Saturday, July 5, 2014

Happy Birthday, America!

July 5, 2014 -

Happy Birthday, America!   I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July!  We worked at Nate’s business, but had a good time, despite the rainy weather.  After work on Saturday, we went to Kevin’s house and hung out by the lake with great friends and awesome food.  We went out on one of Kevin’s boats before it got too dark.  It was the perfect way to unwind after a busy week!  Kevin also had fireworks, as well as other people across the lake too.  They were beautiful! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 1st - short and sweet

July 1, 2014 - 

It’s already JULY! Ran part of the park trail again this afternoon when Nathan got home.  My legs were really sore from yesterday’s trail hill climbs.  We sprinted at the end too.  Same distance, but a little faster than yesterday!  We’ll take it! 

1.69 miles —- 17:45 —- 10:32 pace per mile 

Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30, 2014 - Local park trails

June 30, 2014 - 

AHHHHH… How we’ve missed these trails! 

Ran the local park trails with Nathan when he got home tonight!  It was really great to be back on the trails, after running on the road so much (or what seems like a lot.. )  What a great night! 

1.59 miles —- 17:52 —- 10:34 pace per mile 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wednesday 3 mile back loop - June 25, 2014

June 25, 2014 - 

Took the Oiselle Rogas out for another run today! Absolutely LOVE the shorts! This run was also better than yesterdays run too!  YESSS! Ran around our back neighborhood, but the opposite way.  I decided to switch it up a bit.  It is actually the same route as the Fitness Factory Five 5k I participated in (and placed!) a few months ago.  

Tough hills in the beginning, and my breathing was SO much better than yesterday.  I didn’t have to stop and walk at all.  Ran around 5:00 pm and beat the rain!  

3.00 miles —- 27:43 —- 9:14 pace per mile 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The tough runs make the good runs even better

June 24, 2014

School’s out for the SUMMER!!!  Until working summer school starts of course! 

Tough run around mom’s neighborhood today.  Ran around 12:30 this afternoon.  Had to stop and walk a few times, due to a REALLY bad side cramp.  It was a little frustrating because the route that I was on wasn’t too tough.  Mostly flat, with one big hill.   I’m assuming the side cramp was  from dehydration.  Now that it’s getting warmer, I have to keep drinking more H2O!  The temps were good today I thought though… in the 80’s with a breeze.   I also wore my Oiselle Rogas on this run!  Love those shorts!  They make you feel like you aren’t wearing any shorts! 

Hoping my next run isn’t as tough as this one. 

running: 2.02 miles —- 21:39 —- 10:44 pace per mile 

walking: .31 miles 

total miles:  2.33 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

RACE RECAP - Solstice Sprint 5k

June 19, 2014 - 

A few weeks ago I signed up for the Solstice Sprint 5k in West Hartford, CT!  I was excited about this race for a couple of reasons.  First, it would be my first “nighttime” race - starting at 6:30pm!  I would also hopefully get to meet one of my Oiselle Teammates, and director of the Solstice Sprint 5k, Kelly!

Solstice Sprint 5k was held in West Hartford, CT.  At the MDC reservoir as a matter of fact.  All proceeds from this race will benefit the Farmington Village Green and Library Association.  For more information and to see the race’s website, click HERE.

Packet pickup started at 5pm, and the race started at 6:30pm.   I left work Wednesday afternoon about 10 minutes early and headed South to CT!  Hoping I didn’t hit any traffic, or worse, get lost.

I made good time and arrived at the MDC Reservoir about an hour and fifteen minutes after I left.  Not difficult to find either.   I checked out the parking lot scene, and since I had time, figured I would go find somewhere to change into my race gear.  I backtracked a little back to a Stop and Shop I passed on my way to the reservoir.  I found the bathroom in Stop and Shop, and changed out of my work clothes, and into my race gear there.  I then drove back to the reservoir and stretched for a little bit in the parking lot.  It was now after 5pm, and the cars were starting to roll in.  I applied sunblock, and followed the path to pick up my race bib. 

From a distance, I immediately spotted someone wearing Oiselle’s new Jailbird Tee, and assumed (and hoped) it was Kelly.  I was right!  We greeted each other and talked about the race.  One of the things I like about Oiselle and running is that it brings people together.  Although I’ve never met Kelly before, we were both a part of something meaningful to us (a TEAM….. Oiselle Team!) and it felt like I’ve known her for years.  Kelly was super nice, enthusiastic and encouraging.  While hanging around chatting,  I also recognized another friendly face, a customer from the brewery!  We chatted for a while.  He was there because he works for Dog Star Rescue, a company that rescues and shelters dogs.   Dog Star Rescue was there at the race with some furry friends, providing information about fostering dogs and helping dogs in need.   

I eventually picked up my race bib after hanging out for a while, and walked back to my car to apply some bug spray and put my race singlet on.  The parking lot was quickly filling up with cars and antsy runners.  I stretched for a little more, hydrated, and made my way to the line for the porta-potty.

After using the bathrooms, I hung out around the finish line waiting for the race to start with other runners.  I warmed up, stretched, and put my water bottle down next to the tree where I could find it later.  Walking back onto the path I noticed a four leaf clover in the ground!  Today might just be my lucky day!

I stuffed the 4 leaf clover into my pocket, and started walking to wear the race would start, a couple of feet from the finish line.  It was hot out!

There was a good turnout for the race!   The course was absolutely perfect, and beautiful!  If you ever are in the area of West Hartford, I highly recommend visiting the MDI reservoir.  We actually ran on the Red Road Loop, a well-paved 3 miles of rolling hills, peaceful settings, and beautiful water.  Kelly warned me of the rolling hills, but it was pretty hot out so that took my mind off of the course!  The hills were mostly in the beginning, and the course ended with a downhill and some flat ground too. I focused on my breathing a lot during the race, and wished I had hydrated more thought the week before.  

I ran in a gun time of 26:45, averaging a 8:36 pace per mile.  Not my best, and not my worst, so I was pretty happy!  It was a beautiful day, and I was running!  Platt Systems was there running the electronic bibs and timers, and had the results posted in a matter of minutes after you crossed the finish line.  Of course, after the race I made my way to the delicious spread of food that was offered to the racers.  I helped myself to some slices of watermelon, water, and grabbed a granola bar for the ride back home.  I also walked back to the finish line and cheered for the other runners who were finishing up. 

There was such a cool and relaxed vibe after the race, so I decided to hang around for the raffle.  Plus, the weather was absolutely perfect.  For the raffle, Kelly was randomly calling out bib numbers, which was a great idea. Whoever had the closest bib number to the number they would call out, or that exact same bib number, that person would get a raffle prize.  

 

A woman standing near me got her number called, and came back with some Oiselle gloves ! I immediately commented on them, and what a great choice she had made for picking her prize.  I also told her that she was going to love them! 

Maybe that four leaf clover did have something to do with it, or maybe not, but my bib number was called for a raffle prize too!  There wasn’t much left when I got up to the table, but without hesitation I grabbed a nice pair of new socks from Sock Guy!  I mean, who doesn’t love a new pair of socks?!! 

After the raffle they started calling top three in each age group.   The four leaf clover and my 26:45 were good enough for 3rd/19 in my age group!  What a wonderful surprise!!!  I received a yummy strawberry cookie and strawberry marshmellows as rewards!

I headed out and back home to Massachusetts after the awards ceremony and thanked Kelly.  It was great to meet her and the race that she put on was fantastic.  The course was challenging, fast, and wonderful.  It being my first “night time race” I was really impressed with the turnout and the energy.  I could get used to racing these 6:30pm runs in the summer! The race was super fun, filled with wonderful people and was extremely organized.  I’m already looking forward to next year’s!

Here’s to running free, making new friends, exploring new places, and hoping theres a little more luck underneath my wings!

 

 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Seven Sisters Trail Hike

June 16, 2014 - 

I love being in the woods.  Hiking, running, walking.  Don’t really care what  I’m doing in there, just as long as I’m there.  It doesn’t even matter what season.  I think theres something magical, peaceful, calming, and also motivating about being out there with the trees, the dirt, the light streaming in from above.

I can’t pin point when I became obsessed with the woods, although I really wish I could remember.  It’s not like we grew up in a house with a yard that the woods bordered.  Maybe it just has to do with me really loving to be outside.  

My dad suggested that we go for a hike on Father’s Day.  Count me in!   He wanted to hike the Seven Sisters.  Even better! 

The Seven Sisters is a section of a mountain range out here in Western Massachusetts that follows the Mount Holyoke Range.  

  (please ignore the green start button. we actually started on the left, under Skinner.) 

The Seven Sisters is also known for their tough, out-and-back Trail Race they host every year! 

Summit House to Notch Traverse (directions, helpful hints) 

For more fun facts on the Seven Sisters, click HERE

I met my dad and my sister at my parents house.  We took two cars, because our plan was to instead of doing an “out and back” we would leave one car at the end, and then one car at the beginning.  

We left my sisters car at the end, where we would finish, The Notch (Amherst, MA) and then drove with her to the bottom of the Skinner State Park, (Hadley, MA) where we would hike up to, follow the ridge line to the Notch, and then back down to the car. 

The hike from the parking lot of the Skinner State Park to the actual Summit House, is no joke.  It’s basically straight up, and pretty steep.  

It took us about a half hour, maybe 40 minutes to climb to the House. Although, like every climb, the view is always worth it. 

View from Skinner, looking over the CT River. 

When we reached Skinner House, we took a break, had some water, and some snacks.  Then we carried on!

The trail was pretty difficult, with rolling ups and downs.  Lots of climbing!  Trails were rocky and root-y, but extremely beautiful. The weather was perfect! The sun was shining, the temps were in the high 70’s but there was a wonderful breeze that cooled us down too!  

We didn’t see too many hikers following the ridge like we were.  We saw some near the Skinner House, and they seemed to be just doing the Skinner Trail (parking lot to house, and then back).  We maybe passed 10 other hikers when we got closer to the top of the Notch. 

My sister, dad and I stopped when need be for water, and also made it a point to stop at most of the lookouts, when we got closer to the top of the Notch.  

It was hot and a little after noon time when we reached the top of the Notch! We didn’t hang out for too long up there because we were hot and hungry! 

      —- group photo at the top of the Notch! Erin, Dad, Me. —- 

From the top of the Notch to the parking lot (where we left Erin’s car) is mostly all downhill, with some flat even parts.  This felt funny on the quads because our legs were pretty sore after climbing up most of the time.  

We made it to the car at about three hours after we started.  I was tracking the whole hike with my GPS but at about halfway through, Erin was trying to check something, and completely messed it up.  It’s ok though.  We hiked about 7 miles in 3 hours.  

As mentioned before it was the perfect day for a hike, on a fun and challenging trail!  Already can’t wait to go back again!

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! 

Questions:

Have you ever hiked the Seven Sisters? 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

two and a half

June 10, 2014 - 

Add another 2.5 to the list!

Waited until 6:30pm to run this, and it was still muggy out! Ran around a residential neighborhood in our town.  

2.52 miles —- 24:59 —- 9:54 pace per mile 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Happy National Running Day!

June 4, 2014 -

Happy National Running Day!   Two years ago I wrote a what-I-think-is-great post about national running day, and some reasons why I run… 

click HERE to revisit that post from 2012! 

After re-visiting that post, I like to think that I have grown as a “runner.”  See what I did there..?!?  I called myself a RUNNER!  :)  Also, running has helped me grow as an adult. 

On this year’s National Running Day, because there has yet to be a bill passed that runners can take NRD off of work to go celebrate… YET…. I headed to work in a shirt that only made complete sense to wear. 

Oiselle’s LOVE Raglan T-shirt! 

When I got home I changed into Oiselle’s distance shorts, and did a out and back 4 miles on a loop I do around town.  The run felt really great, and I think I had a silly smile on my face the whole time.  

One of the 92837498273 reasons I love Oiselle’s apparel (and I’m sure that I’ve said this before) is that their pieces are so versatile!  I wore the LOVE raglan to work, and then ran 4 miles in it! It was fantastic!! 

4.02 miles —- 39:59 —- 9:56 pace per mile 

So, did you celebrate National Running Day today?!  If so, where??

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Oiselle fast red and fresh green

May 27, 2014 - 

Today after work I went to my parents house (in a different town) to run.  It was a beautiful day out, and I was happy to get a few “new to me” miles in, even if my legs did hurt after the gazillion side lunges I did yesterday. ouch. 

Oiselle is also hosting a #flystyle photo contest this week! More details about this on their blog…click here; http://www.oiselle.com/blog/week-flystyle

Today’s #flystyle challenge was: “Red light, green light.  Show us your Fresh Green or Fast Red #flystyle”

Luckly… I packed both, and with some special thanks to my mom, I got some good pictures! :)

2.00 miles —- 17:34 —- 8:44 pace per mile 

After a smaller cool down I stretched for a little bit.  I absolutely loved the combo of the Oiselle distance shorts and Oiselle’s winona tank! Both were super comfortable, and both wicked the sweat away!