September 28, 2017

So I'm Boston Bound-Hello Boston Marathon 2018!


So my goal of getting accepted to run the Boston Marathon is becoming a reality. I received an email in my inbox last Sunday night that looked like this: 

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I saw the subject line in my inbox and was like HOLY SH#&! 

Now I had put in my application on Friday when it opened up for qualifiers who had a  time over 5 minutes under the qualifying time. I was expecting to hear back on Monday, because silly me assumed people weren't working fast enough to verify results and get a bunch of emails out on Sunday night. So just randomly checking my email Sunday night as dinner was cooking literally really caught me by surprise and I yelled and then got a bit teary. So it was more like omgomgomgomgomogomg


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And then randomly crying on and off. 

I celebrated with some prosecco and supermarket chocolate cake! Okay so really I was planning on having the cake before I got the email, but it was clearly meant to be.

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Running a qualifying time with a big cushion this past year at the Chicago Marathon was really special. Like really FREAKING special. It's been weird since then when I'm talking to people about having another qualifying time with a cushion most likely to get me accepted into the race based on previous years, but not having that official acceptance. I've been saying "well I ran X time, but do not know if I'm officially able to run the race yet." That leads to me explaining that there are only 30,000 spots available for the race with 80% going to qualifiers and the remaining 20% of spots going to charity runners. Therefore in recent years more people apply with qualifying times then there are spots available. This year the cutoff below the qualifying time ended up being 3:23 (more info here). 

I feel like I could drag on about how hard I worked for this.That I had a really freaking strong training cycle last year despite slogging through full-time graduate school, coaching, and working over 25 hours a week, etc.Then that I also had a really great race day where I stuck to my race day plan and things turned out better than expected. 

This dream I've had since running my first full marathon, and yes it was only a dream at first, of qualifying for Boston is REALLY HAPPENING. I know a bunch of friends and virtual running friends who will be there running, and even my parents are planning to watch me run (who have never seen me run a marathon before!). This is one of those big long-term goals that I've finally achieved. Obviously because they are big and long-term, it's not the type of  goal you are crushing every day or even every year. The hard work, the journey makes it even sweeter. 

I want to make you feel super inspired or could babble on about how important this goal is to me, but don't know what I can say that doesn't sound cliche or silly. So here's a little token of my journey I shared on social media. 

💙5 yrs ago (the weekend I received my acceptance email, actually) I ran my first half marathon at Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia
💙 4 yrs ago I ran my first full marathon- the Baltimore Marathon
💙2 yrs ago I qualified by 12 seconds but wasn't accepted to run Boston due to number of runners who applied vs. spots available 
💙1 yr ago I ran my best marathon yet at Chicago 7:36 under my qualifying time
💙2018 I'll be running the Boston Marathon 


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So remember to run happy, dream big, and keep hustlin'. Dreams come to those who hustle. 
See ya in April, Boston.  

August 17, 2017

Join me at the 2017 Runner's World Half Marathon Weekend {Discount & Giveaway}


Today I'm sharing some really freaking exciting news. I literally yelled "OMGGGGGGG
when I saw this email slide into my inbox. 

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I am SO FREAKING PUMPED to share that I'm a part of the 2017 Runner's World Half Run Crew and will be at the Runner's World Half & Festival



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This year's events start October 20th in Bethlehem, PA and include a 5K, 10K, half marathon, kids races and trail race. There is also several multiple-race options including The Five & Dime (5K & 10K), The Hat Trick (5K, 10K, and Half), and The Grand Slam 26.2 Weekend Marathon. 



I've never attended or run any of the events in this festival, but I'm beyond excited to run in a new festival in a new area. I also have been a subscriber to Runner's World for approximately 4 years since around the time I ran my first half marathon so this is beyond exciting. 



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Besides running and being a part of the Runner's World Half Run Crew, there's plenty that I am excited about just from attending the festival. 
Here are five things to check out that are sure to make Runner's World Half & Festival a great weekend: 



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1. Seminars with Altra

Besides all of the awesome races, there will be really awesome events including seminars with help from sponsor Altra with some of the topics including self defense, pregnancy and postpartum as well as one I feel every runner should be educated on-Runner's CPR. 

2. Sara and Ryan Hall

This year there will also be a special Q&A with elite runners Sara and Ryan Hall (who will be running events during the weekend with their kids!). Sara's a professional runner who has recently made appearances in the marathon distance, and Ryan is ran in two Olympic Marathons and h

3. Bart Yasso

Bart Yasso is the legendary runner and longtime Chief Running Officer of Runner's World who is retiring in December. He is having a special book release party Friday, October 20 for his second book during the weekend (4 days before it goes on sale to the public on October 24th!). Check out his book here (love the message of the title!). 

4. A DOG RACE

After the kids races on Saturday there is a 1-mile run for dogs and their owners through the historic ArtsQuest campus. It's FREE with pre-registration. No, I do not have a dog I am just an avid dog- watcher and animal aficionado. By dog watcherk I mean dog creeper and person who loves to pet other people's dogs with permission! 

5. Free beer from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Who doesn't love a delicious free beer after a half marathon? I'm especially excited because Dogfish Head is one of my favorite breweries! 

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I have so much more to share as the event gets closer including lots of goodies and giveaways for you all.  I have a discount code good for 10% off your registration for any event in the Runner's World Half & Festival-just use BREATHEDEEPLY at checkout when you register. 
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You can also try your chances and enter my giveaway for a FREE race entry (thanks to Runner's World!) below. 

What race event (or multiple-race challenge!) would you like to run at the RW Half & Festival? Have you ever run a race at this festival? 

July 17, 2017

Be Open with AfterShokz TrekzTitanium Wireless Headphones {Review}

Disclosure: Through my partnership as a SweatPink/FitApproach ambassador, I received a complimentary set of AfterShokz TrekzTitanium wireless headphones from AfterShokz in exchange for my review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I love me some tech-free, music-free runs. However especially as I've had some rough runs lately as I try to rebuild my base mileage or when I've needed to give myself a big pep talk to attempt 3-4 mile runs in this heat and humidity, I've been relying more on my Spotify playlists. I'm also highly annoyed by my headphones staying in my ears and dealing with headphone cords getting stuck to me. I'm a super sweaty person so even the "sweatproof" earbuds" I find myself adjusting and pushing back into my ear throughout a run. I seriously don't know what took me so long to try some wireless headphones. 

I'm super grateful I jumped at the chance to try out the AfterShokz TrekzTitanium bluetooth headphones.  

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On the website you can choose from 4 color combos with black, and pick what measurements you want. It offers a mini size in addition to the regular, based on the length of the space between your ears. It took me 5 minutes to set-up after charging my headphones with a USB cord, mostly involving connecting the Bluetooth on my phone to the AfterShokz. 

I took them on an inaugural sweaty & humid Baltimore summer run and was pleasantly surprised. 
AfterShokz advertises the TrekzTitanium headphones as IP55 sweat resistant. They also use PremiumPitch+™ technology which gives a great sound with nice bass levels. I haven't let them run out of charge yet, but these are advertised as lasting for 6 hours of continuous music and/or calls on a single charge. Any weird blips in your music are related to your Bluetooth connection, not the headphones. 


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SUPER SWEATY but headphones just chilling in place. 
I also REALLY love that these headphones use bone conduction technology which delivers music through your cheekbones so that your ears are open to hear all the sounds and noises around you-super important for runner safety! 

On my first run it was amazing! No cords to manage! Even better was in the gym when I was lifting, I didn't have to worry about getting tangled or pulling the cord out of my phone which happens ALL the time to me. 

The only thing that takes getting used to with these headphones, at least for me, is where I have the titanium wraparound headband part to sit on my head. The bone conduction headphone pieces sit just in front of your eyes on you cheekbones and then wraparound part either sits around the back of your head or for me, sits lower on my neck. A couple times during runs I re-adjust, but I think it's just a comfort thing because they don't actually seem to be slipping down or anything.  It also takes a little adjusting when I wear them with sunglasses which overlap the headband part. Anyways, it's way better than ear discomfort or having headphones clogged with sweat and earwax (kinda gross, but it happens to me!). 

Another downside for some runners is the price tag which sits at $129.  Yes it's expensive but these are nice headphones, and it comes with a 2 year warranty which is nice. I'm also SUPER excited because Charm City Run in Locust Point just got these in stock so you can go check them out and try them on in person if you live in the area. 

You can enter to win a pair of your own from FitApproach here! Also if you purchase from the SweatPink link here you will receive a free stainless steel water bottle with your purchase with code SWEAT. 

Overall I am completely sold on wireless headphones in general and more specifically these AfterShokz TrekzTitanium headphones. They have great sound quality, allow for my ears to be free to hear ambient noises around me, and stay in place on sweaty runs. 

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Have you ever tried out wireless headphones? What is your favorite song to listen to when working out lately?

July 14, 2017

Injury Update #3: Don't Call it a Comeback

In case you missed it, I was diagnosed with a 4th metatarsal stress fracture at the very end of October and survived almost 4 weeks in a boot doing zero exercise of any type. I posted my last injury update in JANUARY about PT and all that fun stuff. 

So I have taken a couple months off of blogging because I finished my last semester of classes for grad school (::woop::woop) and had a month off school completely and working for 2 weeks before starting my clinical rotations. Plus there wasn't much to say. 

I got some longer runs in to run the Love Run Half Marathon in Philadelphia after March which I completely in okay time, but feeling crappy. It was too much too soon. I took a week off afterward because of intermittent soreness in my foot the following week (the foot felt fine during the race and the days after).

This spring was my hardest semester of classes and with being busy it was really hard for me to get into a solid running/workout routine again. I feel like I'd skip/miss workouts and then do a bunch of running, etc. and never get a stable base of 15-20 miles. I'd feel some weird soreness in my healed foot (same feeling of the initial injury almost) every couple of weeks that freaked me out and made me take it easy/off running for a few days (or a week in a couple of cases). I even went back to my ortho in April to talk to him and made him do an X-ray just to try to ease my anxiety.  Yes, he thinks I'm crazy. 

So if you are coming back from an injury, it may not be as straightforward as you think. There will probably be some ups and downs along way. 

Now it's July and almost time to start Philadelphia Marathon training which I'm keeping low-key because I've got my eyes on the dream of being healthy for Boston 2018. I still feel not as fast or fit as I was pre-injury, but I've built my mileage up to all 20-24 miles per week in June. I need to do better at my PT exercises, stretching, foam-rolling still (story of my life? most runners' lives?). 

However I feel like I've been really consistent the past month (not working or being in grad school classes/fieldwork, haha) which has been a great reset.  I feel like I'm at a good place where I'm just okay. All my running buddies who I have talked to in the past 6 weeks are like "so you're healed, now?" or "so you're back to normal now?". I'm not feeling that way, but I'm good. I even ran a 6:06 mile on a whim for the Strava #mymile mile PR challenge so I know the speed and fitness is in me-it just needs to be trained and tuned up. I've been doing some fun runs, having good workouts with friends, and re-fueling like a boss (that never stopped!). I'm running and loving life right now.  

Now off to do some resistance band hip and glute exercises...


#5ummit NECS_MA trail race action shot 


May 30, 2017

5 Tips for Surviving #ShackTrackandField {plus class at Rev Cycle Studio beforehand}

Disclosure: I was given a complimentary ride at REV Cycle Studio for hosting a giveaway and sharing about the event. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Last week I was lucky enough to get the chance to take part in the last event in REV Cycle Studio's #REVOutdoors series which happened to be a partnership with Shack Track and Field, Shake Shack's monthly run club. The event involved a 30 minute spin class at REV followed by a short run to Shake Shack where the first beverage was on the house. Now I regularly participate in the Shack Track and Field runs (the second Tuesday of every month starting from Charm City Run) and REV is my favorite place to spin in Baltimore, so this event sounded PERFECT. 

I've run to Shake Shack before but adding in a spin class before a run adds a whole new twist to the mix. Classes were held at both the McHenry Row and Brewer's Hill locations. 

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I had an awesome, sweaty, and fun spin class with Sean at McHenry Row where we spun fast and climbed hills for 30 minutes, leaving just enough in the tank for just over 2 miles of running in the beginning of a rainy storm as group. Then that was followed by enjoying a free huge red velvet milkshake at Shake Shack. And buying myself a chicken sandwich for dinner there because #starving. 


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Here are some tips for when you decide to run to Shake Shack or spin AND run to Shake Shack because #shacktrackandfield: 
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1. If you are making it a duathlon (spinning and running), leave just a little bit left in the tank during the spin class. If you are completely exhausted, it will feel like a very very long 2-3 miles to Shake Shack. 
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2. Keep it a moderate pace. There is plenty of Shake Shack beverages for everyone, however if you want to beat a long line of sweaty runners and get your delicious FREE beverage faster, keep it moving on the run. 
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3. Have an idea of what you want ahead of time. I like visualizing my delicious milkshake or cold beer as motivation during the run. It also is helpful knowing what I want before I hop in line before I'm thinking about how sweaty and tired I am post-run. 
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4. Don't feel guilty or think about how that milkshake is probably 1000 calories or maybe you'll save a hundred calories by not getting whipped cream on top. Treat yo'self. You deserve it, and it's delicious. You literally ran (and possibly spun) here for this. 
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5. Find a friend to carpool with or call an Uber/Lyft/cab. I've made the mistake of trying to run the mile back to my house after having a milkshake and fries. I do not recommend it. 
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I definitely encourage you to check out Shack Track and Field the second Tuesday of every month (Baltimore group leaves from Charm City Run at 7 PM). 

Also if you are interested in another awesome REV Cycle Studio spinning + food event check out an event happening tomorrow with Atwater's! First you can get your sweat on for 45 minutes of REVBlast with Rachel at 5:30 PM or REV45 with Eddie at 6:30. Then head down to Atwater's to refuel with a 3 course prix fixe dinner including your choice of beer or wine, salad, entree, and dessert for only $35. Such a sweet deal! Details and register here

You can also save 30% off class packs at REV Cycle Studio's new Brewer's Hill studio with discount code "gearupBH" at checkout -just in time for summer!

Have you ever participated in Shack Track in Field? What is your favorite drink to have after a run? 

 
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