2013 Total Mileage To Date: 450.6
May: 55.6 and counting
You will soon find out that this week I started Jillian Michaels 30-day shred … I am wicked excited for the incorporation of strength training into my regime!!
Thursday, May 9: Walking around 4 Weight Watchers Meetings
Friday, May 10: 4-mile Run and 8-mile Bike Ride
Saturday, May 11: Family Walk and Day 1 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred
Sunday, May 12: MOMs Run 5k and Day 2 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred
Monday, May 13: 5k Run with Heather, Day 3 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred and Family Walk
Tuesday, May 14: Day 4 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred and Rest Day
Wednesday, May 15: Day 5 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred and 30-min Bike Ride
I can’t wait to add swimming to the mix next week…
Growing up I never thought I was beautiful…
Based solely on the outer appearance of course. Since I always assumed that is what people referred to when they asked if someone was beautiful or not.
Since the majority of my life has been spent overweight, I always had a “nice” personality or a “pretty” face, but never really heard that I was beautiful. Except of course from parents – which is mandatory for them I believe.
But, when I embarked on my weight loss, healthy living and fitness journey in 2009, I realized that I was beautiful.
Why did it take me so long?
I finally allowed myself to change my definition of beauty.
So Why Am I Beautiful?
*For finally deciding that I was worth fighting for
*For starting to look in the mirror and admiring the person I am becoming
*For checking my comfort zone at the door and trying things I never thought possible
*For sharing my journey (ups-and-downs) with the world through social media
*For trying to inspire others to take charge of their lives
What am I trying to get at?
That we are all beautiful and we need to embrace and share the beauty with the world!
Shout it from the rooftops.
I have the honor of being one of many Fitfluential Ambassadors selected to be part and promote the campaign.
So what exactly is Under Armour’s What’s Beautiful 3.0 Campaign all about?
Together we’re redefining the female athlete by setting epic goals and pushing past where we’ve ever been and where we thought we could go. Join us. Set your own personal goal. Then document your journey by posting videos and photos that tell your story from start to victory.
We’ll continuously post challenges for you. But that’s just the beginning. Show us your journey. Show us what makes your story the one that stands out from the rest. If you meet your goal, set a new one. Make it even bigger. Prove to everyone, and yourself, that you have more than what it takes.
How inspiring is that?
But wait there’s more!!
More than just finding a group of like-minded women, who are in your corner?
Why yes there is.
Every week Under Armour will be giving away sweet swag bags to those women who are kicking some serious A$$ during the 8-week challenge.
And the ultimate prize?
Three lucky ladies will be flown to COSTA RICA to attend a four-day yoga and surf retreat.
I have set three goals (all the be accomplished throughout 2013): complete my first triathlon August 4 (Boston Triathlon), run 1000 miles in 2013 and complete the Dopey Challenge (Jan 9-12, 2014).
Since none of those will be accomplished within the 8-week challenge, I am also working on doing and trying more outside of my comfort zone.
Here’s how you join me:
1) Create a profile.
2) Follow me!
3) Define YOUR goals. They can be for the 8-week challenge or what you are starting to work for. Your choice.
4) Use the hashtags #whatsbeautiful and #iwill in all social media references.
So what’s beautiful to you?
**This post is sponsored by Under Armour through Fitfluential**
Here is what I have so far for 2013:
January 1 – 1st Run 5k – 23:07 (7:27 min/mile) – RECAP
January 12 – Walt Disney World Half Marathon – 1:48:09 (8:15 min/mile) – RECAP
February 3 – Super Sunday 5 – 38:34 (7:43 min/mile) – RECAP
February 24 – Half At The Hamptons – CANCELLED
February 24 – *VIRTUAL* Half At The Hamptons – 1:58:04 (9:01 min/mile) – RECAP
March 10 – Half Of Quincy - CANCELLED
April 14 – B.A.A. (Boston Athletic Association) 5k – 27:35 (8:54 min/mile) – RECAP
April 15 – 117th Boston Marathon – 4:04:08 (9:19 min/mile) – RECAP
April 27 – 26.2 Challenge Team Relay – Team: 3:04:57 … Me: 31:18 (7:11 min/mile) – RECAP
May 5 – Half of Quincy – PR 1:44:30 (7:59 min/mile) – RECAP
May 12 – MOM’s Run 5k – 23:31 (7:35 min/mile) – RECAP
May 26 - Boston’s Run To Remember (Half Marathon) – Starts at 7:00 a.m. ET
May 26 – Freedom Run 5k – Starts at 10:00 a.m. ET
July 14 – VERT – Sasquatch Trail Race – Starts at TBD
August 4 – Boston Triathon – Starts at TBD
September 15 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon – Starts at 8:00 a.m. ET
September 21 – VERT – Big Bad Wolf Trail Race – Starts at NOON ET
September 28 – ZOOMA Cape Cod Half Marathon – Starts at 7:30 a.m. ET
September 29 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Providence Half Marathon – Starts at TBD
October 12 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn 10k – Starts at 7:30 a.m. ET
October 27 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon – Starts at TBD
December 1 – Yulefest 5k – Starts at TBD
I love super local races … especially ones for a good cause.
The MOMS Run 5k in Somerville, MA fills both those criteria.
Three friends and I ran this race last year and had such a great time it was a no-brainer to sign up again for 2013.
The race really won be over last year with 1) great beer and 2) an AMAZING post-race spread of food.
Good food + good beer = good race.
This year, the wife and I were joined by my BFF Sarah, her husband Brandon and their daughter Joanna.
Can you tell how excited Brandon was to run his first 5k?
There was rain on the forecast for the day and it was spitting on and off while we mulled around pre-race. The race itself began at 10am, but we knew the rain was really supposed to end at 1pm – but were hoping it may end early just for us.
Tori & Joanna
As we stood around chatting and stretching, a couple blog readers (Sally and Jenny) came over to say hi! YAY! I love meeting people that enjoy reading my blog …
With about 15-20 minutes to go before we lined up for the race, it was time to take my ENERGYbits and get #PoweredByBits.
And as the walkers kicked off the first wave of the race, the rain began to fall harder. Oh YAY … not!
I didn’t mind the rain so much, but it was causing the temp to drop – which was frustrating.
Finally, the walkers had gone as well as the wheelchair so it was time for the runners to hit the pavement.
Sarah and I were aiming for low 7 min/mile pace, but even at the Start my legs were feeling as heavy as lead. I wasn’t totally sure why – maybe leftover soreness from last week’s half or the previous day’s workout (Day 1 of Jillian Michaels’ 30-day shred).
But, right off the bat I knew I wasn’t going to reach my goal of a sub 23 min half.
I told Sarah to run off without me, but being the good friend that she is she stuck by me.
Plus, it was going to be on the last races we would run together as she is moving to Maine next month. Sad I know!
The race started on a gradual hill – AWESOME, my favorite – and thankfully did offer a downhill at some point. Since you know, what goes up – must come down … at some point!
We hit Mile One in about a 7:38 pace (if memory serves me correctly).
I was upset. What was going on. I wanted to will my body to go faster, but it wouldn’t.
But, I powered on.
And then came another hill. Really Somerville? This course was hillier than I remembered for sure.
I believe Mile Two (with hill) was about a 7:45-ish minute mile.
Okay, going in the wrong direction.
But once we hit Mile Two, there was a glorious glorious downhill.
It was time to make up some serious time and try to save the race.
AAannddd then about 1/2 a mile from the Finish came a pain in my left hamstring that I had never felt before. OOUUCCHH!!
But, I wasn’t about to stop. For a second, I thought I wasn’t going to finish – then I remembered I finish what I start.
So Sarah motivated me through the last 1/2 mile.
Thank goodness for Sarah’s positivity at the end.
Plus, I saw my friend George ahead and I had to try and catch up to him and finish as close to him as possible. It’s fun being competitive with friends – as long as it is friendly competition. Like George and I have. It is motivating to have a friend with a similar pace that runs as many races as I do.
We finished in 23:31 minutes … a 7:35 min/mile pace.
No PR BUT a course PR as in 2012 I finished the race in 24:06.
So I was wicked mad when we finished then I remembered how I finished my first-ever 5k in March 2005 in 38:21. Yeah this race was about 15 minutes faster. I will TAKE THAT!
Sarah and I met up with George and grabbed a celebratory Harpoon!
Brandon (Sarah’s husband) rocked his first 5k run and finished in 30:19 … while pushing Joanna in the stroller up the hills. I was wicked impressed and proud!
As Sarah and Brandon got in line for food, I hung with a sleeping Joanna. AND got 2 extra free beers from a guy who had a gluten allergy and he said I deserved them on Mother’s Day!
Well, no need to tell him I wasn’t a mom so I gladly thanked him and took the beers.
As the rain picked back up, we moved our group inside to eat some of the delicious food provided from local Davis Square establishments.
I even got to see a friend from college and fellow AOII sister, Nadia, who I hadn’t seen in ages.
She has embarked on her own weight loss and fitness journey so it was great to connect.
I saw a handful of my Weight Watchers members walking and running in the race as well!
After Joanna made sure the Mile markers were safely returned to the Finish line…
… it was time to part ways and head to home.
But, first Joanna decided that my beer needed a side of Mother’s Day flower (that the race handed to all Moms).
Even with the rain, it was a great morning. I was annoyed with my race results, but reminded myself that running is about the friends, family, experience and beer!
Thank you to all the race organizers (especially my friend Paul), volunteers and Somerville cops for all you did to make a great race experience for all…
Annddddd the winner IS:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you to everyone that participated and big thanks to our Sponsor!!!
Ever get home from a run or a hard workout and just start tearing through the cabinets looking for snacks?
I call them the Hungry Horrors or Rungry Horrors … depending on your activity of choice!
But either way, I get home from pushing my body and it wants to be fed.
And usually with something salty.
French Fries. Chips. Pretzels.
You can it – it wants it.
But, of course those are not the BEST options out there.
So we need to find alternatives.
I was reading Jillian Michaels‘ book Slim For Life.
So many of her philosophies were also taught to me through my journey on Weight Watchers!! I love when I read a book and agree with the overall message.
Now, part of that balanced lifestyle, is about finding a healthier option for certain cravings/temptations.
Which brings me to my desire for salt.
Please enter Popchips!
Yes, yes – we all know my love and admiration for popchips … but they’ve now outdone themselves.
How you may ask?
They have combined SALTY and SWEET.
What? How could that be? Can they do magic? Are they GOD?
It may be all of the above and then some.
But seriously, they’ve released their latest flavor: Katy’s Kettle Corn!
When I first tried these chips I thought I died and went to heaven.
I actually don’t really like Kettle Corn, but gave these bad boys a chance thanks to Popchips Boston…
… and now I’m hooked.
(Note: I am eating a bag of these as I write this post … I wish I was joking!)
So now it is time to pass my addictions on to you because we all need to know how to healthily handle our “Sweet and Salty” fix, right?
Here’s how to enter the giveaway:
I will be giving away a free copy of Jillian Michaels’ book Slim For Life AND a case of Katy’s Kettle Corn Popchips to one lucky winner!!
Giveaway is open from Monday May 6 (Monday) to 10am May 10 (Friday)!
The winner will be announced on Friday!
I love finding new companies and products!!
As you all know, I only work with companies and promote products I believe in wholeheartedly.
SO my new love?
… and they are based out of Boston – yes I love to promote a local company as well!
What are ENERGYbits you may ask?
Made from 100% organicallly grown spirulina algae and loaded with 40 nutrients, ENERGYbits® algae tabs have the highest concentration of protein in the world (64%) all for just one calorie per tab. Endorsed by the United Nations as the most nutritious food on earth, spirulina algae has been a favorite of Olympic gold medalists for decades and is a super food in every sense of the word, delivering instant and enduring energy to your brain and body.
Yes you read that correctly – algae. I was unsure about that at first as well. But when I announced my 3k Twitter Follower Giveaway on Twitter, ENERGYbits contacted me saying they were interested in being a part of my prize packs.
Well, before I would allow that to happen I had to test them out myself. They sent me a sample – a little tin with the ENERGYbits tabs inside.
They recommend taking 30-40 tabs 10-15 minutes before a workout for maximum results. Each tab is just 1 calorie.
I decided to test them out before my 21-miler on March 23. Now I was told you could chew the tabs or swallow them with water. I didn’t have any water on the bus so I had to go with chewing.
I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS … personally.
They got stuck in my teeth and it wasn’t the taste -algae – that I wanted to stuck in my mouth for hours to come.
BUT, they paid off.
My legs felt strong throughout the 3-hour run. I didn’t feel the normal fatigue that I would feel on such a long run.
So chewing the tabs were worth it.
Since that day, I have ALWAYS made sure to have water on hand so I could swallow the tabs and no taste.
I liked the sample so much that I made my first ENERGYbits purchase on March 29 and delivery arrived on April 2.
I like that service.
So I have been taking ENERGYbits before runs, Spinning, weight lifting, etc. I even took some before a 45 minute walk with a friend.
Because … ENERGYBits can be used for:
- Increasing Energy
- Increasing Endurance
- Increasing Mental Vitality
- High Protein Snack
- Curbing Hunger
- Balancing Blood Sugar
- Lowering Blood Pressure
- Reducing Fatigue
On April 29, I actually had the honor of visiting the ENERGYbits headquarters since they are just a train ride away from my house. The team behind ENERGYbits are a small, but dedicated group. They have been doing their research for years and are doing a great job of growing their brand through social media and visiting local races/running clubs. (Both things I love :O))
I even saw the guys before the Half of Quincy on Sunday and they came through in a pinch with some water so I could take my ENERGYbits. Thanks again guys!
But after trying the product, really reading up on the benefits of algae and meeting the team behind the product, I definitely wanted to get on board … and thankfully they agreed.
And Dani as an ENERGYbits Ambassador was born.
(Who am I throwing in the third person there?)
So would you like to try ENERGYBits yourself?
Get 15% off your order by entering the code “WeightOffMyShoulders” at check out!!
I am feeling super lazy this week. But I am taking the weekend to write out my next training plan. I also feel LOST without a training plan to follow!!
Thursday, May 2: 45 min walk with Abby and walking around 4 Weight Watchers Meetings
Friday, May 3: Rest Day
Saturday, May 4: Zoo trip meant walking from 10am-1pm
Sunday, May 5: Half of Quincy
Monday, May 6: 5k Run and 50 Min Spinning
Tuesday, May 7: 3-mile afternoon walk with the pups
Wednesday, May 8: Rest Day
The Half of Quincy was originally slated for March 10 – a perfect training run to prep for The Boston Marathon.
Then the snow hit and it was postponed.
The announced make-up date was May 5. About three weeks after the Marathon.
I could’ve deferred to next year … but why bother!
I thought it would be a great way to test my legs after the Marathon.
So I decided to run it on May 5 as planned.
My wife and dad were going to come along once again to spectate. It would be the first race both would spectate since being a mere 20 feet from the explosion on Marathon Monday.
This race would be a big race for all of us!
The alarm went off at 6am on Sunday (Happy Cinco De Mayo!) and we went through the normal pre-race motions.
We were out the door by 6:45 – after I had to search around the house to locate my Team REFUEL singlet.
That is what I get for not prepping all race materials the night before!
As always I made us leave the house with plenty of time to spare since we had to find parking and pick up my bib before the 8am start.
After finding street parking, we headed into Quincy High gym to pick up my bib.
The woman handing out the bibs actually reads my blog!! (YAY)
(Note: I wish I had gotten her name so I could say thank you properly!)
It was also nice running into some Racemenu teammates as well as some Twitter friends/bloggers that I was finally able to meet in real life.
I stopped by the ENERGYBits table to say hi and pilfer some water so I could actually take my ENERGYBits before the run. Thanks again guys for coming through in a pinch.
Now that I was #PoweredByBits it was time to head to the Start Line.
I went into this race with ZERO expectations. Okay not zero – the only one was to finish in under 2 hours. I had no idea what the body was going to be capable of and I didn’t know the course whatsoever. So we set the expectations low.
It was amazing to be surrounded by so much blue/yellow from The Boston Marathon. You could see how many people also had originally slated this as a training run for the Big Day.
Before I knew it it was time to start. I actually found another Racemenu team member, Nancy, just after we crossed the Start Line. It was nice to see her since I knew she ran the Marathon as well.
It’s funny that now the first question you ask a person that said they ran Boston this year is: “Did you get to Finish?” or “Where did you get stopped?” Thankfully Nancy was able to Finish before the explosions as well!
Neither of us knew the course, but a guy running by us let us know there would be some hills on the course. This was a different course than in previous years, but there would still be hills involved.
Just like during the 26.2 Challenge, I started out fast. I was going sub 8-minute miles for the first 5 miles or so. I tried to reel my body back in. I had to remind myself that this was a 13.1 mile race not 5 or 6 miles. Sometimes I think my body forgets.
We actually looped back near the Start/Finish and at the Mile Four marker were my dad and wife. It was nice to see there smiling faces. It gave me the little push I needed.
But as I hit the halfway mark of the Half, I realized I was well ahead of pace for a PR.
All race long I knew I had to be sub 8:15 min/mile pace for a new shiny PR.
And I was well ahead of that.
I even felt like a real runner during the race. I was buckling down, pushing myself up the hills and only went about 10-15 seconds slower when going up the hill. And made the time up on the flat.
This is something many of my fast friends do so I really felt like maybe I am becoming a better and stronger runner. Instead of always feeling like a poser.
By the time we hit Mile 10, the heel pain that magically showed up in the Marathon around Mile 15 flared up again. But I knew this time I only had to push through a few more miles.
But, did I mention they were the hilliest few miles of the course? Yeah, exactly.
I want to give a quick shout out to the great spectators along the course – especially the little kids giving away twizzlers near Mile 10. It’s like they knew how much we all needed that little sugar rush.
Once I hit Mile 11.1, I texted my wife to let her know where I was so that they would be in place at the Finish. Then I yelled out of profanities at the Hills and the foot pain. Oops! Thankfully no little kids were around.
The pain was there, but not unbearable. So I dug deep and ran all out to the Finish once I hit Mile 12.
The last 1/4 of a mile was actually around the Quincy High track, which was sort of frustrating because you could see the Finish, but it felt like it was miles away. At least for me.
I was trying to distract myself by doing math in my head to see if I could break the elusive 1:45 half time I had dreamed out.
My previous PR was 1:48:09 set at Disney in January.
I saw my wife & dad cheering just before I crossed the line, hit stop on my Garmin, grabbed my medal and chugged water as quickly as possible.
The Garmin read: 1:44:27.
Was that real? Maybe I missed some time or it had a glitch.
I officially finished the race in 1:44:30 – a 7:59 min/mile pace.
I had to triple check the results to make sure 1) they were legit and 2) they were actually MINE.
But, they were!
I finished 193rd out of 672 overall and 18th out of 127 in my division (F 30-39). CRAY CRAY!
I give big props to the Half of Quincy organizers who basically had to set up 2 races due to the postponement. The course was full of police and volunteers stopping traffic and giving encouragement along the way. It was one of the best organized races on the course itself that I’ve participated in. I didn’t have any “nearly getting hit by a car” instances.
I didn’t get to try any of the post-race fare because I had to jet home, but everyone was raving about the spread. No beer though – so a negative in my book.
I ran into Liana from Run To Munch at the results board and was able to offer her a ride home and get to chat with her a little about her running career.
Once we got home I was finally able to enjoy #myafter of a big glass of chocolate milk.
But, you also know I needed a celebratory beer so I took care of it myself by enjoying a Slumbrew Naked Hopularity!
Also please excuse the really unflattering photo of me
Overall, this was one amazing race day. I still can’t believe what my body is now capable and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me.
Next up … M.O.M.’s Run 5k on Mother’s Day (May 12)!
February 26, 2006 – Hyannis Half Marathon – 2:20:18 (10:43 min/mile pace)
August 14, 2011 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago – 2:12:15 (10:06 min/mile pace)
January 28, 2012 – F^3 Lake Half – 2:05:40 (9:36 min/mile pace)
July 22, 2012 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago – 1:51:43 (8:32 min/mile pace)
August 19, 2012 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Providence – 1:52:58 (8:37 min/mile pace)
October 7, 2012 – B.A.A. Half – 1:48:16 (8:16 min/mile pace)
January 12, 2013 – Walt Disney World Half – 1:48:09 (8:15 min/mile pace)
February 24, 2013 - *Virtual* Half At The Hamptons – 1:58:04 (9:01 min/mile pace)
May 5, 2013 – The Half Of Quincy – 1:44:30 (7:59 min/mile pace)
September 24, 2006 – Clarence De Mar Marathon – 5:59:27 (13:43 min/mile pace)
November 3, 2012 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah – 3:58:49 (9:07 min/mile pace)
April 15, 2013 – The 117th Boston Marathon – 4:04:08 (9:18 min/mile pace)