Friday Free-For-All – 05/26/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

I’m going to sign up to audition for a professional theatre production. Vermont Stage Company is one of the few professional theatre companies in Vermont. I’ve always wanted to work with them, but a) they don’t really ever do musicals, which are pretty much my bread and butter, and b) I’m usually too chicken shit to even audition. BUT, this fall they will be one of the first regional theatres to produce the musical Fun Home, which won several Tony Awards a couple of years ago. Alison Bechdel, who wrote the graphic novel the musical is based on, lives here in VT, so it’s all a very big, exciting deal. I HIGHLY doubt that I will be cast, but I’m just excited to finally step outside my comfort zone and audition for VSC. I’m kind of hyperventilating just thinking about it.

I’ve got a jam-packed weekend ahead. Our friends Jaska and Penelope are getting married on Sunday morning, and there is a pre-wedding breakfast on Saturday morning. We also have a friend in town from Jordan, so we’re going to try to hit up a brew tour with him. My sister Haley is also in town from Michigan, so I’d like to try to see her too. And then Stacy will be visiting from Albany on Monday. Phew! That’s a lot. Even though it’s a long weekend, I probably won’t have very much down time.

It’s time to beat back my insecurities and start wearing shorts to CrossFit. Temps are getting ever warmer, and my box doesn’t have A/C. I’ve been wearing capris or tights pretty much since I started because I’m insecure about my legs, and also a little worried that the vigorous movements in class might cause me to accidentally show more than I’d like. But after getting so overheated during Wednesday’s workout that I almost threw up, it’s time to just get over it. I’d rather show some cellulite than puke in the middle of class.

Do you have fun plans for the long weekend?

 

Race Recap: Stowe Craft Brew Race 5k 2017

Where/When: May 20, 2017, 12 pm in Stowe, VT

Weather: Mid-60’s and sunny–perfect running weather!

Pre-Race:
Unlike when I did this race two years ago, I got there plenty early, and traffic was not an issue. I met my friend Megan in the parking area at about 11:20, and we were through the bib pickup line in about 10 minutes. There was a DJ playing music, plenty of porta-potties, and a water station right there at the start. We hung out, enjoying the sun and stretching, until about 10 minutes to noon, when we lined up in the starting chute.

Photo May 20, 11 58 31 AM

On the Course:
The race started right on time at noon, and we set off at an easy pace. Megan hadn’t ever run a 5k before, so we were taking it slow. After the first mile, we took our first walk break. The course was exactly the same as when I last did it; the first mile and a half are on a closed road, and the rest is on the bike path.

There was a water stop at the halfway mark, but Megan was carrying water and I wasn’t thirsty, so we didn’t stop. We took another walk break right before mile 2 to let Megan’s breathing ease up (she has mild asthma). We started running again after only a short break, and ran the remaining mile except for one uphill, and finished just under 42 minutes.

Post-Race:
The finish line was MUCH better organized than last time I did this race. First was a line of volunteers handing out medals, then a line of volunteers with water bottles, and then a final wave of volunteers with Kind bars. It was easy to get one of everything and I didn’t feel rushed or like I had to compete with anybody to get what I needed. Megan and I sat in the grass, stretching and hydrating a bit, before heading to our cars to change for the finish line Brew Fest.

Photo May 20, 1 07 54 PM

I have to say, this year’s Brew Fest was AWESOME. There were definitely more breweries in attendance than last time, and lots more food options too. There was also cornhole, giant sets of Jenga, and a live band. The lines were never out of control, there were plenty of water stations, and it was just a gorgeous day. For the money, I feel like this is a better deal than the Burlington Brew Fest.

Photo May 20, 3 11 48 PM

We did a great job of alternating beer samples with glasses of water, and had DELICIOUS food truck fajitas for a late lunch. Samples were being served until 4pm, but Megan and I both left around 3:30. I had to get down to Stowe village for the Stowe Theatre Guild Season Kick-Off Cabaret (which was SO MUCH FUN), and Megan needed to get home to pack because she’s moving next weekend.

Photo May 20, 12 48 06 PM

All in all, this was a great experience. The Craft Brew Race has definitely addressed a lot of the issues that I had the first time I ran this race, and made lots of obvious improvements. All runners received a medal and pint glass, plus admission to the Brew Fest. There were also festival-only tickets, as well as steeply discounted designated driver tickets, so there was something for everyone. Admittedly, if it had been raining, it would have been a different story because there was no where to get out of the rain, but for the day we had, I have zero complaints, and I would do this race again in a heartbeat.

Have you ever done a Craft Brew Race? If you like beer and a well-organized race, I HIGHLY recommend it.

Manic Monday Training Recap – 05/22/17

Manic Monday

Training For: Craft Brew Race 5k (May 20)

Monday 05/15/17: 5k Run
I had something weird going on with my left elbow, so I decided to run instead of going to CF. It turned out to be a gorgeous evening and I ran my hilly route quite a bit faster than usual without it feeling extra hard. Yay!

Tuesday 05/16/17: 4 Mile Run
This should have been a CF day, but it was gorgeous and warm and sunny and I just wanted to run. So I did.

Wednesday 05/17/17: Rest
First Dogfight rehearsal, yay! We did a full read through of the script, and I’m so excited!

Thursday 05/18/17: Rest
I was planning to go to CrossFit, but when the time came, I just plain didn’t feel like it.

Friday 05/19/17: Rest
Once again, I should have gone to CF, but I didn’t feel like it.

Saturday 05/20/17: Craft Brew Race 5k
Stay tuned for a full recap later this week!

Sunday 05/21/17: Rest
I did a few things around the house in the morning, and then had rehearsal in the afternoon.

This was not a stellar week. As you may recall from last week’s post, I’m just having a hard time figuring out my priorities right now, and being whiny and resistant to changes in my schedule. However, I’m determined to knuckle down and figure things out this week. The weather is messing with my plans a bit, as it’s currently raining and today is a run day, but I’ll figure it out.

Do you find it easy to shrug off an “off” week? Unfortunately it can often cause me to backslide even further…

Friday Free-For-All – 05/19/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

Ben got the job! Granted, this is still “just” a part time position, but it’s permanent. This ends the limbo we’ve been in for the last three years, where each school year ends and we’re not sure whether or not he has a job anymore, so we are obviously delighted and relieved. AND he arranged it so that he can work part time as an Instructional Aide, but not as much as this year when he was too busy, so we can keep his benefits. Yaaaaaaay! This means that we are finally financially stable and actually really able to pursue home buying and child having. Squeeee!

The Stowe Craft Brew Race 5k is tomorrow! I can’t lie, I’m really excited for this one. It’s my friend Megan’s first ever 5k, so I’m excited to just take it easy and run her to the finish. And then drink lots of beer samples. And then sing at a cabaret for Stowe Theatre Guild. Sounds like a great day to me!

We had our first read through of Dogfight on Wednesday. I’ve been so excited about this for months and it was awesome to finally get started. I was a little nervous after casting happened, because most of the cast is high school or college aged, and then I’m over here at 31 feeling really awkward. The good news is, even though they’re young, they’re all VERY talented, and I think if I can just get over feeling like I’m “old” it’s gonna be great.

Ben is away this weekend visiting friends in Albany. It worked out well that I’m so busy this weekend, because now we’ve each got our own stuff going on. I am constantly thankful that while we obviously love spending time together, our relationship is strong enough that we can have our own interests and activities, and spending time apart isn’t a big stressful thing. I’m excited to use some of my downtime this weekend to do some spring cleaning of our room. Time to take the flannel sheets off the bed, put away winter boots and coats, and just try to clean up all the clutter that has collected over the last eight months.

Do you enjoy having “alone time” without your spouse/significant other?

 

Race Recap: VT Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k 2017

Finally, right? I ran the race on SATURDAY and didn’t give you a recap until THURSDAY. I’m sorry. I just needed to get yesterday’s post off my chest. Now, onto the thing!

Date/Time: May 13, 2017, 9 am

Weather: Cool and Sunny

Pre-Race:
Because the Respite House moved from Williston to Colchester, it was a completely new location and course this year. The race started and ended at Mallet’s Bay School, so they maintained the nice indoor pre/post race location and real bathrooms–score!

As usual, registration and packet pick up were a breeze. Plenty of volunteers, music and announcements by Top Hat entertainment, plus a Jazzercise warm up. Also nice this year is that I got a hat rather than a cotton t-shirt. I love me a good hat, and have WAY too many t-shirts I never even wear. I also saw some of my CrossFit friends right before the start, which was really nice, and Jamie ended up winning the whole race–he’s SUPER fast.

On the Course:
I set out with the intention of just running a strong race. It’s been a while since I pushed myself to run fast, and I wanted to see what I was capable of. The new course was a bit trickier than the old one, but here were volunteers at every intersection, plus chalk arrows drawn on the road, so I was never unsure about where to go.

I used a LOT of positive self-talk during this race, and I think it paid off. I started out at a fast-for-me pace and just kept going. I reminded myself that the discomfort of running hard was only temporary, that I’ve done this many times before, that I was strong and capable.

As I came into the finish area, I saw my friend Jamie, and yelled “Did you win?” and he said “Oh yeah!” and it gave me such a big smile and a boost coming into the finish.

Post-Race:
My splits were great–9:03, 9:07, 8:46, and the final .1 at 8:36. My Garmin time was 27:47, which is only 17 seconds slower than my PR, so I was delighted. I never bothered to look at my official results, but I started near the front of the pack, so I have to assume they’re pretty similar. I walked around a bit to bring my heart rate down, then grabbed a bottle of water and some snacks, and stretched out a bit.

The awards ceremony started right at 10, and it was so much fun to cheer for my speedy CrossFit friends, and have them cheer for me when I got my fundraising recognition. We snapped some pictures, and then I headed home.

You might think that I felt some regret at having finished only 17 seconds away from a PR, but that is not the case at all. I was and am just SO EXCITED to have been able to push myself for the whole race. I struggle a lot with being uncomfortable, and tend to hold myself back in race situations for fear of blowing up. It’s nice to know that I can be uncomfortable but still successful, and finish without injury or puking. I just had complete confidence in my ability to run hard and finish. I hope I can continue with this feeling for future races, because it was pretty damn great.

Photo May 13, 10 30 28 AM

Struggling to Adapt

This is my first week of the “new normal” now that Dogfight rehearsals are starting. During 9 to 5, I had rehearsals from 7 to 10 pm MWF, and 1-5 on Sundays. This meant that I had plenty of time to hit CrossFit MWF from 5-6, eat, clean up, and get to rehearsal. Now, I will have rehearsal from 6 to 9 pm MW and 1 to 5 Sundays. I will no longer be able to fit CF in between work and rehearsal on Mondays and Wednesdays, so my well-established schedule is out, and I’m not happy about it.

I like to have a couple of nights a week where I can either a) go straight home after work, or b) have time to do stuff with Ben and/or friends. Now that I can’t do CF Monday/Wednesday but still have rehearsal, I have to do CF Tuesday/Thursday/Friday. This means I will have ZERO nights per week where I don’t have scheduled activities. Granted, getting done at 6 pm isn’t that late, and leaves some free time, but CF leaves me sweaty and gross, so doing fun things afterward is a lot more challenging.

Also, I’m honestly not sure if I’m capable of going to CrossFit two days in a row. I haven’t done it before, and I’m still usually pretty sore the day after class. Weekends are out because I already drive to and from Burlington five times a week for work; I’m not adding in an extra commute.

I may try lunchtime classes, but because they’re an hour long, that doesn’t leave me any time for travel and/or cleaning up and changing before getting back to work. And the 6 am classes are out of the questions, because I’d have to get up at 5 am to drive into town. I’m toying with the idea of talking to my boss and seeing if I can either come in an hour late or leave an hour early on Mondays and Wednesdays and just skip a lunch break so I can fit class in more easily, but I don’t want to be a pain.

Yes, this is all first-world-problem-y, and yes, it’s a set of circumstances I CHOSE to put myself in, but, as Stewie Griffin says:

Are you adaptable, or are you married to your schedule like me?

The Race That Wasn’t

 

I was supposed to run my 4th consecutive VT Corporate Cup Challenge on Thursday night. As you have already gathered from my Manic Monday training recap, I did not. And I am 100% ok with it.

I have a complicated relationship with this race because, while I get free registration, an early release from work, and free dinner, the race itself has a lot of logistical issues. Usually, we have a pretty high rate of participation in our office, but for some reason, this year just didn’t work out. One by one, people kept dropping out due to injuries, illness, or business conflicts. A determined core of 4 of us were still planning to go as of Thursday morning, but I’d be lying if I said I was excited about it.

When our office manager walked into my office around lunchtime and said, “How bad do you wanna race tonight?” I was IMMEDIATELY ready to throw in the towel. Getting into Montpelier for this race is a HUGE hassle that always stresses me out. The weather was really iffy. And quite frankly, I didn’t want to spend my entire evening out and about, driving an extra 40+ miles.

Instead of racing, our team just went out for a nice dinner and drinks on the company dime. The whole thing is about team-building and spending time together anyway, and it’s a heck of a lot easier to get to know each other over dinner than it is during a race. And then I was home at a totally reasonable hour, which was also wonderful.

It’s kind of funny that May was supposed to be this crazy race-filled month, and now I will only end up running 2 out of the original 4. Considering that the two I’m missing are the two I didn’t have to pay for, I’m certainly not that broken up about it.

What do you do when you’re just not feeling a race? Push through, or bail?

Manic Monday – 05/15/17

Manic Monday

Training For: Craft Brew Race 5k (May 20)

Monday 05/08/17: CrossFit
More back squats, ugh. I finally established a one rep max, though, which is good. And then we did a choose your own adventure comprised of various combinations of pull-ups, push-ups, squats, and running. Woof.

Tuesday 05/09/17: 4 Mile Run
I was going to do 3.1 miles for my 31st birthday, but my boss insisted I leave early, so I managed 4 miles before meeting my friends for dinner. I ended up with perfect negative splits for a nice little progression run.

Wednesday 05/10/17: CrossFit
One rep max on Chest Presses plus 20-15-10-5 Push Presses with progressive load, box jumps with increasing height, and a 200 m run. I finished in 13:39 and was PUMPED.

Thursday 05/11/17: 4 x 400 with W/U and C/D
My company ended up bailing on the Corporate Cup Challenge (more on that tomorrow), so I did some speed work on my lunch break instead.

Friday 05/12/17: Rest
A friend was in town from Colorado just for the weekend, so I skipped CF and we did dinner and drinks.

First #burgerbarn of the season 😍

A post shared by Rachel Bruce Drew (@rbdinvt) on

Saturday 05/13/17: VT Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k Race
You can expect a full recap later in the week, but if you follow me on Instagram you already saw it was a strong race 🙂

Sunday 05/14/17: Rest
I literally sat on my butt all day hanging out with my family for Mother’s Day.

This will be my first week of rehearsals for Dogfight, and due to rehearsals being in Waterbury (30-40 minutes away), I will need to switch up my schedule a bit, which I’m not super psyched about.

I’ve been on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday kick with CF for months now, and I’m reluctant to switch up my days because a) I don’t know if I can handle going to class two days in a row, and b) the only way to avoid going to class two days in a row would be to drive in from Underhill on Saturday mornings, which I don’t think I will do consistently. Ah, life.

How do you feel about changing your schedule? I’m generally not good with change…

Friday Free-For-All – 05/12/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

I met my fundraising goal for the Jiggety Jog this weekend! I actually surpassed it, thanks to the generosity of my friends and family, and I couldn’t be happier. Every year, I hear from so many people about how the Respite House made a difference in their lives or the lives of their families, and I am so proud to support such an amazing cause. Now all that’s left to do is run a victory lap of a 5k race 🙂

My birthday was Tuesday. I am now 31 years old, and not ashamed to say it. Although I did buy some eye cream this week, hehe. I also got a new driver’s license on Monday since mine expired on my birthday. My good luck streak with license photos continues; it’s not a perfect photo, but it isn’t half bad either.

We’re going to visit my parents this weekend. I’m ashamed to say I can’t remember the last time we went down to see them. They’re just far enough away that it always seems really hard to get there. I feel guilty sometimes, but then I remind myself that it’s JUST as easy for them to come to us, which they haven’t done either. It’s a two-way street, ya’ll. But anyway, we’ll be doing a joint Mother’s Day/birthday celebration for my mumma and me, and all of my sisters except the one who lives in Detroit will be there. Yay!

Do you have any Mother’s Day plans?

 

Double Race Week!

That’s right, I have two races this week–crazy! While I’m technically “back” after my hiatus, I still haven’t been running that much, maybe twice a week, and the longest I’ve done since November is 4 miles. That’s ok, though, because I’m not really looking for PRs, and the only races I have on the docket are 5ks.

Tomorrow is the VT Corporate Cup Challenge 5k.  This will now be my 4th year running this race (see recaps from 2014, 2015 and 2016). It’s not the most organized of races (not enough potties, terrible parking and traffic, no corrals, no race etiquette), but I get free registration through work, and get to leave work early to get to Montpelier. We also usually do some sort of dinner and drinks thing after, so it’s a nice time in spite of not being the best race ever.

The good news is, the weather is actually looking like it won’t be god-awful hot like it has been the last three years. Right now, temps are forecast to be in the mid-50’s. As long as there’s no rain, it should be a much more comfortable race than in past years.

Then Saturday is the VT Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k, my annual fundraiser race. It’s also my fourth year running this race, and it’s always been my favorite. I’m a little nervous because it’s a new course this year, so I honestly have no idea what to expect. The last two years in a row, this was a PR race for me. With the lack of training on my part, it’s highly unlikely I will PR, but I hope to put in a strong performance nonetheless.

Because these are my first two races this year, and because training hasn’t been strong, my only goal is to finish both races healthy and uninjured. I would be THRILLED if I could pull off sub-30 finishes, but considering my “training” thus far, I’m not holding my breath. Healthy and uninjured is good enough for me.

Have you ever run two (or more) races within a couple of days?