What’s Up?

I don’t know about you, but lately the weeks are just flying by here! I feel like once we hit May, every weekend has been filled with traveling, working out like crazy, weddings, parties, BBQs, and general craziness with no clear end in sight. Last weekend we had legitimately nothing on the calendar and freaked out: I swore I had to be forgetting something! But it was nice to relax for about 2.4 hours before swinging right back into things.

Let’s take a look at some highlights from the past month or two and get caught up, shall we?

We have a winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered last week’s Mermaid Club Giveaway – I love being able to give you guys cool stuff 🙂 And now, drumroll please…. our winner is Michelle B!

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Check your email, girl, I’ve sent you the deets on how to get your goods 🙂

I’m Tri-ing (Again)

After two polar opposite experiences at the Jersey Girl and One More Tri sprint triathlons last year, I wasn’t itching to burst back onto the triathlon scene anytime soon. But I’m highly suggestible, and when my coworker said she wanted to do her first sprint tri and I mentioned the Jersey Girl as the best one for beginners, before I knew what was happening I was registered for it again.

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I don’t know how it happened, I swear!

I’m honestly really excited – all the tri training I did last summer had a HUGE impact on my endurance and speed as a runner once I got back into a single sport come the fall, so I’m pretty stoked to have all that cross training to look forward to.

I unofficially started training a few weeks ago by incorporating biking and swimming into my weekly workouts, and as of next week I’ll start doing brick workouts to get back into the swing of biking then running. I also continue to bump up my strength training to get stronger overall, which I hope will pay off in the long run.

My friend got married (and we had a vacation too)!

On June 10th, my friend (and sometimes running/racing buddy) Tina married her sweetheart Justin in LBI and we had the honor of celebrating with them and a bunch of our wild and crazy friends!

This crew is the best – they’re the most loyal, drama-free people I know, and they REALLY know how to party, so it’s always a good time. And to keep the good times rolling after the wedding, we stuck around in LBI for the weekend and fully embraced the island life. We go down there every year and have adopted it as our second home, so it’s always a nice relaxing getaway.

I won a Kylo Ren doll at a carnival stand on the first spin (!!) and Mike got to test out his Captain chops, then the morning we left we headed over to Barnegat to climb the lighthouse like we do every year – my knees were aching after but it was worth it!

I’m still running happy

While I haven’t been the best at keeping you all up to date on my running adventures here, if you’ve been following along with me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, you can attest to the fact that I’m still running, and almost all of those miles are indeed happy!

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I even discovered a new trail – right in my hometown! It’s not so much of a trail as it as a nature preserve, and I was the only runner on it the day I went (aside from a family of fishermen and women on the opposite side of the lake), but it was so cool. I spent an afternoon on my own, exploring the ins and outs of this new area, snapping pics as I went.

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I even got to nail my first solo jumping picture!

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There’s been a few other exciting events – namely, an awesome 5K I helped my company take part in, which I’ll recap later this week – but other than that it’s quiet and I like it that way!

How about you: now that summer is here, how’s your training going? Do anything good the past few months? Share!

April Fools 11K Race Recap

I went into this past weekend’s race with low expectations. I was coming off of 4 days without solid food thanks to a nasty stomach bug earlier in the week and didn’t get to run (or MOVE) as much as I’d wanted to, so my goal was simply to finish and enjoy the weekend in Atlantic City with my husband. Spoiler alert: mission accomplished!

We arrived late Friday afternoon and picked up my packet at the Nike Outlet – the process was seamless, even if it was a little annoying to have to leave the comfort of the boardwalk/hotel area and into the whipping frozen winds. I guess I’ve been spoiled by the AC Marathon Race Series in October where everything conveniently takes place in the host hotel. After packet pickup we headed out for dinner where I went for some delicious hot soup loaded with veggies, chicken, shrimp, and wontons.

Once our bellies were full we headed back to the room where I prepped. The forecast wasn’t good: rain was imminent, it just remained to be seen how hard it would rain. I was SO glad I threw my rain jacket in the suitcase at the last minute! My pre-race bedtime ritual involves staying off my phone as much as possible, so I settled down in my super comfy bed with my new coloring book before lights out at 10.

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I was pretty impressed with how well I stayed in the lines.

The race start wasn’t until 9AM (can I get an amen?!) so I blissfully got to sleep in til about 7. Once the alarm went off I ate, layered up, and we headed out into the downpour.

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The boardwalk was empty because of the driving rain, but once I got into Resorts I found everyone hiding in the hotel, where I met up with my cousin and uncle, and a friend from work who was running with her friend too. Considering there were about another 100 people in that little area, it was a big ol’ love in.

I kept flip flopping between running in my jacket or just sticking with my long sleeve because it was around 47 degrees and my jacket is SUPER toasty, but once we all herded out into the pouring rain I made the wise choice to run in the jacket, heat be damned. My head was drenched in seconds and the water pouring down my nose made it hard to see, so the hood went up and we were off at the sound of the horn.

The 7K and 11K took off at the same time and I’ll admit: the sounds we were all making made me laugh pretty hard. Everyone was groaning, grunting, squealing, or making some kind of funny noise trying to see through the rain and stay upright. The boards were slippery – I saw two women go down HARD on their knees and slide like soccer goalies, only to pop back up unharmed thanks to the amount of rain on the boardwalk – but I managed to keep my footing and a nice 12:00 pace.

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I unzipped my coat for the finish line so I could rep the Club and see my # 😉

The course is all on the boardwalk, which is a blessing and a curse because you feel kind of like you’re going on and on forever in one direction only to flip around and go back the same way. But it was fun seeing all the faster folks pass by – especially the people who were dressed up like Ghostbusters, Wonder Woman, and the Hulk! I just wish it was clearer so I didn’t have to wear my hood the whole time, I know I missed a lot of folks because I had to keep my head down to watch where I was running!

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At around Mile 3, I dropped my arms to my sides to shake them out, and water came POURING out of them; it had been collecting through the gap near my wrists, but the waterproof fabric held it in there! I don’t know if I can stress enough just how HARD it was raining, but the race pics there give you a good idea. After I realized the water was pooling in my sleeves I realized it was probably in my pockets too – which it was, along with my phone and my iPod! That’s when I stopped, time be damned, and took those things out of my pocket and slipped them into my Fuelbelt under my jacket and longsleeve – they were all wet but still functional, thank goodness!

After I turned back around at mile 3.5ish, the rain let up a tiny bit so I was able to take off my hood. I had fallen into a pretty good rhythm and my pace had jumped up to around 11:55. Energized by those numbers, I told myself to push a little harder after my gel at mile 5. For the last 2 miles I ran negative splits and felt the burn the whole last mile. I wasn’t surprised; I’d only run twice in the previous week for a total of 12 miles. But once I saw the finish line, my husband, and a warm, dry casino, I sprinted for the finish with a shout:

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And earned my medal with a finish time of 1:20:38!

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I met up with my uncle who was waiting for my cousin to finish, and my friends were there too so we had to take a drowned rat “after” pic before heading back inside.

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I feel cold just looking at us.

Once we got in and said our goodbyes, we made the frozen, soaking wet walk back to our hotel where I snapped one final selfie with my medal, took the best hot shower of my life and ate a nice post-race meal at The Continental. Then we passed out for 5 hours, woke up for dinner, hung out with friends for a bit and then went to bed again. We were tired,  yo!

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The following day we packed up and headed out into the brutal winds to cheer on my friends running the half marathon that morning. Where I had to deal with pouring rain, these rockstars faced unbelievable wind gusts up to 60mph (!!) and a wind chill in the 20’s. I seriously don’t know how they did it, because the only thing keeping me going was the chance to scream my head off for Mer over at Scootadoot and Jenny, who ran her first half marathon EVER in those horrible conditions! Gurl, if you can do that you can do anything!

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While I was waiting to cheer them on, I got to showcase my sweet spectating dance moves when the Beastie Boys came on at the finish line. For real though, try not to look directly into the awesomeness that is this video clip:

I told you it was pretty amazing.

All in all it was a great race and a fantastic weekend, even if the weather didn’t want to cooperate!

It’s Photo Contest Time!

Some of you may or may not know, but I’m involved with an awesome group of inspirational folks called The Mermaid Club, and a part of my role in the organization deals with spreading the word about the club and helping to inspire others to Live Life and Make Waves in whatever fitness-related adventures they go on. And today I got to start a new project that I’m so excited about: the Mermaid Spotlight 2015 Photo Contest!

The Mermaid Club is all about living life and making waves, and 2015 is going to be a pretty epic year if we do say so ourselves. To get everyone excited about what’s in store, we’re opening up this contest and we hope you’ll join in. It’s simple: Send us your best inspirational, motivational, funny, or otherwise awesome photo of you living life and making waves: pounding the pavement, in the water, on a bike, or wherever! – for a chance to be featured in our new Mermaid Spotlight series and to win some fun gear, too! Here’s the fine print:

  • Pictures must include your badass self and The Mermaid Club logo or slogan (Live Life, Make Waves) in some way. Be creative! Collages, quotes, drawings, typography, we want to see it all!
  • Each photo will count as one entry, but we encourage you to submit as many different photos as you want.
  • You can post your photos to our Facebook page, Twitter, and/or Instagram – just be sure to use the hashtag #MermaidSpotlight2015 to ensure your pic is seen by our judges.
  • All entries may be used in future posts on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds, with full credit to the original poster. If you’re so inclined, feel free to include a watermark or your name (or Twitter or IG handle) in the photo somewhere too!
  • At the contest’s end, the top 5 winning photos will be posted on our Facebook Page, along with instructions for winners on how to claim their awesome gear – and I’ll be following up with you for your Mermaid Spotlight “interview” via email, too!

We’ll be sharing our favorite entries as we find them throughout the month, so what are you waiting for? Get snapping, and submit your picture by February 28th for your chance to win!