Beach Marathon Recap

I just ran my first marathon and it was both exactly what I thought it would be like and not at all what I expected at the same time.

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Equal parts thrilling and exhausting, I’m finding the whole experience difficult to put into words. So, instead of writing a traditional race recap, I’m giving you a glimpse into the thoughts churning in my head during each mile. Sometimes you’ll see repeats of the same thought, because when you’re running for 3+ hours you get a little bored and come back to the same thoughts.

 Mile 1: Holy Crap! I’m running a marathon. I’m going to leave my music off for the first few miles to just enjoy the sights and sounds of the beginning.

This new Flipbelt is bothering me a little bit, it keeps riding up and I have to keep pushing it back down.

 Mile 2: I’m going to drink water at this next aid station. .

I suck at drinking water. Just splashed that all over my face and shirt Slow and steady, slow and steady. Only on mile two, you don’t want to die.

I’M ONLY ON MILE TWO.

Mile 3: Screw sights and sounds. All I can hear is hacking and heavy breathing.

Playlist on.

FlipBelt (new fuel belt) will NOT. STAY. DOWN.

 Mile 4: I think I’ve looked at my watch 80 times in the past 2 minutes…and I’m still on mile 4. I thought I was supposed to see Jordan at this mile. Where is he? I can’t wait to eat my first GU.

 Mile 5: YUM. Peanut Butter GU.

 Mile 6: Need water stat. GU is stuck in throat.

Why can’t I swallow?

Need water.

I’m still on mile 6?!

FlipBelt. I hate you.

 Mile 7: Quads are starting to tighten up already. That really hurts and I can’t believe I still have 19 miles left, how am I goi..STOP it! Think positive. Pretend like the pain in your quads is like lightning bolts of energy powering you through (I know this is so lame, but it actually helped)

 Mile 8: Am I going fast enough?

If I continue at this pace for 5 more miles, I will reach the halfway point at…(I did running math for about 10 minutes because I kept messing up).

 Mile 9: I can’t wait to eat my second GU.

Mile 10: YUM. Peanut Butter Chocolate GU.

Where is Jordan? I think I’m supposed to see him at Mile 11.

Almost halfway done!

 Mile 11: Hi Jordan!!! (Veer off the course and gave him a kiss that I’m sure was sloppy with Gatorade and salt)

Jordan: You’re on track to hit 3:33 !

Well, BQ qualifying time is 3:35 so I better keep this pace or better if I want to qualify.

 Mile 12: If I run at this pace for 14 more miles, what will I finish in? (more running math).

Shove flipbelt down again.

Mile 13: Halfway done! Now is the time to turn it on, Anna.

 Mile 14: Repeat: I can do hard things. Be an athlete. It’s a beautiful day and I’m doing what I love.

When can I eat my next GU?

 Mile 15: YUM. Caramel Macchiato GU. 40 mg of caffeine straight to the heart.

 Mile 16: I feel AMAZING. Jolts of energy running through me. Who said marathons were hard?

 Mile 17: Still on a runner’s high. Endorphins are through the roof. Look out Boston, I’m coming for you!

 Mile 18: Quads still hurt but I’m more than half way done. I can do hard things. I’m going to finish and I’m going to qualify for Boston. I can’t believe how good I feel. I just wish this FlipBelt would stay put on my hips.

 Mile 19: Finally caught up with a lady that I’ve had my eye on for the past few miles. I’m going to run with her for a little while. She’s got a great pace. I haven’t said anything to her yet. Is that weird? I hope she’s not trying to talk to me because Eminem is screaming and I can’t hear anything.

Mile 20: The quads…blazing now. It’s all I can think about. Eating the last of my honey stinger chews because I’m tired of the package sticking out of my flip belt. Still hanging with this lady and still haven’t spoken a word to eachother…Is that weird? Does she think it’s weird that I keep pulling this FlipBelt down over my hips?

Mile 21: I still have 5 more miles. Everything hurts and the breathing is starting to get a little heavier. I finally broke the silence with my new running buddy to gasp a good job. I know, really original. She said it back (I think). My playlist is at the pump up section now and Kanye is telling me that I’m Amazing.

I got this.

Mile 22: I don’t have this. I am falling apart. I don’t know how much longer I can go. My snacks are gone and I just have to rely on Gatorade now. Should I take one of those orange slices?

Too late. I’ll get the next one.

When is the next aid station?

I want to walk. Will I be able to start again if I stop?

I only have 4 miles left. I will turn it on when I have a 5k left and sprint to the finish.

I want to throw this FlipBelt away.

 Mile 23: Me: I have to stop at this station to get water.

Stranger Runner Girl: Ok. You are doing AWESOME.

I’m grabbing Gatorade and Water at this aid station. I am SO thirsty. WHY DON’T THEY FILL THESE CUPS MORE? We’re running a marathon for Pete’s Sake!

Slightly irritable at this point.

I just walked through that water station. I can’t believe I did that. It’s okay, I will turn it on at the 2 mile mark and go hard then.

 Mile 24: This thirst is insatiable. Think about something else besides your quads. There’s Jordan! He’s jumping on the course to run with me.

Jordan: You’re doing it, babe. You’re going to finish with a BQ

I don’t want to risk anymore breath so I give the thumbs up.

 Mile 25: I’ve never hated running more than I do right now. It feels like there is an elephant sitting on my lungs right now. Why did I sign up for this stupid thing? Jordan is still running with me and keeps trying to talk to me. I wonder if he knows I can’t hear him over my music? I am not even going to take the energy to reach into my belt and turn the volume down.

 Mile 26: Where is the finish line? Why can’t I see it? I’m trying to turn it on but I can’t. I can’t see the finish.

 Mile 26.2…I DID IT.

P.S. After I crossed the finish line, I learned that my FlipBelt was on backwards…Awesome.

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Road Warriors: How to Diet and Drive

Road Warriors, Spring Breakers, Travel Addicts – this one is for you. We all enjoy a getaway every now and then. A chance to break free from our routine, kick back our heels and just forget about life for a while. One problem – in order to GET AWAY, you have to actually GO somewhere… Most of Jord and my trips involve a cramped car, several hours of endless highway and a burned out playlist. Pair that with stinky fast food and you’ve got cranky vacationers before vacation even starts. I may not be able to help you minimize the hours you’re on the road, but I can help you arrive to your vacation feeling better than when you left your house.

How to diet and drive

No one wants to roll into the beach house feeling bloated and swollen from salty snacks – – here are some top tips that I’ve developed for eating better and feeling better when you’re traveling.

  • Get up and get going! If I know I’m going to be sitting in the car all day, I like to get up early and go for a quick run or get a short cardio workout in before we leave. It gives me a chance to shake out my legs and I don’t feel so stiff in the car. Hitting the road in the early morning? Workout the night before, you’ll sleep like a rock and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go.

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We left for Tennessee around 4 a.m., so I did a 5 mile run outside the night before. It felt GREAT to be outside and my legs were nice and light the next day. 

  •  Snack Pack – Yea, I hear you –“Duh!” Everyone knows to pack snacks for the road, but do you know which ones to pick? Try to stay away from anything salty, bready or sodium filled. These foods will cause you to swell and make you thirsty. When you’re thirsty – you drink more and when you drink more – you have to stop more. Pack fruits and veggies that aren’t loaded with water. Bananas, clementines, apples and carrots all travel well.  While delicious, a container of watermelon probably isn’t the best idea to bring on the road…

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  • Limit coffee intake – Coffee is a diuretic and causes frequent urination – more stops! It can also cause dehydration – which long car rides already cause.
  • Make every stop worth it – Gotta pee? Get gas, stretch your legs, eat lunch and fill up your water bottle all at one stop. This doesn’t always work out, but you can really limit your stops if you make it all in one.

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With views like this, you actually WANT to stop and stretch your legs. . . These were some views we saw along the way on our Tennessee trip. 

  • Don’t go into the gas station unless you have to – Every time we go into the gas station, the bugles and cheese crackers call my name. (My husband is a Gardettos fan but I am not a fan of the dragon breath it gives him) Even if I’m not hungry, I just want a little something to munch on while driving. If I don’t have to see it, I won’t buy it. I try to chew gum to combat this.

 Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 10.07.41 AM Gardettos… garlicky deliciousness. 

  • Pack your lunch – How boring am I? I know, a soggy sandwich after 9 hours of driving doesn’t sound very appealing…but there is a right way to do it! Jordan and I ate tuna wraps for our recent trip to Tennessee and they held our growling stomachs at bay before we could find a decent place to eat. Tuna in the car – not again. Wraps were a good idea though!

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  • If you do need to stop, here are some of the places we try to find along the way:

o   Chipotle

o   Panera

o   Subway

o   Starbucks – they have awesome breakfast sandwiches

o   Grocery store – Any Kroger, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, etc. will have fresh wraps, sandwiches or salads to stock up on.

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We found a Whole Foods on our way to TN. I wasn’t driving, so I loaded up on their salad bar and Jordy got a deli sandwich.

We love to travel and have a lot of road trips coming up this year. These tips have helped us save money and arrive to our destination feeling energized and ready to start our vacation. I hope they help you just as much! Here are some pictures from our last trip to Tennessee. More can be found on my instagram account: @AnnaKate29

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Where is your next road trip?

What is your favorite snack to bring on road trips?

–       We bought a little tub of Blue Diamond Dark Chocolate Almonds once and I ate the whole package about an hour into our trip. NO self control!

 

 

 

Highs and Lows

Good morning! Mondays are always a little rough so let’s talk about the weekend shall we? I think Spring forgot about us over here in Indiana because it sure didn’t feel like the first weekend of the new season. One of my favorite blogger buddies, Tina, recaps her weekends in highs and lows, and my weekend was all over the place, so I thought it would make a perfect idea for today’s post.

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The weather on Friday! It got up to 54 degrees on Friday which felt positively balmy to us Midwesterners. Isn’t it amazing what sunshine can do for your mood? I had a spring I my step on Friday night when I got home from work. I opened up the windows to our apartment, made a hydrating pitcher of water and went on an evening bike ride with the hubs.

LowIt was in the mid-30’s all day Saturday and of course we were outside almost all day long.

 

HIGH

Although it was chilly, we trekked up to the lighthouse where Jord and I got engaged almost two years ago today! I experienced some major déjà vu as we were walking on the boardwalk along the beach. The last time I saw this view, I had no idea Jordan was hiding behind the lighthouse to meet me! I will have to give an engagement recap sometime soon, you will love the story. 🙂
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 LOW

On our way back from shopping we got in a little car accident. Jordan was driving and we are all okay, but it definitely put a damper on my Sunday. My car had to be towed because of damage to the wheel and we are a one car family right now until we can get a rental.

 HIGH

Because you always have to end on a high note! I spent Sunday night with one of my best girl friends, helping her with wedding planning. Wedding planning is so much less stressful when it’s not for your own!

What was your high and low for the weekend?

 What’s your favorite season?

Mine would have to be summer. It can never be too hot! Maybe I’m just saying that because I’m so tired of this cold winter we’ve been having? 😉

Get Green 5k Race Recap

This past weekend I ran in Fort Wayne’s Get Green 5k in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that seems to just sneak up on you when you’re not looking. To me, it symbolizes that winter will soon be over and a green spring is waiting for us at the end of the rainbow! This 5k was the first of many 2014 races for me and I’m so glad it’s not the last.

I woke up Saturday morning around 8 a.m. with a spring in my step, excited to get out the door and run. I had my normal pre-race breakfast of almond butter and banana on Ezekiel toast and a half a cup of coffee for a little kick start. We were almost to the packet pick up tent when I realized I forgot my Garmin watch (palm slap to forehead). I was really upset that I  wouldn’t be able to pace myself or see the mileage during the race, but just hoped that the course would be well marked.

I met up with some friends before the race and we had fun chatting and taking pictures with a Leprechaun that showed up for the event.

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Jord waited with me at the start line and took my jacket right before the start of the race. There were almost 1000 people registered for the race and temps were in the upper 20’s. I started a little too far back in the crowd and spent the first half mile maneuvering my way around pointy elbows and running legs to get to a clearing.

The course runs through downtown Fort Wayne and has minimal hills. It is a flat and fast race, perfect for going for a PR, which was my goal…until I slipped on my first ice patch. I skidded across some black ice on the side of the road and caught myself right before I fell. It turns out those yoga balance poses pay off after all!

I have no idea what my splits were because I didn’t even know when I hit mile markers 1 and 2. There was one water station about half way through the race, but my hands were so cold that I didn’t trust them to hold onto a cup. My legs and core were warm but my fingers were bone frozen. Yes, I know there are gloves for that, but I have ADD when it comes to my music and like to change songs every 45 seconds during a race. The race felt like it flew by and before I knew it I was 200 meters from the finish line.

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I recognized the turn right before the shoot and put it into a higher gear. I felt like I had a lot of juice left in me, so I looked around for renegade ice patches and sprinted to the finish. As I crossed the finish line, I did a double take at the running clock. “What?” I thought, “It can’t say that…”

I found Jord close to the finish and his time for me matched what the race results said. I had just run my second fastest time ever! The only time to beat this one was when I ran in the State Cross Country race when I was 17 years old. I can only attribute my faster time to the strength training I’ve been doing and the whole foods I’ve been eating.

I guess there is a lot to say about healthy living! This race recap was kind of all over the place, but to sum it up: Fort Wayne’s Get Green 5k will be an annual event for me. It was run right on time, has a fun, St. Patrick’s Day atmosphere and your registration comes with 5 tickets towards beer and food in the party tent after the race. We headed over to the party tent to watch a strong man competition and get some green beer and corned beef with sauerkraut. We also got to see the annual greening of the downtown river. Our Fort Wayne Fire Department sprays green water out of their hoses and it almost looks neon across the gray March skies.

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Pros:

  • Fun St. Patrick’s Day atmosphere
  • Flat, fast course, great for PRing!
  • Lots to do after the race in downtown Fort Wayne

Cons:

  • Cold weather, random ice patches on roads and sidewalks
  • Disorganized website, race results are still not posted
  • Not a lot of volunteers or crowd support along the course

I will definitely do this race again next year. It’s a great course to start your spring races/training and the spirit of the holiday makes it a fun event to participate in. Next time, I’ll wear gloves and pay closer attention to random ice patches.

Have you run in any races yet this year?

What did you do for St. Patrick’s day?  

Turns out I’m allergic…to fun

So, remember how excited I was about the Labor Day long weekend? Well, I spoke too soon. Saturday morning started out just as I imagined. Jord and I took a ride through the mountain biking trails and then got in the car to meet up with some friends for breakfast. I got in the car and set my right hand on the side of the window…enjoying a nice breeze. I immediately pulled my hand back in the car when I felt a sharp pain in my pinky. I thought the hot metal on the car door burned me, but then I saw a bee flying away.

I must have set my hand right on top of a bee and the little guy got me right inside of my pinky finger. I started laughing and then crying a little because it hurt SO badly!! I have never been stung before and had no idea the amount of pain the little black and yellow buzzer could give. We met up with friends for breakfast and we were all laughing at how my swollen finger resembled the sausage links that were served. Well, the bee had the last laugh because soon my whole hand was swollen.

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I was freaking out a little, but everyone told me swelling was normal, so I popped some Benadryl and we were off to the lake.

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The Benadryl zapped all of my energy and I pretty much sat on the boat and smiled for most of the afternoon, trying not to fall asleep. I had a lot of fun watching my friends wake surf and jump off the boat.

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I am usually all about swimming and water sports, but I stayed dry for most of the afternoon and chatted with my girlfriends while we cruised across the lake. Later on, I felt alive enough to go for a quick paddleboard adventure.

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It was hilarious trying to get 3 girls on one paddleboard. At this point, my hand was so swollen that I could barely use it. The paddleboard trip below was about 30 seconds out and back.

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Later on I felt well enough to try wake surfing for the first time and I’m so glad I did! We ended the night on the lake by wake surfing, swimming and wakeboarding.

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My hand was still  pretty swollen on Sunday, so I slept for most of the day and was ZERO fun when we went to see Jordan’s family at their lake house. It was a little fun to see people’s reactions when I would show them my huge hand. The swelling still hadn’t gone down since Saturday morning.

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When I woke up Monday morning, I had had enough. After sleeping and eating Benadryl for two days, my bee sting had turned into a nuisance and I  needed to do something about it. The doctor prescribed antibiotics and steroids for the sting and five hours later I went from this….

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To this…

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Hallelujah! Aside from some itchiness, my bee sting has healed and I now have a normal hand. It was definitely a scary experience to see my body react to something like that and I am so grateful for doctors who know what they’re doing and prescriptions that actually work. Phew!

I wouldn’t say my Labor Day weekend was a flop, but it wasn’t exactly what I had planned for my last few days of summer fun.

Have you ever been stung by a bee? Tell me about it! 

What did you do for the holiday weekend?

 

Booty Bronze: Get your Workout Outdoors

The ultimate summer holiday weekend is upon us and I’m ready to soak up the sun on the last few days of summer. I have a pool 10 steps from the front door of my apartment and it is calling my name.

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In my world, summer long weekends mean swimsuits, rosy cheeks and towel dried hair. They also mean that I don’t see the inside of a gym. Since I have a job that keeps me indoors, I go a little stir crazy if not spending a sunny Saturday outside. I also tend to get a little grumpy when I don’t get my endorphins fix. So, why not combine the two?

Here are a few ways I like to take my workout outside:

  • Running: This is the easiest and most obvious way to take your workout outdoors. Want to add in a little strength training? Mix up your run by breaking it into 3 minute intervals. Stop every 3 minutes to do triceps dips on a park bench, push ups on the pavement, crunches in the grass, and lunges down the street. IMG_1272
  • Pool Workout: Try this pool workout that mixes in strength training and cardio. Best part about this one? You don’t even have to put on a sports bra!

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  • Bike: Grab a friend and go for a ride around the neighborhood, local trails or mountains. The weekend is a great time to explore new areas with your bike. Bring a picnic basket and stop for lunch!

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  • Lake: Summertime in Indiana means lakes and boating. If you’re at the lake, try out some water sports. Skiing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding and even tubing (you WILL be sore!) are great ways to get a workout in. Don’t have a boat? Go for a swim or tread water for 30 seconds on and off.

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  • Paddleboarding: This summer’s craze seems to be paddleboarding. Standing on this surf board in the water will work your core, balance skills and arms while you row down the river. Surf the web for local outfitter shops in your area to rent a board. Most places let you rent them by the hour.

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  • Take a hike: Beat the heat and hit the shaded trails for a hiking adventure with your friends. Search for parks in your area (even flat Ohio has hiking spots!), or take a short trip to hoof a few hills. I promise your glutes will thank you.

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Cheers to the weekend! Have a fun and SAFE Labor Day!

What will you be doing this Labor Day weekend? 

Any other suggestions for outdoor activity?