Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Belts for fueling runners.

Last night was my first night back running since the Philly half. Whoah. I know right? I can't remember the last time I missed a long run. Even if I skipped a week after a race, I'd always start back up with my long run. But this past weekend, I wanted to sleep in. And it felt really weird. In fact, I hadn't really felt right, until I finished my 3 miler last night.

What's even weirder is I got a brand new fuel belt I was dying to try, but that didn't even pull me out of bed. So, I know it wasn't a long run, but it was something to tell you my opinion of it.

I first heard about iFitness on The Bitchy Runners blog, and I was intrigued. Then I saw them at an expo and I tried it on and I was impressed that it was big enough to fit low on my hips. But that was that. I already had a fuel belt and it got the job done- although, in races, I really wish I had a place for my Gu instead of in my sportsbra. And it would be nice if my camera wouldn't get ruined in the little pouch that barely had room for it. And it would be nice if my bib didn't get caught on my belt when I moved it to get my camera out. You get the point.

So, last week, Swaggle was having a deal $10 for $20 worth of products at iFitness, so I decided I needed it in my life. It shipped super fast and Ta-Da! Now, I have a new running belt. Everything I need: water holders, pouch for cell phone or camera, Gu holders and Race Bib holders. Done and done.

On my 3 mile run, I ended up playing with it more than I wanted and it moved more than I thought it would, but I think it's just a matter of adjusting. I'm super excited about all the extra places for stuff. iFitness gets my approval (so far :-)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

China Study Clifnotes.

Remember when I raved about Forks over Knives?

With all this China Study talk, here is a great summary for those of us not interested in reading over 400 pages of statistics, but want to know what all the hype is about (remember, it's just bullet points of the main ideas, if you want the whole story, read the book!)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Philly vacay

Independence Hall

Inside Independence Hall. 

More inside Independence Hall.
I'm a fan of the red, white and blue color scheme when it's not the shades found in the flag.
The liberty bell.

Betsey Ross' house.

Elferth's Alley.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Adventures in Ice bathing.

I decided a few weeks ago I wanted to try an ice bath after the Philly race. In trying to figure out how I'm going to train for back to back half marathons, the ice bath always inevitably came up. So, I figured this was the perfect time: big bathtub/ room (not my tiny NYC version of a bathroom), access to unlimited ice and someone (who I love love love :-) to help me.
 The scene of the crime.

 I tried to fill bathtub as high as I thought the water will be on my waist, but I undershot. Or I was just starving and ready for this to be over with.

 Then we added a ton of ice, which we did twice because my smokin hot body melted a lot of it (which was a surprise to me. I thought I was going to have to wait for the ice to melt before I took a shower, but that was definitely not the case).
Holy crap, yall. This is no joke. I tried to compensate by drinking hot chocolate, but it doesn't matter. It was kind of like running to me. I hate the first mile and I hated this until my legs went numb.

Of course, no ice bath is complete without the medal.

I hung out in there for around 20 minutes. It seriously sucked, but my legs totally thanked me the next day. I walked around the entire city and I was fine. I'm so glad I did it because now I know how I'm going to do the Disney half and relay.
 Time to inhale my food before nap time!
I seriously walked a mile out of the way for a post race meal of Chipotle. It's perfect. It fills you up enough to put you in a food coma in case you have trouble falling asleep after a long run or race (which I do).

Trying to dry my clothes before I had to pack them.

It was all completely worth it.

Two worlds colliding.

RnR in the subways of New York.

PS- clever logo placement. Seriously, why is your design work so bipolar?

Friday, September 23, 2011

November races to chase off the post race blues.

Thanks to Runner's World Race Series email, I found out about 2 new races in my area for the month of November. Seeing as the Iron Girl half marathon in New Orleans was canceled, November 20th has become free but I have a dilemma. It's the NYRR's Race to Deliver 4M (which will make me one race away from getting my 9-1 automatic entry to the NYC marathon) and The Coney Island Turkey Trot 5K. One starts at 8:30 and the other at 11:30. The 4 miler will take me an hour at most, then I can jump on the train and get to Coney Island in an hour or so. Is it completely insane to try to run them both?

I also found this gem of a race, The Thanksgiving Marathon. It's a marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K all completely free (but you should give a donation if you can). The awesome part?! Instead of a medal, you get a fork:

Guess what I will be doing for Thanksgiving this year?

Thank you, Runner's World. I was starting to get some serious post-race blues. 
It hadn't really hit me for all the other races because it was never really about that particular race; it was a means to an end. That end being the Rockstar Medal. Now, yes, I still have 2 more races (New York and Savannah) and I will be getting the Superhero Six and The Rock Legend, but again, it has always been about The Rockstar. 

It doesn't help that the next half is Savannah in November. That's a long time to start slacking. I have races, but nothing bigger than a 10K. I think that's going to be my next goal. Make a PR at a 10K. Or maybe run an entire 10K. We shall see.

Until then, do you think the running of 2 races in 1 day is possible?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

RnR Philly Half

It was a beautiful Sunday morning. I had forgotten how amazing cool mornings were.

Originally the plan was to take a cab, but I ran into some runners outside of the hotel and we decided to walk to the start. Then I decided it would be a good plan to walk back to the hotel so my legs wouldn't get stiff. Total mileage for the day? Around 17. That's insane.

My favorite part about this race was it took us through the city first. I got to see downtown as a fresh runner instead of as a beaten down runner. I felt good and I was ready to run through a deserted part of town if they wanted me to. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the downtown area, but there will be a separate post about about sightseeing.

Ready for the photo tour?

The finish line. The corrals wrapped around to it.

Philadelphia's museum of art. I decided if I PR'd, I'd run up them. 

Yea, I didn't run up them. It took me most of the race trying to convince myself it would be ok if I didn't PR at my Rockstar race. It should be enough that I finish sub-3. It, of course, isn't but I can say I ran more during this race than any other. I am slowly moving to running more and that's probably why I didn't PR, but oh well. Next time!

This is what someone who is about to become a Rockstar looks it.

The Start line. It was really pretty to see the city as the backdrop.

Most awesome volunteer ever.
She cracked me up as she danced around in the street.

Random statue because Philly has a ton of them everywhere.

The Pretty Bridge we crossed as kayakers floated by.

I felt very much in the South at this point, but we weren't.

Rocker Dude.

This is why the last .7 miles sucked. 
I could see the art museum and it wasn't getting any closer. 

Post race concert: Bret Michaels.
Much to my surprise, people actually wanted to see him perform. 

The Philly Medal. One of my new favorites.

Wanna hear about my first ever ice bath?
Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It really happened.

I still can't believe I actually got it. 

I don't think I will ever get tired of how amazing this thing is. And thanks to the love of my life, Brooks Running and The Philadelphia Runner, it is officially engraved with my name on it.
Mine. Mine. Mine. 

Auria, your customer service needs some serious help.

Dear Auria,

I am sad to say I am not a fan of your product, but even more, I am extremely disappointed in your customer service. 

The only reason I even have your product in my possession because my very adorable, sweet, and gullible mother bought them for me at an expo. It was the first time she was getting to see me run and she wanted to get me something special. I left her alone for 5 minutes and that was all it took. She had bought them and she was so proud of herself for getting me something that would make my running life more convenient, what was I supposed to do? Being that your product is not cheap, I felt bad and did not want to disappoint her because she was so excited.  

I wore them a handful of times at the gym and for 2 half marathons as a last resort. Of course, I wasn't pleasantly surprised. They continued to fall out of my ears and annoy me the entire race. For my 3rd half of trying to wear them, I noticed the right earbud had blown out. Now don't get me wrong, this happens to me alllll the time. But I'm also a New Yorker. My iPod is my sanctuary and headphones to me are like sunglasses; you buy the cheap ones because it's inevitable that they will break. But again, I only used your product a handful of times and kept them in a safe place, there was no evidence that I treated them like a normal pair. 

At the Rock-n-Roll Philly expo this weekend, I tried talking to your rep about maybe replacing them. I understand and respect your warranty, which is 6 months and I've had your product about that long. Your rep tested out my earbuds and agreed not only was the right earbud dead, but there was something funky going on with the plug. When I told him I got them in April, he rudely pronounced since it had been 7 months, which was clearly out of your warranty, he could offer me a "deal" of $20 for a new pair. I'm not sure where your rep went to school, but April to September is 5 months and very much within your warranty. When I told him I did not love the earbuds and didn't think they were worth another $20 (I didn't even bring up the fact that his math was wrong because I was in such shock at his rudeness), he became even more offensive and told me it was my fault, not the clearly malfunctioned product's. 

Now, if there needs to be an explanation for your earphones to fit correctly, I think you need to better train your reps to tell people that. I am sorry my mother wanted to surprise me with a gift and I did not get the full explanation about how to properly wear your headphones. I would have loved to wear your product correctly and rave about how amazing they were, but because your rep wanted to make a few extra bucks and make a customer feel uncomfortable, I can only say your malfunctioning product is not worth the cost and your company really needs to work on its customer service.

But don't worry, I went to FYE and bought some $12 Sony headphones to wear and guess what? They stayed in my ears the entire race. 


PS- showing a video of people jumping up and down at an expo with your headphones in for 5 seconds is not the same thing as running a half or full marathon with them in. I'm pretty sure any runner can tell you that. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A retraction.

Because I'm too lazy to re-write it in my own words:
It's still damn funny.

Triple Crown.

No, you cannot call me Secretariat.
Yes, you can take me to The Kentucky Derby. Its on my bucket list.

Monday, September 12, 2011

VA Beach randoms.

 The blue stop sign.
Have you ever heard of such a thing? Isn't that illegal? And if it's not, shouldn't it be? I know we are staying close to colonial Williamsburg and all, but isn't that theming going a little too far?

 Colonial Wburg.
Apartments in the Williamsburg I'm from, don't look like that.

Hopefully the next time I see you, I will be running across you!

 What's up, VA Beach?
No cursing? 

 The ginormous chocolate milk post-race.

Yes, I walked all the way from the car like that.

The RnR bus.
I don't know if I'd rather be on that one or the one I was on.

My Encore Medal was waiting for me when I got home.
4 down. 3 to go.

VA Beach. . a RnR race recap.

The recap of VA Beach. . . pronounced "VA" Beach. You like that? We came up with it on the trip down. The drive down was super fun. It made me miss road trips. Chick-fil-a's. Sonic's. Summer in Florida. It almost felt like we were in Florida, too. The tunnels and bridges to get to VA Beach reminded me of the bridge you have to cross to get to Pensacola Beach. 

We arrived a whole day early. It was nice going to the expo when it wasn't crowded and last minute. I got tons of free swag I don't really need and stuff I did. I decided to try out Nuun. I was going to just try the samples and then buy it if I liked it, but I did the math. I couldn't buy that many Gatorades for the expo special and this stuff doesn't have added sugar. Bonus! 

It was also nice being able to lay by the pool the day before the race instead of traveling. 

Race morning, it stayed dark for awhile. I should've known I wasn't really in the race then. For some reason I was not mentally in it. Which is probably why it was my worst race to date. I want to compare it to Nashville, but without the hills. 

 Sculpture outside of the Convention Center.

 Start line! 

Running down the main road.

For the first 5 miles there was amazing support. I had heard this was a fun race to run, and I could see why. The spectators were awesome. It was like a Mardi Gras parade and I was the rockstar. I'm talking fold up chairs, ice chests and everything. 

 The only "hill" was the bridge.

 Super fun retirement community themed party? On the way back, there was a guy in a speedo and high heels. Oye.

 Soooo would've rathered be in that water park.

 Rocker- Dude, it's about time you showed up! I was tired.

 The Military Base.

All that fun abruptly stopped as we crossed the bridge to go into the woods/ military base. There were no people. Nothing to look at but barracks and trees. Around mile 8, I went into a dark place in my head and it was hard to get back. None of my usual mantras were working. I couldn't even get excited about the medal at the end (because we all know how I feel about that). I wasn't in any sort of different physical pain, I was just tired. My feet hurt and they were on fire. The overcast sky let up and the sun came out and there was no shade. Miserable, I tell you. 

 Look! A person!

The Boardwalk.

As soon as we reached the boardwalk, I could see the finish line but that didn't help me move faster. The boardwalk's concrete was even hotter than the asphalt and it felt like the sun was out in full force. There were tons of people on the boardwalk, too, but they could care less about the race going on. That was super disappointing. Around mile 12.5 I was considering giving up and just going to jump in the Atlantic Ocean. 

I've never been so happy to be done with a race, which was quite upsetting because the finish on the beach was super cute. oh well. 

 I think this is becoming a signature pirate eye pose for me.

 Only plus? Finishing on the beach!

 We walked the many blocks to the car along the beach. It felt amazing because my feet were in some serious pain. I really wanted to find a silver dollar, but no so luck. Do those even exist anymore and how does one go about actually catching one?

Til next time, summer!

And I'm not even going to get into the whole 10 hours on a Chinatown bus thing. Let's just say, I will never be doing something that foolish again.