The Time Laura Popped Her 1/2 Mary Cherry ;)

I have only known Laura since earlier this year, but we became quick friends with her love for sports, beer and her newly found interest in distance running. As she got further into her training it made me think of my own 1st half marathon. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember much about it, so I asked Laura if she might want to guest blog and talk about her 1st!

Hi everyone!! I am super excited to share my first half marathon experience with you all!

Let’s start from the beginning. I originally bounced the idea of a half marathon¬†around for almost six months! After going back and forth, I decided to talk¬†with friends who already done a half and realized, maybe I can do¬†this too! Only a¬†few select people knew I was planning to run the Baltimore Running Festival Half¬†and I didn’t even tell Matt! I wanted to start training and get my¬†confidence up prior to telling him. I was afraid of disappointing him or myself! But, I had multiple training plans to chose from and once I finally picked one, I got started training right away.

Me and Matt at the Shamrock 5k earlier this year

Me and Matt at a Shamrock 5k earlier this year

Training, training, training! Blah! There were so many times when I¬†was running I thought – holy crap I’m not going to be able to so this!¬†Why did I sign up for this again? But I stuck with my training plan¬†(loosely) and kept going. The best thing for me was having 13 weeks to¬†train and a 10 week training plan, therefore I had extra days to play around with!

Moving forward to Race Day–Talk about nerve racking! We got into the city and parking¬†took forever! Matt had to jump out of the car while we were in traffic to make his 5K start¬†and get to the front of the line to go sub-20. Cori and I found a bomb parking¬†spot and off we went to watch Matt finish! We were super pumped that¬†he went under 20! The morning went by so fast and then it was our turn to get ready for the race…

The lines for the bathroom were forever long and the sheer anxiety of not making¬†the start of the race was eating at me! All I wanted¬†to do was pee, get to the start line, run, and run fast. After a quick¬†pep talk from Cori, she was off to the front of the half runners.¬†Matt and I met up with Becky (who ran by my side the whole race) and we began walking toward the¬†start our race! Matt gave me a last minute pep talk that ended with¬†me happily saying, “I wanna run fast.” I smiled and was off.

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The first mile of the half seemed like it was forever away! I thought to myself,¬†holy crap this is gonna be tough! As we scooted around Patterson Park I kept busy by¬†looking for some friends and co-workers in the crowd, reading the¬†signs people were holding, then laughed about the signs, and enjoyed the water/Gatorade stations!¬†Becky was by my side the entire time to keep my wanting to¬†run fast under wraps. She gave me extra words of encouragement–especially on¬†the uphills! Let’s just say mile 5-7 = woof! Talk about struggling!

We got to lake (mile 7) and swung by the medical tent for some Vaseline to save my¬†rib cage from the major bra chafing! Then we passed through a few neighborhoods, up and down¬†more hills, then the final turn toward the last 3 miles! I definitely¬†experienced a runners high, because I had an itch to run faster,¬†started running faster, and couldn’t stop smiling! What crazy person¬†smiles during a half marathon?! Apparently this girl!

Rebecca on left, Laura on the right

Rebecca on left, Laura on the right

At mile 12, I felt¬†some tightness through my hips and quads, but Becky and I just kept¬†truckin’! We finished in an awesome time of 2:16.14, close to Becky’s¬†PR on that course, and way faster than I thought I would go! The free beers and snacks at the end made this girl a happy camper!

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After the race I quickly took off my running shoes and put on my sandals. The aftermath of the half was blisters and having two bruised toenails Рpretty colors to say the least! I had blisters on both my little toes and big toes!! And I would do it all again!!

my toe!

my toe!

I can’t thank my family and friends enough for all their love and¬†support! A special thanks goes out to Cori for going on long, hard, sweaty,¬†hot runs with me; Becky for being awesome person to run the race with¬†and keeping my mind from doing math problems the entire 2+ hours we¬†were running; and Matt for being a loving and supportive husband and¬†believing in me.



Cross Train Yo!

I like to cross train with weight lifting & high intensity workouts. I lift pretty heavy for a girl¬†compared to most women who tend to be afraid they will “bulk up” or look like a man. Newsflash, it won’t happen.

Women do not have the hormones to look like a dude and the women who do are taking drastic steps with diet, supplementation (probably and unfortunately some type of hormone or steroids) & weight train daily for hours on end. What I’m trying to say is… Don’t be afraid to lift weights!! (unless you have no idea what you are doing–then get a Personal Trainer or workout with someone who has experience with free weights & lifting.)

*jumping off soapbox, but will return to this subject another day*

I had a crazy workout yesterday with Matt. We used to lift every Friday, but since his intense 5K training and my racing season we haven’t had time. Yesterday was our first day back to it and it felt great!! Matt was lifting 155 lbs, I was doing 65lbs then dropped to 45 when I got tired. We did 5 sets of 3 exercises:¬†12 deadlifts,¬†9 hanging power-cleans, &¬†6 push-jerks. (I’m can’t really explain what these are, if you’re interested just google it.)


This was exhausting, but i love it and need it. After eating a handful of almonds & grabbing water I wanted more. I ended up working out for another hour with a client and my boss. We did box jumps, TRX rows, sit-ups, ring dips, boxing, etc. Basically a HIIT workout (High Intensity Interval Training). And it was TOUGH. My shoulders are feeling it today!


Hope everyone has a great weekend, get a workout in! I’ll be back to running tomorrow ūüôā

Cosmic Run 5K Recap!


Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Rest

After the Baltimore 1/2 I headed back to the apartment for a few hours of recovery before the next race. I put ice on my legs, wore my compression socks , drank coffee and before I knew it we were in the car for an hour drive south to Waldorf, Maryland. This was a hike. It was curious that the Cosmic Run was selling out all major cities, yet the Washington, DC date still had openings… It was definitely because this wasn’t in DC or Metro accessible. The drive wasn’t too bad and by the time we arrived it stopped raining.

This 5K was AWESOME. It felt like a rave, the kind you see in the movies.  We drove out into the countryside to this barn (okay, it was a ballpark) and people were wearing light up tutus and had flashing LED grills in their mouths. Everyone had a ton of glow sticks and the energy was like a party.

start line

start line after the race was over

Every kilometer or so there was music (like Daft Punk!) blaring and a dance party station that would cover you in fluorescent powder so you would glow in the lights.  My pictures are a vast understatement to what was going on, but it was such a messy race neither of us wanted to bring our phones, just in case.

finish tunnel to the ball park

pulling into the parking lot pre-race!

I LOVE night running and haven’t done it in over a year. I miss the cool air and how fast you feel. And yes, in case you were wondering, after a half marathon earlier in the day, i surprisingly felt fast and wonderful during and after the race.


still feeling good!

Sunday was spent mostly on the couch being lazy cause we were going to see Bonobo at the 9:30 Club later in the evening. It was a great set and my legs still didn’t give out on me haha.


Loved their light show!

Loved their light show!

cameron took this without me looking :)

Been resting since this weekend has been non-stop action and I’m fighting the start of a cold. Hopefully I’ll feel good by the weekend and get a run in. Happy Tuesday!


Baltimore Running Festival 1/2 Recap! (and summary 10/7-10/13)

Matt, Laura and I left at 6:45am to get to the Baltimore Running Festival Saturday morning. We were 3 very different runners with 3 very different goals.

Matt was running the first race of the day, the 5K and was aiming for a sub-20:00. Laura and I very nervously waited at the finish line, eating our peanut butter and bagel breakfasts, watching the clock get closer and closer to the 20 minute mark. At 19:30 we saw Matt round the corner toward the finish. Neither of us knew if he’d make it, the time was ticking by so quickly, but he snuck over the timing mats in 19:58! (6:24/pace & 2nd in his division!)


Matt’s the blue blur


Laura and I were up next for the 1/2 marathon that started an hour after Matt’s race. She ran with her friend Becky, who did an excellent job pacing her. Laura ran without headphones and apparently with amazing optimism while smiling like a fool the whole way. She finished in an impressive 2:16:14 (10:23 pace!) I still can’t get over how amazing her first 1/2 time was. She never even had that moment where you hate running and question why you signed up for the race.. I know.. what a B. (hahah jk! She will be doing a guest post on losing her 1/2 mary virginity soon!)

Rebecca on left, Laura on the right

Rebecca on left, Laura on the right

I accomplished way more than I expected on Saturday. I had two goals for this race; to maintain around an 8:00-8:15 pace and have fun. I did it, but you can tell by my splits below that it was a hilly course, and I wasn’t maintaining any real pace. I went 100% on effort. I slowed down on the uphills, let my legs fly on the downhills, enjoyed the small breaks to drink at water stations and I stopped about 5 times to stretch out my legs when they tightened up. I smiled a lot, because i felt really GOOD this whole race. I ran my fastest 5 & 10 mile splits ever (including training runs) and I have much more faith in myself that I can push through an entire race at a quicker pace . The only time I hurt was the last two miles where I knew I would PR and for the first time I had the energy to kick. I PR’d by 2:03 with a time of 1:41:22!

Saturday’s 1/2 marathon splits (7:43/pace): 7:44, 7:45, 7:16, 7:34, 7:36, 8:20, 7:36, 7:53, 8:05, 7:51, 7:19, 8:25

1:41:22 Overall place 472 out of 9,657 runners. Division 25-29 female age group 33 out of 1348

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The last half mile!


I swear we didn’t coordinate, but somehow we all wore pink & black

This day wasn’t over, I still have a 5K to recap… till tomorrow!

Weekly Summary

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 8 Miles 8:04/pace

Wednesday: 25 min triceps, 15 min abs

Thursday: 15 min abs, 15 min foam rolling/stretching

Friday: 15 min foam rolling/stretching

Saturday: 13.1 race + 3.1 race

Sunday: Big Time REST

Total Miles: 24.2

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I made it rain! (and i didn’t even have to dance)

Remember my last post?? Well a day later it started raining, pouring and the temps have dropped about 15 degrees. I’d rather run a race in light rain and cooler weather over hot & humid any day of the year. One of my favorite races was Cincinnati’s Flying Pig 1/2 Marathon and it started off in a downpour and misted/showered the whole time. Instead of getting upset that it was raining, i put my iPod in a ziplock bag, looked up at the sky and laughed. Besides squishy shoes, I enjoyed the rain.¬†It kept me cool the entire race and made me feel like a kid dodging puddles and trying not to slip.

the very wet Flying Pig 1/2

i’m actually smiling at the finish ūüôā

I will be drawing inspiration from that race to get me through Balitmore’s wet hills tomorrow morning. My only goals are to enjoy the race, SMILE, and try to stay around an 8:15 pace <—and if this doesn’t happen i’m not going to be upset, it’s just an easy pace I can hold comfortably, but with slick roads you never know!

Here’s a few tips for running a race in rain:

Put your electronics in Ziplock bags–cell phones, ipods, mp3 players etc. Put these in ziplock bags if using them. If they’re going in your checked bag–put them in a ziplock. ¬†Your bag could leak and get your things wet. Better to be safe with your expensive items. If possible, leave them in the car.

Garbage bags/Rain Poncho-¬†Before the race begins, its much more comfortable to sit on dry garbage bags than the wet ground. You can also wear these to stay dry & warm before the race starts. I’ve seen people start their race or run the whole race wearing a poncho or bag.

Bring dry clothes/shoes/socks & towels-– have these dry items in your car ready for you to change into.

Anti-chafe stick/friction cream– whatever you have use it, especially on your toes/feet/chest/thighs, if possibly carry it along the race and reapply

Stay away from cotton or clothes that get heavy when wet.

Wear a hat/visor–to keep rain out of your eyes if it’s pouring.

Picture the End-¬†If running in the rain is tough, uncomfortable and just not fun for you, try picturing the hot shower you will get once you’re finished and a cup of coffee or hot chocolate or whiskey ūüėČ that’s waiting for you at home.

I picked up the Cosmic Run’s bibs and shirts for the 5k I will be doing tomorrow night, which I hope will happen. I’m hoping my legs will still move to complete 3.1 more miles in the same day haha.

Shirt, Bib & Glow Stick necklace!

Shirt, Bib & Glow Stick necklace & tattoos!

This week has been a real easy running week, just a lot of rest, foam rolling & stretching. Here’s me bored in between clients, just stretching and waiting for the races this weekend…


Also, it’s about that time of year to make my famous Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies. Okay, not mine, more like Food Network’s, but I can follow a mean recipe. ūüôā Okay, not even, cause I accidentally used the wrong recipe. It wasn’t as good as last years, but it’s my first batch and they still turned out awesome! As soon as I get the right recipe I’ll be sharing.


Alright, gotta get my race gear laid out for tomorrow, hope everyone is having a great Friday!



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A Cookie the Size of My Head & Summary 9/30-10/6

This weekend went by too fast. You know when people ask you on Monday what you did over the weekend and you’re like, “I have no idea.” That’s how I feel, but I’m gonna blame the grogginess on allergies again. Between all the Zyrtec and Grand Theft Auto-ing happening at the moment, we still managed to get some important things done. Like buying ¬†a new mattress, and seeing Wavves live on Saturday night.

Sunday was a full day of hanging out and started it off with a run. I didn’t last too long because again, it was 85 degrees and humid. I still have hope that Saturday will cool down for these races *Please race gods, cool the weather for the races!*

Later on I went to REI which is this awesome outdoor sporting goods store. They had Brooks & Nike gear and a ton of nutrition options so I was pretty happy and ended up walking out of the store with 2 different brands of electrolyte drink tablets. They had Nuun (my go-to), but I was feeling experimental so I grabbed Hammer Nutrition Grapefruit tabs & GU Brew Lemon-Lime. ¬†I also picked up my tried & true 2X caffeinated Jet Blackberry GU for Saturday’s race and a flavor i’ve never seen before — Cherry Blaze.

Complimentary Competitor Magazine, don't mind if i do!

Complimentary Competitor Magazine, don’t mind if i do!

We get hungry when we shop. Please tell me we’re not the only ones… Anywho we ended up at a Indian restaurant down the road and it was delicious!


My favorite part of Sunday was definitely picking up a bottle of wine, heading home to relax and watch Harry Potter (the Order of the Phoenix) :). They were selling cookies at the beer store’s register and had to have one. Sometimes I’m demanding, especially when my sweet tooth kicks in. I pretend this is one of those things Cameron finds endearing. ¬†The cookie looked better than it tasted, but even a bad cookie is better than no cookie at all. I know, i’m so wise.

Weekly Summary

Monday: 10m Long 8:27/pace, 3:00 plank

Tuesday: 4.5m Easy, 25 min Chest/Biceps, 20 min Abs

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 8.2m Tempo 8:03/pace, 15 min Abs

Friday: 4.75m Easy 11:06/pace, 15 min TRX arm workout

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 4.7m Easy

Total Miles: 32.2

Who’s getting ready for a race this weekend?

Favorite Cookie? 

I make pumpkin dark chocolate cookies…

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Hey weather, chill out already. Get it? Cause it’s hot.

Thursday: 8.2m Tempo 8:03/pace, 15 min abs

Friday: 4.75m Easy 11:06/pace

I’m not gonna lie to you. These last 2 weeks of running have been awfully hard. And it’s not really about my legs dying out on me. It’s allergies. During my Thursday tempo run I went out ready to run sub-8 miles. My legs were ready and fresh from all the ice & compression, but 2 miles in I was debating on calling it a day. I ended up adjusting my workout to 1/2 mile repeats instead.


Hey, look at me unaware of thursday’s craptastic voyage i’m about to take.

Even after cutting my work in half AND taking 1-2 minute rest periods between each 1/2 mile I was still having trouble catching my breath from the humidity and allergies. When things don’t go right during a run my mind becomes a real jerk. “Why are you running? You know you suck. You’re never gonna make it over those hills next week. Your outfit is stupid. You sound like an 80 year old who needs an oxygen tank.”

It’s terrible sometimes, the things my inner self will say when i’m having an off day. I’ve learned it’s best for me to try finishing the workout as best I can because when it’s over I’ll be proud to have muscled through and hush up those mean thoughts.¬†I don’t want you guys to think I hate running. ¬†It’s just when I do tempo runs or track work, it is work for me. It’s hard and uncomfortable, but I do it because it makes me a faster and more efficient runner ¬†<— and this makes me happy.

Other things that make me happy? Puppies, Lindt sea salt dark chocolate, movie nights, and running with people. I got to run with Laura this morning for an easy 4.75 miles. I use ‘easy’ loosely because we both weren’t feeling the run almost immediately after we started. But it definitely made it easier having someone there to suffer¬†talk with. And we’re both getting excited for next Saturday’s race!

Laura & Griffin

Laura & Griffin

Are any of you experiencing allergies like me?

What do you use/take/do to alleviate them?

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I got a little race slap happy…

Tuesday: 4.5 easy miles 8:38/pace, 25 min chest/biceps, 20 min abs

Wednesday: Rest

And by race slap happy, I mean race register happy. As in I have 3 races on my schedule in the next 30 days and 2 of those races will take place on¬†the same day. Yep, I’m pretty dumb and I like to run. You can call me Forrest, Forrest Gump.

The 1st & 2nd races will take place on Saturday, October 12th. The Baltimore Running Festival 1/2 & the Cosmic Run 5K. Believe it or not i’m not gunning for a PR in either races. This 1/2 is so close from my last half in Philadelphia, it would take a miracle to run a faster race on HILLS.

Cameron asked me an important question before I registered. He asked if I would be okay running a 1/2 and not setting a personal record. It took a second to really comprehend that idea and finally I told him yes. I haven’t been able to run a 1/2 just for fun. And if I don’t set a PR at least it would be on my terms, not from a bad race. For that reason, I’m excited to run without a set goal in mind. I’m gonna run my little heart out, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I can’t keep a pace, or run slower than normal or take longer at the water stations.

The big reason I registered for the Baltimore 1/2 is because my friends will be running. Matt & Laura are going for two separate goals: Matt is trying to go sub 20:00 in the 5k & Laura is doing her 1st half marathon ever and I can’t wait to be there to support, scream and high five the crap out of them!

Look how cute they are! I wanted to give you an idea of how they look cleaned up before I post our sweaty race day photos.


After the running festival I will hit up the Cosmic Run 5K at 8pm that night. My plan between races is to recover with an ice bath, a nap, and by drinking plenty of coffee before the race.

My final race in this 30 day period is on Sunday, November 3rd, just 3 days after we get back from Jamaica. The Parks 10K in DC will run through East & West Potomac Park, fast & flat (my fave) and when you register you get a SWEET New Balance hoodie. How many times do you register for a race and get a hoodie? I can’t wait to get mine.

Hoodie Swag

Hoodie Swag

Click here to register Potomac River Running. PR Running hosts races all over the DC metropolitan area and they do a great job running really fun events. I did the Run for Haiti 5K last March and they were well organized (important!) and had special guests at the finish line…

-Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins wide receiver.


just kickin’ it with Pierre

At the finish- I placed 2nd in my age group.

At the finish- I placed 2nd in my age group.

That sums up my current race schedule. I’m narrowing my 1/2 and full marathon options for 2014 down and should know details sometime in November. Next year is when I’ll try to qualify for Boston!

What’s your favorite fall beverage?

I loooove hot apple cider & chai tea

What’s your favorite way to cross train?

I generally strength train, hike or do yoga