Saturday, June 30, 2012

June Foodie Pen Pals Reveal!

This month is the third time I've participated in the Foodie Pen Pal program started by Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean.  This month I sent my package to Krysty over at Little Runner Girl.  I put together a package of east coast things with some Boston favorites and some NY favorites (of course, there was Brooklyn Salsa in there!) Krysty - I hope you liked what I sent!

I received a package from Taryn from Central/Upstate NY. LOVED IT.  First off, she sent me the nicest email because she sent the package 1 day late.  Don't worry Taryn, I procrastinate a lot - 1 day is nothing!

So lets get the rundown...  Taryn sent me:
2 Larabars (Cherry Pie and Apple Pie flavored)
Local Pancake Mix
Dinosaur BBQ sauce
Justin's PB Cups
and Cheribundi Tart Cherry juice.

Last weekend, we had a friend come stay with us, so I made pancakes for breakfast.  The cool thing about the mix is that it it already has milk mixed in, so you don't need to have any.  That's great for us, because Cameron and I have a problem of letting milk go bad/not buying milk frequently enough because we really don't use it often.  Also, on that note, does anyone else find that Trader Joe's milk goes bad very quickly??  Back to the pancakes... they were great!!  Very yummy batter and very easy to make (which is always a plus for me!) We still have about half of the package left, so I'm looking forward to another batch soon.  Another benefit was that I was actually able to cook them decently... usually I burn a couple pancakes or undercook a couple before I figure it out.
The pancakes cooking - they look good!!!

Cameron and I split the PB cups and I drank the cherry juice when I wasn't feeling well one day.  It burned my throat initially, but I feel like that always helps and in the long run, I think it made me feel a little better.

We used the BBQ sauce earlier this week to make one of the least healthy things possible: Tater Tachos.  A couple of our friends were in New Orleans and posted a picture of tater tachos on facebook, and I fell in love at first sight.  Tater tachos are tater tots with nacho toppings on them. So Cameron and I were walking around Trader Joes the other day trying to figue out what to eat for dinner.  I'd had a really long day and wanted some comfort food, which is usually junky food.  We decided to try out tater tachos.  We made tater tots with BBQ sauce, jalapenos and shredded cheese.  They were delicious!  The BBQ sauce was a nice alternative to salsa which I don't love cooked.  It also gave it a little variety and a burst of flavor.  Great BBQ sauce.  There is a Dinosaur BBQ in NYC, but I haven't been to it... this might push me to make more of an effort!

Tater tachos!  Must be eaten in the original cooking dish
I have not eaten the Larabars yet - I have a sensitivity to certain protein bars, and Taryn sent these because she does too and can eat these.  I'm still a little nervous, but I eye them every day, so I'm going to try them soon.

This was a really great package!  Thanks so much Taryn - I really enjoyed it!


And now it's time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We've determined things might get too slow and backed up if we're trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 
If you’re interested in participating for July, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 
You must submit your information by July 4th as pairings will be emailed on July 5th!

*If you're from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I'll see if we get enough interest this month!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Training schedule: Week 1

OK, so here's the deal.  I am not a runner.  I am not fast, I'm not great at pacing myself, etc etc.  This morning, I'm running and I'm doing TERRIBLY.  And I'm re-thinking this idea of posting my training progress on my blog.  I've been running for almost a year and I have made a lot of progress, but I am still not "a runner".

And then I thought... I'm not trying to be a fitness expert.  I'm not trying to show people that I'm this amazing runner.  I am a normal person who decided to get off her ass and exercise.  My blog isn't about mechanics or what research is out there that proves this exercise is better than that exercise.  Nobody should expect me to run like the wind or bench press twice my weight.  And if they do, then they don't know me and don't know what my purpose is.  Which, fortunately for me, is not actually my problem.  

So, I'm just going to lay it out there.  I ran 4.00 miles in 51 minutes.  That's pretty slow.  My pace was 12.86/mile. I could prattle off a million excuses as to why I am so slow, but the fact of the matter is, I'm still getting used to running, especially sustaining my speed, and progress is slow but steady.  I did backslide a little the last couple of weeks because I was super lazy and had a cold, so I didn't exercise for like 10 days straight.  That's my own fault - I should have been exercising while sick, but I just felt frustrated. 

Tim made me a schedule, which starts next week... but I wanted to give myself a little bonus time, so I ran yesterday to test out my heel and then I ran again today for a "long" run.  

Here is next week's schedule:

Tim and I are huge excel dorks, so we have a nice google document that I created (and had to format in an aesthetically pleasing way) so he can see what I'm doing based on the schedule he created.  Every Sunday night, I'll post the next week's schedule along with the completed table of what I did the week before. 

Next Monday I'm going to go to the gym and cross train on a bicycle, then do some abs/arms.  Next Thursday, I'm going to go to the Bryant Part free Yoga class.   I'm not going to add the non-running to the spread sheet just because it adds a lot more clutter to it.

Reminder! Enter my CW-X discount giveaway before July 1st at midnight!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Discount Code Giveaway!

CW-X is a subsidiary of Wacoal, which makes athletic wear... specifically support and compression gear.

I am a woman who needs a lot of support, if you catch my drift.  At some point this year, Cameron and I trotted off to Paragon Sports in Union Square and I bought 2 new sports bras.  One is by Moving Comfort and is pretty good, but I don't usually run in it for some reason.  The other is by CW-X and is AMAZING.  Its the CW-X VersaTX in Raspberry.

The bra provides a lot of support, has a triple clasp in the back and easily adjustable straps (with velcro). It comes in sizes 32-36 B/C and 32-36D.

But CW-X makes way more than just sports bras.  They make support tops, compression gear, compression socks, etc.   Just looking at their website, you can tell that they really work hard to make clothing that is supportive and provides athletes what they are looking for, whether its dry fabric for warm weather clothing, or additional support meshed in to support crabby knees.

To take from their facebook page and give you some more information


CW-X® Conditioning Wear® is a new generation of revolutionary athletic performance apparel. Combining science with technology, products are anatomically designed to provide targeted support and accelerated recovery.
Wacoal Sports Science Corporation, headquartered in New York City, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wacoal International. The company's mission is to meet the sports performance needs of the active US consumer through the CW-X brand, the world's first truly anatomically-engineered high performance sports apparel.
Company Overview
Wacoal Sports Science dedicates CW-X® to people everywhere in the world who love the exhilaration and challenge of sports. To celebrate sports is to celebrate what's best in human beings.

So, CW-X has offered me a promotion code of 30-40% off a one time purchase.  It was incredibly tempting for me to use this code myself to stock up on bras, but I resisted.

How to enter:  Leave a comment below telling me your favorite accessory or piece of clothing to exercise in.  Bonus entry: Like CW-X on Facebook and post a comment telling me that you did that.

The giveaway ends on July 1st at Midnight.  One winner will be randomly chosen on July 2nd.

Good luck!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Goal

So since the PRoNE 5K run, I've been very... lazy.  I've been to the gym here and there and gone to a bunch of yoga classes, but really... I've been taking it easy.  This past week, I have had a cold, so I haven't exercised since Monday.  I also have been working very late hours which hasn't helped.

Well my friend Tim (the one who won the PRoNE 5K) emails me the other day asking if I want to run a "Half-Mary" which apparently is his auto-corrected way of asking me to run a half-marathon. I did a little research (check out for half marathons all over the country!) and found one in Jersey City, NJ.

The Newport Liberty Half Marathon

Here is the course map:

I want to do this one because it's in Jersey City.  Cameron and I are getting married in Jersey City on October 14, right in Liberty State Park.  The hotel we'll be staying at is by Newport and all the weekend events will be along this course route.  I get very tied to places (as you can tell by my love of Boston, and my last post professing my love of NYC) and think it would be really cool to do my first half-marathon in the city I will be getting married in just weeks later.

Also, JC is conveniently 2 PATH stops away from us.  And this will be a great opportunity for me to get to know the area a little bit before the wedding.  If I can run from the hotel to the venue, I should know how to direct a bus or a cab!

So... new goal... to run a half-marathon.  This is a serious one.  I need to train for it.  I emailed Tim, and he will be crafting me a training plan that I need to stick to.  To help me stick to that... I'm going to start post my training plan here when he and I make it, and then every week, I'll post what I should be doing and if I did what I was supposed to do the week before.

My plan is to exercise 5x/week - 3 runs, 1 cross training (most likely bike because I'm not a fan of the elliptical), and one class.  In addition to of my runs will be... wait for it... A PRE-WORK RUN.  I'm a bad sleeper, so I don't want to start getting up super early every day of the week, but I also don't want to give up every single afternoon/evening of my week on those weeks where we go away for the weekend.  I'll compromise - I'll get up earlier once a week and run, so then I only have 4 days a week to exercise after work.

Do you think I'll be able to manage wedding planning and half-marathon training this summer?  What do you think of the course?  How do you stay on track to meet your goals?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I love NY

Loving NYC is kind of a big deal for me.  I absolutely adored Boston, and loved living there.  Boston is a great city and it's not as big as NYC, so it feels more accessible.

I was very nervous about moving to NYC when we did in August 2010.  Mostly because when I was in college, I lived in an NYU dorm for a summer and had a miserable experience.  I don't want to go into the details, but I paired those feelings and issues with living in New York, even if that wasn't necessarily the cause of the problem.  My dad had also been mugged a couple of times back in the '80s while in the Port Authority.  So those are my memories of New York.

We moved to Alphabet City, which was incredibly fun for a year, but on Friday and Saturday nights, it turns into NYU/high school heaven and we felt a little old!  So off we moved to the West Village and I love it here.  I started to feel comfortable in Alphabet City and somewhat on the Upper West Side, where I work.  Unfortunately, I didn't really know or care to explore the rest of the Manhattan.

Which is RIDICULOUS.  It really is.  There are so many places to go to and so many things to do, limiting yourself to 1 neighborhood is silly.

I overheard some tourists on the subway the other day, and they just boggled my mind.  They had thick southern accents and were VERY loud.  One of them was talking about how much she loved New York, which made me happy.  Their favorite parts of the city are SoHo, Canal St and Times Square.  They particularly love Times Square because of the bright lights and how stimulating everything is.  Silly tourists... branch out.  SoHo and Canal St are great, and Times Square is... well in my opinion the worst part of New York, but those three places do not make up the city.  Go see the nooks and crannies of New York.

Which made me think about how I've really gotten out and about a lot more in the past few months.  I feel like everything ties back to how exercising has opened doors for me, and sometimes I feel like I'm turning into a broken record, but I really can't emphasize it enough.  I'll try to be brief, but I've run through parts of the city I never walked through.  And I'm taking classes in different neighborhoods.  So therefore, because I exercise I get to see more of the city.

OK, done with my "exercise has changed my life" schpiel.  NYC in the summer is awesome.

There are just so many free events everywhere!!
On Wednesday, Cameron, my brother, my sister-in-law and I went to a free Comedy Central special in Central Park.  It was an Indecision 2012 special with the people behind the scenes from The Daily Show.  Last year, Cameron and I saw Wyatt Cenac tape his Comedy Central special and it was hilarious.  It was a great event on Wednesday, even though it was like 101 degrees.  When the sun set and the breeze kicked in, the park cooled a little and it was almost refreshing.  Plus, it was nice to get out and do something on a Wednesday night.

Yesterday, I went with some friends to the Adventures NYC free event in Central Park (ok, I'm spending a lot of time in the same place so far... but I don't know Central Park that well, so I'm still learning!)  They had rock climbing walls, bikes to rent for free, kayaking etc.  We didn't do any of that because the lines were all too long... BUT Honest gave out lots of free samples, Cabot Cheese gave out lots of cheese, and we had fun walking through the event a couple of times.

Today, we went to the Gay Pride Parade.  Let me tell you, I did not want to go to a parade of any kind.  I hate parades, I hate crowds, I hate being short and having to crane my neck to see whats going on.  It's not fun!  We had a great time.  We kind of wandered around the parade route, but we saw a bunch of awesome floats and lots of people.  It's just really inspiring to see all these people who are so excited and enthusiastic about something so important to them.  So that put me in a pretty great mood.

To sum up... NY is awesome, there is so much to do, and you should not be afraid to get out there!!

Here are some websites with free (or cheap) events posted regularly.  Get out there and enjoy our great city!

Please feel free to leave more event suggestions or links for me and other readers.  Thanks!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Venturing into the unknown

Remember how I said I would never go into the weight room at my local NYSC? I broke my rule.

Cameron joined the NYSC last month, so I went into the weight room to meet up with him once.  That was like dipping my toes into the water, and it was cold water and I didn't like the fact that every single guy in the weight room looked me up and down.  Dude, I'm disgusting and sweaty, leave me alone. Also, I'm self-conscious.

So how did I end up using the weight room today?

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I've been very frustrated.  I feel like I have one setback after another, and my cardio training has been falling by the wayside.  Honestly, I had only been running once since I did my 5K in the beginning of June. 

Another potential setback has emerged.  Last Tuesday, I had to sprint from work to a doctor's appointment, because like my usual self, I got caught up in something and didn't realize I only had 10 minutes to get 15 blocks.  So I sprinted in my flatter than flat flip flops, that, lets be honest, really just protect my feet from getting dirt on them.  Since then... I've had pain in my left heel.

The pain is towards the back - it feels like my achilles most of the time, but then sometimes pain radiates from the bottom of my heel.  I honestly have no idea what it could be.  I googled and found some information about plantar fasciitis, but I'm not entirely sure that's what is wrong.  Unfortunately, I really don't want to go back to a doctor... I feel like I've been to doctor's a lot recently between the asthma and sciatica etc. I just don't like going to the doctor.  

How does this lead me to the weight room?  

I'm still doing my free month at NY Yoga, but I haven't done much in the way of abs/arms or weightlifting related classes recently either.  So now here I am, not doing cardio and not getting my wedding ready arms!  

Since walking is very uncomfortable, one would assume that running would as well.  I decided to try going on the bike for 20 minutes to test out how my heel felt after that.  I'm trying to take it easy so I don't want to try any of the cool classes that I have deals for right now, which rules that out for defining my arms.

And then when Cameron mentioned he had to go to the gym today, something struck inside of me.  I was itching to do something different and as my options are currently limited by a variety of different pains, maybe Cameron would show me what to do in the weight room!

Also, this way, Cameron is with me, so who will really look at me or judge me then!  

Off we went.  I did 20 minutes on the bike, which felt okay on my heel during, but now it has seen better days.  Then, I met Cameron in the weight room and he showed me how to use a few different machines.  I did it!  I went into the weight room! 

I know I said I never would, but it's because it was always a "fear" of mine to go into the weight room.  I don't know what to do in there, I don't like people looking at me, and I don't like being the only girl.  So having Cameron there was a little buffer.  I kind of enjoyed it, and I also feel like consistency will get results.  

For now, I honestly will probably only go in with Cameron.  I'm still going to need him to tell me what machines to use (because I don't know what 90% of the machines do).  So until I will independently choose my own machines and put together my own workout... hopefully Cameron will come with me.

I'm going to try this 20 minutes of bike + weight lifting for a little while... until my heel gets better and I can run outside again, or until I get antsy and feel like I need to do something different.

Have you had heel issues?  What do you think of the weight room?  Is there something in the exercise world you have been averse to until you tried it?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Tip for all New Yorkers looking for free exercise: Like all Lululemon and Athleta stores in NYC.  They post free events frequently as status updates.

Which is how I found the Sunday Salutations class through Lululemon.  Lululemon Lincoln Square does a Sunday Yoga class in their store every Sunday at 9:15am.  Except for the month of June... they are doing their free class at the Nalini Method studio.  For those of you who stalk me, you'll know that I've wanted to try a class at Nalini Method (it's on the list of classes I want to take), but their drop-in price is not aligned with my "exercise for cheap" policy.
So I was PUMPED to discover this free class at a place I've wanted to try!
I woke up at 7:45 on Sunday morning (yes, I got up at 7:45 on Sunday morning.  That in itself deserves a pat on the back... I'm not a late sleeper, but 7:45 is still quite early.)   I took a very challenging 90 minute hot yoga class at NY yoga on Saturday, so I was looking forward to a relaxing non-heated 60 minute yoga class.
I did not do my research correctly.
I was right; Nalini Method does not have traditional yoga classes.  The Sunday morning class was a Yogalini class, which their website describes as:
YOGALINI Our brand new signature class which is the ultimate marriage of Nalini Method and Yoga. Picture a yoga mat with ankle weights! Get into a Vinyasa flow and center your body with this challenging class.
Ankle weights!  That is not what I was picturing for 9:15 on a  Sunday morning!
OK, fine, after collecting my needed materials for class, I resolved that this was no walk in the park yoga class and I'm getting something even better than what I expected!  I'm taking an actual Nalini Method class.
The class was pretty good.  It was a lot of repetitions with lighter weights and incorporating yoga and pilates poses into weight training.  It was definitely exhausting and I had to take some of the bars out of the ankle/wrist weights a couple of times because my arms felt like jelly.  Overall, the actual class was not that much different than the barre classes I've taken.
However, the instructor, Rupa, who is also the founder of the Nalini Method, was fantastic.  One thing I really liked was that they have white boards along the walls and she personally introduces herself to everyone and then writes their name on the wall so she can provide personal feedback.  I thought it was amazing.  Normally, I wonder if instructors are just talking vaguely when they provide praise, but I felt like she was direct and specific to people.  That made me a lot more confident in my movements.  I also liked when she gave me corrective feedback.  She was direct, easy going and thorough.  She didn't need to be hands on because her directions of what to fix were detailed without being confusing.  I knew that I was doing something incorrectly and then I knew exactly how to fix it.
Honestly, the format of the class was not that stand-out compared to Core Fusion, Figure Four, the Bar Method etc, but Rupa was a star of an instructor.

The class: I'm nearest to the door with the white floral tank top and black capris
Picture from the Nalini Facebook page

1) Rupa was great
2) Free!
3) Overall a good work out

1) Not free other than these 4 Sundays in June
2) A unique concept, but still felt familiar.
3) I was not mentally prepared for a weight training class - I didn't even bring water with me because I thought it was an easy yoga class!

I would definitely do this class again!  If the Nalini method was cheaper, I would love to try out other classes at the studio.  I'll have to keep an eye out for other great events like this one from Lululemon!

Have you ever had an insrtuctor you really liked?  What free events do you like to go to?

Sunday, June 10, 2012


I'm going to warn you, this post is a stream of consciousness and more ranty than I usually like to be.

I've been very frustrated the last couple of weeks when I exercise.  Between sciatica, running cramps, clothing issues etc... I've been feeling like every time I exercise, something new bothers me and I hit that wall really early.
I think that's also why I haven't been posting much lately... its not as motivating to post about my 1 mile run where my running cramp was so painful I wanted to puke all over the machine (sorry to give you that mental image).
So what do you do when you hit that wall?  How do you recover and push past it?
I'm still trying to figure this out.
I've scaled back my goals for going to the gym.  I'm back to, "just spend 30 minutes on a treadmill doing whatever" so that I can at least feel like I've accomplished something.  I also am just trying to push myself to keep going and not get discouraged.  Shit happens, right?
It's still really off-putting to go to the gym and come back and feel like I did nothing.  I may as well have stayed home, but now I'm just sweaty enough to need a shower, but not sweaty enough to feel like I did anything.  This middle ground builds up frustration for me.
I've never been the kind of person to be like,  "eh, try and fail, its cool." I don't like failing.  I really don't.  I actually would rather not try.  As my friends know, I do not like to try new foods, because I'd rather not try them and learn that it was the most disgusting thing I've ever had.  Fortunately sometimes, I try new foods anyway, otherwise I'd still be on my pasta, doritos and breaded chicken diet from when I was 7.
This whole exercise experience has forced me to deal with "failing".  I know it's not failing and I know that every day is going to be different, but I feel very frustrated right now while I'm constantly hitting this wall.
I've been running for 9 months now, I can run for about 15 minutes at a 10 min mile pace before I'm exhausted.  I can go a little further than that before I'm really done.  I'm pretty proud of that because when I first started, I couldn't run down the block without feeling out of breath.
But right now, I run on the treadmill for 6 minutes and my back hurts, or my muscles start cramping, or my sock slips down in my shoe etc etc.  It's very frustrating because it feels like a major setback.  I worry that not only am I encountering all these issues, I am also losing what I've spent 9 months building up.
I think this is also why I'm so ADD about everything - I hit a wall and need to switch things up.  Yes, fitness experts, I realize that this slows my progress because I'm trying to do 100 different activities at once.  Instead of getting really good at running, or cycling, or weightlifting, I'm getting slightly better at all of these things.  Very slowly.
Which makes issues even more annoying because I make slow and steady progress, but can lose it very quickly when something crop up.

So my resolve for the next couple of weeks is to just keep going to the gym and to just keep working out.  I need to just keep pushing through this wall.  Everyone has their good days and bad days.  I am also using my one month Living Social deal at NY Yoga, so I'm trying to do yoga 1-2 times a week too, which is very restorative.  Instead of replacing my runs (which is what I did this week) with yoga, I'm going to add the yoga in and still do the running.  I can't hide from my problems and taking a break doesn't make them go away.  It would be one thing if I had a strained muscle and I needed to rest, but sciatica is not made worse by exercising, and muscle cramps are going to happen when they happen.

Do you get frustrated about exercising?  Have you hit a wall?  How do you get past it?  What do you do for muscle cramps??

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pugs and Mugs

A few months ago, I decided to look for a 5K to do in Boston, my old home, as my first 5K.  I figured that getting to go to Boston would be a good motivator for me since I love it there.
It was a choice between the PRoNE 5K or The Foxboro against Diabetes 5K, which were both this past Saturday, June 2.  I discussed with many of my college friends and we decided to do the PRoNE 5K because of its location; Castle Island.  The PRoNE 5K donates money to the Pug Rescue of New England, which helps rescue and support pugs in New England (if you can't figure that out from the title of the organization).
Race Map
It worked out great because the American Craft Beer Festival was also on June 2nd.  Cameron and I went to that 2 years ago with some friends and we all had a great time.  We were all very excited to spend the day together, running a 5K and then at the Beer Festival.  The name "Pugs and Mugs" was born during a conversation about getting tee-shirts made for the weekend.

Anyway, back to the 5K.  June 2 seems like a great day for a 5K, right? Especially in Boston where it cools down nicely.  Last time we went to the Beer Festival, I wore a strapless sundress and we spent all day outside beforehand.  So obviously, this time would be exactly the same... right?!


As you can see... Rain/Thunder = strapless sundress.  Crap.  My OCD self had picked out my Brooks Running shorts and my Sweat Pink tank top to run in.  I threw a pair of capris in my bag and figured I'd be fine in capris and the tank top - I run in tank tops as long as it is above 55/60.

Before the Race:
We all wake up on Saturday morning at 6:45 and its POURING rain.  Not only that, it's also like 53 degrees.  So Wendi, our very amazing hostess, gets out sweatshirts for all of us, including extra ones for after the race and we all get ready and head out.  We got to the event at 7:50ish, registered and got back in the car to wait.  It was freezing.  I committed to wearing Wendi's sweatshirt over my tanktop, which was a challenge itself because I'm very particular about what I work out in.

At 8:45, we climbed out of the cars and got ready for the race.  We took a couple pre-race pictures, but I look so horrifying, those will hopefully be deleted from Wendi's phone shortly. I put my arm band under the sweatshirt to keep my phone dry and set up my music.  We all lined up - my ex-roommate, Tim (ok, half of the people I ran with are ex-roommates, but he is the most recent one), started at the front and the rest of us gathered in the middle.

The Race:
At 9:05 we were off.  It was steadily raining and I had to dodge many people at the beginning.  Note to  anyone who participates in Run/Walks... try to position yourself appropriately.  I think I was positioned appropriately, but I had to run around people who were walking with 4-5 people in a row taking up the entire sidewalk.

About 7-8 minutes into the run, I was feeling pretty good and I hit a head wind.  The wind was literally pounding against me and I was just pushing through it.  I hit mile 1 running and was proud I'd made that with this wind against me.  If you look at the map, you can see that there is a little addition to the route outside of the circle to make it a 5K.  I ran down that and back up and then walked for about a minute, at which point one of my friends caught up to me and we talked about the ridiculous headwind.

We thought that was ridiculous... oh wait... it gets WORSE.

Between the mile 1 and mile 2 markers, the wind was brutal.  There was a causeway where the wind was completely against us BUT the rain, which was very hard, was coming directly from the right.  There were puddles (more like lakes) all over the route and my feet were soaking wet.  It literally felt like I was running through the Perfect Storm.  Except George Clooney was not there and it seemed like I would never make it to the mile 2 marker.

I ran the entire time over the cause way, although running might not be the most accurate word.  I did not walk.  I really wanted to, but I was trying to hard not to.  At one point, "I'm Not Afraid" by Eminem came on my music, which revived me.  I particularly like the lyric, "We'll walk this route together through the storm, whatever weather, cold or warm, just letting you know that you're not alone" as it made me think of all my friends running this with me and where they were at this point.  I pushed through and made it over the causeway.

I had been planning on walking after that, but I finally found the mile 2 marker and decided to keep running.  At this point, I'd probably been running for about 26 minutes.  Shortly after the mile 2 marker was the race photographer.  I remembered reading on someone else's blog to smile at the finish line so your picture is good, so I smiled the whole way to the race photographer.

Pretty good picture right?? You can see the causeway from hell directly behind me.

Not too soon after this picture was taken, a tail wind appeared!  Suddenly I was being pushed along, but because I was only 2.something miles into the race, I didn't want to expend all my energy and tried to run conservatively.  The rain had lightened up and there was a really cool military fort on one side of us.

I kept running and "Edge of Glory" came on.  As many people know, I strongly dislike Gaga, but I really love this song for some reason, and it's a great song to run to.

About a minute into "Edge of Glory", I turned a corner and could see all the tents and the finish line!  But I'd just passed mile 2!  How did I get to the end so quickly??  I passed the mile 3 marker and sped up to the finish line.

The official results:

I finished in 33:37.1. I had been hoping to break 30 minutes before the race started, but honestly, between the sciatica and the weather, I was just happy that it wasn't more than a minute above my best practice run (which was during ideal conditions).
I DID IT!  I finished my first 5K!

After the Race
Once we all finished, Tim had to collect his prize... because... oh wait... I forgot to mention... Tim WON! This is why he went to the front of the pack in the beginning.  He ran it in 18:08.  He got a heart rate monitor, which is cool.  We were all hoping for a pug, but nope.

Tim: the winner!!

There was lots of free baked goods - we took some brownies and bananas and headed out.  It's a shame we didn't stay for the rest of the race, but the weather was miserable. All of us were drenched.  Completely soaking wet.  One of my friends had to wring her sweater out.  I wanted to make sure to get a picture of myself in my SweatPink shirt with my race number, so I forced Wendi to take one while we were all dripping in the car.

We all showered and changed and then threw a load of our wet, gross clothes into the washing machine.  Thank goodness Wendi has a free washer/dryer!  To reward ourselves, we went to my favorite mall, the Natick Collection and shopped for a little bit.  I actually didn't buy anything, but I love the Natick Collection and was just happy to pay it a visit.

At 4:00, a bunch of us headed to the American Craft Beer Festival to wait in line.  We wanted to sit under cover and wait for the 6:00 start.  We had a great time at the Beer Festival - you get to try lots of different beers and we all just hung out for a very long time.   It was a very nice way to conclude the day and we had a very fun filled day!  Sorry, no pictures of the Beer Festival - with the rain, my hair was super frizzy and I didn't wear makeup.

Thoughts on the Race
When we got back to Wendi's, Cameron looked up to see if the mile markers were accurate.  We found that they weren't - the mile 2 marker was at least 1/3 of a mile too far.  That made sense because I was most frustrated during "mile 2".  Besides the giant storm over the causeway, I also thought I was running the slowest mile I've run in months, which really frustrated me.  I also was trying to conserve energy and actually pace myself because I thought that I was not even halfway through it.

I am very proud of all of my friends, because we all got up on our Saturday together and ran in the cold pouring rain and wind.

I want to work on finding a GPS for my phone that is more accurate than the ones I currently have.  My phone has perpetual problems finding signals, so a lot of times, I run and when I stop the timer, its like, "You have run 0.0 miles! You burned 0 calories!"  Annoying!  However, if I'd had the GPS working, it could have told me that I had gotten to mile 2 and my attitude might have been different.

I'll run another race and I loved going with everyone.  Mt. Washington was Summer 2011, PRoNE 5K was Summer 2012.  What does everyone want to do Summer 2013?!

Last note, we all put the pink SweatPink shoelaces in our shoes to run together.  It was GREAT!  It was so easy to find each other because we looked out for the shoelaces.  Love them!

Have you run a race in brutal weather?  Has it effected your time?  What should my friends and I try in the Summer of 2013?