Manic Monday – 07/25/16

Manic Monday

Leaf Peepers Half Marathon Training Week 2

What Was Planned vs. What Happened

Monday 07/18/16: YogaWalk at Lunch

Long story short, I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed out by our messy apartment, and I knew that any serenity I might find at yoga would be wiped away the minute I stepped inside our shitheap. So, I went home and did a flurry of chores, and felt much better. I’m glad I got the walk in at lunch. Pokemon Go for the win!

Tuesday 07/19/16: 4 Miles + Core | 4.1 Miles @ 10:10 Pace + 15 Min Core

I got up and ran before work, as is becoming my Tuesday tradition, then did my core work in the evening.

Wednesday 07/20/16: Yoga or Spin | Walk at Lunch

I bailed on the early wake up call for spin, and then I forgot I had a voice lesson in the evening, so yoga was out too. Still, though, the walk at lunch was brisk, and close to 3 miles long.

Thursday 07/21/16: 3 Mile Tempo | 1 Mile w/u + 3 Tempo Miles

Ben and I made the irresponsible adult decision to stay up late watching Foyle’s War on Wednesday night, so my usual morning run didn’t happen. It was HOT and HUMID after work, but I managed to barely cling to my goal tempo pace, with three tempo miles at 9:50, 10:03, and 9:48 after an easy warm up mile.

Friday 07/22/16: Rest | Walk at Lunch

It was hot and humid, but I walked about 2.5 miles.

Saturday 07/23/16: 3 Miles | 7 Miles @ 11:06

I decided to switch my long run to Saturday since I’d be working at Athleta most of the day on Sunday. It was horribly humid, so I only made it 7 miles before calling it quits. Still though, this was my longest run in months, and I’m glad I got it done.

Sunday 07/24/16: 8 MilesRest

I worked at Athleta from 12:30-7, so that’s not really rest, but it’s not really a workout either.

Weekly Mileage:  15.1

Total 2016 Mileage: 450.2

I’m not proud of bailing on all of my non-running workouts this week, but it is what it is. I’m glad I got my runs in, and I’m loving lunchtime walks when it’s not too hot. Working at Athleta on top of my 9 to 5 job continues to make sticking to my preferred workout schedule challenging, but I’m trying to just go with the flow.

Friday Free-For-All – 07/22/16

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

July is a birthday-ful month in my family. My older sister Jessica’s birthday was Monday, my mom’s birthday is today, and my dad’s birthday is next Friday. This means my budget is shot for the month, haha! Paying for all those presents in rapid succession is tough.

This is the first weekend all month that I haven’t had to travel somewhere. I am PUMPED. I’m pretty tired of driving, and it will be nice to just be at home and spend some quality time with Ben and our local friends. Our buddy Pete’s birthday celebrations are tomorrow, and then I have to work at Athleta on Sunday.

My running club changed their Saturday morning start time to 7:30 from 8 am and I am NOT a fan. I already had a hard enough time prying myself out of bed on Saturday for an 8 o’clock run, and now they expect me to get there for 7:30? Rude. Still though, I miss the camaraderie, and the excuse to drive to Shelburne and run on the Ti Path and Shelburne Bay Path. I haven’t made up my mind yet whether or not I’ll be attending tomorrow. I guess it depends on how late I stay up tonight. Also, I’m toying with the idea of switching my long run to tomorrow since I have to work a 6.5 hour shift at Athleta on Sunday. Decisions, decisions.

Do you wake up early on weekends to run?

 

Roller Coaster Race Recap Part 2: The Ride

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Roller Coaster Race Lake George as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Welcome to part 2 of my Roller Coaster Race recap, where I talk about the “ride” race. You can read Part 1 here.

What Is It?

In addition to the 5k and 10k running races, there was also the option to ride a 5k distance (16,405 feet) worth of roller coasters. They had a handy chart (see below) showing how long each coaster was, and each participant received a wrist band with sections for the different coasters. After each ride, you’d get a hole punch to prove you rode it, and at the end of the day, you checked in at the race tent, where they calculated your overall distance, and awarded you with a medal.

Roller Coaster
Distance (ft) Minimum Height (in)
Alpine Bobsled 1,490 42
Flashback 1,870 48
Comet 4,197 48
Steamin’ Demon 1,565 48
Frankie’s Mine Train 787 42 (none w/ adult)
Canyon Blaster 2,036 48 (42 w/ adult)

How Did it Go?

To be honest, I feel like there were a lot of things that sounded good in theory, but in practice, didn’t work out so well. Part of the hype for the event is that those participating would “Enjoy early access to The Great Escape and select rides, before the park opens to the public!” Now, I assumed, and I don’t think I was the only one, that this “early access” would allow us to get a head start on our roller coaster mileage before the park opened to the general public. I know that I shouldn’t assume, but here’s what actually happened:

After waiting around in the sun until 9:30, we were allowed through security and into the park. Several hundred of us streamed in, only to find that we had been relegated to a fraction of the park, with only one operational set of restrooms per gender, no food vendors, and only three operating rides. The bathrooms were jam-packed with stinky runners trying to change out of their sweaty clothes, and there was only one roller coaster available, The Flashback (formerly the Boomerang), which I know for a fact gives me motion sickness because it goes backwards. I was immediately irritated, especially because by this point, I was HANGRY due to the less-than-stellar post-race food offerings.

I ended up just sitting on a bench and waiting until 10 am, when the park was officially open, and then getting changed and making a beeline for the closest coaster, The Canyon Blaster. I’d never ridden it before, and it was actually a lot of fun. There was almost zero wait because it was so early in the day, and I thought about getting in line to get right back on, but I decided to hop on the Steamin’ Demon since it was right next door. They’re doing this new Virtual Reality experience, which sounds cool, but in reality means it takes about 5 times longer to load and unload everyone, because they have to get the headsets on and off. I opted not to do the VR experience, and I’m glad. I didn’t like this coaster much at all–I was jostled hard and my head bounced back and forth between the shoulder guards a lot, giving me a headache that would stick around all day.

At this point, I headed toward the Comet, for several reasons; firstly, it’s the longest coaster in the park, and only four rides on it would get me enough mileage to get my medal, and secondly, it’s my favorite roller coaster EVER. As I made my way to the Comet, I kept my eyes peeled for a food vendor, because as previously  mentioned, I was starving. As I walked, I was disappointed time and time again by signs stating “Open Daily at 11.” It was only 10:20. Strike one. I passed the Alpine Bobsled, my second favorite coaster, and saw a sign saying it wouldn’t be open until 11. Strike two. I got to the Comet only to find that it was closed, and the attendant didn’t know when or if it would be open that day. Strike three. I was full-on pissed.

Photo Jul 16, 12 54 17 PM

I wanted to steal this lion’s beer.

I wandered for the next 40 minutes, stewing in my hanger and frustration. Eventually, 11 am rolled around and I was able to get my hands on an $8 slice of pizza. Yes, you read that right. $8 for a greasy, crappy slice of pizza. But it was better than nothing. Feeling somewhat better, I headed back to where I’d come from and got in line for the Alpine Bobsled. I waited at least 40 minutes in line, in the blazing sun, feeling more and more discouraged as time went on. If the waits were all like this, there was no way I’d have the patience or the staying power to finish the 5k. My head was aching and I could tell I was dehydrated and still very hungry.

After the Bobsled, I decided to try my luck back over at the Canyon Blaster again, since the lines the first time around had been so short. I waited 30 minutes in line, and decided I’d had enough. I’d take a final swing by the Comet to see if by some miracle it was open, and if it wasn’t, I was going home, regardless of whether or not I’d finished the 5k. As luck would have it, the Comet WAS open, and had ridiculously short lines, likely because it’s way in the back of the park, behind the water park. I rode the Comet twice in rapid succession, but after the second time my head hurt so badly I knew that going again would be a really bad idea. I decided to call it quits. I didn’t think I had quite enough distance to qualify for the Ride medal, but I hoped the race officials would take pity on me. (After going back and doing the math, I was 884 feet short).

Photo Jul 16, 1 33 05 PM

That’s the Comet in the background

Now here is where I got really upset. In order to check in with the Roller Coaster Race officials, I had to completely exit the park. No big deal, as I was planning to leave anyway. I got outside and tried to walk over to the table that I could clearly see not 20 yards away, but was stopped by a security guard telling me I couldn’t go that way. I asked how I was supposed to check in with the race table, and he told me I’d have to go through security again. I’d have to wait in line and go through a metal detector again when I was hot, dehydrated, and quite frankly, OVER IT. I shook my head in disbelief and left without going to the race table. I’m sorry, but nobody should have to go back through security just to get their damn medal. I had literally just exited the park that I had already gone through security to get access to, and I couldn’t just walk over to the table that was RIGHT FREAKING THERE.

I will be the first to admit that I did a lot wrong. I didn’t eat enough of the post-race fare because I assumed I could get food inside the park. I didn’t drink enough water and got dehydrated. I assumed that early access to the park meant early access to the coasters. But the park and the race did some stuff wrong too. When you’ve got hungry runners, you need to make sure they get fed, or at least make sure they have access to food. When you’ve got “racers” trying to get a certain number of rides in, you need to make sure that all of your coasters are operational, and maybe make it easier for them to get in the required number of rides before lines get out of control. And you need to make access to race officials easy. That table should either have been inside the park, or outside the security checkpoint.

All that being said, I would consider doing this race again, especially knowing what I know now. As they say, hindsight is 20/20. If I had brought plenty of my own water and snacks, the day certainly would have been a lot more pleasant. And I also would have just ridden the Canyon Blaster as many times in a row as I could while the lines were so short, which would have prevented a lot of me feeling pissy about wait times and being able to ride enough coasters before I wanted to go home.

Did you ever make an assumption about a race that turned out to be incorrect? How did you handle it?

 

 

Roller Coaster Race Recap Part 1: The Run

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Roller Coaster Race Lake George as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I decided to do this recap in two parts, since I technically participated in two races. If you want just a brief recap of the details, feel free to check out my BibRave review here.

What/Where/When: Roller Coaster 10k @ Great Escape, Lake George, NY, 7/16/16

Weather: Mid-60’s at the start, sunny, with 90% humidity!

Pre-Race:

I had to wake up at 3:30 am to drive to Lake George on the morning of the race because I couldn’t afford a hotel stay. It was an uneventful drive and after a stop at Dunkin Donuts for some much-needed caffeine, I arrived at the Great Escape at about 6:15 am. I was really happy that the race offered race day packet pickup, otherwise I may not have been able to do it.

Photo Jul 16, 6 26 34 AM

Packet pick-up was very smooth, and while gear check was available, I just decided to leave my stuff in my car, which was only a short walk away from the start line. There was a DJ booth set up, and announcements were made every so often. I just hung out in the staging area, which was a big parking lot, warming up and waiting to start. I managed to get into a porta potty before the lines got too long. While there were only about 300 runners between the 5k and 10k, the number of porta potties was too low, in my opinion. There were still a lot of runners in line to go when it was time to start.

On the Course:

The course was a loop around and through the park, or a double loop for the 10k runners. I was very concerned about the humidity, but the course was surprisingly well-shaded; I’d say at least half the course has decent tree cover. It’s also a nice mix of packed sand/dirt trails and running on pavement, so it was easy on the joints.

Overall it’s a pretty flat course, with a few small hills, only one of which is truly noteworthy, around the 1.5 mile mark of the loop. I just tried to take it easy and be in the moment. If I felt good, I picked up the pace, if I felt overheated or tired, I slowed down. There were two water stops on the loop, which I think was just enough, but even so, the humidity was awful, and I seriously considered just stopping after 5k.

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Starting loop #2

Somehow I managed to convince myself to finish the full 10k, and repeated the loop around the park. There were some very cool parts, like running behind my favorite roller coaster, the Comet, but on the whole, it’s not a super exciting course. Lots of twists and sharp turns through the park itself. I will say, though, that the volunteers on the course were top notch. The course was very well-marked with chalk arrows, and plenty of volunteers at any of the areas where runners might be confused about which way to go. All of the volunteers were super helpful and encouraging, which made a mentally tough race a lot nicer for me.

During the last half mile or so, I found myself chasing another woman. I didn’t want to kick too early and end up puking at the finish, so I stayed close to her. As we neared the finish line, her daughter was waiting for her and encouraging her to finish strong. She sped up, so I did too, and we ended up racing each other to the finish. She almost passed me right before the finish line, but I kicked it up to a sprint and finished just ahead of her. I’m just a little bit competitive sometimes… My official finish time was 1:03:18, which is a 3 minute PR for me! Woohoo!

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You can see the woman I was racing on the right

Post-Race:

 

Photo Jul 16, 8 41 16 AMThere were volunteers on hand to immediately dispense medals, and the food tent was a short distance away. My only complaint about the race comes here: all of the beverages were warm. Not one single cold beverage to be found. They had water, three different flavors of Gatorade, and Muscle Milk, but they were all warm-to-hot. All I wanted after such a disgustingly warm and humid race was a cold drink, and there were none. I was so excited to see chocolate Muscle Milk, but when I picked it up and it was warm, I actually said “Ugh!” out loud and put it back. I couldn’t imagine drinking a warm protein shake. Ugh.

I was also a little disappointed with the food. There were bananas, apples, dry grocery store bagels (maybe there were spreads, but I didn’t see them), and cookies. I really could have used something a bit more substantial, especially considering that none of the food vendors in the park opened until 11 am (which I didn’t find out until later), and it was now only 9 am. But that’s a tale for the “Ride” race recap.

I stretched out a bit in the finish area, ate my banana, then went to my car to get my bag with change of clothes etc for my day in the park. And that’s where I’ll leave it until part 2.

Would you drink a room temperature Muscle Milk?

Manic Monday – 07/18/16

Manic Monday

Leaf Peepers Half Marathon Training Week 1

What Was Planned vs. What Happened

Monday 07/11/16: Yoga | Walk @ Lunch

Working at Athleta has complicated my training schedule a bit. My shifts are all over the place, so it’s hard to keep to a regular training schedule. I like doing yoga on Mondays, but I’ve been working Monday nights a lot. I still managed to get a 3ish mile walk in on lunch, though, which is better than nothing.

Tuesday 07/12/16: 4 Miles + Arms | 4 Miles @ 10:02 Pace + Arms

I woke up and did my run before work, then did arms in the evening. I’m starting to really like morning runs, it’s just hard sometimes to pull myself out of bed.

Wednesday 07/13/16: Yoga or Spin | 3ish Mile Walk

I was feeling really tired on Tuesday night, so I made the conscious decision not to get up before work for a class. And since we had date night scheduled, an after work class was out too. I opted to go for a nice walk at lunch instead.

Thursday 07/14/16: 6 x 400 | 1 Mile w/u + 6 x 400

It was a very humid morning, but by keeping my warm up and recovery pace nice and slow, I was able to complete all of my intervals within 15 seconds of my 5k race pace, and my last one was my fastest, which is something I always strive for.

Friday 07/15/16: RestRest

I knew I had a very early wakeup on Saturday morning, so I took it easy on Friday and went to bed extra early.

Saturday 07/16/16: Roller Coaster 10k | Roller Coaster 10k

Recap coming soon!

Sunday 07/17/16: 8 Miles | Rest

I ended up pretty dehydrated and exhausted on Saturday, plus I had to work 7 hours at Athleta on Sunday, so I decided not to run.

Weekly Mileage: 14.17

Total 2016 Mileage: 435.1

All in all not a bad week, but it’s time to start getting serious about long runs again.

Friday Free-For-All – 07/15/16

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

Are any of you playing Pokemon Go? I am, and I’m a little ashamed of how into it I am. There was a time when I collected Pokemon cards and played the games on my Gameboy non-stop, but that time was quite a while ago. And yet, when I saw this new Pokemon game that I could play on my phone, it was like I was immediately 10 years old again, and I couldn’t wait to catch ’em all. I don’t feel that bad about playing, because it actually requires you to get up off your butt and walk around, so it’s been great for my lunchtime walks… But still. I’m thirty years old and playing Pokemon.

Roller Coaster Race tomorrow! In case you missed my goals post yesterday, I’ll just reiterate here that while a 10k PR would be super sweet, I have ZERO expectations due to this shoddy training cycle. I’m mostly in it for the roller coasters and the water park at this point.

I’m working my longest Athleta shift so far on Sunday. 1pm – 7pm. I confess, I’m a little nervous. I haven’t worked a weekend shift yet, so I have no idea what to expect, and it’s been a loooong time since I worked a full day retail shift. I’m just trying to remind myself that this is supposed to be my fun job, and focus on the paycheck.

Do you have a favorite Pokemon? Which one(s)? I love Eevee:)

Roller Coaster Race Goals

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Roller Coaster Race Lake George as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

When I first registered for this race way back when, I had big dreams of a nice 10k PR. My official 10k race PR is just over 1:06, though I’ve run faster than that during virtual races or training runs. The problem is, I didn’t run for three weeks due to my tailbone injury, and I haven’t run more than 5 miles in one go since marathon training.

At this point, all I can hope for is that I am able to finish the race without killing myself. Aside from the lack of training, I have to wake up at 3 am to drive the 2 hours to Lake George on Saturday morning because I can’t afford a hotel stay. I will most likely be exhausted and grumpy, so I can’t really see myself running a snappy 10k.

Still though, I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t lay out some official goals, even though some of them are pretty unlikely at this point. The A goal is my “Holy crap, everything is going perfectly and I can’t believe this is happening right now” goal. The B goal is my “I am super duper stoked about this” goal, and the C goal is my realistic, “unless something goes horribly wrong I can do this” goal.

  • A Goal: Sub-60 finish. I know I can do this. I’ve done it before, just not in a while.
  • B Goal: PR, which is anything under 1:06. This isn’t totally out of the question, but it is nowhere near a given, considering my training lately.
  • C Goal: Finish healthy and uninjured. I’ve been through a lot lately with my running, and I’m just starting to get back to the point where it’s pain-free and enjoyable. I don’t want to throw it away chasing PR dreams.

What I end up doing on race day will be a totally in-the-moment decision based on how I feel at the start line, and I will be constantly re-evaluating throughout the race to make sure that I achieve my most important goal–finishing still able to run. And regardless of how the race goes, I’m very excited to spend some time in the park, riding roller coasters, and hitting some water slides in Splashwater Kingdom. One of my fellow BibRave Pros will be there, and I think a few of my friends have also registered, so I’m hoping to hook up with some people, otherwise I’ll be on my own all day.

Do you set goals for races even if training hasn’t been great?

 

Do the Work

While driving to Rhode Island on Friday night, I had a bit of an epiphany. I regularly use long solo car trips to loudly sing my way through all of my favorite Broadway showtunes and soundtracks. As I was singing through the repertoire that I’ve sung through hundreds of times, I could feel that my voice was tired, and I didn’t have the range and control I did last summer while I was working on Chess.

At first, I was really upset and disappointed. How could I have lost so much vocal stamina? Why were these songs so hard all of a sudden? What was the matter with me? And then I thought about it some more, and realized that I have done almost zero serious vocalization since Mary Poppins ended at the beginning of April. Sure, I occasionally sing along with the radio in the car, but serious singing, with warms ups and exercises and singing at full volume? Not so much. So how could I be angry with the level my abilities are at if I haven’t been exercising them?

And that’s when something shifted in my head. I realized I have to DO THE WORK in order to get the results. I can’t expect to stay in peak vocal condition if I’m not using my voice every single day like I was last summer. I can’t expect to grow or get better as a performer when I’m not taking voice lessons, or dance classes, or acting workshops. This also carries over into so many other aspects of my life: running, weight loss, professional goals… the list goes on.

This might seem like an obvious thing, but I feel like so often I just assume that things will “work out.” I skip workouts or don’t do vocal warm-ups on a daily basis because I’ve always gotten by without doing these things before. Yeah, maybe I’m not hitting my goals 100% of the time, but I achieve things often enough that it feels ok and comfortable to just back off, not put in the extra effort, not worry about it. But then, those times when it doesn’t work out, I’m left with the icky “what-ifs?” What if I hadn’t skipped that workout? What if I was working on my belt voice these last few months before auditions? I’m tired of wondering after the fact if I could have done something more to be prepared.

Photo Jul 12, 10 23 14 AM

So my new mantra is do the work. Simple, but effective. It’s a reminder that whatever it is in life that I want, whether it’s a new time or distance PR, or a lead role in a musical, I have to work for it. And then, even if things don’t go the way I want or hope, I will know that I did everything in my power to make it happen. Some things are truly outside my control, but I’ve reached a point where I can no longer settle for letting things I really want slide out of my grasp because I’m not willing to work hard.

Do you have a mantra? What is it? Do you find it helps you to reach your goals?

 

Manic Monday – 07/11/16

First things first: The winner of the Roller Coaster Race Lake George Race entry is Rachel!

Rachel, please send me an email ASAP so I can give you your code for free online registration. Congrats!

What Was Planned vs. What Happened

Monday 07/04/16: Rest/Travel | Rest/Travel

We hung out for the morning in MA, then drove home in the afternoon. I did a bunch of meal prep and cooking for the week, and then spent the rest of the evening relaxing and watching Star Wars movies:)

Tuesday 07/05/16: 3 Miles + Legs | 4 Miles @ 10:14 Pace + Legs + Plank

I got up before work and did my usual 4 mile route without realizing I was only planning to run three miles. Oh well! Afterwards I did a few minutes worth of lower body exercises, plus a one minute plank.

Wednesday 07/06/16: 4 Mile Tempo | 3.47 Miles of Attempted Intervals

This run was an object lesson in “Why you should stick to your schedule.” I woke up at 4 am to use the bathroom and made the decision to turn off my 5:30 am alarm, figuring I could just go run after work. Except after work, the temperature was 90 degrees with 40% humidity. I still attempted to run an interval workout, but it quickly became apparent that this was a TERRIBLE idea. I cut the run short and spent the next hour parked in front of a fan with an ice pack on the back of my neck.

Thursday 07/07/16: Yoga or SpinRest

I didn’t sleep well Wednesday night, and knew I’d be working both jobs today, so I decided to forego a workout and just sleep in.

Friday 07/08/16: 4 Miles4 Miles @ 10:20 Pace

This was a gross, humid run, but I’m still proud of myself for dragging my ass out of bed to run before work twice this week!

Saturday 07/09/16: 7 Miles EasyRest

I was in Rhode Island for a family weekend, and just didn’t make the time to run. I thought maybe I’d make it up on Sunday.

Sunday 07/10/16: RestRest

By the time I got home, all I wanted to do was sit on my butt, and since I hadn’t seen Ben in almost a week, we decided to just have a quiet evening in. We got a frozen pizza and watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens and went to bed early.

Weekly Mileage: 11.47

Total 2016 Mileage: 421.47

All in all, not a bad week, but I do wish I’d gotten a long run in. I have the Roller Coaster Race this weekend and I feel pretty unprepared. If nothing else, it will at least be fun to run around the park and then spend the day riding coasters.

Are you an early morning runner, or do you prefer evening?

Friday Free-For-All – 07/08/16

FFFA (1)

Another travel weekend ahead! This weekend I’ll be at my family reunion in Rhode Island. My Uncle Shaun and Aunt Linda are hosting, and I’ve never been to their place since they moved… five years ago? Six? It should be lots of fun visiting with my family and having shenanigans.

I’m praying for a break in the humidity. My normal 4 mile run this morning felt extra hard, and I couldn’t figure out why until I checked the weather. At 5:30 am, the humidity was 80%. 80. Freaking. Percent. Ugh. It was a slog, but I got it done. I’m hoping that next week is a little better, because this week has just been so gross.

My new current musical obsession is 9 to 5 the Musical. Yep, there’s a musical based on the movie. It’s cheesy and awesome. Lyric Theatre Company will be putting on 9 to 5 in the spring, so I’m already preparing for auditions. I have a nice, 4-5 hour car ride this evening to do some vocal warm ups and run through the songs:)

Are you traveling this weekend? Where are you off to?