Monday Musings: Weekend of Workouts & Wedding Wonder

Weekends this summer have been full of workouts, laughs, love, friends and family ...but not a ton of rest! So you can imagine this past weekend was right along those same lines. ;) My wife actually got up early on Sunday to get her 4 mile run in before we walked over to my 5k race and she quipped later that day: "Wow, I don't know how you do this getting up early to workout thing all the time."

It made me smile to myself. Now she appreciates the early mornings I put in so that we can have more time to spend together. :)

Sunday marked just two weeks until the Pumpkinman Half Ironman. Wow September 7 will be here before I know it. This weekend I needed to really buckle down and focus.

The workouts started bright and early Friday after a great weigh-in. Did you hear I am happily back in the 150s?

My goal on Friday was to get 4 hours in on the bike, but that didn't happen. Between a Recycle Studio Spin workout and a bike tide out to Bedford from Somerville - I spent about 3 hours in the saddle.



But I still haven't gotten 56 miles in on the bike and I need to do that before the race just to show myself I can do it. So guess what is on the docket for this upcoming week?

The bike is so mental for me. My body knows it can do it, but the mind gets nervous and overwhelmed. Time to shut the brain down.

The rest of the Friday called for relaxation and blogging. Isn't that what all the cool kids do on a Friday night? :)

I had an early morning on Saturday. I wanted to hit up the 8am Weight Watchers meeting and claim my Ace Your Summer Challenge bling for having attended 10 of the last 11 weeks of meetings. Woo!

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It is such a nice and welcoming group. I am happy to attend their meetings and occasionally sub before I return to long run Saturdays this Fall.

I was smiling from ear to ear as members of the group talked about the fun they had attending the Nike Run & Walk Club that I have been helping to host. They talked about feeling welcome without thought of pace or fitness level. Exactly the kind of group I have been trying to create. :)

Full of motivation and inspiration, I headed to the pool to get my 1.2 mile time trial swim done.

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During the entire swim I felt strong and like I could keep swimming for days. :) I guess that training is paying off. :P It was a great morning in the pool full of entertainment from the kids' swim classes going on on the opposite side of the pool from me.

Once I was out of the pool, I had to race home, quickly change and head to my cousin's wedding dress appointment. How cute are the cards our friend Lauren made to judge the dresses?

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They are so my cousin. :)

Since I never did the wedding dress shopping thing myself (maybe some day), it was a complete learning experience. It really is a live version of Say Yes To The Dress. My cousin found a style she liked, but didn't say yes to a dress at the first location.

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My cousin & I working the duck lips

She inevitably found her dress at appointment #2 of the day, which I wasn't able to make.

While my Saturday afternoons were canceled last minute, I wouldn't waste the time by getting in my BRICK workout with my #1 supporter the wife by my side.

She humored me while I blabbered on about nothing for two hours on the bike trainer and then jumped on her bike while I knocked out a quick 5k (26:34) to shake the legs out.



She also listened to me curse out the wind for blowing in my face for the entire run. Not sure I could've said: "Are you serious wind?" any more than I did. Haha.

We decided to cook in on Saturday night and enjoy a lovely meal outside in the backyard, while the pups played.

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Please note: it is the wife who is drinking Pumpkin beer in August. #TheShame 

The wife made Skinnytaste's Weeknight Skillet Sazon Chicken Tenders and it was delicious!! We paired it with our once a month treat of yellow rice (yum) and steamed broccoli.

After a fantastic dinner outside, we finally watched Muppets Most Wanted. It was cute but not nearly as good as the Muppet Movie from 2011.

Now while the wife got up early on Sunday to run I slept in until 7:15am - woah! Late I know. ;) But it was great to lounge around and snuggle some pups until she came home.

The Race To The Row 5k I was running on Sunday didn't start until 9:30am AND was located across the street from my house which meant a late departure time. Boy I wish all of my races were that close.

It was a fun morning with lots of friends. I will post a recap of that race shortly.


I wasn't sure how my body would handle the race since I had done a 1.5 mile swim, 30 mile bike and 5k run the day before.

But as you can see it was pretty speedy. I ended up 79th overall and 10th in my division. Woo! I never reach the top 10 in my division so that was exciting.

Following the race I had a couple of hours of downtime before we headed to a wedding celebration for my friend Nicole and her partner Melsen. It was a lovely afternoon in Brookline with friends.

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They had a great spread and a make your own burritos area, which totally was up the wife's alley. I ate most of the large salad they had available. :P

Our crew has gotten older and maybe more mature? Okay not at all more mature, but it was fun to come together to celebrate love and friendship.

With a busy weekend in the books, it was great to come home and just vet out for the rest of the evening.

I went to bed Sunday night with a happy heart, a complete Weight Watchers food tracker and renewed energy for the week ahead.


Since we know I am - for now - just enjoying adult beverages on the weekend, here are a couple of the local brews I tried:

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Berkshire Brewing Company

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Tap Brewing Company (Haverhill, MA)

Both were full of hoppy goodness...


Two other notes for this week:

1) I have a $10 off discount code for the Max Performance Buzzards Bay Sprint Triathlon on September 14.


Use code: WOMSBUZZ14 (code expires Friday, August 29)

2) I am holding a giveaway for a free entry into the inaugural South Shore Half Marathon in Norwell, MA on November 2.

south shore

Feel free to enter here.


How did you stay active this weekend?

Gone For A Run Helps Me Rep Massachusetts

Did you all know I'm from Massachusetts? I don't think I ever bring that fact up on here so I thought I would bring everyone up to speed.


Okay done being sarcastic.

But, I really am a proud Masshole - or whatever you would like to call us.

I try to proudly rep Massachusetts the best I can.

And now Gone For A Run is jumping on board with ...

Running Gifts By State

Gone For A Run offers t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, medal hooks, car decals, ornaments, coasters, etc. The list keeps going.

I opted to try out the Womens Everyday Runners Tee Massachusetts State Runner (value $19.99) in charcoal grey. 

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photo (35)

The shirt - which is also offered in hot pink, lush berry, storm indigo and teal - is a super soft cotton shirt perfect for lounging around the house or changing in to post-race.

We all know I am not one to wear tight clothing so I went with the women's large and felt comfortable. The heathered shirt is a women's cut so if you like it loose like me - size up!

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photo 2 (38)

All Gone For A Run State garb feature an outline of the featured state - all are available - with the state's name and RUNNER written within.

I wish I have had more opportunities to wear the shirt, but it is still wicked chilly in Boston so I might need to buy the Massachusetts state sweatshirt in the meantime.

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photo 1 (43)

Well I better run on out and do that before they sell out...


Do you represent your state with your apparel?

Boston's Jolly Jaunt 5k 2013

It's the FINAL countdown... da da da daaaaa! After finishing Yulefest 5k on December 1st, I knew I needed to add one more race to my race calendar for 2013. Why? Well Yulefest marked my 30th race of the year and seeing as how I turned 31 in September I thought it would be fitting to complete 31 races the year I turned 31.

Was I really just finding an excuse to sign up for one more race? Maybe.

But let me live in my own little world here. Okay? Thanks.

I turned to Twitter, Facebook and the rest of the interwebs to find one more race supporting a great cause.

And there was the Jolly Jaunt 5k on Saturday, December 7th in Boston Common in support of the Special Olympics of Massachusetts.



On Friday, December 6th, I got a ride in town to pick up my bib at New Balance on Boylston Street. As we drove down Boylston, we drove over the Boston Marathon Finish Line. I tried to act cool, but like usual I started tearing up. Someday I am sure I won't start crying when I am in that area of Boston but for now I let my body and heart feel whatever emotions it needs to.

The bib pick-up was easy peasy and I was in out and in about 3 minutes. Score!


I love the long-sleeved t-shirt - a nice benefit of running winter races in New England.

The race kicked off at 10am on Saturday, which meant I could sleep in a little. It would be my last Saturday to sleep in since Boston Marathon training with Tedy's Team starts December 14th.

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My wife dropped me off at 9:30am. I wandered around Boston Common looking for the two people I knew running, but unfortunately never connected with them. I did, however, find the awesome folks of ENERGYBits so I was able to catch up with them.

(Note: If you are looking to try ENERGYBits, you can use discount code WeightOffMyShoulders for 25% off your order!)

Before I knew it it was time to line up. Yes recently at races I have gotten so caught up in chatting with folks that the whole "race" thing sneaks up on me. ;)

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The race had just under 1,000 participants on hand - running and walking - and most of the field were rocking some amazingly festive outfits. I loved the buzz before the Start. There were so many families participating and lots of kids getting ready to beat me run fast. ;)

After the police gave the A-okay, the race was on. Pretty much right on time - I love a prompt Start.

I decided to leave my music at home and just take in the atmosphere. I also went into the race without any expectations. I just wanted to go out feeling happy and healthy.

My right foot felt better than it had at Yulefest and I noticed a slightly quicker pace on my Garmin. I knew I wouldn't PR, but I made sure to give the race my 100%.

The number of spectators were small since it was supposed to be very cold temps, but the ones along the course were sure vocal! :) I got distracted by all the costumes around me that I didn't realize we were already at the half way mark.

As we made the turn at the half way mark to head back to Boston Commons, we actually merged on to a portion of the Boston Marathon course. I got lost in my thoughts and transported back to Marathon Monday - the last time I had run this part of the city. I allowed only the happy memories to flood into my brain.

It gave me the little boost in my step that I needed.

I checked in on the Garmin and saw I had just 1/2 a mile to go. My Santa socks were slipping down and my headband was starting to slip back on my head, but I was tuning that stuff out.

I looked to my right as we turned on to Arlington St and there was my stoop. It was the stoop I sat on with my friend Robin after the Boston Marathon where I waited for my family. Every time I pass that stoop I start to tear up and I could feel myself doing it again. So I turned back in front of me and focused on getting to the Finish.

I needed a distraction.

So I found a person in front of me and made it my goal to beat them. I got a little deeper into my form and pulled any extra speed I had from inside.

The Finish Line was buzzing with supporters, families and racers who had already finished.

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Race #31 was in the books. It turned out to be a beautiful sunny day, a fun race and great awareness raised for one amazing organization.

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Despite my bum right foot (damn that metatarsalgia), I posted a 23:56 finish time. Wow! I was definitely happy with those results.

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I am missing my speed from earlier in the year, but I know that it is out of my control right now. I know I will get in back in due time.

But I need to thank New Balance and the Special Olympics of Massachusetts for a great race. I will be back next year for sure!

For now, I will continue planning my 2014 racing schedule as 2013 has officially come to a close.

I think. ;)


Do you have any more races in 2013?

It's Electric! Boogie Woogie Woo!

Why yes I am currently doing the Electric Slide? But that is not what this post is about.

There is a new race on the market: The Electric Run.

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I'm always up for trying a new race series, especially when they offer me a free entry and a discount code to offer to friends/blog readers.

Well Electric Run was coming to "Boston" on October 4 so I was in.

NOW, we are using the term "Boston" loosely for this race. The race was actually taking part at Gillette Stadium, which is the home of the Patriots, which is located in Foxboro. Foxboro for those that don't know is about 45 minutes south of Boston.

I am all for races using the closest city as a marker, but please do not call this race Boston when it is located over 30 miles from the city.

But I digress...

Here is what Electric Run has to say about themselves:

Come have fun with us in a different world!! Along the 5k route music will pump and lights will dance creating an electric wonderland that will keep you energized and moving to the beat. You’ll run, walk, and dance through distinct lands with lights and music custom mixed to match the mood of the lighting elements.

Well I liked the sound of it so I accepted the entry and my cousin used my discount code to sign up. The price was $45 and exponentially rose as you got closer to the event. $45 to $50 t0 $55 to $65 to $70. So if you were enticed at the beginning you caught a good price for what you got.

In addition to entry (the race was untimed), you received cotton shirt, LED bracelet, glow necklace and glow sunglasses.


As you can see my packet (nor my cousin's) did not receive a glow necklace, but did have everything else.  After speaking with other friends that ran the Boston race, no one received the glow necklace.

Thankfully Electric Run offered a packet pickup right across from the street from my house on the Wednesday before the race before moving the rest of packet pick-up closer to the location. YAY ME! :P

Well the race was taking place at 7:15pm and one pair of glow sunglasses would not be enough glow for us. So I stopped by Party City and stocked up.


Now THAT is glow! :)

Here was their suggestions for attire:

We invite you to bring your creativity, smile, laugh, and leave dull at home. It is the collective light and creativity of the thousands of participants that brings this event to life! You are coming to have fun and experience something magical and different. Look the part! If it is bright-colored, blinks, shines, glows, or looks like something from another planet, it’s perfect! Put it on and come celebrate with us!

I had no idea what to wear so I tried to put together the flashiest outfit I could.

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I was pretty happy and thankful that Spandits pants, Sparkle Athletic skirts and Sparkly Soul headbands were able to help.

I headed out about 3:30pm to take the ride to meet my cousin at her work. Thankfully parking would be free at the race, but no need to drive two cars all that way so we carpooled. Plus great way to catch up.

We actually made it to Foxboro in good time and were parked by 5:45pm.

Now there was a nip in the air since the sun was setting, but we both opted to forego the long sleeve shirts/jacket and brave it. We grabbed our bibs and glow sticks and headed over to the pre-race party.

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There were people EVERYWHERE!!

It looked to be hundreds of people waiting in line to pick up their bibs onsite. There was even a line at the tent/store for people to buy Electric Run swag/more glow sticks.

We thankfully had everything we needed and were able to sidestep all that mess.

We ran into one of my Weight Watchers members Audrey, chatted for a minute and kept moving toward the Start area.

We actually saw a group of people already forming to get into the Start corral at 6pm so we headed that way.

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The race opened the Start Corral early and we hoarded ourselves in there so we could get a good spot.

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Now the race didn't start until 7:15 so we had a good 45 minutes or so til the gun would go off, but I wasn't able to risk a good spot in line to wander around the pre-party.

Plus, we were entertaining ourselves pretty well.

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Why hello Gillette - you pretty thing you!

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The Electric Run crew started bringing the party to the Start Corral as they noticed more and more people lining up. They were doing a great job of throwing out glow sticks to the crowd, shouting out Red Sox scores (well since they were winning) and blasting some great dancing music. It was like a party before the party.

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As I looked around the Corral I noticed folks of all ages even parents with kids. I think the youngest participant was a 10 month old baby. Wow! I thought it was a little loud for kids, but I'm not a parent so what do I know. :P

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FINALLY it was 7:15 and time to kick off the first corral.

As you all know I never look at course maps before races (oops!) so I had NO idea what to expect. It seemed that corrals would be let off evert 2-3 minutes or so.

Once the first corral started, we realized we were at the beginning of Corral 2. Yay!

After a little more music and free stuff being tossed to the crowd, it was our time.

Now this race was not timed, but since I am on my 1000 Miles in 2013 crusade, I had to bring my Garmin so I could mark the miles. So as I crossed under the Start tress I hit start on my Garmin.

We weaved through the parking lot of Gillette Stadium and then around the grounds of Gillette, which incorporated the Electric Run's sights of:

*Rainbow Road - big air-filled arches that flashed different colors

*Neffmau5 land - different color lights cast upon the trees with music playing

*Pillar Party - giant pillars (like the Start one above) lighting up in a pattern to the music playing

*Electric Avenue - an area of screens with different colors/images portrayed on them

*Electro Rainforest - umbrella displays lit up with neon colors

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When you weren't near a "land" it was pretty dark so I kept trying to shake my big foam glow thing that I caught from the MC near the ground to make it easier for my cousin and I to run. Thankfully we were moving at a safe speed, but still having to bob and weave around the groups that were walking. It is a little scary to run in the dark I can admit that.

The Electric Avenue portion was just prior to the water stop.

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After the water stop, we finally entered Gillette Stadium itself - YAY!! Only to immediately turn up and run up the ramps to go from the bottom of the stadium to the top (300 level).

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The Electro Rainforest was actually on the ramps. My cousin was having trouble heading up the ramps so I tried to entertain her by poorly dancing next to her. Hey! Anything to keep both of us moving forward. :)

After making it up to the 300 level we ran across the stadium to the other set of ramps.

I actually ran into a friend and fellow Weight Watchers Leader, Heather, while heading down the ramps on the other side.

Once we were back on the ground (ie the 100 level), we continued our run to the Finish.

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As soon as I crossed the "Finish Line" - there wasn't anything to indicate the Finish really besides the volunteers telling you and the fact that there was another table of water. :P

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And my Garmin told it was well under a 5k.

Now many people probably didn't notice or care as this was a total fun run. But, I am trying for those 1000 miles so I like to be precise. As a result, I took a few laps around the concourse to make sure my mileage was accurate. :P

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Ahh I felt better after that. Even with the odd looks from other participants and the "you are going the wrong way" from a security guard. ;)

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My cousin and I had a fun time together. It was nice to just get out and dance a race. Yes I would say I was dancing to the music more than running, which was fine by me.

The only thing was at the Finish Line there was water and that energy drink Rockstar. I didn't see any food. You could purchase beer and food from the Gillette concessions, but none provided to the racers. With many folks having this as their first time walking/running experience, I would've thought they would've provided more. Maybe there was and I missed it, but I usually don't miss food.

The DJ was going strong and people were starting to get their dance on.

It had been a long day for both of us so we decided to skip out on the post-race party. Plus I didn't want to spend money on food/beer. :P

As we headed back to Jen's car around 8:15pm, we saw people asking volunteers where the Start was and a long line of people still waiting to pick up their packets. Waahhh??

Well, it was announced that there were 15,000 people at the event that night and that corrals would be going off from 7:15pm through 8:30pm. Hmmm with the amount of people we saw still in line, I'm sure people got started even later than that.

Thank goodness we got there when we did. I wouldn't have been a happy camper if I didn't even get to start the race until after 8:30pm. But, those people may have planned it that way so they glowed more. Who knows.

I really liked that the race had a charity aspect. They paired up with the Special Olympics of Massachusetts.

Overall it was a fun experience. I think events like the Electric Run are great at getting people out walking/running/wogging that might not otherwise. And who knows? Maybe someone who walked the Electric Run at Gillette is now home plotting their first local 5k.

Welcome to the racing bug folks! ;)


Have you done an Electric Run? Were you one of the 15,000 who raced at Gillette?