I swim. I bike. I run...usually covered in boogers and crayon.

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Bike!

Friday was my birthday and my husband brought this home for me on Thursday night. It's a 2011 Scott Contessa Speedster 35 and we bought it new-in-the-box off of Craigslist for less than what it is going for in the stores. It is mostly assembled but our cyclist friend is going to finish setting it up later this week. I ordered my first pair of padded cycling shorts and they are here so I can't wait to go for a ride!
This weekend was soooo busy and I haven't run in a week and am feeling very out of sorts. My exercise today was scrubbing the laminate floors. I guess whoever lived here before waxed them which just makes them sticky and it has taken this long to annoy me to the point of actually fixing it. (But seriously, who waxes a fake wood floor??)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fall Races

I would feel too guilty if I spent the summer lounging by the pool so I'm figuring out what the next challenge will be. My husband and I are registered for the Army Ten Miler on October 9th but I need something else, something that will get me out of bed in the morning thinking "I have to train!" How about an Olympic distance triathlon? I've had my eye on the Half Full Triathlon in Ellicott City, MD that takes place on October 2nd. It's a .9 mile swim, 32 mile bike, and 6.7 mile run. I think it's completely attainable! I plan on discussing it with the husband tonight and I will definitely let you know when I (we) register. (I told him it was a marathon or this and we're leaning towards a triathlon.)
In other news, my birthday is in two weeks and I'm getting a bike!!! Yaaaaaaaaaaay. I know which one I want but we'll see which one I actually get. The husband has been very generous in lending me the use of his but it's high time I ride on my own two wheels...and in my own shoes...and helmet and maybe some new clothes...(Too much?)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Let's Run, Alexandria!

If you are in the Alexandria, VA area, you should join me on Wednesday evenings for a group run! In conjunction with the DC Capital Striders, I will be hosting this run every week at 6:30pm at the Belle Haven marina parking lot (by the Mt. Vernon trail). As a group, we can decide how far to run and in which direction but will try to keep it to an hour.
And here is the link: http://www.meetup.com/dccapitalstriders-NOVA/members/12284156/
Off to recruit runners...

The North Face Endurance Challenge (Half Marathon)

What. A. Weekend. It's almost noon on Monday and I'm still getting my bearings. Friday night was low key since I volunteered to be a course monitor at the Wine Country Half Marathon in Round Hill, VA (read: practically West Virginia.) I had to be there at 6:30am on Saturday morning and since I can't be late (I think I'm allergic to being late), or even on time for that matter, I was there by 6am (I left the house at 4:45.) The race didn't start until 7am and the runners wouldn't be showing up at mile 6 (where I was) for some time so it was a longgggg morning of waiting, watching, and then waiting some more (come on walkers!) I got home around noon and then it was time to head to a pool party.

Saturday evening, I had to get ready for my first trail race: The North Face Endurance Challenge. I was lucky enough to receive an entry from the DC Capital Striders earlier in the week for this sold out event (thank you!!!) I was all set to show that trail who is boss until...
...the race: Now I know that if an event offers a 50 miler, a 50k, and a marathon, they are NOT going to go easy on you. This race was HARD. I think I've already blacked some of it out of my memory due to the pain but let's see what I can relive:

Mile 1: paved road, five foot wide rocky path. Doable. It's crowded and shoulder to shoulder about 4 people wide.

Mile 2: First water stop was at 1.3 miles. The path is still pretty wide.

Mile 3: The "path" narrows. I say "path" because it looks like the weeds were stomped down just for these races. It's single file. About 8.5 minute pace. If this is too fast for you, sorry. Just have to keep up with the group. More single file with brief openings to pass people whose heels you have been clipping. Watch out for golf balls hitting you. (Yes, people were driving balls at us as we were, at this point, running past the green. No one was hit that I'm aware of.)

Mile 4: HOLY CRAP. You want us to run up THAT? More single file up the side of a cliff like hill. It's muddy. We are zig zagging our way up and down. People are trying to keep their balance and not trip on tree roots. Jump over huge logs.

Mile 5: Water stop! People are passing us on their way back. It's an out and back course so we run in the brush and weeds to stay out of their way. A girl behind me bites it down a ditch and is covered in mud. She refuses my help. Jump over some more logs.

Mile 6: Why did I wear my new shoes? WHY? There is no leaping over this six foot wide stream. The water is a foot deep. The next half mile is a slippery mudslide and some unlucky people end up covered in mud.

Mile 7: Turnaround!! Do it all over again.

It took me 2:30 which is my worst half marathon time but this was the most grueling half marathon I have ever done, as well. (2:30 is actually the women's average time for this race.)

I was too sick and tired to even be relieved that it was over. We spent about two hours at the post-race festival eating, drinking, and getting my The North Face shirt screenprinted with the event logo (I didn't work that hard to not get the premium!) before we rode the shuttle back to the car for the hour drive home. I spent most of yesterday sick and exhausted.

Of course I would do it again but I need to get some more practice before then. The woods are no joke!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

RedStar Worldwear Sunglasses

Remember that marathon I ran in March? While I was rifling through my race packet, I noticed a small card that said "$500 value" and I thought "Huh? How did I end up with a $500 gift card? For...something?" I looked closer and it said "redeem at redstarworldwear.com". I googled Redstar Worldwear and it appeared to be an attempt to sell you sunglasses. The website shows different styles of sunglasses retailed between $80 and $200. The caveat is that for every pair of sunglasses you buy, you pay a $10 fee. (The company claims to be marketing styles to see what is popular therefore offering reduced prices but I'm not clear on the whole story.)
Two months later, I find the gift card and show it to my husband. We decided to go for it and see if the sunglasses are actually any good. So we spent $100 (including shipping and handling which was $11) on nine pairs of sunglasses and we got to pick out a watch for spending at least $450 of the $500 gift card.
I know a lot of runners have seen this card and figured it was a gimmick. Well, it's not a gimmick but the sunglasses are definitely not worth the "retail" price. They are still stylish and functional but I wouldn't pay the full price. I have owned expensive sunglasses and these are pretty flimsy and don't seem as durable.
Hope this is helpful to some people who know what I'm talking about!
FYI, I took a picture of the glasses we received but two pairs (aviators) are currently on backorder so these are the ones we got today.