Yesterday, I joined the South Florida Brickell Run Club for their weekly run in downtown Miami. I found the group on meetup.com and was surprised to read that they regularly have upwards of 400 people each week. The weather was a bit iffy in Miami and mid-day it looked as if it might storm. I even contemplated running as soon as I finished my work, instead of waiting for the group run at 7 because I was concerned it’d be cancelled. Well, the skies cleared quickly and I was SO glad I waited!
After some group stretching, we prepared to start. There were three different pace groups, 11mm, 9mm, and 7mm. The 11mm group started first, followed by each of the faster groups. I began with the 11 minute mile group, as I wanted this to be an easy, fun run after Sunday’s race. I was also aware that it was about 80 degrees and I predicted the warm air might affect me a bit. And sure enough, it took me quite awhile to hit my stride.
Finally, about 2 miles in, I started to feel good…for about a mile. Then I began experiencing some pain in my achilles. I thought about walking, but really wanted to finish. Our course took us through the neighborhood of Brickell, onto a trail and then out past the water. At one point, I had to take a picture…
It was beautiful — but I have to say, I have no idea how all you running bloggers take pics while you run. It definitely slowed me down and was kind of annoying. Props to y’all! We made our way back to the main road and at this point, many people had stopped to walk. I almost thought about joining them, but I’m too proud
Finally, I raced into the parking lot where we started. Woohoo – I’d finished my first real group run (outside of races, obviously). It was fun even with the heat and the pain. We were just a bit short of 4 miles and I ran a 10:43 pace. Not bad all things considered! I’m so glad I sought this group out while I was in town – people were friendly and I enjoyed the accountability challenge of running with a group.
Have you ever “crashed” a run in another city? What was your experience?
This past Sunday I lined up with 2000 of my closest friends at Stanton Park on Capitol Hill. It was the 34th Annual Capitol Hill Classic, which is a major fundraiser for the Capitol Hill Cluster School. This was my 3rd time doing the race and it’s a personal favorite, especially now that I live in the neighborhood.
The start was a bit hectic and I immediately lost everyone I had lined up with, while simultaneously realizing my Runkeeper app was not working. I slowed way down to fix my app and once I got that under control I tried to find my stride. Luckily, I was able to quickly get my pace and even found K after a few minutes.
We ran very quickly the first few miles and I knew that we (or at least I) should slow down, but the pace felt good so we kept at it. Around mile 3, I started to feel a bit nervous that I had gone out too fast and wouldn’t be able to hold my pace for the rest of the race. I had to remind myself that this wasn’t a leisurely run – this was a race that I had set an ambitious goal for and this wasn’t supposed to be comfortable.
At mile 4, it started raining softly and it was awesome. It felt so good and yet it wasn’t raining hard enough that I was concerned about my phone getting damaged. We ran on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail by RFK stadium which threw me for a bit of a loop, because I hadn’t realized they had modified the course in the days leading up to the race. Initially I was confused because I like knowing where we are headed and I had no idea where the trail would take us. However, it was kind of fun and I actually detest running around RFK Stadium so I was happy for the change. As you can see, most of mile 4 was a gradual up hill, which slowed my pace down considerably. However, once I saw the marker for mile 5, I knew I could hit my goal.
As we approached mile 6, I started to feel a little emotional. I had really pushed myself and I was proud of what I’d accomplished — it felt good. As we crossed the finish line, I stopped my phone and saw this:
Success! I was proud of my race and am going to see if I can better than time in two weeks in Annapolis!
Have you ever PRed in the rain? Is it crazy to try to PR two races in a row?
I have committed to being more diligent about my strength training and am always actively searching for new ways to strength train. I found this workout on Pinterest and decided to try it out with two girlfriends this week. Wow. It was tough and I think they hated me for making us do it! That being said, I felt like we got a great full body workout and was definitely dripping sweat by the end of the first round.
If you want a relatively simple but effective workout, I’d recommend trying this out. You don’t need any equipment — in fact, we did this at my friend’s apartment building’s outside area, right next to the pool (sadly, it’s not yet open – that would’ve been sweet relief). With a 90 second break in between circuits (we only did 2) and a couple of water breaks, the whole thing took about 20 minutes. I’ll be honest, my abs and thighs were sore the next
day couple of days- but it was the good kind of sore. I knew I’d gotten in a great workout, so I felt proud of my soreness.
What’s your go-to fitness circuit?
How many pairs of running shoes have you thrown away over the years? That was the thought that first intrigued me to learn more about Kind Runner. Kind Runner is a new company that is aiming to revolutionize the way running shoes and products are purchased online. The Kind Runner site is launching June 1 and in anticipation of that, I had a chance to speak directly with Joe Jacobs, the social media / marketing head of the group. Joe says:
Our goal is to bring the knowledge of a local-running shop to your fingertips online. We are a group of runners who have a combined 40+ years working in the industry. In short we are all passionate runners who know that there is a better way to do things online. We also know that there are millions of running shoes that go into the trash yearly, and think we can do something better with those shoes. There are tens of millions of people around the world who would get years of use our of the shoes that most of us consider to be trashed… we also think that people should be rewarded for helping others, hence the kindness cash idea!
What an amazing idea! Kind Runner will take your old running shoes, re-purpose them and give you cash as a reward! Even cooler,
Giveaway alert: you can win free running shoes for a year by going to the Kind Runner website. And not just for you. For you + a friend! Sweet
What do you normally do with old running shoes? Have you ever thought of recycling them?
I’ve been trying to eliminate more processed food from my diet and figured one easy way I could do that was to stop eating the packs of instant oatmeal I have for breakfast at my desk each day. While they are certainly a better choice for breakfast than a bagel or heavy sandwich, there is still a lot of added sugar. In fact, sugar is the second ingredient listed on the package – NOT good! I figured I would be much better off making my own breakfast. While I love cooking oatmeal in my crockpot, it can get messy and I don’t love having to clean a crockpot every day. I have been seeing a lot of people on Twitter do overnight oats and I thought I’d give it a shot.
My (very simple) process:
1/2 c Steel Cut Oats (I got mine from Trader Joes and you should too!)
1/2 c 1% milk
a VERY generous serving of cinnamon (I love the stuff)
1 ts brown sugar
I stir all the ingredients together in a tupperware container and then stuck it in the fridge. When I got back from my morning run, I had a delicious and nutritious oatmeal-like breakfast that kept me full until lunchtime. If you are often short on time, but tired of eating packaged oatmeal, I highly recommend overnight oats!
What is your go to breakfast choice?
Next week I have a work trip to Miami (by the way, the picture above is from my last work trip where I spent an hour on the beach. So beautiful!) planned that will keep me away from home for 3 days. While there, I decided to see if there were any fun fitness classes or run groups I could take part in to keep me active while I’m out of town. Lucky for me, I found two great options!
On Tuesday night I will be joining the Brickell Run Club for their weekly fun run. Their runs seem fun, social and very well-attended. After a (hopefully) nice, easy and social run Tuesday night, I’ll be taking advantage of a free barre class held in the gym/spa that is connected to my hotel (sweet!). The class is at 6:45am onWednesday, but it’s free and all I have to do is literally go downstairs – it can’t get any easier than that! The free class is a part of Exhale MindBodySpa’s Fusion Fest event. At locations all across the country, there are free classes, DJs, snacks, giveaways, etc. It sounds like a fun event at a great franchise that I’ve never had the pleasure to work out at, so I’m pretty excited.
The Brickell Run Club run will also be the first time I’ve ever done a group run. I have had numerous good intentions to try one here in DC but something always came up (dates inconsistent with my availability, I forget my run clothes at home, etc). I really am getting to the point where I would love company more regularly on my runs and so I’m excited to test the group running waters in Miami.
Surprisingly, this is the first time I’ve sought out classes/runs in another city while there on a business trip. I was inspired by this post from PJ over at Busy Runner. Seeking out a run meetup was such a great (and obvious) suggestion that I can’t believe I never thought of it! I’m looking forward to both the run and the class and to taking a little piece of DC with me to Miami!
Have you ever taken classes or joined a group run while you were away on business? How was your experience?
I am currently reading Sheryl Sandberg’s best-selling book, “Lean In.” While I’m not interested in (this time) getting into a politically charged debate about the book and the thoughts behind it, one line in particular stuck out to me. While Sheryl was giving a graduation speech to Barnard College women, she encouraged them to ask themselves: “what would I do if I weren’t afraid?” It made me think. What would I do if I wasn’t afraid? I decided to make a list of the things I’d do related to health and fitness:
- Train hard to be able to run a 2:15 half marathon (this would be a 5 minute PR from my best time — I ran a 2:20 in my first ever 1/2 marathon, 6 years ago).
- Commit to cross training 3x a week.
- Set time goals for each race I’m running.
- Run a sub 30 min 5k. The inspiration for this goal came from Lynda over at Hit the Road Jane.
- Begin running in the morning 2x a week.
I’m not sure why I’m afraid to set concrete running goals — I set goals in all other areas of my life. I think that it may be hard to step out on a ledge with the possibility that I might fail. However, that is not how I want to live. So, here I am setting goals that make me nervous and make me feel like I may not be able to meet. I realize that most of these goals would be easy peezy for a “serious” runner, but hey, that’s why they are my goals. I don’t think I’ll do a different set of goals each week, but I can start by setting a goal for the 10k I’m running on Sunday. Last year, I ran this 10k in 1:11. On Sunday, I want to run it in 1:05 or less.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?