A Very Patriotic Weekend Recap

I hope you all enjoyed the long holiday weekend celebrating America!

4th of JulySome grainy photos of the fireworks I got to see Saturday night. 🙂

I road-tripped early Friday morning to spend the weekend celebrating America’s birthday with this guy.

weekend3We had a blast checking out a number of parks including Green Lakes State Park, which was actually looking very blue this weekend!Green Lakes State Park

Green lakes State ParkGreen Lake State ParksIt was so beautiful and I can’t get over how clear the water was! On Saturday, we checked out the town parade.

4th of JulyHands-down, our favorite part were all the dogs in the parade. SO CUTE! That evening, we went and saw the fireworks, which were beautiful, although a little past my bedtime (they didn’t end up starting until sometime around 9:40, even though it was plenty dark by 9 pm).

Sunday, I spent most of the day driving home and then went for a little 3-miler in the evening just to loosen up my legs after the long car ride. In the evening, I watched the USA women KICK BUTT in the World Cup! As a former soccer player, I always enjoy watching a game, especially an exciting, goal-filled game like this one was!

So a pretty great weekend! Not a lot of runs for me, but I’m looking forward to getting in more solid mid-week training this week. 🙂

Hope you had a great 4th! Did you watch the USA-Japan game?

 


When One Door Closes…

Hello there!

As most of you already know, I walked in my graduation this past weekend. While I technically finished up a semester early and was done in December, this really did feel like a turning point in my life.

SUNY Geneseo Gazebo | 2 Generations RunningI definitely felt a little emotional to be back in Geneseo and graduating with my fellow classmates (I didn’t cry but that was mostly from force of will because I wasn’t wearing waterproof mascara).

grad_2I was lucky enough to have a FANTASTIC college experience (which I’ve talked a little about in previous posts). I made some of the best friends I’ll ever have, and connected with so many people who have changed my life for the better. People who I know will continue to be a part of my life.

Graduation2Strangers and freshman year roomies to friends and senior year housemates.

In December, I came across this quote from Winnie the Pooh that perfectly expressed my feelings about graduating –

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

I could not have had such an amazing experience without all the love and serious support I got from my parents and family, and I’ll be forever grateful to them for that.

And now you’re probably wondering what the heck I’m going to be doing.

If you’ve checked out my About page, you know that I absolutely LOVE races and want to share that love with others by planning and putting on races. I’m very excited to say that I’ll be doing just that – working on planning races for a national obstacle race series. I am BEYOND excited for this new chapter of my life, and while I’m going to be very busy, I’m going to do my darnedest to keep posting on this blog regularly.

When one door closes, another opens…


Janji Apparel Review

Happy weekend!

So I thought about going for a run yesterday. Then I looked out the window.

Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

Needless to say, the run didn’t happen. Which is a total bummer because I’ve been dying to test out some awesome stuff that Janji sent me to review!

Review of Janji. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoI’ve talked a little about Janji on the blog before (here and here), but in case you missed those posts, Janji is a very cool running apparel company. Their website explains –

“Runners require proper hydration to train, run 5Ks and finish marathons. At the same time, millions of people around the world lack the basic necessities for survival. 

WE CAN CHANGE THAT.

Through each purchase of Janji’s distinctive running apparel, a portion of proceeds funds organizations that are alleviating the worst problems related to water. By funding solutions and raising awareness through our apparel, Janji wants to create a nation of runners that run for another and eliminate the global water crisis.”

It’s a pretty awesome mission, so I was very excited to review a few items for them again. Especially, with Christmas only a few weeks away!

Janji review. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

Janji review. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

I received the Women’s Logo Long-Sleeve Running Shirt and the Women’s Running Headband. While running was out of the question today with the snow, I know the headband is going to be AMAZING for cold, breezy runs this winter.

Janji review. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

I did test out the top today though, wearing it to do a sweaty 21 minute HIIT workout!

Janji review. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoI loved it. The shirt is super soft, has thumb-holes (this is weirdly important to us runners!), and I love the color. I feel like the bright yellow will be nice and visible on dark, winter runs! It was super comfortable to work out in too.

And the coolest aspect behind these items, is that you know you are not only getting an awesome piece of running apparel, you’re also contributing to a great cause. The purchase of the headband provides 6 months of clean drinking water to one person in Tanzania, while the shirt gives 1 week of clean water to someone in the US.

I’m planning on doing a more comprehensive “Gift Guide for Runners” post sometime in the next few weeks, but if you do have a runner in your life (or you are a runner and you want to treat yo’self), I highly recommend Janji for holiday gifts! You won’t be disappointed. 🙂

Have a great weekend! (and send some positive, snow-melting thoughts my way if you can… I’m already hating this winter.)


Run For Another (My First Review)

Hi again! 

I’m very excited for today’s post because I’ll be doing a product review on an up-and-coming running apparel brand with an incredible mission.

Have you heard of Janji?

janji resized

Janji was founded by Mike Burnstein and Dave Spandorfer. As collegiate track and field athletes, the two knew that runners as a whole are a pretty friendly and philanthropic bunch – think about it, we show our support to countless charities through running races, not to mention all the donations and/or other purchases we make to support those good causes!

As runners we are also pretty darn focused on hydration and nutrition, but there are many people in the world who even in the 21st century still do not have the luxury of clean water and plentiful food. Something had to be done.

Thus, Janji was born. Their website explains,

“Through each purchase of Janji’s distinctive running apparel, a portion of proceeds funds organizations that are alleviating the worst problems related to food and water.  By funding solutions and raising awareness through our apparel, Janji wants to create a nation of runners that run for another and eliminate the global food and water crisis.”

The word “Janji” is Malay for “promise”. By purchasing Janji apparel, you are promising to Run For Another (the brand’s motto!). Pretty cool, huh? 

I was lucky enough to receive a discount on one of Janji’s newest shirts in exchange for reviewing it on the blog! After spending a LONG time perusing all the cool designs and brightly colored tops they have on their website, I finally settled on the Women’s Kenya Elephant T-shirt.

The country of Kenya is actually very special to me because I got to travel there as a baby. Though I was too young to remember anything about the trip, I always enjoy listening to the stories my parents tell about it.

in kenya

(I’m the blond one in the photo. )

By purchasing this shirt, a growing season’s worth of water is provided to a Kenyan family. So every time I wear it, I will think of that family, and know that I was able to help them, even if it was only in a small way.

shirt3

When the shirt finally arrived in the mail, I COULD NOT wait to test it out! The fabric is incredibly soft and the red stitching contrasts with the green of the shirt in a gorgeous way. It also has a really flattering v-neck. Heck, it’s such a cool shirt I’ll probably be wearing it to my classes and not just for runs!

shirt1

shirt5

shirt4

I finally tried it out yesterday when I ran the Ramon Rocha 5k. Ramon Rocha was a humanitarian and the driving force behind the establishment of the Teresa House and several other local charities, so it seemed fitting to wear my Janji shirt for the first time at this event.

It was a cool fall morning, and it felt absolutely perfect for running! I went with a couple of friends, and ran with them most of the way.

The start of the race! (Photo Credits to North Street Studios)

I wanted to relax and have fun with this 5k, so I didn’t push myself too hard. Instead, I just reveled in the happy atmosphere of excited runners.

Running with a few friends! (Photo Credits to North Street Studios)

(Photo Credits to North Street Studios)

I finished 52nd, with a time of 26:02. Then, I ate some delicious apple crisp (one of the best foods fall races can serve!), listened to a little live music, and headed home.

My Janji shirt was soft and amazingly comfortable to run in, and I know it is going to become one of my absolute faves. Knowing the good cause behind it just makes it that much more special.  I would highly recommend Janji to anyone looking for some new running clothes for the fall – you definitely will not be disappointed!

Overall,  it was a great start to the fall racing season and an awesome Saturday!


Oak Tree Half Marathon

Wow. 

Yesterday’s race was one of the most exciting and rewarding races I have ever run. I had moments of doubt, frustration, and exhaustion, but I was able to push through it all to accomplish a goal so special to me that I had not wanted to voice it for fear that I wouldn’t achieve it – running a sub 2 hour half marathon. Well, I guess I’m going to need to find a new goal now, because I can officially check that one off the list!

The morning started early with a cup of coffee in my favorite mug and my favorite White Chocolate Macademia Nut Clif Bar (not pictured because I ate it!).

coffee1

 

The getting-ready process had a new step to it for this race – applying one of the temporary tattoos we received in our race packet! I put the cute running raccoon on my bicep to bring me strength during the run.

I'm thinking maybe I should invest in a real tattoo of a running raccoon... (just kidding!)

Before I knew it, it was time for me and Kristin (my housemate) to go pick up Lisa, another friend who was running the 5K with Kristin.

The race was held at the local high school just a couple minutes down the road, so getting there was thankfully no problem. We had time for a couple pics in the parking lot before we went to stretch and hit the restrooms one last time.

Me and Kristin with our tattoos on, ready to go!

Lisa and Kristin nabbed 5th and 6th places in their age group for the 5K!

Then, it was 8, the official start time for the half, and we were off! The first part of the course took us into the main town. They closed down the street and we did a loop of the famous Bear Fountain, before heading back out the way we came and towards more farmland.

bear fountain

Miles 4-10 were a big loop on dirt roads with LOTS of rolling hills. I tried to trick myself by thinking, “I love hills!” It kinda worked.  I also distracted myself looking at the beautiful views of the farms from the top of the hills.

There were some beautiful oak trees along the course (no surprises there!)

Through the first half of the course, I was in a great mood. I was running at my target pace, I felt strong, and I just kept picturing myself crossing the finish line and finally nabbing that PR. By my watch, I ran the first half in just about 56 minutes. I was right where I wanted to be.

It didn’t end up being that easy.

Just after mile 10, the course had a HUGE hill. I had managed to stay pretty positive through all the other hills, but this one was a beast, and I started to freak out a little. I ran as much as I could up the hill and then I was forced to walk for one or two minutes. I could see the marker for mile 11 in the distance, and I wasSO CLOSE, and suddenly, it seemed like this one stinking, huge hill was going to keep me from reaching my goal. I started getting angry. So I sucked up whatever grit and energy I still had left, and started jogging again. At the top, a woman had parked her van and was blasting music, trying to encourage us runners. Normally, that would make me smile, but I was too busy gasping for air.

Then, I reached the paved road that led back to the school where the finish was set up. A volunteer called out, “It’s all downhill from here!” That was just the news I needed to hear. It was going to be close, but I knew if I ran the last 2 miles as hard as I could, then maybe, just maybe, I could make up for the time I lost on that hill, and still get my PR. So, I buckled down, cranked up the iPod, and RAN.

As the school came into view, I tried to catch a glimpse of the timing clock, but I couldn’t see it. I knew from the timer on my iPod that it was going to be a close shave. I still had to run down the driveway of the school, onto the track, and run 3/4ths of a lap to the finishing line.

finishing

 

Into the final straightaway!

When I reached the track, I started sprinting (at least, it felt like I was sprinting. After running 13 miles, it probably didn’t look like I was going very fast.  ) As I came to the final straightaway, I finally saw the timing clock- 1 hour, 58 minutes!

finishing3

Feeling ecstatic, I zoomed over the finish line in 1 hour, 58 minutes and 15 seconds. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!   Never have I ever been so proud of myself for not giving up on a goal- even when it seemed like it wasn’t achievable.

I reunited with Kristin and Lisa who had taken 5th and 6th places in their age groups in the 5K, and we sampled some of the bananas and fruit cups at the food table. There was some very delicious-looking pizza there as well, but there was no way I could stomach pizza after that run.

Happy to be done!

After a much-needed sit/stretch in the grass, I checked the official results page for the half- I came in 7th out of 20 in my age group(so my friends and I came in 5th, 6th, and 7th! Weird, huh?), and I had an average pace of 9:02/mile. I got my sub 2 hour half, and beat my previous PR by 4 minutes. THAT’S what I’m talking about! 

results

This race also came with some nice swag, which is always a plus in my book! I got a tech shirt, medal, and a free jar of crunchy organic peanut butter! I’ve already tried it, and it is some delicious stuff.

race swag

This peanut butter is amazing!

race swag3

We drove over to a coffee shop nearby after, and I treated myself to a French Toast bagel with cream cheese and an iced chai. It was just what I needed after 13.1 miles of hard running. 

I could not have asked for this race to go any better, and I’m still basking in the post-race glow of success! The only question now is, when am I going to run my next half? It won’t be long, I’m sure. 

 

 

 

 

 


The Rochester Marathon

We did it.

My Mom and I can both officially say now that we are marathoners. After months of training and reading anything and everything about marathons, we finally went out and completed 26.2 miles. There was uncertainty, crazy weather, and blackened toenails, but we made it.

Let me start from the beginning though. 🙂

Late in the afternoon on Friday, my mom made the long drive up and picked me up from school. It was fantastic to see her again and we chatted the whole time as we made the drive into Rochester. We were lucky enough to be able to stay with my aunt and uncle, so it was a great mini-family reunion. Friday night, we just relaxed, ate pizza and visited, before turning in for an early bedtime. We wanted to make sure we got plenty of rest in preparation for Sunday.

Saturday, we slept in a little, before going for a gentle 2-mile jog, as prescribed in the training plan my mom and I followed. We were also keeping a close eye on the weather that morning, as the forecast for Sunday was looking awful. There was a strong chance of severe thunderstorms from 6 am on throughout the whole day. In the paper, there was an article that explained that if there was thunder at the start time (7:30), then the race would be delayed ten minutes. If the thunder continued – the race would be cancelled. My mom and I were freaking out. At that point, I felt like I would gladly run through the pouring rain, as long as I got the chance at my marathon.

So obviously, we were pretty concerned. We went to pick up our packets as usual though, hoping for the best. Packet pick-up was held at a local running store, Fleet Feet, and it was hopping when we arrived.

At packet pick-up for the Rochester Marathon

My mom and I loved the race shirts, but we were also excited to pick out another commemorative, first-marathon-ever shirt! We both went with these awesome long-sleeve Nike running shirts.

Rochester Marathon Shirt

We tried to stay relaxed on Saturday, but the weather reports continued to predict strong chances for thunderstorms. We organized our running materials that evening – putting pins on our bibs, packing our GU’s in our fuel belts (I wanted to do one every 5 miles through mile 20, at which point I was going to switch to Sports Beans aka jelly beans for runners). With the predictions for rain, my mom and I both made sure to bring hats to help keep the rain off our faces.

We had a simple meal for dinner that night to round out our carbo-loading routine – grilled chicken and baked potatoes. After that, it was a little TV and then bed time.

While I had a little trouble falling asleep, I was shocked at how well I slept until the alarm started ringing at 5 am. My mom and I quickly got up and started prepping the coffee and bagels (with almond butter and raspberry jam of course – our favorite!). It was a little hard to stomach at such an early hour, but we knew it was important to eat early so we would have time to digest a bit before the race began.

A friend of mine from school was running the race as well, and she got dropped off at my Aunt and Uncle’s so that we could bring her to the start with us. We were pleasantly surprised by the weather as we drove into the city of Rochester – a little cloudy, but warm with no rain!

We checked our bags (complete with all the necessary post-race items, including sweats, Snickers bars, and a hairbrush. All completely essential.), and made a last porta-potty stop. Kudos to the race organizers for having enough porta-potties to accommodate all the runners, as this always seems to be problematic!

At the start of the Rochester Marathon

Then, we excitedly went to the starting chute. Of course, there was time for some pre-race selfies.

At the start of the Rochester Marathon 2014

At the start of the Rochester Marathon 2014

We stretched for a few minutes and I reveled in the fact that it was not raining on us. I think all my worry about the weather left me feeling more excited for the race than nervous. Then, the race announcer led us with a moment of silence for a Rochester police officer, Daryl Pierson, who was shot and killed three weeks ago. It was a touching moment, and so important for us as runners to show our appreciation, as the entire Rochester police department was out, directing traffic and lining the course to help keep us safe and the race running smoothly.

Next, the National Anthem played… and we were off and running our first marathon!!! Ahhhhh!

Along the course of the Rochester Marathon

With all the excitement, the first few miles flew by, but my mom and I did a great job pacing ourselves and sticking to our Galloway method-inspired strategy: run a mile and walk a minute. I really enjoyed checking out the beautiful 19th and early 20th century mansions that we passed along East Avenue.

Mansions along East Avenue. Rochester Marathon

Absolutely beautiful. We continued along, sticking to a pace around 10:30 minutes/mile. Just before mile 5, we came up on our cheering section who surprised us with this awesome poster. 🙂

Of course, we had to stop to take a picture.

We had to stop to take a picture.

As we continued along, my mom started telling me to take off. I was feeling great at the pace we were running, but she wanted to dial it back a little because of the humidity we were dealing with. We had planned on staying together longer over the 26 miles, but with her blessing and some good luck wishes on both our parts, I headed off.

Running along the Erie Canal during the Rochester Marathon

Around Mile 6 or 7 (I think… it’s all blurring together a bit), we turned off and ran along the Erie Canal bike path, which was pretty, despite the clouds rolling in. Soon thereafter, it started to rain – and I thought to myself, “This is it. It’s going to pour, and I’m either going to have to run another 15+ miles soaking wet or it’s going to thunder and they’re going to pull us off the course.”

Thank god that’s not what happened. It rained lightly for maybe 15 minutes, just enough to cool me off, and then it stopped! It was a marathon miracle. 🙂

I was feeling great, and got super excited when I reached the 13 mile marker – halfway done! And I kept feeling great through mile 18, and that’s when it truly started to feel like a marathon. My big toe was starting to hurt (ironically, not on the foot where I struggled with my EHL strain – that foot held up like a champ.). I was running behind someone with a shirt that read “Black Toe Racing”, and I remember thinking a lot about the foreshadowing and symbolism of that. 😉

I kept chugging along though, desperately looking forward to each 1 minute walking break whenever I completed another mile. While I cherished those breaks, I noticed that after about 19 miles, it hurt just as much (if not more) to walk as it did to run. Ugh.

Around mile 20 of the Rochester Marathon

I certainly wasn’t the only one taking walking breaks by this point though.

The last 6.2 miles were the most challenging miles I’ve ever run. I knew I was close to being done, and I just wanted to cross that finish line and for the RUNNING TO STOP. Thank goodness for all the fantastic spectators along the course, and for the people who cheered for me, reading my name off my bib and encouraging me that I was almost done. I also loved all the creative signs –

  • Toenails are for sissies (so true.)
  • Keep Calm and Don’t Poop Yourself. (Also excellent advice.)
  • You’ve been training for this longer than Kim Kardashian was married. (gotta love humor at the expense of the Kardashians.)

FINALLY, I was turning off the canal path, back onto the major roads, and knew I was close to being done. I passed the 26 mile marker, and I pushed it into high gear. Next thing I knew, I was crossing the finish line in 4 hours, 36 minutes. I look pretty damn good for having just run 26.2 miles, right?!

Finishing the Rochester Marathon

Marathon complete.

I was so happy to be done, and to see my boyfriend at the finish. It was good that he was there, because I kept losing my balance and tilting over. Also, my fine motor skills were shot, which made texting interesting.

I couldn't text at all after running a marathon

I tried to type “I’m done” and autocorrect thought I was trying to say “I’m conspiracy”. So that shows you how successful I was. 😉 After that, I made my boyfriend send the texts. We also took some snapchats to send to my friends at school, who had been amazing about sending me congratulatory and good luck texts-

post marathon

And some regular pictures. In between bites of a bagel, obviously.

After finishing the Rochester Marathon

My mom also ran an incredible race (SHE GOT THIRD IN HER AGE GROUP!!!) and finished in 4 hours, 58 minutes.

What an amazing race. After so much concern over my EHL strain and the fears about the weather,  I feel so lucky that I was able to run my marathon. After 9 half marathons, it was time, for both my mom and I.

More marathon reflections are coming, but this post has already gotten ridiculously long. Thanks for reading it and also, thank you SO, SO MUCH for all the advice, and good luck messages sent our way through this blog. It meant the world to us to have so many people rooting for us.