'd have to find someone to watch Jack. Hopefully I can work something out! Maybe I'll run sprints up and down the stairs. You gotta do what you gotta do, right?!

Oh, and my total mileage for October? 64.84! My best month yet! :) 

What upcoming races are you looking forward to?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Black Hill 10K Race Recap

This past Saturday was the Black Hill 10K cross country race. I hadn't run an official, timed race since June and was really looking forward to it. I was a little anxious because I had no idea what to expect. I've only run 1 or 2 cross country races in the past and those were 5K's.

The race was brutal! It was very hilly and it was hard to follow the dirt trail. It was covered in leaves, there were a ton of rocks, and a lot of twists and turns. I twisted my foot half a dozen times on the rocks and almost fell on my face once or twice. I was constantly looking down, trying to watch where I stepped.

Despite the toughness of the race, I'm happy to say that I ran the whole thing. I carefully crossed over 2 creeks and stepped over a few logs and I slowed way down on some of the hills. But I never walked. I stopped once to snap this picture:

It was such a beautiful morning for a run in the woods! I came in 98th out of 105 total runners with a time of 1:18:02. I didn't go in with a time goal and I'm very happy with what I did.

This race was put on by the local road runner's club which I'm a member of. They put on a number of low-key races throughout the year that are free for members. This was only the 2nd club race I've done this year but next year I plan on taking full advantage of my membership!

Here's my race photo, taken during the last half mile:

I saw the photographer and was trying to be serious and look focused. I think I need to start smiling when I see a camera!

I'm still getting in a few runs throughout the week. We've been having amazing weather this week and, with the knowledge that colder weather and earlier sunsets are right around the corner, I've been enjoying it as much as possible.

Here are a few pictures from my weeknight runs:

And my favorite:

So far I've run 54.57 miles this month. With one week left, I know I'll hit 60! And that's all running; none of it is walking. I'm so proud of the things I'm accomplishing!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ripped in 30 and Running Update

I just want to post a quick update to let you all know how I'm doing! I started week 2 of Ripped in 30 and let me tell you, it is intense!! My triceps and shoulders are really feeling it which I love. I can't even begin to imagine how tough weeks 3 and 4 are going to be, but I'm trying not to think about it and just focus on getting through week 2. Jillian is a lot tougher on this DVD than she was on the 30 Day Shred. It's closer to what I would expect from her!

I've been running as much as possible, knowing that in a few very short weeks I won't be able to run after work anymore. I'll still run on the weekends, but I will not run by myself in the dark. I'm not stupid! I'm thinking I might add a DVD at night. Jillian Michaels in the morning and some kind of cardio in the evening. Zuumba, maybe? I don't know yet, but we're only halfway through the month and I've already logged over 32 miles. I'll definitely hit my goal of 50 and now I'm trying for 60. It's definitely doable!

I've been doing a lot better with my food choices although I did have a chocolate donut on Saturday. Oops! I've been thinking about donuts for a long time though and now it's out of my system so I don't regret it! I'm trying to be extra good this week because my birthday is next Monday and you know what that means.....birthday cake!! :)

Here's Jack and I before a run last week. It was chilly! Jack requested his blanket about halfway through. I think he mostly wanted to cover up his hands.

After the run, playing at the park!

If I can drag my 2 year old out in the cool air and run for 3+ miles while pushing 40 pounds, then surely you can go out for a couple miles too! It's not easy but it's definitely worth it. The only workouts you regret are the ones you didn't do!

Monday, October 8, 2012

7 Mile Run

The first week of October was great! I ran 5 out of 7 days and other than a couple treats, I ate very well. I did skip my morning workout with Jillian for 3 days in a row and I hate skipping more than 1 day. But I got back on track with Ripped in 30 today and plan to do it all week.

I had a 5K on my schedule for Sunday. It was cold and rainy and the last thing I wanted to do was run a cross country 5K. There was no pre-registration so I could've easily backed out. I pulled out my running tights, long-sleeved shirt, and weatherproof coat and headed out. I was about half way there and looking up the directions when I noticed the site said the race is on October 28th. What??!!

I turned around and went home and decided to go out for a run since I had fueled up and was ready to go. I wanted to go at least 5 miles and was planning on doing the same route I did a couple weeks ago when I ran 6.4. I was nearing the end when I noticed I had gone 6.5 miles. I decided to keep going and make it to 7. It took me 1 hour, 25 minutes and I ran the entire way. It felt great! It certainly beats a 5K! Which, by the way, had been originally scheduled for the 7th and I just didn't know the date had changed. So I'm not completely crazy! :)

I'll leave you with how I end most of my runs:

Not bad, huh?

Monday, October 1, 2012

September Recap & October Happenings

September was great! Workout wise, I had an awesome month. I made my goal of getting in 50 miles in one month and actually set a new personal record and went 61.27 miles!! I'm going to continue my goal of going 50 miles for October. I also did the 30 day shred almost every day (I usually skip one day a week) and today was day 29. I'll finish it tomorrow and then I'm starting Ripped in 30. Originally I was planning on doing a few more days of level 3, but I'm really anxious to start the new DVD.

On Saturday I took a whole new set of pictures. These will serve as my before pics even though I'm almost done with the shred. I eat great during the week but it all goes to shit on the weekends. I'm changing that this month. I want to see some real results from Ripped in 30.

I increased my plank time and set a new personal record about a week ago. New time- 3:34!! I'm now number 16 on the plank leader board. :)  Next goal- 4 minutes. Yikes!! I know I'll get there though!

Today, being October 1st, is day 1 of the #LiveLeanEatGreen October Photo-A-Day challenge. I am super excited to be participating because it's going to motivate me to eat healthy and try new things. Today's challenge is to eat extra veggies at lunch. I made a turkey sandwich and packed a side salad with orange peppers and cucumbers. It's delicious (I'm currently eating!) and it's making me wonder why I haven't thought to do this sooner. It was so easy to put together this morning and it's healthy. Winner! And I'm not able to finish my sandwich thanks to all these delicious filling veggies! Friday's challenge is to try a new vegetable. I bought some Kale yesterday to make this week. I've always wanted to try it but never have. Now I will! Some of the other challenges involve working out or just enjoying life. Check it out and give it a try!

I have a 5K scheduled this Sunday and a 10K on the 20th. I haven't run an official race since my half marathon in June and I'm not going to set any time goals for these. I just want to have fun and finish! It's getting chilly but I'm going to continue running a few times a week all month. I'm not sure what I'm going to do once it starts getting dark at 6, but I'll figure it out when the time comes. For now, I'm going to enjoy October and all the challenges it holds! If you know me, you know I love a challenge. :-)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Feeling good!

I want to get a quick update out there. I really want to make more time for blogging but I'm so busy with work, an almost 3 year old, and working out that it gets put on a back burner. I'd much rather be out living life than home writing about it! :-)

I've had an awesome month. I've been trying to run 3 times a week after work and so far I've gone 48.6 miles this month! That does include some walking but the majority is running. My goal for the month is 50 miles and I'm definitely going to get there! 

I'm still doing the 30 day Shred and this morning I did level 3 for the first time. Holy cow!! It makes level 1 seem like a walk in the park! I love it though. Today was day 24 and I'm going to do 33 days so that I can get 10 days with level 3. I sometimes skip a day here and there and I did level 1 for 12 days, so it's taken me a bit longer to do it. I ordered Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 DVD that came out this year and I'm going to start that when I'm done with the Shred. And I plan on doing the shred again at some point with heavier weights. Right now I'm using 10 pound weights but a few of the exercises seem too easy (chest fly's and bicep curls) and I want to use 15 pound weights for those. 

I think running regularly and the shred have definitely made me stronger. I hadn't run more than 4.5 miles all month or gone out for any solo runs since August 26. On that run, I had a route planned and wanted to run 5 miles. I got to a traffic light (before my turn around spot) and had run 2.2 miles. I was really tired and did not want to keep going. I knew if I turned around then I would still make 5 so that's what I did. This past Saturday I went out with a goal of doing 5, but really wanting to do 6. I went on the same route and figured I'd see how I felt. When I got to that same traffic light, I was feeling great! So I kept going and ended up running 6.4 miles! I haven't run that far since July 8. And my pace was 1 minute/mile faster than it was then (11:36 vs. 12:28). Awesome! 

Something else I'm doing is the Plank A Day challenge over at Running for Dummies. My first plank was 1:08.3 but I think that's because I did it immediately after finishing a shred workout and my arms were already tired. I increased my time quickly and made it to 3 minutes after just 7 or 8 tries! My current best is 3:07.8. It's motivating to see my name on the leader board and I hope to keep moving up! I'm very competitive and this is a fun challenge.

Now I need to work on eating even better and I know that eventually my skinny jeans will get more comfortable! I really wish I had taken measurements before I started the shred but I lost my tape measure. I'm going to get a new one and take a whole new set of measurements before I start Ripped in 30. But I am fastening my bra on the next set of clasps which is awesome! 

I'm signing up to be a foodie penpal over at The Lean Green Bean.  Look for more on that next month! And stay tuned for my 30 day shred review!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Well, I got off track this weekend. I think I ate really well last week and I did the shred every morning. That 5:30am alarm comes very early but I woke up and did it. I also ran 2 days and walked some. My weekly report from MapMyRun blew me away. From August 26 - Sept. 1 I did 6 workouts (running and walking) for a total of 14.2 miles and burned 1,097 calories. Wow! And that doesn't include the shred. I definitely didn't feel like I had been doing that much and it motivates me to keep going. Every little bit helps.

On Saturday we went to a morning donut playdate. That's right. Donuts. I had a sugar one but limited myself to just one because we were going straight to a birthday party after the play date. At the party I indulged in some doritos, a little snack mix that included m&m's, and a cupcake. I skipped the shred on Sunday in an attempt to sleep in a little and went to my favorite bagel place to pick up breakfast. And more donuts. Later in the day while Jack napped, Sidney and I enjoyed bowls of ice cream. In my defense, I've had the carton of Breyer's in my freezer for weeks now and hadn't opened it yet. I'm hoping Sidney finishes it so I don't have to!

Because I skip the shred on Sundays that's when I leave Jack at home and do my long run. Last week I ran 5 miles and was hoping to repeat that this week. We ended up having a wonderfully lazy day on Sunday and I never got out for a run. I did take Jack out on Monday and got in 4 miles. I wish that had been in addition to my long run instead of becoming my long run, but it's better than nothing!

I had a physical this morning and needed to fast so I skipped the shred. I'm definitely planning on running tonight. My dad had a quintuple bypass back in 2004 when he was only 45 so I've been trying to keep tabs on my cholesterol levels and do what I can through diet and exercise. My levels have always been borderline and I changed that over the winter. I'm hoping to see even better results now! I told the doctor that I run and he said as long as I continue eating healthy and exercising I should be fine. He doesn't see the need for additional testing, even as I get older. Running is like a stress test and the fact that I can run for a few miles at a time without problems means I pass. He told me if there's ever a day I don't feel like running that I should go anyway because it's the best prevention. If that's not motivating, I don't know what is!

I've been checking my weight on the Wii and I know it might not be the most accurate so it was nice to get an official number on the doctor's scale. Right now it's 139 (the Wii puts me at 136.5)! I'm happy to be under 140 and my goal is to get under 130. The last time I went was March 2010 and at that time I had a 3 month old baby. But I'm 10 pounds less than I was at that visit. That was nice to see! I just hope it doesn't take me another 2 1/2 years to lose the next 10 pounds!

Tomorrow will be day 12 of the shred and my first day on level 2. Wish me luck! I think I'm going to need it!

Monday, August 27, 2012

30 Day Shred

Today I did day 4 of the shred. I was really tired and didn't want to wake up but after hitting snooze twice, I got up and got ready. Guess who woke up right when I was getting started?

It wasn't even 6 yet but Jack was awake. I tried laying down with him and it seemed like he was falling back asleep, but when I tried to leave he sat up. Finally I asked him if he wanted to wake up an of course he said yes. So I brought him downstairs and laid him on the couch.

After 5 minutes he got up and wanted to join in on the fun. He didn't get in my way so it wasn't too bad. I completed day 4!

I've been eating pretty well and feel good. Yesterday I ran 5 miles, the most in 3 weeks or more.

I'm not a morning person but I'm getting used to waking up early. I started last Thursday so this will be the first full week of my new routine. I plan to run 3 miles 2 nights a week and a long run on the weekend.

I've been eating a healthy breakfast at home, but I'm starving all morning at work. Today I ate an apple as my morning snack and just busied myself with work to take my mind off of the hunger. I'm going to start bringing some peanut butter to go with the apple as well as some nuts. That should hold me a little better!

I weighed in yesterday at 138. I'm 5'3" and my goal is to get into the 120's. A number I haven't seen since middle school! I'm confident that with hard work I'll get there! Of course all the weight is in my stomach and that's where I'm hoping to see the most results.

Here are some pics I took of Jack this morning. He was so cute trying to do crunches and saying, "See, I can do this!"


Thursday, August 23, 2012

No more excuses

Alright y'all it's about to get real. The fact that I'm from upstate NY and breaking out the "y'all" is really saying something.

I ran a half marathon on June 2, which I had trained for for over 2 months. I was running a lot. I continued to run throughout June and ran a couple 5K's. Most of those workouts were recorded on this blog. I worked my mileage back up and on July 8 I ran 8.26 miles, my longest run since the half. I was happy with my progress and my goal was to run at least one ten-miler each month.

I started walking more and recording those workouts on MapMyRun. I think walking is great. But I want it to be in addition to my running, not replace it. For the month of July I ran/walked a total of 46.37 miles, most of it running. Then I hit a wall.

Since I started running back in January 2006, my goal has always been to finish a half marathon. I did that. I accomplished what I set out to do and now what? Maybe I could focus on speed as opposed to distance. Work on finishing a 5K in under 30 minutes or a 10K in under an hour (2 goals I have). But how can I work on speed while pushing 40 pounds?

I was tired of pushing the stroller, convinced that if I could run alone I'd be able to run farther and more often. I was having a lot of aches and pains due to wearing shoes that were more than 3 years old. It was hot and I was tired. I needed a break. I started walking more and running less. So far for August I've gone 22.49 miles. But most of that is walking. I didn't run for 2 1/2 weeks. My clothes started feeling tighter. And I was eating more poorly than I had been.

I blamed it on my sleep patterns. During the Olympics I was staying up until midnight or later watching the games and was super tired during the day. I had no energy. I lay with my son until he falls asleep and lately it's been taking him an hour (sometimes more!) to fall asleep. More often than not I was falling asleep too. I'd wake up early but not feel rested and would sleep on and off until about 7. I was laying in bed for close to 11 hours each night but not feeling very rested. I was sore from lack of movement! I told myself that if only I could get Jack to sleep on his own or if he would fall asleep more quickly, I'd be better off and would have time to do a workout DVD. I was making excuses!

So I stopped.

Last night I ran 3 miles. My first run in 2 1/2 weeks. At the end of the run there are 3 hills and then a park that I stop at so Jack can get out some of his energy (and as a reward for him sitting for more than a half hour without complaint!). They're not pretty hills but I've gotten used to them. After finishing the last one I felt nauseous. The run was hard. It opened up my eyes! I've taken too long of a break and I need to get my groove back!

Last night, instead of accidentally falling asleep with Jack while trying to stay awake, I purposefully went to bed with him. And I set my alarm for 5:20. I got up at 5:30 and did day 1 of Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred. I even had time to wash the dishes before Jack woke up. I'm going to do the same thing tomorrow, minus the dishes. :) I ate a healthy breakfast and packed myself a healthy lunch (and snacks). I feel great! I'm excited for this new plan of go to bed early and wake up early. I really think it's going to work and I'm looking forward to sharing more of my journey. I even took before pictures last night that I'll be posting soon. I might wait until after I finish the 30 Day Shred so I can show the before and after together. I'll still have a ways to go but I'm curious to see what, if any, changes occur due to the shred. Stay tuned for the results!

I'm done making excuses! Please help keep me motivated by following along and sending encouragement. I'm gonna need it! Please follow me on Twitter @ReneLeigh and on Instagram @leigh44 where I'll be posting more regular updates.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Little Motivation

10 days ago I did my longest run since the half marathon- 8 miles. But I haven't run since last Tuesday. I'm changing that tonight! I also started Jillian Michaels' 30-day Shred and will update on how that's going as I get further into it. I can't get off track now!

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Naked Foot 5K

On June 24, Sidney and I ran the Naked Foot 5K. They encourage runners to run the race barefoot or with minimalist footwear, but it's not required. I decided I wanted the full experience and ran barefoot. It was awesome!

I didn't enjoy running on the pavement or the gravel but running in the grass, dirt, and mud was a lot of fun. Because this race wasn't timed and we were just out there to have fun, it was really laid back and I was able to enjoy it more. I don't know my official time, just that it's under 40 minutes which is alright by me!

Jack, waiting for the kid's run to start:


Sidney finishing the run, with Jack in tow:

This was Sidney's second 5K and both were in June. He's not a runner and didn't do anything to prepare for either race. Yet he managed to run both times pushing Jack and only finishing minutes behind me. Maybe he's got some natural talent?

This race was so fun and despite needing more time to recover, I'm really glad I ended up running barefoot. We even got technical shirts saying "I ran naked"! The Naked Foot race series started out in Colorado and they now travel around the U.S. to a few different cities. This was their first time in D.C.. I hope they come back next year so we can do it again!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Zooma Annapolis Half Marathon

This post is long overdue but better late than never, right? The week leading up to my race I ran Monday morning and Wednesday night. I decided to skip my Thursday night fun run to give my legs a little break. I wasn't nervous but I ended up having some pre-race nightmares! I don't remember the details but they weren't anything crazy. This is the first time I've ever experienced this though. I always get pre-race jitters, even for a 5K, but this was new!

Anyways, we headed up to Annapolis Friday morning and took Jack to Sandy Point State Park where they have a beach. I figured we'd make a little vacation out of it and Jack had never been to a beach before. It was fun and he loved playing in the water. It was very dirty though and a lot of dead fish were either floating in the water or had washed up onto the beach. Gross! We didn't stay too long and were able to check in early to our hotel.

We headed over to the hotel where packet pick-up was taking place and I got my swag. Muscle Milk was a major sponsor of the race and they were there handing out bottles. I had previously tried the Muscle Milk light chocolate and didn't care for it too much, so my hopes weren't very high. I took a cookies n' cream one and let me tell is amazing! They handed out bottles after the race as well and I grabbed another to take home. Sidney tried the banana one and he really liked it. Give them a try!

This was my first time in Annapolis and they have a beautiful downtown area. I really wanted us to eat dinner there and I found a pizza/pasta restaurant that I figured would have a good pre-race meal. I made the wrong choice getting chicken parmesan. It was very heavy and way too much food and I immediately regretted not going for the lighter dish I had been contemplating. Lesson learned! It didn't seem to affect my race though, which was my main concern.

Here's a quick pic of the downtown area, though this picture does not do it justice!

We had a king size bed which we all shared, and I ended up falling asleep with Jack. I woke up a few times throughout the night and that 5:30am wake-up call came quick! Jack slept right through it and this is what we woke up to:

He took up a lot of space for such a small person! Sidney slept by his feet and I was by his head. Sorry for the poor quality...I used my phone and didn't want to wake him with a flash.

The hotel's complimentary breakfast started at 6 and I quickly made some toast with peanut butter, while grabbing a muffin for Jack. We were able to extend our check-out time so we didn't have to worry about packing up and checking out before leaving. We made good time and got there with a few minutes to spare. Soon after we parked, I heard them calling for runners to start lining up in the corrals. I had hoped to make a quick stop at the port-a-potties, but didn't want to wait in line and end up rushing to the start. I headed straight for the 12-minute pace corral.

I started out fairly slow, wanting to reserve some energy for the end. Mostly I just wanted to make sure I'd finish without having to walk at all. The first 5 miles were pretty easy. Every port-a-potty I saw had lines that were longer than I was willing to wait in. I didn't want to lose too much time and I didn't really need to go. Coming up on mile 5 though, there was only one person waiting so I decided to get in line. I only spent maybe 5 minutes total and I felt much better afterwards! Which was good because I was coming up on the bridge.

This bridge was steep. The good thing about it was once you reached the top, you had a nice downhill to recover. Both the mile 5 and mile 10 markers were on this bridge.

I wish I had gotten better pictures, but I didn't want to stop or spend too much time fiddling with my phone. I took both of these pictures while running and I'm surprised they turned out so well! At the bottom of the bridge there was a turnaround for the runners doing the 10K course. Those are the runners you see on the left side, running in the other direction. At first I thought, how could anyone already be hitting mile 10 when I'm only at mile 5? I did see the leaders of the half run by me around mile 6 though (their mile 9).

The mile 7 and 8 markers were on the Baltimore/Annapolis trail which we were on for about 2 miles. It was very shady and I was actually cold! All I could think about was getting off the trail, back into the sun, and heading to mile 9. As I was going up a hill in the open sun, knowing the bridge was about to rear it's ugly head for the second time, I was thinking I should be careful what I wish for!

It was on the trail that I passed a few groups of runners for the last time. These are the runners who were doing a walk/run. They'd walk for 4 minutes and I'd run by them, then they'd start running again and pass me. I was getting very tired of this and was happy to finally be rid of them once and for all. There were quite a few too! I see nothing wrong with walking if that is part of your plan, but I had no plans to walk myself and I was in a better place mentally once I had finally pulled away from them.

Seeing the mile 10 marker on the bridge was awesome. Then the mile 11 marker was just ahead and it seemed like it was too soon. I didn't think another mile could have possible gone by. I said out loud, "Oh my god is that mile 11?" A girl in front of me turned around to look at me and she said, "Still 2 more miles." I couldn't believe she would say that. Still 2 more miles?? We only had 2 miles left!! I was ecstatic! I said, "I've never run more than 11 miles!" She said, not too sincerely, "Good for you." I didn't care...I was smiling big and only had 2 miles left! I was running farther than I ever had before and I felt great!

My feet were definitely sore and the next mile seemed a little long. I was still able to push myself and pick up some speed. Once I saw the mile 12 marker, I picked up even more speed. Only one mile to go! Then I saw the mile 6 marker up ahead. Mile 6, you might ask? Yes, it was for the 10K course. Which meant the end was only about a quarter mile away. I picked up my pace even more, looking desperately for mile 13. Finally I saw it and I bolted! I was surprised how little people there were at the finish line. I expected bigger crowds. I saw Sidney and Jack on the side and heard Jack say, "Good job running, Rene!" Despite him using my first name, it was really cute and I gave it all I had and sprinted across that finish with my arms up! It was awesome!

My main goal was to run the whole way. My secondary goal was to finish in under 3 hours. I accomplished both and finished in 2:43:25.

I was thrilled and when I confirmed my results on one of the computers they had set up, I did a celebratory dance! I was a bit disappointed with the after party though. Of course they had bananas and we got free bottles of Muscle Milk. I also got a "snack box" which was the only food provided besides the bananas. In it was a bag of carrots, an apple, and some pita bread with dip. Seriously??!! I just ran 13.1 miles and you're giving me carrots and pita bread? I enjoyed a banana and the bread and dip were actually really good. But I would've liked something a bit more substantial.

This was a beautiful race. I enjoyed running through downtown Annapolis, seeing the sights, the water, and starting and finishing at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. But I was really hoping for more entertainment along the way and bigger crowds. There were a lot of runners, but not a lot of spectators. If I decide to do this again next year, I'll probably leave Jack at home and leave early that morning. It was great having Sidney and Jack there but they waited for me for 3 hours with nothing to do.

All in all, I'm very happy with this race and even happier with my performance. I am confident that I'll be able to finish a half in under 2:30. It might not be until next year, but I'll get there! I'm hoping to run the D.C. Rock n' Roll Half next March. As for now, I'm still running 3-4 times a week, have a few shorter races scheduled, and I'm working on getting back up to a 10 mile long run. My longest run since the half has been 5 miles. My goal is to run the Millennium Trail (10.6 miles) once a month. I'll keep you posted! :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Millennium Trail

I did it! I ran 11 miles on Saturday. It was hard and hot but I did it! And I didn't walk any part of it, which is always my goal. I followed a trail that is 10.6 miles long with mile markers every half mile. This was both a blessing and a curse! It was great to see how far I had gone and what I had left, but a few of the half miles seemed to drag on forever.

I started out at 8:55 a.m. The sky was a bit overcast and there was a nice breeze. The first 3 miles were great, weather wise. When I was down to my last 4 miles I was on an open road with no shade and the sun was blazing. I had a full-sized water bottle filled with water and 2 smaller bottles on my belt each filled with Gatorade. I poured a little bit of water on the back of my neck and the top of my head every now and then to get some relief. At some point in the last 2 miles I ran out of fluids. I even opened my water bottle and tried to get the last drops out. It was tortuous but once the end was in sight, nothing else mattered. I was so relieved to make it! I only stopped at the intersections and I never walked. I did run very slowly up a couple hills, but I never walked. I just kept thinking if I can't finish this, how am I going to finish a half marathon?

I treated myself to a delicious iced decaf caramel macchiato from Starbucks afterwards. It was the best tasting drink I've ever had!! Despite how hard and hot it was and how badly I wanted it to be over during those last couple miles, I felt great afterwards. No pain! I'm feeling ready for the half and I'm really looking forward to it!

My biggest worry is that my training will get pushed to the back burner and I'll lose everything I've worked so hard for. I just can't let that happen. There's a half in August just 5 minutes from me and another in September. I figure if I have those on my calendar it'll help get me out there even in the gross heat. I'm running at least 2 5K's in June and then I'll work on building my mileage back up to be ready for the August half.

My log:
Tuesday May 22:
3.84 miles
44:16 minutes
11:31 pace

May 24, 6:37pm:
3.38 miles
36:17 minutes
10:44 pace (my fastest pace ever while pushing Jack)

May 26, 8:55am:
11.40 miles
12:55 pace

May 28, 9:13am:
3.91 miles
47:37 minutes
12:10 pace

According to the app, I ran 11.40 on Saturday, but the trail is 10.6 miles and I went a little more to make it 11. This makes me wonder if it's wrong every time and maybe I'm not really doing as much as I think I am. I guess it's time for a Garmin! :)

I'm not sure if I'll run tonight or tomorrow night or both. I'm supposed to be taking it easy the week before the race, but that's really hard to do!

2 days from now I'll be checking in to the hotel and picking up my packet. Crazy!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Kids on the Run

I just have to post Jack's first official "race" photo from his Toddler Trot on May 12.

And with his finisher's ribbon:

This was his 3rd run and he did great! It makes me extremely proud to see him running (or trotting!) and I love cheering him on. Soon enough the day will come when he won't need to hold my hand to cross that finish line. But until then, I'm happy to lend a hand. :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Germantown 5-Miler

This past Saturday I ran a 5 miler that was less than 2 miles from my house. I was dropped off at the race, ran the 5 miles and enjoyed a snack afterwards, then ran home. Because I was running home and I was using this as a training run, I didn't go all out. I still finished with a decent time and I sprinted hard at the finish. I just don't know any other way! My official race time is 56:29, which is about an 11:26 pace.

I used the MapMyRun app on my phone and when I paused it at the finish, it said I had gone 5.24 miles. So either the race course was a little longer or the app is a little off. Or maybe both. I'm not too worried about it!

Here are a couple pictures from the run, both near the finish:

I felt good during the race and after. The run home was slower and I was sore, but I made it. I had some good runs last week and hope to have a repeat this week. I'm going to run at least 10 miles this weekend and I'm going for 11. It'll be my last long run before the half! It's so hard to believe that it's only 12 days away!

Here's my log for the last week:

May 15, 6:18pm:
3.34 miles
36:37 minutes
10:56 pace

May 16, 6:14pm:
2.41 miles
26:15 minutes
10:49 pace

May 17, 6:37pm:
3.40 miles
37:33 minutes
10:57 pace

May 19, 8:30am:
7.76 miles
11:16 pace

I finally got an updated pic of Jack cruising in the BOB, covered in veggie sticks :)

Happy trails!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Born This Way

I kept meaning to write an update last week and that obviously didn't happen. So I need to backtrack a little. The week after the 10K I was feeling great. On May 5 I ran 8 miles and it wasn't as hard as I expected it to be. My RunKeeper app had been acting up so I downloaded MapMyRun which has been awesome!

I ran 3 nights last week and this past Sunday ran 10.18 miles!!!! I've run 2 ten-milers, the last one in April 2009, but the longest training run I did beforehand was 9. So not only is this my longest ever training run, but the longest run I've ever done period. I am extremely happy with the pace I kept and my overall time as well.

I ran 4.5 miles, stopped at 7-Eleven to use the bathroom and eat some Clif Shot Blocks, then ran the remaining 5.5 miles. I only stopped the one time. The first 6 miles were a breeze. Sometime in mile 7 I was thinking how nice it would be if this run was almost over. But stopping was never an option for me. I really believe that running is as much a mental sport as it is a physical one. I also got very hungry towards the end and if you've never experienced a growling stomach while running, let me tell you that it does not feel good! I ended up starting out later than I wanted and too much time had passed since I'd eaten breakfast. Now I know better!!

During mile 8, "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga came on my iPod. It was very motivating and inspiring and both the beat and lyrics helped me finish strong.

"Don't hide yourself in regret, Just love yourself and you're set; I'm on the right track, baby, I was born this way. Ooh, there ain't no other way, baby I was born this way; I'm on the right track, baby, I was born this way."

That and "Lose Yourself" by Eminem were my 2 favorite running songs of the day. I don't usually run with music, but I knew it would be a lot easier to complete 10 miles if I had music to listen to. I still have an iPod mini and an armband from 8 years ago that I pulled out and, to my amazement, they're still in great condition!

This Saturday I'm running a 5-miler and then running 2 miles home, maybe more. Memorial Day weekend I plan to run 10 again, if not more. Then the next weekend it's the half. I definitely feel good about it and I know that no matter my pace, I'll finish strong. I'm actually getting excited for it, which I never thought would be possible!

Here's my log for the last week or so:

Saturday May 5, 4:06pm
8.03 Miles
1 hour, 42 minutes
12:44 avg. pace

May 7, 6:05pm: (gps was acting up)
3.55 miles
42:25 minutes

May 10,6:30pm
3.35 miles
38:20 minutes
11:16 pace

May 11, 6:40pm
3.55 miles
40:25 minutes
11:21 pace

May 13, 9:25am
10.18 miles
12:21 pace

I hope to get another 3 nights of running in this week and then the long run on Saturday. I've continued going to a Thursday night fun run at my local Fleet Feet store. I met a woman there who runs slower than I do, but it's nice to take it easy. And it's extra nice to have a change of scenery and someone to talk even if it is only once a week.

I'm feeling great and getting stronger and faster. I hope to make both a 5K and 10K PR this year. I don't see anything stopping me from achieving these goals!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pike's Peek 10K

Sunday April 29 I ran the Pike's Peek 10K. This was my 3rd time running the race and my 4th overall 10K. I had planned on meeting an old running buddy of mine who was just getting back into running after an injury. We'd run together in the past and kept the same pace. Becky wasn't sure how she would do and I was feeling confident after my great times at the previous week's 5K and Mile, and we agreed to at least start out together. She surprised herself and we ended up running together almost the whole way. She said I pushed her but she really helped me. We talked a lot of the way and it didn't feel like a "race" at all. It went by so fast!

She had been keeping time on her watch and said we had 3/4 of a mile left to go. I was feeling pretty good and wanted to kick it up a notch. The last quarter mile of this race is all down hill and I was preparing to go crazy at the end. She told me to go for it and that was all I needed to hear! I picked up my pace and finished strong. After catching my breath I even ran back to help bring her home. I found another friend who had been behind us and cheered him on. I realized I must have missed her coming through. It turns out I only finished about 45 seconds before her.

Going into this, my goal was to finish in under an hour and ten minutes. My time? 1:05:12!! A 10:30 pace! It turned out to be my 2nd fastest 10K. I hope to make a PR in November if not before.

Here's Becky and I after the race (if you didn't know, you might think this was before the race with how good we look!):

I love knowing that Jack is waiting for me at the finish line!

Tomorrow I'm planning on running either 7 or 8 miles (will see how I feel) and I'm going to attempt 10 on Mother's Day. I signed up for a 5-miler on May 19 that is only about 2 miles from my house. I'm going to have someone drop me off at the race and I'll run home afterwards. Sounds crazy! I just hate doing these long runs on my own around my neighborhood. I need to change it up some!

Only 4 weeks until the half!