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A runner with an appetite for adventure!

The Anti-Vegas November 25, 2013

Filed under: Baby,Family,Las Vegas — Kelocity @ 9:48 pm
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We recently got back from a week in Las Vegas! I know, I know… Las Vegas…with a baby… for a week. But before you give me that judgy side-eye (and believe me, we got lots of that while we were there)… let me show you scenes from the week.

Without further ado, here is how we did ‘Vegas’ as the  ‘Anti-Vegas‘:

WE WATCHED THE LAS VEGAS MARATHON
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WE WENT TO COSTCO AND THE GROCERY STORE
We had a full kitchen, so we took advantage and bought most of our meals for the week. That worked out well for us in Hawaii, so we tried it again this time. Works great to have food handy with a toddler in tow!
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Photo taken outside of Costco!

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WE WATCHED ‘AMAZING RACE’
Our hotel room had SEVEN TVs!! One of the TV’s is actually a full wall projector screen. (More on the hotel in a different post!)
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WE TOOK POOL NAPS
Ok, maybe pool naps aren’t the ‘anti-vegas’, but with a baby sleeping on your chest, it did feel a little different than usual =)
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WE WENT TO CHUCK-E-CHEESE
We met up with my college friend, Melissa, and her two kids!
(Fun Fact: I worked at Chuck-E-Cheese for two weeks in high school. I quit when I found out I had to DANCE in front of the kids. yea. no.)
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WE WENT OUTLET SHOPPING
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WE HAD TO DODGE RAIN!
Rain! In the desert! That’s SO ‘anti-vegas’!
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WE WENT TO A CHRISTMAS LIGHT SHOW
We all know Vegas is full of bright lights and glitter… but this took it to a whole new level! And tune your radio to a certain station and you’ll be singing Christmas Carols and sipping Hot Cocoa in NO time!

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IMG_2142Truthfully, Adele was more excited that she didn’t have to stay in her car seat than actually looking at the lights, but the adults had fun! It was the biggest display I’ve ever seen! It’s 2.5 miles long!
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WE HIKED IN A NATIONAL PARK
We all visited Red Rock Canyon for a great hike in the park! More pictures coming in a future post! It was a fun day!
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WE WENT TO A CHILDREN’S MUSEUM!
Las Vegas just opened a newly renovated Children’s Museum that we were dying to check out! Adele was a little too young to fully appreciate all the incredible things they offer there, but she did LOVE the water play area and the giant life-sized Lightbrite!
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So as you can see, Vegas CAN be done with a toddler in tow. During the entire week we were there, we didn’t even push one stroller wheel into a casino (ok, wait, that’s a lie, I did take Adele into the Bellagio once to see the flowers, but we went straight in bypassing the casino). The smoke is a big concern for us (yuck!) but we avoided it by mostly staying out of those hotels and off the busy sidewalks.

And let’s be honest, when you have a hotel room like this, who wants to leave?
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Irving and I LOVE vegas. We’ve been more times than I can count. We’ve been visiting 2-3 times a year since we moved to the west coast. But Vegas as we know it has definitely changed since having a baby. We were never drinkers or gamblers, but we love the scene. We love the restaurants, the sports book and the Cirque shows… and all of that is tough to do with a baby.

We were SO lucky to have built in baby sitters while we were there this time though. (Irving’s grandmother and Aunt and Uncle were with us too!) So we took advantage one night and headed out for dinner and a show. (No pictures since it was POURING out and we had to literally RUN down the street!)

We ate at the Sugar Factory at the Paris Casino. Two words: Reeces Martini. The glass was rimmed with gobs of peanut butter!!!
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We went to see Veronic Voices (pronounced “Vey-ron-eek”), also at the Paris Casino. It is a one-woman show where Veronic impersonates 50 different artists. Her range was unbelievable. The show was really good, and even better because we only paid $2.50 a ticket (Those prices are VERRRRY Anti-Vegas, right!) It was no ‘Cirque’ show, but it was a fun night out nonetheless. (Thank you Jake and Janie!!!!)

Lots more pictures to come! It was a great, relaxing week!

 

New B.A.A Rules February 16, 2011

Filed under: Boston,Marathons — Kelocity @ 10:31 am
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I’m sure all the crazy runners have already heard, but news exploded this morning when the B.A.A. announced it’s new qualifying standards and entry process into the 2012 and 2013 Boston Marathons.

For the 2012 Boston Marathon, the faster you run, the earlier you can register. Even if you qualify, you might not get in because the people who run faster than the qualifying get first dibs.

And for the 2013 race, they are making the qualifying times even tougher by requiring everyone to finish five minutes faster than in the past.

I personally don’t have a problem with this. It’s an elite race that caters to the world’s greatest runners. That’s the allure of it. As a spectator, you know it’s going to be exciting, fast and emotional. As a runner, you know you’re running the world’s oldest official marathon race and there is history on the pavement you’re pounding.

Let me be clear — I love fast runners. I admire them. I like to watch them run. I am amazed at how athletes bodies  push through the unimaginable.  I am glad that Boston has tight standards, and I’m jealous of the people who CAN and DO qualify. I’m genuinely happy for them. They deserve it.

My problem comes with the comments of people on blogs, newspaper and facebook posts about this. They are just mean and narrow minded. And they attack the charity runners….which makes me MAD.

Some of the Comments From the BAA Facebook Page:
“As far as charity runners go, make them qualify as well. Charities are great but Boston is different than every other marathon and everyone shouldn’t be able to run it.”

“Drop the non time qualifying runners and get back to it being about time –not who donated money to whoever!!!”

Ok… first of all, I understand Boston is different, which is the draw for a lot of people. I understand that people are mad. But the BAA Charity teams raise MILLIONS of dollars for excellent causes. I hope whoever wrote those comments never gets cancer and needs the help of the hospitals and clinics who benefit from this money. If they made charity runners qualify, they wouldn’t come CLOSE to raising the funds that they do.

Secondly, If you’re a fast runner and you qualified. Why do you care if I didn’t? I’m going to be three hours behind you anyways. I understand that you think I’m taking up a spot that a qualifier didn’t get, but those slots are allotted ahead of time. Boston has increased the field to ADD charity runners, not take away from the original qualifying spots.

If you want to run an elite race with NO charity or slower runners, run this race. There you go. In order to run, you have to qualify. The end.

The money that is raised through Boston’s charity program saves thousands of lives. I wish people would see the bigger picture.

I have another solution too… why not hold another marathon in Boston? Not THE Boston Marathon, but just another marathon, maybe one that has a different route? I’d totally run it. Running in Boston is exciting. For a lot of us slower runners, I’m sure we’d love to have another option to run a full marathon in that city.

So all you faster runners, stop picking on the charity runners. We trained hard AND raised money at the same time.

Runners are generally generous, understanding and social people. Why does this Boston debate bring out the worst in people year after year? Maybe I’m just taking this too personally. But I just feel that I (as a charity runner) shouldn’t be the scapegoat here.

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For my Boston Marathon Recap, click here!

 

The Thrill of the Race January 17, 2011

Filed under: 20 before 30,Arizona,Marathons,Races,Running — Kelocity @ 4:56 pm
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I did it! I ran my 10th Half Marathon yesterday! It was a great race!
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But first, let’s back up! The night before, Irving and I went searching for some Italian food to carbo load with. There were plenty of Mexican restaurants, but Italian was surprisingly hard to find in Phoenix! We ended up at a great place called Nello’s.
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The menu was perfect. Lots of options and reasonable prices.
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I went straight for the Pasta. Sometimes simple is best. I didn’t want to take any chances before race day.
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It was delicious! The pasta was homemade and cooked al dente.

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Washed down with a few hydrating glasses of H2O.
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When we got back to the hotel, I laid all my race gear out.
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GU and Shotbloks: check
Garmin and Ipod: check
Fuel Belt: check

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Fuel Belt Bottles: uhhhhh…. NO CHECK!

I totally forgot my Fuel Belt Bottles…. If it wasn’t on my list, it didn’t get packed! Next time, no beer while making packing lists.

But the race must go on –with or without my liquid energy. Luckily, I knew they had Cytomax and water on the course, and that’s what I run with anyways, so of all things to forget, this was probably the best case scenario. In the past, I’ve forgotten my Garmin, and that’s the worst!

Moving on… I pinned on my race bib, and set my alarm for 5am!
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~~~~~~~~~

I slept fairly well, but still felt a little groggy in the morning. I knew I’d be fine once I started to get excited about the race. I wore my Boston Marathon shirt to give me a little extra confidence boost. haha I also rocked the Zensah compression socks. This will have been my first race running in those.
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Ok… let’s do this!
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We parked at the golf course club house where Irving was going to play golf, and then I walked to the shuttle busses across the street. The line looked long, but I was able to get right on a bus. It took about a half hour to get to the start line, but it was so cold, I was thankful for heated transportation.

The start line was organized and spread out, so it wasn’t as crowded as I thought it would be. 
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They were giving out water bottles, which fit perfectly in my fuel belt. Score!
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I met up with some Team in Training friends and we chatted for an hour or so.

I kept my sweatshirt on for as long as I could before I had to check my gear bag. It was so cold, maybe 35 or 40 degrees?
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I was SO glad I had my compression socks on. At the very least, they kept my legs warm!
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Then I made it to my corral and waited to start.
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They assign corrals based on estimated finish time. It took 35 minutes to for us to cross the start line. I just put my ipod on, blasted the music and tried to forget how cold I was.
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Once we passed the start line, I started running. At first I was annoyed that I’ve already lost 35 minutes behind the first half-marathoners before we even started, but then I realized what a great perk this was to the race. It was SO nice to be with the same group of people at the same pace for the whole run. I really appreciated that. I didn’t get trampled by fast people, or slowed down by walkers. It was just right. I was very thankful that they did this. Just one more reason why “Rock N’ Roll” marathons get it right.

And not long after that, the sun came out and the air warmed up a bit.
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I hadn’t really trained properly, so I just ran when I felt like it and walked when I had to. I definitely ran more than I walked, and that was pretty much my goal. I had no real time expectations. I rocked out to my music, and muted it during the bands along the course.
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Just for the heck of it, I ran through this tunnel of hula hoops. Total energy booster!!
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I cruised through the first 8 miles or so. I got into a rhythm of running/walking intervals. My body was in tune with my mind, which is sometimes the hardest part to overcome.

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I had been nibbling on Shot Bloks here and there every couple of miles, but I had this Chocolate Cherry GU at mile 9. It was SO GOOD! It had two shots of caffeine in it too.
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For the most part, the race was a point to point course down one main road with very few deviations. It was starting to get a little boring until we finally got some glimpses of the beautiful Arizona scenery.
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Cacti!
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How funny is this giant inflatable rock and roll man?! Rock on!
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My knees were starting to get crunchy around mile 11 with two miles left to go. I’d start running and my knee cap felt like it was going to fall off. But then I realized that it only hurt when I jogged, not when I was running full out strides. So I started sprinting pieces of the last two miles.
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I looked down at my watch and saw that I could break 3 hours if I kept up the pace. My best time was 2:40 and my worst was 3:13. Coming in under 3 hours would put me right in between (not bad for a bad training season!)

It’s always exciting towards the end of a race when the crowds get a little thicker and you can hear the cheers getting louder.
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I never saw the Mile 13 mile marker. But my watch read 13.1 miles about a half mile before the finish line!
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I crossed the finish line officially at 2:56:44.

Here’s the stats:

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I was really thirsty at the end (no fuel belt bottles, remember?) Don’t worry, I was drinking every few miles, but it was starting to get hot, and I was parched!
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I gathered up all the post race swag: frozen yogurt, cytomax, fruit, pop chips… and headed out to find Irving. He was still playing his last hole on the golf course, so I plopped down on the nice grass on the course (the golf people didn’t seem to mind.)
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Zensah Socks: huge success. My shins didn’t hurt at all during the race.

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I entertained myself by taking self portraits.

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The medal was huge! It was heavy duty!
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I was saving my frozen yogurt for Irving, but he took too long and I got bored, so I ate it!
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Soon, I was reunited with my golfer.
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MY SPLITS:

Mile 1 – 11:28
Mile 2 – 11:49
Mile 3 – 12:11
Mile 4 – 12:53
Mile 5 – 12:36
Mile 6 – 13:53
Mile 7 – 14:23
Mile 8 – 14:24
Mile 9 – 14:33
Mile 10 – 11:38
Mile 11 – 15:05
Mile 12 – 13:26
Mile 13 – 12:23
Mile 13.56 – 12:15

Garmin told me that I burned 1210 calories, so I decided to make up for some of it by heading to:
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I normally don’t condone eating fast food in a car (and we NEVER eat it at home…) but the prospect of a cheeseburger being delivered to me was too tempting to ignore!
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Soon our waitress on skates arrived with the goods!
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When we got back to our hotel, Irving went out to play another 9 holes of golf. I, on the other hand, chose to take a two hour nap.

Later that night, we went to a blogger meetup that was organized by Skinny Runner. If you don’t already read her blog, you should.

Virtual life meets real life!
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We met at Seasons 52 (which I’ve been reading so much about on some of the Florida blogs lately.
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The food was fantastic. They claim that everything on the menu is under 475 calories.

It was fun to chat with so many great like-minded people. So nice to meet all of you!
Sarah, Pam, Diana and me! (Not pictured: Risa!)
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After dinner, Irving and I used my ‘Buy one, get one’ coupon from the race swag bag at Mojo.
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I didn’t put too much because I was pretty full from dinner. But I added some nice looking chocolate toppings.
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It was as good –if not better—than Menchies! Hit the spot!
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I slept like a rock last night. My body was just exhausted. I woke up with incredibly stiff legs though, and there was only cure:
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LA desperately needs to get DD!
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After a couple hours of reading by the pool (I’m already half-way through Meb’s book!) we grabbed lunch and began the 6 hour drive back to LA.

Arizona was a blast. What a great (long) weekend!
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Just a few weeks until the Surf City Half Marathon!

 

Phoenix Rock N’ Roll Marathon: Expo

Filed under: Races,Running — Kelocity @ 9:45 am
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For me, marathon expos are half the fun of a race weekend. Sure the race itself is the highlight, and the finish areas are usually pretty great… but I still get excited about seeing the vendors and picking up my bib and swag bag. Irving dropped me off as soon as we got into Phoenix (around 1:30p or so) and I stayed there til almost 6! But it was fun and I’m glad I could take my time.

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First stop, pick up bib! I’ll be starting in corral 19! I think they base it on speed, so I’m definitely towards the back. Oh well. I’ll pass all those speedy people in the last mile, you watch…. hey, it’s good motivation!
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Brooks had a cool display. It was set up like a carnival with fortune tellers and games. It was cute. Everyone won a ‘prize’. I ended up with a pretty cool ski hat. holla!
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There were TONS of people milling around, it was kind of hard to get around. I saw one dad pushing a double wide stroller, I felt bad for him.

But for the most part, I got to see everything I wanted. B it was kind of lonely to walk to walk through alone. I love taking pictures with my friends in front of the signs and sharing the race excitement with someone. Oh well, I made the most of it by bugging strangers to take my pictures for me.
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Remember the time I ran a marathon in 2:03? hahaha

The highlight for me was definitely meeting Meb Keflezighi. He is a running legend. He won the NYC marathon in 2009 and was on the US Olympic team. I waited in line to buy his book and I told him that I ran the 2010 Boston Marathon (Meb came in 5th!) He said “Oh, so we ran Boston together!” I told him I was just a few minutes behind him. And he said “Oh, I saw you coming, so that’s why I ran a little bit faster!”
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He signed his book for me, I love it!
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I also saw Kara Goucher! She’s one of the best female runners in the world right now!
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Her husband is also a runner and they just had a cute baby!
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Later, I attended a panel with Frank Shorter, Arturo Barrios and Meb. It was fun hearing their stories about the victories and woes of professional running. They had some great advice that I’ll have to remember for the race tomorrow.

On my way out, I saw my high school friend Scott, who works at Nuun now! Hi Scott!! I love seeing hometown faces on the west coast.
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On the way out, I grabbed some garlic knots (it’s all about the carbs, right?)
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Off to chug some water. I’ll be back with a rull race recap soon!!

 

It just takes some time…. January 16, 2010

Last night, we went out to a British Pub down the street to celebrate JR’s birthday!

It was great! I knew I had to get up and run in the morning, so I kept it simple with a Seltzer and Cranberry. But check out Irving’s concoction! It was coffee, baileys and whipped cream. He had two! I was jealous. 


This morning, I set out to conquer a 9 mile run per my training plan. We headed to Griffith Park for a change of scenery and some hills. We met up with the lovely LA Racers, which is always a fun time.

I was representing my Dana-Farber team today!
 

In the background, you can see the Los Angeles Zoo! I love LA. 

I settled into a 5:5 interval (five minutes running/five minutes walking) and my pace was actually pretty close to what it is when I run 5:1 intervals. It just proves that a little extra walking is not going to kill my time… it may actually help my time so I dont get exhausted at the end. 

My stats:
Mile 1 – 11:54
Mile 2 – 12:34
Mile 3 – 11:50
Mile 4 – 11:47
Mile 5 – 11:49
Mile 6 – 19:29 (included a rest stop break at the car!)
Mile 7 – 16:10 (walked wth the hubby for a mile!)
Mile 8 – 12:16
Mile 9 – 11:22

Wow, that’s a lot of miles, huh? Not my best pace ever, but it was just so gorgeous out today, I really enjoyed this run.

Towards the end, It Just Takes Some Time by Jimmy Eat World came onto my Ipod and I was laughing at some of the lyrics:

Hey, don’t write yourself off yet…
Just try your best, try everything you can.
And don’t you worry what they tell themselves when you’re away.
It just takes some time,
little girl you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine,
everything (everything) will be alright (alright).
Live right now.
Yeah, just be yourself.
It doesn’t matter if it’s good enough for someone else.

Those lyrics were totally keeping me going at the end. Everything will be alright. I felt like I could have pounded out a few more miles, but I didn’t want to push it. It was pretty rewarding. 

Next week, I go into Double-Digits!! My Boston Marathon race is 50% training and 50% fundraising for the amazing Dana-Farber. Don’t forget, you can support me here!

 

T-minus 5 Days til the Nike Half Marathon!!! October 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kelocity @ 1:55 pm
Tags: ,

Wow, I can’t believe it’s that time of year again! I’m running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon for the 5th time on Sunday! First of all, I can’t believe that I’ve been a runner for a solid 5 years now.  I think Irving and I both thought that my first race in 2005 was a one time deal.

Sunday’s race is going to be great, there are so many reasons to be excited:

  • My 5th Anniversary as a Runner
  • My 5th Nike Women’s Half Marathon race in a row
  • My acceptance into the Boston Marathon (You can support me here!)
  • My first race as a married woman (Although I totally goofed and when I signed up, I used my maiden name).

It’s going to be so great to run with all my friends and my new sister-in-law, EJ!

I can’t wait to see the expo!

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Spirit of the Marathon! October 8, 2009

Filed under: Marathons — Kelocity @ 9:00 am
Tags:

Irving and I rented “Spirit of the Marathon” this week, and I was psyched when he said he’d watch it with me. 🙂 Even if you’re not a distance runner, you definitely have to respect the crazy people who run these races for fun (i.e. me!).

spiritofmarathonI love the tagline, it says: When you cross the finish line, it will change your life forever. It’s so true. I cry nearly every time I finish a long race. It’s just so emotional! It’s a combination of pride, pain and excitement. 🙂 That runner’s high is just so addicting.

I loved the movie, it was a documentary following 5 people as they train and complete the Chicago Marathon. They had some first-timers (who like me, finished in 6 hours) and some elites (Deena Kastor and a champion from Kenya). It was inspiring to see both the elites and the average runners struggling towards one goal: to finish!

I have an easy 5-miler on Sunday, and then the Nike Half Marathon next week!!! I can’t believe it’s already been a year! I’m so excited. I’m not expecting to PR, but it sure would be nice. 🙂 We’ll see!

 

 
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