Wednesday, June 29, 2011

When In Philly....

This may not seem that exciting to my readers who have real grown up jobs that don't involve singing the good morning song to start each day or in depth investigations into if  a fart was intentionally placed in someone's face, but I went on a business trip this week!

Like, my school district paid for me and some teacher friends to travel to Philadelphia, stay in a hotel, and go to a technology conference to get all these cool ideas. Amazing.

Yet another reason I love running is you get to see stuff you never would have otherwise. We were super busy with the conference so there was no time for sightseeing. But I went running each morning and got to see some cool stuff all over the city. Like this gorgeous couple.
 Actually we went out with friends Saturday night and I just think this is a really good picture of us, good thing I have this blog where I just brag about how awesome I am to post it. Can you tell where we are???

Monday - 4.3 miles

 Can you tell what this building used to be?

I am so out of my league even attempting to talk about this but Philly seriously had gorgeous architecture. If I notice, it's freakin good.

Tuesday, messed up the Garmin, but I think I managed about 3 miles after pushing snooze 47 times.
 Look where I went.....
 Philadelphia Museum of Art  - the famous Rocky steps!
 Like most movies, I've never seen it, so thanks for providing this statue Philly, so I knew what to do.
 And thanks to the two random girls walking their dog who took this picture.
 And yet another thank you for showing me where to stand...too bad I didn't see it until my second time up the steps, long after the pic was taken.

 Here's Philly through Rocky's triumphant eyes.
 Cute little park
 Random weird structure
 I read this plaque specifically so I could say what this statue was on the blog...but I have no idea now, so just invent your own story to go along with it.

 Here's the hotel I got to stay in FOR FREE! They made me so happy by providing me Starbucks coffee in my room.

Then things started getting wild. Guess which two of these I tried?
 After some drinks, it was time to check something off the bucket list. I gave up meat when I was 13 and since then I've had one slice plus 2 bites of bacon (three separate occasions) and one bite of a hot dog. But I was in Philly, and that city is known for cheesesteaks.

 Traditional Philly cheesesteaks are sometimes made with cheesewhiz, but I opted for provolone.

Here's 2 super awful blurry blackberry pics that sum up my reaction:

One bite was enough - I'm sticking with veggies until I go to another city known for meat.  Earlier that day I did have a fabulous salad at the awesome Reading Terminal Market, so me and Philly are still cool on food.

Wednesday morning, I did a 4.1 mile run on boathouse row, a gorgeous strip along the river with all these cool old houses. This run was ridiculously slow. Research from this trip shows that free candy from the convention + free drinks from rich technology companies + bite of cheesesteak combined with a lack of sleep does not make for good running. It does make for a good business trip though.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dreaded Druid Hills 10K Recap

After last week's hilly 10 Miller, Monday's crazy biking hills, and a hilly trail run on Wednesday, PLUS today's race, I think I am going to change the name of my blog to Hills are MY LIFE. Actually, that's a pretty good attitude to adopt if I want to PR at the Baltimore Marathon. That's one hilly b!tch.

With a name like "Dreaded Druid Hills", you know what you are getting into with this race. Here's how described the race:

Brief Description

Most memorable quote so far: I love running hills, but that was mean and totally uncalled for. - Finisher in the chute, 2002

And that was it.

I got there super early, not knowing what the parking situation would be, and ended up having time to enjoy the porto-potty twice, stretch, warm up, and get a new high score on angry birds. Here's the pretty little lake we started at:

 Finally time to run!
 Thanks for not wasting my race fee on a fancy start line!

Despite the scary name, I actually really enjoyed this race. The hills were tough - like soul crushing, never ending, turn the corn thinking you're done and you are still staring straight up, running slower than you can normally walk hills. I climbed 1482 feet of elevation over 6.2 miles, which Eric put in perspective pointing out that race course went nearly an entire mile UPHILL! I honestly don't know if I've ever done a hillier road run. But the downhills gave some recovery time, nearly the whole run was shaded, and there was a bagpiper playing on the course for us. Plus, running through sketchy areas of Baltimore brings back fond marathon memories.

I didn't go into the race with any hopes of PRing (actually, the race facebook page tells you that won't happen) and just figured I'd take it easy on the hills and have fun. When I stop putting all the pressure on myself to get a certain time goal, I have so much more fun. 

There was no chip timing so I'm assuming results won't be posted for awhile so we'll just go with the Garmin time, since that's probably faster anyway.
6.29 miles, 57:21 and an average pace of 9:07. I'm pretty happy with that!

Post race food was nothing but refreshing fruit, and it was awesome. More watermelon!
 The finish area overlooked the lake and some pretty views of the city (would have been prettier if they weren't photographed with a sweaty ipod, sorry).

 On the way home the roads were blocked off and I couldn't find the expressway so I randomly followed a Mercedes because I knew that driver didn't belong in the ghetto either and, sure enough, he or she led me out to the expressway that took me home.

First I stopped at the grocery store for post - race essentials.
 I have a new favorite thing ever. I've always been anti - smoothie because I prefer to eat meals, not drink them. But I finally tried one when I was super hot after being at the pool all day and loved it. Then I found this at Whole Foods and it changed my life:
 It's in a plastic bag because I only pay full price for race fees and chocolate so Casi and I split the bag and she took half home.

This stuff basically turns frozen fruit and almond milk into ice cream. Now I can finally eat ice cream for breakfast without being shunned from society.
 This race shirt is sweet - the three beasts are supposed to represent the three really bad hills. There are more ventilated mesh panels in the back so I am considering wearing it to the 50K.

I'm SO EXCITED New York finally legalized same sex marriage (hint, hint Katy Perry)! 

Maryland, I've accepted that you are refusing to plow your streets or make bagels properly, but maybe you could get on board with this?

Friday, June 24, 2011

I heart sweat

I've had people tell me they don't like to sweat. Good thing I don't feel that way.

I officially made it through two Bikram classes this week. I used my second free birthday class yesterday and the temperature was 114 degrees before we even started. When my legs were still shaking when I sat down to take a drink break, I started my random mental descent into "what will happen if I actually do pass out this time?". I was panicking because we'd taken my car, and Casi couldn't drive stick, so we wouldn't have a way to get home. Apparently she has recently learned, but since talking in Bikram is equivalent to biting the heads off kittens at a PETA convention, I wasn't aware of that at the time. Needless to say, I survived to write this dramatic post.
After that we went to Carolyn's pool and spent a day of bliss laying out, reading, and making fun of rich parents who give their children 18 warnings that "that's ENOUGH" but are too busy on their phones to actually pay any attention to what the kids are up to. Carolyn took the only picture and she's in NY at her sister's graduation now, but I looked exactly like this, except picture a pool chair instead of sand.

I was forced to actually do some physical movement when I went to my second softball game. I hit the ball, and didn't realize it actually counted as a hit when it rolled approximately 8.5 inches, so I lost a few seconds before I sprinted to first, and those few seconds gave the other team time to get the ball there before me. Yet another incredible success.

As you most likely suspected, all of these extremely hydrating activities yesterday were careful preparations for a long run today. I headed down to southern MD to meet Kara to do a trail run to prepare for 50K number 2, in only 3 short weeks.
I knew it was going to be a bit challenging when I left my apartment at about 6:15 am and it was already hot. I was too scared to check the temperature but when we returned Kara's husband told us it was over 100 in the sun - luckily most of our run was shaded.

It actually wasn't as bad as I thought, I was disgustingly soaked with sweat and out of breath, but, as always, having a friend to chat with makes runs so much more fun. We did two loops on the trail and about a half mile on the road, for a total of 15 miles in 3:13:09. I love trail running but you seriously have to block off an entire day for a long run!

I spread out my usual feast when we stopped at my car on after the first loop.
Kara's daughter, Faith, is actually even cuter in person than she is on her blog. If you can believe that. I tried to get her to walk for me, but she wasn't having it. Probably because she picked up on the fact that I am super awkward around babies.

Kara was nice enough to supply me with a shower, iced coffee, and two pieces of Kari's banana bread, which is amazing, and I am addicted to. Amazing.

On my way home, I stopped at a new self serve frozen yogurt place. It was totally on my way, and I didn't get off the expressway and wait at a million lights to get there or anything.