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

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.

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

Goals for the VRH Jiggety Jog 5k

The number one goal for this race, as it was last year, is to have fun. This race is not competitive. It’s about the Respite House and raising money. I plan to enjoy every minute, and stay to cheer on every last runner, and watch the awards ceremony.

That being said, I do have some specific goals, mostly because this is a repeat race. I know the course, and I have an idea of what I’m capable of compared to where I was at in my training at this time last year. Last year, I was still something of a noob, and this race was only my 4th 5k race ever. Now, I’ve got several more 5ks and 2 half marathons under my belt, and I’ve had some pretty strong training runs since coming back from my Legally Blonde-induced hiatus, so I feel like a PR is within my reach.

  • A Goal: PR (under 29:17). Looking at my runs and paces from the last few weeks, this is TOTALLY doable. As long as I stay healthy, and nail my hydration and fueling, I should be able to PR.
  • B Goal: Age Group Award. I was 4th in my age group last year, and they give medals to the 1st and 2nd place in each age group. I want a medal, dammit! (Note, this is HIGHLY unlikely, but something to strive for anyway)
  • C Goal: Course PR (under 30:21). Last year, the course was totally new to me. I didn’t know what to expect, and ran a pretty conservative race. I also had to pee for the latter half, it was the hottest day of the year so far, and I was wearing shorts that chafed the crap out of my thighs. Knowing what I know now, I should be able to at least get a course PR.

Barring some crazy mishap, I see this as being a really strong race. I just hope that the weather cooperates. Last year was hot and humid, and it looks like this year might be the same, with a high of 86* and 40% chance of rain in the forecast.

Also, a last-minute plea for donations–I’m only $35 away from my goal of raising $1000. This amount provides care for a Respite House patient for three whole days, and grants me membership in the exclusive “Jiggety Jog Club.” I hit $1000 last year and I’m determined to get there again. If you’d like to help, click here to make a secure online donation.  Every little bit helps!

Who else is racing this weekend? What distance?

Tentative 2015 Race Schedule

Time for the obligatory 2015 racing schedule post.  I feel like everyone and their mother has been posting these of late, but what’s one more, right?

One of my goals this year is to run 15 races in 2015, so I feel like I need to be much more organized this year than last year, when my only big goal was to complete my first half marathon.  I live in northern Vermont, and unfortunately, there just aren’t that many races to choose from that don’t require a long drive and/or an overnight trip somewhere.  This means that I have to scour the interwebs to find races that are a) affordable, b) close by, and c) fit my training schedule/goal distances.

This schedule is incredibly tentative at the moment, mostly because I’m a commitment-phobe, but also because I’m broke, so I can’t afford to register for races and then not run them.

February 14:  Race Vermont Cupid 5k.  This sounds silly and fun–everyone gets a different colored headband depending on whether they’re single, in a relationship, or not interested, with the idea that maybe some singles can find a love match with a fellow runner.  Obviously this wouldn’t apply to me, but it’s still a fun little shtick, and this race organization doesn’t usually do swag for shorter races, so that’s a nice change.

March 21:  Race Vermont Spring Fling 10k.  This race would fulfill my goal of running an actual 10k race.

March 22:  GMAA Pump it Up 5 miler.  This would be a brand new race distance for me, and therefore an automatic PR, but I’m not sure running a 5 miler the day after a 10k race would be smart.

Early May (not yet scheduled):  Vermont Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k.  I ran this race last year, and it was hands down my favorite race experience of all time.  I raised $1000 for a very deserving charity, and plan to try to beat my amount this year.

Early May (not yet scheduled):  Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge.  I ran this race last year with a bunch of my coworkers, and as long as my company participates again, I will run the race again.  Hooray free race registration!

May 16:  Mt. Tom Run to the Pogue.  I need to pull the trigger on this one soon, because it sells out every year.  This is a scenic, 6.1 mile, semi-trail race that happens down near my parents, so I could make a nice weekend of it without spending a lot.

May 30:  Craft Brew Race.  This is one I REALLY wanted to do last year, but it was scheduled on the weekend of a friend’s wedding, so I had to pass.

June 6:  Girls on the Run 5k.  This is a race that I’d like to volunteer for, which would cross my “volunteer at a race” goal off. I may also see if I can run AND volunteer.

July 12:  Stowe 8 Miler.  This is another one I wanted to race last year, but something prevented me, I can’t remember what.  This would be a new race distance and an automatic PR.

August 1:  GMAA Women’s Round Church 10k.  This seems like a pretty no-frills race, but it would give me a chance to either a) beat my 10k time from the Spring Fling 10k, or b) complete a 10k race if the Spring Fling doesn’t work out.

September 6:  GMAA Labor Day 15k.  This would be a brand new race distance for me, and an automatic PR.

September 20:  Spartan Sprint.  Yeah, we’ve already talked about this.  AAAAAHHH!

September 26:  The Color Run 5k.  I’ve run this a few times.  A nice, easy, non-competitive 5k.

November 6:  runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  This is my big race for the year.  My first runDisney event.  My first “racecation.”  I’ll get to meet my accountabilibuddies.  And right now it’s the only half marathon on my schedule.

Thanksgiving Turkey Trot:  I’m not sure where we’ll be for Thanksgiving this year, but I’m determined to find a Turkey Trot to run after my injury-induced DNS this year.

December 7:  Ri-Ra Santa 5k.  This will be a redemption race after my DNS this year.

So that’s exactly 15 races.  Obviously, some of these may not work out due to scheduling stuff that will come up as the year goes on, so I plan to supplement with virtual races as needed.  There are a few other races I’m keeping an eye on as well, so I’m fairly confident that as long as I stay on top of things, I’ll reach my 15 races in 2015 goal.

How is your 2015 race schedule shaping up?

Do you have any new distances that you’re running?

Are you planning to repeat any races you’ve run before?

Race Recap: Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge

What is this, two posts in one day?  I know, it’s crazy, but I really wanted to get this recap out there sooner rather than later…  So without further ado…

The VT Corporate Cup Challenge and State Agency Race.  Unbeknownst to me at the time of signing up, the VCCCSAR is the oldest road race in the state of Vermont, and this year was the 31st annual event.  It’s sponsored by the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and they place a lot of emphasis on increasing physical activity.

I received free registration through work (yay free race!), and was part of a 3 person running team.  We had 3 teams of three total–2 running teams and one walking team.

Before the Race


Click for Source

Traffic was pretty bad coming off the interstate into Montpelier, and we had to park about 1/2 mile away from the start line.  The start and finish was right in front of the VT Statehouse lawn, which has some truly lovely tulip beds leading up to the steps.  Picking up our bibs was pretty simple–they had several tents with lines organized alphabetically by last name, and I had my bib within 2 minutes of stepping into line.

According to the announcer, there were over 4000 registered participants, and the sheer numbers packed into such a small area were pretty overwhelming.  There were about 20 port-a-potties, but the lines were incredibly long and slow-moving, so I decided to just “camel up” and wait until after the race.

It was really hot and threatening rain, but other than a few sprinkles as we were lining up to start, the weather cooperated.  It was very hot, almost 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and pretty humid.  The runners were given a 3 minute head start on the walkers, but there were no corrals, so the start was REALLY congested.

During the Race

I decided to run with my coworker and teammate, Lisa.  She ran a half a couple of years ago, but stopped running after she became pregnant with her daughter, and actually just started running again three weeks ago.  I didn’t have any real goals going into this race, so I was happy to stay with her.  Normally I’m a solo kind of runner, but it was surprisingly nice to have someone to chat with.

The first quarter mile of the race was incredibly frustrating.  We couldn’t even run for the first minute or two because there were so many people all trying to start at the same time.  And then some people started walking right away, but didn’t give any notice or move over, so there was a lot of speed up, slow down, dodge left, dodge right, weaving etc.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of runners didn’t really exhibit good race etiquette, and there were lines of 4 or 5 people walking next to each other, or walking on the left side of the route etc.  I just tried not to let it bother me.

The course was mostly flat, with one tiny uphill right before the turnaround point and one slightly larger hill right at the 3 mile marker.  We stopped at the water station at the halfway point, because it was REALLY hot out there.  There was some great spectator action–lots of folks out on their porches and in their yards, cheering and playing music.  One lovely gentleman had the hose out and was spraying runners and walkers, and another guy had a karaoke system complete with microphone who serenaded us with “Blurred Lines.”  I got a nice surprise when my friend, also Lisa, who lives in Montpelier, recognized me out of the thousands of other runners and yelled my name and cheered for me.  She didn’t even know I was racing and was out cheering for her boyfriend.

Coworker Lisa and I both sort of stopped talking towards the end because we were just trying to finish.  We went a bit faster for the final .10 mile, and crossed the finish line to the cheers of some of our speedier teammates.

Post Race and Results

My official time was 36:04, which is probably my slowest 5k time ever.  But I am not even remotely upset about it.  And here’s why:

  1. It was super crowded.  There was simply no way to maneuver around all the people without being a jerkwad
  2. It was HOT and HUMID.  This was only the second time I’ve run in summer heat, and I didn’t feel like fainting or puking (I saw at least 2 people hurl during the race)
  3. I wanted to stay with Lisa.  If I had ditched her, I probably could have finished faster, but the whole point of this event was team building.  If I had run alone, it would have completely defeated the purpose.
  4. Above all else, I KNOW I can finish a 5k in less than 30 minutes, and failing to do that for one race isn’t going to change that fact.  I had fun, and that’s what really matters to me.

Crazy post-race selfie with the statehouse dome

Crazy post-race selfie with the statehouse dome

After we finished, we grabbed some water and joined our teammates at the finish line to wait for our walking team, so we could cheer them on too.  There were bagels and cheese sticks in the refreshment tents, but I just got cheese;  I was still too hot to want much to eat.

Once we were all finished, we retrieved our free event t-shirts, took pictures on the Statehouse steps, and decided to meet in Waterbury for drinks on the way home.  We stopped at the Reservoir and I had a Shed Mountain Ale (7% ABV, woah) and a bowl of chili, which absolutely hit the spot.  It was a beautiful summery evening, and it was great to socialize with some of my coworkers outside of work.  I work with some amazing, quirky human beings!

Corp cup 3

I will definitely do this race again next year.  In spite of the crowds and there not being enough port-a-potties, it was a fun event with a lot of community support, and it was great to spend non-work time with my coworkers.

Do you normally run solo, or do you go with a buddy?

Ever done a race through work or with coworkers?


Manic Monday – 05/19/14

Welcome to another edition of Manic Monday, where I recap the previous week, and set out goals for the upcoming week.

Scheduled cross-training day.

  • 30 minutes elliptical, level 10 on hill setting, and reverse mode
  • 1×12 leg press with 90 lbs
  • 2×12 leg press with 180 lbs

I wanted to do more leg work, but every time I looked, the squat racks were all taken, and the free weights area was a zoo.  Nevertheless, it was a good workout, and my legs were very tired by the end.

Scheduled run day.  My legs were really tired and a bit sore from Monday’s workout, but I knew I had to run since I wouldn’t be able to Wednesday, and had a race Thursday.  I ended up doing 2.6 miles, because I was messing with my route a lot, trying to avoid other pedestrians and traffic crossings.

Scheduled cross-training day.  Unfortunately, it didn’t happen today.  It was our last day of house-sitting for Ben’s parents, and as a thank you, they wanted to cook us a nice dinner and hang out.

Race Day–VT Corporate Cup Challenge.  It was a hot, humid evening, so it was one of my slowest 5k times ever, but I really don’t mind.  I had an awesome evening with my coworkers, and got to have beer and chili afterwards–yum!

Corp cup 3

Scheduled rest day.  My coworker is moving to Tennessee, so we went out to the Farmhouse for a late lunch/early dinner.  Then we went to another coworker, Kari’s, house to help finish off a keg of Switchback (don’t mind if I do!), and then out to see April’s husband’s band play their last gig.  It was a good night, but we didn’t stay out too late because I had a long run scheduled for Saturday morning.

9 mile run on the schedule.  This went surprisingly well.  I was tired from Friday night’s festivities, but managed to finish in a respectable amount of time, and I didn’t want to die the whole time.  My left calf was SUPER tight after though.  Then, Saturday night, I attended a bachelorette party.  Needless to say, it was a late night with lots of drinking .

Photo May 17, 10 47 53 AM

Scheduled rest day.  I slept in until 11, which is ridiculous.  Then it was lots of cleaning, meal planning and grocery shopping.  We also went to Oakledge Park to meet up with some friends.  They all played ultimate frisbee and kickball while I lounged in the sun and read.  It was glorious.

So, how did last week’s goals turn out?

  • Continue taking the stairs Check!  I took the elevator once just because it was right there, but other than that I was good
  • Take care of my foot.  Check! I would say foot is about 99% well, so I’m feeling really good about this
  • 10 push-ups every day.  Eh, not so great.  I did them some days, but not others.
  • Run in the morning once we’re done house-sitting.  Last Thursday would have been my first early morning run, but I had a race in the evening, so I deferred.  Right now, my run days are Tuesday and Thursday, so we’ll see how it goes tomorrow

Goals for this week:

  • Actually do pushups.  I may need to set an alarm or something…
  • Run in the morning.  Tuesday and Thursdays at least, maybe more if I feel like it
  • Focus on nutrition.  This is a multifaceted thing, but basically I need to watch what I eat more.  I’m going to start using My Fitness Pal again, and try to back off on the sweets and the booze.  I’ve gained some weight over the last few months and it feels yucky.  Not to mention the fact that with proper nutrition, I will likely be a better, faster runner.

So overall, last week was a good training week.  After my long run on Saturday, I’m feeling much more confident about the whole half marathon thing.  I figure if I can run 9 miles, I can most likely run 13.1.  I have 4 more weeks of training, and I’m scheduled to get up to 11 miles prior to the half, so by that point, I should be more than ready.

I’m trying to be a good blogger and get some more interesting/informative posts together this week.  It’s tough to be organized, though.  I plan to at least have my VT Corporate Cup Race Recap ready to go this afternoon, along with a long run fuel review, and maybe an app review as well.  We’ll see!

What did you get up to this weekend?

Do you track your calories/meals?  If so, what app/website do you use?

Clif Builder’s Bar Review and Home Sweet Home

Photo May 12, 10 04 50 AM


**As always, all opinions expressed here are my own.  I was not asked to write this review, and I was not compensated in any way for writing it.**

I was hesitant to buy these.  Normally, I’m opposed to bars because they usually have a bunch of weird junk in them, they’re high in sugar, and I’m hungry again 20 minutes after eating one.  But because of house-sitting, our meal-planning and grocery shopping game has been totally out of whack, and I wasn’t getting enough to eat during the day.  Hence, the Builder’s Bars.  I decided to try the Crunchy Peanut Butter flavor.

Price:  The price-point isn’t great, but I guess it’s pretty average for all of these bars–a package of 6 bars was $8.99, so the bars are a little under $1.50 apiece.  I did get a coupon for $3.00 off 2 boxes with my purchase, so if I wait until (if) they go on sale and use the coupon, it could work out well.

What’s In ’em?

  • 20 grams protein
  • 10 grams fat
  • 280 calories
  • 2 grams fiber
  • 23 grams sugar

So, yeah, lots of protein, which is great, and actually does keep me full for several hours, but there’s plenty of sugar in there too, which is a bummer.  I was pleasantly surprised by the ingredient list–lots of natural, organic ingredients, and almost no ingredients that I didn’t understand or couldn’t pronounce.


These are surprisingly tasty, if a little sweet.  The inside is crispy–sort of like extra crunchy rice krispies cereal, and the outer layer is a thick coating of sweet, peanut buttery goodness.


I will most likely buy these bars again.  When I eat them as a mid-morning snack, they keep me plenty full until lunchtime.  I like that they don’t have a lot of artificial flavors and additives and are made with organic ingredients.  They taste pretty good, and I’d be curious about some of their other flavors, particularly the Chocolate Mint (one of my all-time favorite flavor combos).  I also think they’d be a fabulous post-run recovery snack because they’re so high in protein.

In other news, we’re finally home after house-sitting for Ben’s parents for two weeks.  That means no more 45 minute commute!  And I’m back to walking 2 miles to work every day!  Yay!  As happy as we are to be home, there are definitely some negatives–the biggest example of which is the noise.  Out in Underhill, it was peaceful and nearly silent every night, except for the peepers singing us to sleep.  Last night, there were people loudly carrying on right outside our apartment until 2 am.  Not cool.  Needless to say I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night.  Hopefully my system will re-calibrate soon and the noise won’t bother me as much.  Also, the semester is drawing to a close, so I’m hoping after all of the college kids go home for the summer, things will quiet down more.

I had planned to get up at 5:30 and run this morning, but then I remembered that I’m running the VT Corporate Cup Challenge 5k tonight, so I reset my alarm for the deliciously late hour of 6:15 am and stayed in bed as long as humanly possible.  I’m nervous about tonight, because it’s supposed to be sunny and 80 degrees.  Yuck.  It’s also an evening race, which, as I learned at the Light the Night 5k, is tough to manage.  I need to stay hydrated and well-fueled all day today.  Looks like those Clif bars are going to come in handy!

Have you ever tried Clif Builder’s Bars?  Or do you have another brand of protein bar that you like?

Have you ever raced in the evening?  How do you stay prepared all day?


Race Recap: VT Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k

All photos courtesy of my Dad 🙂

This is an annual fundraiser held by the Visiting Nurse’s Association of Chittenden and Grande Isle Counties.  It’s their second-largest fundraiser, and I have to say, they’ve really got their stuff together.

Before the Race:

When I woke up at 7am, it was POURING rain.  I was less than thrilled.  I ate a banana and some PB toast, and drank a few glasses of Nuun.  We arrived at the Allen Brook School at about 8:15 am.  Even though there was a lacrosse tournament happening, there was plenty of parking.  Registration/pick-up/donation drop off was inside the school gymnasium, and everything was very clearly marked.  As a bonus, there were real restrooms instead of porta-potties!  Since I raised $1000, I was part of the exclusive “Jiggety Jog Club” and got a special blue t-shirt (everyone else got orange).

Me, Dad and Mom

Me, Dad and Mom

It was really a lovely atmosphere–my mom introduced me to several of the race organizers, and I felt a little bit like a celebrity–everyone knew my mom from when she had done the race in the past, and they were all so excited to meet me and so happy I was there.  Top Hat Entertainment was there providing music and keeping everyone up-to-date on information, and Champ, the mascot for the Vermont Lake Monsters, was there giving high fives and taking pictures.  Just before the race started, we had a moment of silence for those who have had family members pass away at the Respite House.  And as we were lining up to start, the skies cleared and the sun came out–it was amazing!

During the Race:

There was a timed 5k as well as a “fun run,” so they started the runners first.  There were only 96 runners, so I started out in the middle of the pack (there were no corrals or pacers).  The course wound out behind the school through some lovely fields, and then went through some local neighborhoods.  The course was mostly flat or downhill for the first mile, which was great!  There were volunteers at every intersection making sure we knew which way to go, and there was water at every other intersection, which was great because it ended up being very warm.  This was my first time running in summer-ish weather, and it was tough.

And they're off!

And they’re off!

There was one big uphill at the beginning of mile 2, but thankfully, after my hill run on Tuesday, I was able to push through and it didn’t slow me down too much.  All of the volunteers were incredibly positive and cheered us on.  In the neighborhoods, there were a few groups of kids banging pots and pans, singing, cheering, and playing musical instruments.  I spent a lot of time thinking about Gramma Pat–her smile, her laugh, how she started every letter to me with “Darlin’ Rae” (hence the blog name)…  It made me smile and it made me a little sad that there’s so much about her I’ll never know.  Take it from me, friends–get to know your grandparents.  Ask them questions.  They are fascinating people, and you don’t get to have them for long.

Eventually the course looped back on itself and through the field back to the school.  I was starting to really need to pee, so I kicked it up a notch at the 3 mile marker and brought it home.  It was amazing to have Ben, my mom, my dad, and our family dog, Harley, cheering me across the finish line.  As I crossed the line, one of the volunteers said, “You know that dog didn’t bark for anybody else,” and I said, “Well of course, she’s my dog!” 😀

Crossing the finish line

Crossing the finish line

After the Race and Results:

My official time was 30:26 30:21 (updated 5/14), and I was 48 out of 96 runners–a strong middle-of-the-pack finish.  According to my GPS, the course was actually 3.3 miles, so I’ll take it.   I was also 4th in my age group of 20-29, so that’s pretty cool!<–updated 5/14

Mile 1:  9:00

Mile 2:  9:29

Mile 3:  9:24

Mile 4 (0.3):  8:24

The post-race food was sponsored by Hannaford supermarket, and it was great–bagels with cream cheese, bananas, apples, oranges, granola bars, donut holes, mini cabot cheese squares, coffee and orange juice.  I grabbed a few munchies and some water and went back outside to enjoy the day and cheer everyone on–one woman hula-hooped the entire 3.1 miles–can you imagine?!

Me with Sharon Keegan, one of the race organizers

Me with Sharon Keegan, one of the race organizers

The awards ceremony was awesome.  There were medals for the 1st and 2nd place overall finishers, with 1st and 2nd in each age category.  The medals got a little mixed up, but nobody seemed to mind too much.  They also recognized the top fundraisers in the individual and team categories with special plaques, and all of the Jiggety Jog Club members (only 10 of us) were recognized with certificates.  The best part was, the event surpassed their overall fundraising goal, and everyone gave a big cheer!

Overall, this race experience was one of the best I’ve ever had.  The event organizers were so positive and so happy to have people participating–I was thanked over and over again for my participation and fundraising efforts.  The course was pretty and well-marked, the volunteers were awesome, and the food and music were a really nice touch.  I plan to make this an annual race.

Manic Monday – 05/12/14

Welcome to another edition of Manic Monday, where I recap the previous week, and lay out goals for the upcoming week.

Well, we all know that last week was very exciting for many reasons.  Engagement, birthday, race… Lots of awesomeness.  And what’s even more awesome is that I actually managed to (mostly) stick to my training schedule for the first time in weeks.  Yay!

Scheduled cross-training day, so I did 45 minutes on a recumbent bike.  I like this position a lot better because it doesn’t squish my lady-bits (maybe TMI, but it’s true).  I put it on a level 10 hill setting and I was really sweaty and tired after.  I also did some planks and stretching.

Photo May 05, 7 15 23 PM

Scheduled run day.  I decided to do some hills, so I went to one of the biggest hills nearby, on Battery Street along the water front.  I ran half a mile to get there at an easy pace, then ran up and down this hill 3 times (ugh), and half a mile home.  That’s all I had the feet heart for since the Asics hadn’t been exchanged yet.  It ended up being 2.7 miles.

This guy sucks.  A lot.

This guy sucks. A lot.

Scheduled cross-training day.  I just didn’t have any energy left.  I didn’t get a lot of sleep last weekend, and since we’re house-sitting for Ben’s parents, we’ve been getting up at 5:30 every morning (cringe) to let the dogs out, feed them, feed the horse, feed the chickens, shower, eat, etc, all before a 45 minute commute to work.  Instead, I went and exchanged my shoes and went home.  We did do some laundry and cleaning around the house, though, which is better than nothing.

Since all week, Ben was the one rushing home after work to take care of the animals, I thoughtfully volunteered to go home tonight so that he could go play basketball with his friends.  Aren’t I nice? 😉  I decided to do some yoga, stretching, and foam rolling instead.

My birthday!  I did 10 push-ups before work, just because.  Then I snuck in a super quick 2 mile run after work, showered, and met Ben at Vermont Tap House for wood-fired pizza and beer.  No, no pictures.  Bad blogger, no cupcake.  But we had delicious Buffalo Chicken pizza.  Nomalicious.  And we bumped into one of my dear high school friends I haven’t seen in years!

photo 3Saturday
In the morning was the VT Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k (recap coming soon) and then in the evening was my birthday party.  It was a busy, awesome day, especially because I got to take a nap in the afternoon.  There were tacos, beer, a bonfire, and lots of my best friends and family helping me celebrate.  What’s not to love?

We woke up with a house full of guests and made lots of potatoes, eggs and coffee.  After that, Ben needed a nap, so I headed out to Lang Farm Nursery to buy my mommy some Mother’s Day flowers.  It was great to hang with the fam and celebrate my beautiful mother.  Then, Ben and I had dinner at Burger Barn, and went to bed at 9pm.  Yeah, we’re old.

Now, let’s see how I did with last week’s goals.

  • Complete scheduled runs on Tuesday and Thursday (3 miles each)
  • Take the stairs.
  • HAVE FUN at the Jiggety Jog on Saturday.

I’m happy to report that I met all of these goals this week!  I did some biking and some yoga last week for cross-training, I have taken the stairs every day (sometimes twice a day!), I did my 2 short training runs, and I had an absolute blast at the race on Saturday.  Yay, achievement!

Now, some goals for the upcoming week:

  • Continue taking the stairs (I’m just going to make this a permanent thing, so I won’t be listing it going forward)
  • Take care of my foot.  It’s much, much better, but still not 100%.  I got an awesome foot massager for my birthday, so I’m going to continue to stretch, massage, and rest it as much as possible.
  • 10 push-ups every day.  I’d like to make this an ongoing thing where I add one push-up each week.  My arms have always been something I’m self-conscious about, and with a wedding on the horizon, I’d like to feel better about them.
  • Run in the morning once we’re done house-sitting.  Getting up at 5:30 these past few weeks at Ben’s parents’ house has made me realize that if I can get up at 5:30 to let the dogs out, I can definitely do it at home to run.  As we head into warmer weather, this is going to make getting my runs done a lot easier.

Did anyone else race this weekend?  How did it go?

Is anybody in the early morning run club?  How do you find the motivation to get up and out early?

Friday Free-For-All

I think I’m going to start a new Friday series called “Friday Free-For-All.”  It feels like at least once a week I have a bunch of random tidbits to share that aren’t quite enough for a post all on their own.  I know a lot of you participate in “Friday Five,” but that’s a little too restrictive for me.  What if I only have 4 things to write about?  What if I have 9??  Having a Free-For-All means I can write about as many or as few things as I need to.  And so, without further ado…


My first present of the day--Chemex pour-over coffee system.

My first present of the day–Chemex pour-over coffee system. Beautiful and functional.

1.  It’s my birthday!  Woo!  That’s right–today is the day we celebrate my birth.  I love celebrating my birthday, and this year is going to be a good one.  Already this week I’ve gotten engaged and hit my fundraising goal for Saturday’s 5k.  Still to come are dinner with Ben tonight at Vermont Tap House (wood-fired pizza and awesome beer selection), the Vermont Respite House 5k tomorrow morning (which my parents are going to come watch), and my Cinco de Mayo-themed birthday party tomorrow night.  There will be tacos and we’re getting a keg and Ben has promised to wear a sombrero.  Lots of birthday win 😀

2.  Speaking of the Vermont Respite House 5k...  I’m still really excited for this race, but not so excited about the weather.  It’s looking like 70ish degrees with a 70% chance of rain.  Booo.  Oh well.  I guess a warm rain is better than a cold, yucky rain.

3.  I share my birthday with Billy Joel.  Billy Joel has been one of my favorite musicians since I was very small.  My family used to listen to his music all the time on car trips, and any time one of his songs come on the radio, I crank it and sing along.  “The Entertainer” was on while I was driving in to work this morning and it put a huge smile on my face.

4.  I got an awesome tech shirt for free!  I’m running the Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge and State Agency Race with some of my coworkers next week, and the company got everyone in the office awesome shirts.  It’s super comfy and really light-weight.  I wore it for my run on Tuesday afternoon and I already know it’s going to be one of my favorites–it’s a really awesome blue color!

5.  Ugly Race Pics.  I had already found this Tumblr on Wednesday afternoon, and then one of my fave bloggers, Salt, posted about how her race pics from her most recent race were actually decent (which is apparently not the norm for her, which I can’t really imagine since she’s gorgeous), and I decided I had to share.  Do yourself a favor, and head on over to Ugly Race Pics.  You’re sure to spend a few minutes chuckling, while fervently praying that you never see your own face.

Click for source

Click for source

6.  My friend is applying to work for my company.  Rebecca and I met as temps a few months ago and she’s awesome, and now there’s a chance that we’ll get to work together again.  She shares my love of Mexican food, cats, and musical theater, plus she’s an extremely competent candidate for the position, so needless to say, I’m super stoked!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!  I know I’m going to 😀

How do you celebrate your birthday?



I’m am so thrilled to announce that I have reached my fundraising goal of $1000 for the Vermont Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k!


Photo May 06, 10 03 49 AM

I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the donations pouring in from friends, family, coworkers and bloggers.  The Respite House is a truly special place, and this money is well-deserved.

Now that I’ve reached my fundraising goal, I feel like I can really relax and enjoy this race.  Unfortunately, the weather for Saturday isn’t looking so great right now–70s and rainy.  Booo.  I’m still excited, though.  My parents will be coming and this is the first time they’ve ever seen me race.  It’s also my birthday weekend (!!) so my energy is bound to be really positive.

This is turning out to be a really awesome week here on Darlin’ Rae!

Are you racing this weekend?  

Do your parents/family ever come watch you race?