Don't blink. Just run.

Where training meets fandom. And everything in between.

St. Pat’s 5K Race Recap

Yesterday I ran the St. Pat’s 5K in Providence. This was race #2 of my goal for at least #14in2014. We couldn’t have asked for more awesome weather for a race in March. It was a high of close to 50 and just pure sunshine!



You know I can’t resist a Zoolander gif when I have the opportunity to use one. Come on now, people!

Yesterday was very exciting for two reasons: 1) it was first race ever last year, which meant this was my first repeat race and chance to beat my original time and 2) since I walked it last year, and was run/walking this year, I knew I’d have an instant PR.



My walking time last year – 47:16. This year’s time – 37:08 (apparently I started my Garmin sooner than I needed to since it showed 37:13).



I love this course because the atmosphere is insane. People come out in droves to line the streets for the parade that starts at noon, right after the race ends. This means there are people all up and down the whole course cheering the runners on. It’s not a bad course, either. Pretty flat, with the exception of a massive uphill when you reach the turn-around through a neighborhood. It’s really just an out and back, with the exception of that neighborhood.


I’m in the hat and orange sleeves under my green shirt


You can see clearly in my splits where I did the majority of my walking. I was surprised at how fast I started out. It didn’t feel like I was running that fast because there are SO many people that come out to just walk the race so you spend the majority of the first half of the race weaving in and out of the walkers. Plus, I was only 5 minutes in to the race when the winner was coming back down, which meant everyone had to move over to the right to clear the left side of the road for the returning runners.



While I have to say I wish my endurance was back to where it was before my IT band injury, I’m not that upset with this race. I ran more then I expected to, so that made me happy. My knee was a little sore afterwards, but I will say that I never actually warmed up (ran out of time due to huge portapotty lines) and was too nervous and excited after the race to remember to stretch right away.

Why was I nervous and excited afterwards? Well – I was meeting my first ever fellow blogger! Alaina from The Jogging Concierge is trying to reach her goal of 30 races in 2014 and this was one of the races on her list. We arranged beforehand to try to meet up after the race so she stuck around with her parents to wait until I finished. She’s much quicker than me and finished around 30 minutes. She was just as nice in person as she sounds on her blog and it was a pleasure to meet her. You guys should go check out her blog when you have a sec and wish her luck on her 30 races!



My friend Julia that I work with was supposed to walk the race with another coworker of ours, but she texted Julia and said she wasn’t coming. Since Julia got caught in the traffic with the highway being closed right where she needed to get off, she ended up getting there really late and decided to just hang with Tara and watch the race instead of walking by herself. Once I crossed the finish line and found them, we met up with Alaina for a few minutes, then we decided to grab some lunch at The Cheesecake Factory.

When we got home, we were able to open the slider door for a little bit to get some fresh air in the house. We also took the cats outside for a few minutes to give them some “outside time” (they’re strictly indoor cats, but we have leashes for them).

I also got a nice little surprise in the mail – I feel official now!



I can’t wait until I receive the tech shirt I ordered as well and I’m really looking forward to this Saturday when I get to meet some of the group.

I’m off to get my butt in gear for the upcoming week. New strength training starts tomorrow, need to get some meal plans in place and I need to ready my snacks for work for the week. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!







Downtown Jingle 5K Recap

On Sunday, I ran the Downtown Jingle 5K in Providence. It was the last in the series of holiday themed runs (Monster Dash, Turkey Trot, Jingle 5K) and my last race of the year. Because of the cold weather I’m not great at running in and my hip and knee still being sore, I had no aspirations to break any records. I just wanted to have my fun and finish the race, like I have been lately.

The race start was at 11am, which is good and bad. It’s great because you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to start prepping and bad because it’s smack in the middle of the day. A lot of the races I’ve run that are put on by Run Rhody start at that time.

The weather was pretty decent for the time of year. It was overcast and cold (I think around 33 at race time) but thankfully there was barely any wind. The Turkey Trot was the same temp and sunny, but that wind was brutal the last time so I was glad there wasn’t any!

As per usual for PVD races, we parked in the Providence Place Mall parking garage (a nightmare built by man) around 10am. We walked over to the Convention Center, where the start and finish line were, and walked around a bit. There was a small set-up of vendors (maybe 5) near the registration tables so I checked them out and then we just hung around and people watched for a bit. I like these races that we get to hang out inside until race time because I can then easily stay warm until go time, plus you can use real toilets!

Around 10:40 or so, we headed downstairs and I began warming up. I think I headed outside around 10:55 and got in line with the massive horde of Santas, elves and people running in their PJs. There was one woman that even had some sort of Christmas music playing thing attached to her PJs that I kept hearing whenever we’d pass each other throughout the race. My costume was kind of a hot mess of whatever I could find that I liked. I wore a Grinch tshirt over my warmer stuff, reindeer antlers that had noses that lit up and my own Rudolph blinky nose (that would later prove to be a part of my undoing!) plus the little string of jingle bells they gave us with our bibs.


Do you like my Grinch face?

My attempt at going cross-eyed. Apparently, my eyes don’t cross.


They sang the National Anthem and then started back up with playing Christmas music. I believe we took off across the start line to Bruce Springsteen singing Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town, but now I can’t remember! I started out with my nose on because I knew Tara would be taking pictures, but it quickly proved to be a hinderance in my breathing ability, so it only lasted until we got around the first corner and then I wore it around my neck until the end.



I was having a lot of trouble breathing at the start because of the cold, but once I pushed through the first 1/2 mile or so I settled into a groove and warmed up enough that it felt a little more comfortable. Unfortunately, that’s when all hell broke loose. Or rather, my bra did!

I have this sports bra, which I absolutely ADORE, however the last one I bought hasn’t faired as well as the one before it. I realized about a month or so ago on the treadmill that the velcro on one side doesn’t stick very well as it came undone while I was running at the gym. It hadn’t happened recently though so I figured I was fine and I was waiting until after the holidays to get a new one for myself. So, here I am running along, haven’t even reached mile 1 yet, and BOOM! My bra strap unhitches itself. Holy hell! Now what am I gonna do surround by 1100 other runners?!?

I slowed down to a quick walk and grabbed the strap and managed to put myself back together on the move. This ate up valuable time, but I didn’t have a goal in mind so I figured it didn’t matter. Little did I know how much it would.

I got into a groove and just enjoyed all the costumes and jingling around me. I thought the jingles would annoy me, but I found it oddly soothing. There was a hilarious sign just past the 2 mile sign that said “Smile if you’re not wearing underwear”. The rest of the race was fairly uneventful until just before mile 3.

I figured there would be pictures taken at the finish line, so I thought I would put my nose back on for the pics at the end. This is where further unraveling of my race would happen. Think back to what I had on my head – antlers, ear buds and a nose that went over my ears – all tucked into my headband. I tried to pull my nose back up over my ears, but got tangled in my ear buds. Then my antlers starting falling so I had to grab those and I believe it was during this time that I dropped one of my gloves. I had to stop and pick that up, then finally wriggled my nose up just in time to see Tara, Julie and Dan on the sidewalk.



I crossed the finish line and stopped my Garmin. I grabbed a water bottle and then walked down the chute trying to figure out where the end was so I could meet up with everybody. Once we all met up, I looked down at my watch and saw: 34:29. Son of a…!!!! I knew in the back of my head that my 5K PR was 34:26 since I had just recently looked over all my races. I was SO disappointed. If any single one of those wardrobe malfunctions hadn’t happened, I have no doubt I would have had a PR to end the year. My official chip time then came in an email later: 34:28. Even more devastating. That means a tiny 3 seconds is what prevented me from reaching my PR. THREE. SECONDS. I told everybody this and then continued to mutter all the way back to the parking garage about 3 seconds. So not cool.

Overall, I thought this was a fun race. It wasn’t hugely scenic, and running over a certain cobblestone street is no fun, but it’s still better than that course in Pawtucket that I ran the week before. Run Rhody definitely puts on some great races and I would consider doing this again next year.

Moving on, I now have next year to look forward to. I’m debating doing the Frosty 5K on New Year’s Day as my first race of the year, but haven’t registered for anything yet. I’ll soon be making my fun list of races I wish to run. My ultimate goals for the coming year: finish a half marathon and finish a Tough Mudder. I could care less about times. I just want to prove to myself that I’m capable of completing them.

Bring on 2014!


Gym Rats, Monsters and Food Trucks, Oh My!

Another fun weekend with the besties! My plan for Saturday was to get up in the AM and mow the lawn and get the yard work out of the way before Julie and Dan got here around lunch time. Being that my wife is the most amazing human on the planet, she had gotten out of work early on Friday and took care of the lawn (and even some trimming) for me before I got home from work! Since she did that, we had a nice leisurely morning with no need to set an alarm of any sort.

J & D got here around 12:30 or so. Originally our plan was that Dan and I would go pick up our bibs at Rhode Runner in Providence (my local running store and also a race sponsor) and Julie and Tara would go to Scituate to pick up the raffle prize that Julie had won from the art festival. While we were all getting ready to head out, Julie said she was jealous that Dan was going to probably get new shoes while he was there. Then Tara piped up and said she still needed new ones. A new plan was formed…we’d all go together to Scituate to pick up the prize, then head up to Providence to Rhode Runner and then grab something to eat while we’re in the city.

We drove up to Scituate and the woman was supposed to leave her prize on her front porch (since they wouldn’t be home on Saturday). The way it worked is that the raffle winners would have picked their prizes up the last day of the art festival, otherwise they could come get them the following weekend. Julie wouldn’t have been able to, and didn’t want to make us go for her, so she contacted the woman who said she could pick it up this past weekend since she knew she’d be here for the race. We got to her house and Julie went up to the porch and we could see her looking around, puzzled. There was nothing on the porch so she rang the doorbell, since there were 2 cars in the driveway (hoping she’d luck out and someone would be there). No answer – so she knocked and then went down the driveway on the side of the house, but didn’t see anything. We ended up just leaving and on our way to Providence Julie called the woman and left her a message to hopefully have it shipped to her.

Once we got to Rhode Runner, Dan and I went straight in to pick up our bibs while Julie and Tara both started trying on shoes. Tara went straight to the same style Brooks she already wears so she was easy. Julie ended up trying on several pairs and then went with the same style Saucony, I believe. And Dan was the same once he tried on his shoes – he went with the same style Nikes. We’re creatures of habit I guess! I tried on some stuff while I was there, but really was just trying to get a fit for things to add to my Amazon wish list. I need a nighttime/waterproof jacket so I was really just browsing and not planning on buying anything. I was the only one to walk out of the running store with nothing purchased – a first for me!

After we left Rhode Runner, we decided to use good ol’ Yelp to find someplace really close to eat. We settled on Harry’s bar & burger, which was less than a mile away. It had really good reviews and Yelp, yet again, led us to a great place! It was a total dive-y place, with maybe only 10 tables and a bar. Very hole in the wall, very cute. The decorations were really fun and it just had a great vibe.


Julie was photobombing ALL THE THINGS!


The only way they serve all the sandwiches is as sliders, with an order being 2 (though you could add a 3rd if you wanted). We decided we were all going to order differently and share the sliders so we could try all sorts of different burgers. Everything I put in my mouth in that restaurant was delicious! We also ordered fries and onion strings to share, plus I got a drink called You Kiddin Me. It was the perfect “shake” to pair with my burgers. It was whipped cream vodka, oreos, caramel and ice cream and it was sooooo good you wouldn’t even know there was alcohol in it!



We were pretty stuffed after that so we headed home. Shortly after, Dan and I headed over to Planet Fitness so he could give me some strength lessons and different options to use the free weights and Smith machine instead of the silly regular machines that I feel like I have terrible form. We were there for about 2 1/2 hours (including doing an actual chest and tricep workout) going over everything I would do, when I would do it, how I would do it, etc. It was VERY helpful in getting my head around it and now I have a better plan in place for myself.

Sunday morning was the race that we’d been waiting for – the Monster Dash 5K. The race start was at 11am so we decided we’d plan on getting there by 10 to park and then have time to warm-up and check out the costumes. We got there and parked at our usual end of the mall parking lot, but when we walked out there were no road closures or people! I double checked the email and realized we needed to walk to the other side of the mall next to the convention center. A good warm-up in disguise, I guess! We got to where we needed to be close to 10:30 or so, after grabbing breakfast inside the convention center’s hotel. I wanted to make sure I hit the little girl’s room before the race and it was nice to be able to use indoor plumbing. The only issue with this was that the convention center bathroom only has 4 stalls so the line was out the door and down the hall in the ladies room. I ended up getting outside to warm-up around 10:45 and then Dan and I got in line.



Julie and Tara are the BEST spectators. They made us signs and even wore Batman t-shirts and silly hats to cheer us on!



Dan specifically trained using a C25K program to run this race with me! We decided it was a no man left behind situation, or more specifically, no superhero left behind! He hadn’t run in probably a month though, so we weren’t sure what to expect. I told him if we walk, we walk – which we did. It was quite fun to see all the different costumes people wore. Some were really creative and some people were lame and didn’t even dress up. If you want to be competitive and race, run in a regular 5K, not a Halloween-themed costume race.



After the race, we had already planned to attend the Food Truck Bash that was going on a short walk from the mall. We finally figured out how to walk over (we don’t go into cities much LOL) and it only took us maybe 10 minutes to get there. We paid the $8 to get in, which now that I look back on it, was kind of a rip-off. After all, what were we paying FOR? The trucks were all parked inside the outdoor skating rink (which isn’t iced over yet), which means we literally just paid $8 to walk through a gate. If they had been parked on the street, it would have been free. Oh well. The trucks themselves were really expensive, too. Tara and I decided we’d split stuff, so we’d have more of a chance to try various trucks.

The first truck we hit up was Nuchas, from NY. It was $10 for 3 empanadas, so Tara and I decided we’d each pick one that only we wanted, then we’d split the third. I opted for the Argentine, Tara got the Portobello and then we split the Spicy Cheese. They were SO delicious, though I wasn’t the biggest fan of the people on the truck.



Next, we hit up Boston’s Baddest Burger and we split the Baconaatah Cheezzer Meltdown. OMG was it good!! And it was huge. This was actually worth the price we paid for it, without a doubt. We stopped at Phil’s Steaks to get some “whiz fries” to go with it and they were just as awesome!



We didn’t have a whole lot of time because the Patriots were playing in Foxboro (we actually watched/listened to the game because they had it on at the food truck bash) and this meant that Julie and Dan would need to leave before the game was in the 4th quarter to avoid the traffic on their way home. We decided to grab dessert on the way out and eat it walking back to the parking garage. And boy am I glad we did!

Our dessert was the most amazingly strange and awesomely delicious concoction I’ve ever tried! We got “de Bom” from the Wafels & Dinges truck. It was a soft Belgian waffle, with a scoop of ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream and drizzled Belgian chocolate. It was straight from heaven. If you’re in NYC and you see this truck, stop what you’re doing immediately and get one. Well, if you’re driving, please pull over first…but then, GET ONE! I was too busy eating it to remember to take a picture, but trust me! Here is a pic I found online, except for mine had the hot fudge and whipped cream.


All in all it was a fantastic weekend, filled with great friends and good food. Oh yeah, and Patriots AND Red Sox wins to sweeten it up a bit!


Face The Music Friday #6

My weight this week is:




Beginning:  240

Last week:  185.8

This week: -0.8 lb

Total loss:  55 lb


Eh, a loss is a loss. I’m not even going to talk about it this week. I touched on it a little yesterday.

Speaking of losses, my poor Red Sox went the way the Cardinals did in game 1 last night in game 2 and made some stupid mistakes. Unfortunately, now we’re tied at one game apiece in the World Series. Let’s go boys! Bring it home!

Now, on to the fun plans for the weekend!! Julie and Dan are coming down this weekend and Dan and I will be running in costume on Sunday at the Providence Monster Dash 5K. It will be his first 5K race! Yay! Pics will come of us later in our awesome costumes!

After the race, down the street, they are holding a Food Truck Bash. I can’t wait! Trucks from Providence, Boston and NYC will all be competing and I can’t wait to try something from all of them! Sounds like so much fun! They’re having a costume contest so we’ll just stay in our costumes after the race for a bit and probably bring some clothes to change into once we register the costumes. I imagine I won’t be wanting to stay in my costume all that time.

For the song this week, I am posting the other one I was thinking of last week when I said I couldn’t decide. When this song comes on, I feel like I’m on an epic quest. It should definitely be in a montage of me ninja-kicking a bunch of bad guys!


Knights of Cydonia by Muse (and it’s a very strange video indeed)



Rock N Roll Weekend

Are you comfortable? Warm enough? Do you need a blanket, perhaps a beverage? No? Good, then settle in for a long post.

I miss weekends where we have nothing to do. We haven’t had one of those in a while.

Yesterday, we went to the bank right when they opened to apply for one of the zero interest loans that National Grid is offering if you have the free energy audit and need work done. We, of course, knew we’d need work done because you don’t have to be a genius to know that if you touch your wall in the winter and it’s ice cold, you probably don’t have any insulation. Which we didn’t. None. Awesome. Long story short, we decided with all the discounts they were offering we were going to go ahead with it. You can’t beat 0% interest.

After that, we headed up to Providence to go to the Expo for the race this morning. It was a great Expo! Very organized, well mapped out and lots of big name sponsors there to check out. I was able to try some bars and gels and stuff like that I’d read about. I found a few that were decent. I also got a couple of headbands. I don’t actually currently wear headbands, but I liked the sayings and decided I could try them out in the winter to see if they’d keep my ears warm.


My big purchase at the Expo was my birthday/Christmas/every other holiday between now and then present. I finally got a Garmin and I couldn’t be more thrilled to try it out soon!


Flynn decided he enjoyed the Garmin bag


After we left the Expo, we headed into the Providence Place Mall to pop into the Apple store and see if we could get some info about repairing our MacBook. While we were there, we happened to walk by Hot Topic on the way to get something for lunch and saw a whole Doctor Who display right near the door! You know we had to check it out!! I’m doing a virtual Doctor Who 5K and I decided these socks and shirt would be perfect for that. And then the guy told us the shirts (which were already marked down) were buy 1 get 1 half off so I got a Big Bang Theory shirt too!


I think I might need to get this mask for Halloween!


We ended up leaving the mall and opting to do another “let’s search Yelp and find someplace new to eat”. We ended up right down the street from our house at Fat Belly’s Irish Pub, which we’ve been wanting to try for a while. I couldn’t decide what I wanted so I opted for a pastrami sandwich and upgraded the fries to bacon cheese fries. So glad I did – they were amazing! Not too much cheese on them and they drizzle a bit of ranch and scallions on them which really made them pop.



After lunch it was almost 3pm and I had a lot of yard work to get done so we headed home to take care of business. We were out there for about 3 hours (shout out to the wifey for helping me a bit) but we got almost everything done I had aimed to do.

Today was race day. I was very excited about this one because we all know how much I love music and pairing a race with live bands is awesome. The race start was at 7am (way too early in my book) so we were up very early.



My baby Delilah didn’t approve.


We got in to Providence around 6am and checked everything out. It was all really well organized with large, clear signage and directions. Of course, this didn’t help the long portapotty lines that delayed the race and the fact that the corrals weren’t big enough so everyone was spilling out onto the sidewalks and you couldn’t move. But I digress.  I think we ended up starting around 10-15 minutes late, which isn’t terrible in the grand scheme of things, but it was cold and I wanted to get moving!



I started out pretty well. I had the IT Band strap on, but no KT Tape this week. I don’t know if that made a difference or not, but I was in a significant amount more pain today than last week. I thought I started out OK because I ran for more then the first 5 minutes (which was a huge uphill at the very start) and it was alright. It started aching so I walked some. It seemed I couldn’t get a good walk to run ratio going and felt like I walked quite a bit more than I wanted. I tried adjusting the strap on the fly, but couldn’t seem to get it to help so I’m not actually certain if it does or not.


As if it wasn’t bad enough that I can’t run a 5K, this dude was running the half while dribbling two basketballs simultaneously!!


We ran about the first 1.8 miles with the half marathoners and then it was like I wandered into a barren wasteland. Once we split off for the 5K Mini Marathon, there were hardly any runners. It was kind of discouraging because usually during a race it helps me to motivate myself by keeping up with or passing other people. There were probably only about a dozen people within my sight at any given time. At that point, though, we only had a little over a mile to go.

I was able to see three live bands on the route, plus 2 spots where they were playing music out of a van. One band sounded like they were doing a cover song and the other two were OK. I had never heard of any of them. We didn’t stick around for the big concert at the end because A) we avoided all the crowds by not being there when the half marathon finished and B) I didn’t want to have to wait around for 2 hours for the main stage to play because my knee hurt too much. Oh, and C) I don’t like beer so a free beer at 8am doesn’t appeal to me.

Here I am finishing the race. I think I look awful in this picture, but I’m my own worst critic.

After I limped away from the finish line with my medal and chocolate milk, I got my stretch on so I wouldn’t lock up on the drive home. I hope these PT exercises I got on Friday will start helping me soon. This not running business is for the birds!



After we got home, we totally went back to bed. It is lazy Sunday after all.

I still don’t know what my official time is, but I suspect it may have been just under or right at 40 minutes. My RunKeeper said around 40, but I started it before we crossed the start line and didn’t stop it until I was out of the finishing area. Who knows! We’ll find out tonight I think. I thought I remembered reading something about results going out by 7pm the day of the race.

I really need my leg to feel better. It’s really affecting my mood.



Puttin’ On My Big Girl Pants + A Race Recap

The weekend was kind of a whirlwind! Between oil changes, randomly replacing a toilet seat (because the cat knocked it off and broke it), a twin 7-year-old birthday party, grocery shopping, a random stop at a neighbor’s yard sale, visiting with family who are out here from Indiana and a 5K race on Sunday morning I’m surprised we got anything done around the house.

And, oh yeah, we came home to this:  Boil Water Advisory! That’s been lots of fun the last few days. We’re still on the advisory, but two clean tests so far mean we may be done by tomorrow if a third comes back clean. Gross.



On Friday and Saturday we visited various grocery stores to gather our bounty for the coming week. We also decided on Saturday night to stop at Trader Joe’s (where we don’t normally shop). We perused the aisles and checked everything out and ended up taking home the most random stuff. While at all of these stores, I found one thing or another that was NEW to me to try. Look at me being a big girl and trying new things!



Let’s examine the new things I’ve tried (so far).

Chobani Flips – I tried 3 different flavors. I really like the Coco Loco and Key Lime, but the Vanilla was just OK. I would eat it again if nothing else was available, but not a top choice. This is HUGE news. Like, gigantic. Yell it from the top of a mountain big. Wanna know why? I hate yogurt. Chobani has the best texture for me but I can never get over the bitterness. I don’t know if it’s the flavors being mixed in or what, but hey, whatever works!



The next new things I bought were a bunch of bars. All different kinds. I’d only ever had Clif Bars before, but I am trying to branch out. I’ve only tried one of them so far, the Cinnamon Apple Crisp flavor Larabar Alt. It was surprisingly delicious. I wasn’t sure how close it would come to something that tastes so yummy, but it was really good! P.S. I’m really bad at food photography and always forget to take them until the things are half eaten or gone!



Lastly, and most importantly, this is the BEST new thing I tried this weekend. By far. Above and beyond my wildest imagination. I love you PB & Co. Marry me.



OK, enough about food because I’m getting hungry! How about a quick race recap? Right then…

Sunday was the CVS Downtown 5K in Providence. I had watched the weather all week and looked like we’d be OK, but on Saturday it changed and got pushed back. I got lucky, though, because when we left the house it showed 0% precipitation starting at 9am through the day (race start was 11:15am). Mother Nature had other plans. We were sponsored by my company as a free entry and got free team tech shirts to wear for the race.  We were waiting around to take a picture with my company team when all of a sudden, the sky opened up and downpoured on us. Luckily it only lasted maybe 10-15 min so I was psyched about that.


Me starting out – biggest race I’ve ever done at over 3300 people


My knee was/is still bothering me, but I got an IT Band Strap to try out for the race just to get me through it. I don’t know if my IT Band is just getting better (it’s been a few weeks now) or if the band actually helped but I felt like I was able to run more comfortably for longer distances in between walking spells when it started hurting again. I guess that’s good news for now. My first PT appt is on Friday so I’m hoping they’ll confirm that’s my actual issue, otherwise I feel kind of stupid. My NP seemed to think it was my IT band, so I don’t feel too stupid guessing using Dr. Google.


Me finishing the race out (green shirt)

And one of a fireman in full gear – what a beast!


Race 3 of 5 in a row is now in the books and I’m looking forward to the Rock N Roll Mini Marathon this Sunday. I can’t wait to run to live bands. That’s gonna be so fun! Then one more (Electric Run) and I get a few weeks off of races.