27 April, 2011

Race Recaps: Jersey Shore Marathon Relay & the Rutgers Unite Half... Kinda

Since I'm over a week behind in posting anything, I decided to make it somewhat easy and combine both of my race reports from two weekends ago into one blog post since both of them were pretty uneventful....and short.  

Saturday, the 16th, I went down the Jersey shore with a bunch of the gym crew to run in the Jersey Shore Marathon Relay.  Teams of 5 share the task of completing 26.2 miles from Seaside Heights, NJ (yes....home of Snooki and The Situation) up to Asbury Park (home of Bruce Springsteen haha).  We've ran this relay for a bunch of years now and it's always a fun time cheering everyone on and then we always celebrate with a barbeque at a gym members shore house a few miles from the finish. 

Unfortunately this year I had to be in class at 10am so my plan of enjoying the whole day down the shore was foiled.  Our race started at 9am so we met up at the gym around 6:30 and we all made our way down to the beach.

The weather forecast was supposed to be a high of about 64 but when we got there in the wee hours of the morning, it was COLD and WINDY!  Didn't help that we were right on the beach & boardwalk.  The wind was a killer so most of us tried to huddle under a few canopys to stay slightly warmer. 

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Our relay team!
The race is known to have some awesome costumes and they have a contest every year.  Last year, we joined in the fun and went as the Family Guy Family and were a HUGE hit.....

Our costumes from last year!


This year there weren't as many as usual but by far our favorite was the 'Imaginary People' team.  (No, not their real name but it's all I could think of)...


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A Unicorn, Santa Claus, a Leprechaun, Easter Bunny, & the Tooth Fairy

I've never ran the first leg of the race but it's mainly on the boardwalk in Seaside and makes it's way north for 6.2 miles.  At least I was told it was 6.2 miles. :)  When the race started, I SWEAR the wind picked up.  I was so cold that I couldn't even imagine taking off my cotton hoodie and just sucked it up and decided I could run 6 miles in it.   Some parts of the course veered off the boardwalk and ran on the street parallel, which was a nice break from the crazy wind! 

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Don't I look THRILLED?!?!?!?

The miles did go by quickly though, despite the cold and wind.  When I rounded the corner for the baton hand-off, I realized my Garmin said I was still at 5.5 miles.  Hmmmm!  Many others around me said the same thing so the rest of the course must have been longer somewhere.  I made decent time but didn't want to push it since I still had a half marathon the next day!

Quickly cooled down, drank my HoneyMilk, and then jumped in my car to head to class while the rest of the team chugged along.  Pretty sure our team finished the whole thing in 4:30, which was awesome! 

Fast forward to the next morning!  Time for the Rutgers Unite Half Marathon....or so we thought.

My friend Tony and I woke up bright and early and headed back down to South Jersey.  Two of my friends that came to India with me were meeting us down there to run their first half too.  We quickly parked, jumped on the shuttle to the start line, and then heard the announcement...

Due to horrible flooding in the park we run through, the half marathon has been cut down to a 10 mile race....

WHAT?! We looked at each other hoping we didn't hear right.  The guy next to me let out a few choice words.  You have GOT to be kidding me, right?  What about the people that had trained so hard for this, who were trying to qualify for Half Fanatics, who were running their first half, had flown from Colorado to run this race (we met a lady that did...I felt so bad)?!

To say we were pissed is an understatement.  We met up with my two friends and they were depressed too.  Oh well, can't do much about it now, right?

NOT happy about the course change!
We lined up in the starting area and wished each other well.  Might as well get this one over with as quickly as possible, right?

The race itself wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great.  The advertisements promised dozens of bands (we saw maybe 5), fluids at every mile (there were maybe 4 or 5 stops), lots of cheering students/alumni/spectators/frats/sports teams (we saw none except for the final straight away to the finish), and a scenic route (um, Rutgers campuses aren't THAT pretty).

I kept up a nice pace though throughout the whole race.  With about a half mile to go or so, I saw my friends who had driven down to cheer us on and tried to yell to them that it's now a 10 mile course so we'll be done soon.  Right after I passed them, a volunteer yells and says that I only have 60 yards until the finish.  Wait...what??!! I thought this was a 10 mile course and my Garmin was reading almost 9.5.  I turned the corner and there it was...the finish.  I sprinted the remaining few dozen yards and saw Tony and Robby waiting for me by the water.  Official race distance had been cut down even more to 9.55 miles. 

The finish area was absolute chaos.  There were normal spectators in the finish chute just standing around and the runners had no idea where to go.  Someone handed me a medal and we pushed our way out.  No one told us where to go for bag pickup so we followed the crowds.  The line for the food was OBSCENE and they were allowing non-runners to jump in and grab food, which was making it even crazier.  We avoided the food and went and got our bags instead.

On a brighter note though, we were ready to celebrate and enjoy the nice weather on campus!

Not sure if anyone watches Man vs. Food but I'm slightly addicted to it.  Well in one episode he went down to Rutgers to chow down at the grease trucks for Fat Sandwiches and then went to Stuff Yer Face for their yummy strombolis.  Anyone that knows Rutgers knows that these are staple foods that everyone must consume so we decided to go to both after the race to replace the calories lost, plus some. :)

Here's a few videos of his adventures...





First stop?  The grease trucks, specifically RU Hungry.  Fat Sandwiches are pretty much any crazy combination of deep fried foods you could think of, all stuffed in a long roll, and topped with french fries.  The line for this place is always INSANE...

RU Hungry?

I decided on the Fat Koko.... cheesesteak w/American cheese, mozzarella sticks, marinara sauce, and french fries.  Other people had burgers, chicken fingers, mozz sticks, etc.  And let me tell you...this was pretty darn fabulous!!

Fat Koko

When we finished up here we decided to head to Stuff Yer Face for a celebratory drink.  Definitely didn't try the crazy huge stromboli but after a few hours of relaxing, we were a little hungry again so nibbled on some other food and then finally headed back home.

So a disappointing weekend for me in terms of races but we still had a good time.  I'll definitely be doing the Jersey Shore Marathon Relay again but not sure about Rutgers.  Even after the race, it took them days to send an explanation as to why they couldn't just reroute the course, and their excuse didn't seem legit.  They deleted a TON of negative comments from their Facebook page and only left the happy ones, not cool.  So who knows.  I'll still be a student and the race fee will be cheap so it's a possibility.  

18 April, 2011

Another Week Gone By....

Had another pretty good week of gym time, some horseback riding, and a few 'shortened' runs....

Monday: did my upper body workout and felt good. Didn't run since had just run the day before.

Tuesday: Before doing my weights, I got through 3 miles of intervals all while discussing my Disney January Goofy trip with one of the guys at the gym who just registered for the half with his son!! It's going to be awesome with more gym people there. So far we've got 5 of us running, and possibly 2 more.

After the 3 miles, I got through a leg and ab workout. It was a little harder than normal since I had already ran but still didn't feel bad.

Wednesday: When I first got to the gym, quickly did a one mile warmup and then went right into my circuit. Halfway through the 1st set though, the tendon in my foot started bothering me like it did during my marathon training so I cut my 2nd set short and didn't do much that required my feet. Quickly went home and stretched and iced the foot. It still feels a little funny but definitely not as bad as a few months ago!

Thursday: Rest day for me since I had a presentation to give for class after work. I think it went fairly well!


Friday: No gym or running for me today either but I got to get some horseback riding in. I used to ride competitively in college and loved every second of it. Ever since graduating, I've just been going once a week to ride to keep up with it. Hopefully soon I can start riding more often but school/work gets in the way!

Here's a picture of me and the horse I usually ride, Louis. :) He's an angel, and a beauty, and I LOVE him!  (The photo was from last summer so please ignore the glistening sweat.  Obviously Louis seems thrilled.)


Saturday:  The start of the crazy running weekend!! Participated in the Jersey Shore Marathon Relay, which is always fun. Thought I was doing the 6.1 mile leg but it ended up being 5.55 instead.  I'll post a recap of that in a bit....

Sunday:  And yet another running day....went back down south to run the Rutgers Unite Half Marathon.  To say I'm disappointed is an understatement.  I'll post a full recap for this one soon too but to quickly recap...the race was cut down to a 9.55 mile race due to flooding.  There goes my PR and chance to qualify for Half Fanatic status... grrrrrr.  We did however go on a fabulous eating and drinking binge after so it kinda made up for my crappy mood!

I'll write up the race recaps from this weekend and post them hopefully tonight when I can get my pics off my camera!  

Oh!  And in case anyone is following me on Twitter.. I changed my twitter name to @DisRunner.  Seemed more appropriate, it was easier to remember, and shorter than my last one.  If you're already following me, you don't have to do anything different.  Twitter automatically redirects you to my new name.  If you're not following me...what are you waiting for?? :)

13 April, 2011

A Good Week of Training!

I'm hoping that the great feeling I have from the previous week's workouts will stick around for awhile.

For the first time in MONTHS I was actually able to get to the gym at least 3 days, plus get a nice long run in on the weekend. 

Monday (4/4):
After my fun 8 mile run in NYC the week prior, I wasn't up to going for another run the very next day.  Headed to the gym instead and got a serious arm workout in.  Put my headphones on so no one really talks to me and just got it done.  I LOVE my gym and the people there but since it's such a tiny gym, it's like a second family.  Everyone stops and talks to each other so sometimes that 1 hour workout can turn into 2 hours.  With the headphones, most people know I mean business.  :)

Tuesday (4/5):
Woah, two days in a row!  I completed a one mile warmup run on the treadmill, hoping to get back and get a few more miles in when I was done with weights.  Worked out the legs and abs and after that was done, my legs felt like complete jello so I decided to forego the additional running.  Still felt great though.  I've been slacking working my core so glad I got to get a good workout in.

Saturday (4/9):
The gym on a Saturday?  Unheard of for me!  Even the gym owner almost fell off his chair when I walked in.  Went in and did my 3rd and final part of my weekly workout, two sets of my full circuit that totally kicks my butt.  I was pretty gross and sweaty by the time I was done.  No real cardio other than some hilly bike climbs that are part of the circuit but I was happy to get a full weeks worth of strength training in!  I'll try to add more cardio in at the gym next week.  Baby steps, right?

Sunday (4/10):
My friends and I got together in the morning and headed back into NYC to get in our 10 mile run.  We were going to do a different part of the West Side Highway but decided to head over to Central Park instead.  I've been to Central Park a MILLION times but have never ran in it.  I knew it could get hilly at points but we figured that was a good thing.  We took it fairly easy since my friends were doing their first 10 mile run ever.  Happy to say we all did really well and had a great time!  We got a little turned around at one point and took a wrong turn so instead of running the perimeter of the park, we decided to run around the reservoir for a bit.  Didn't take my camera but definitely next time so I can take pictures to show everyone how beautiful it is!  There were also SO many people out running that it helped pass the time away. 

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So that was my week of training last week! To say I'm happy is an understatement. I finally feel really good about training again! Plus, I'm currently trying to plan out a marathon training plan to get me to the Marine Corps Marathon as well as the Goofy Challenge. When I get all that in order, I'll post my plan for others to see and critique.

Also have an update on all the Disney races I'm doing, as well as a new announcement hopefully the end of this week on the new Disney race that they're being so secretive about! :)

08 April, 2011

India Recap in Pictures... Celebrating Holi in Mumbai

Mumbai was probably my favorite city that we visited.  It's hard to explain but it was more upbeat.  Would have loved to stay there a few more days to wander.  One of the places we were able to see was Dharavi, the slum that Slumdog Millionaire was based in.  Definitely a moving and eye opening experience and it definitely puts things into perspective.  Photos weren't allowed but I wouldn't have felt right taking them if they were. 

Didn't take too many photos of the actual city but we were lucky enough to be able to experience the Holi festival while we were there.  Holi is a Hindu celebration of spring, and also called the 'Festival of Colors' where every Hindu comes out and parties like crazy and throws colored powder and water at each other.  It was so much fun to wander and see everyone having fun!  Luckily we stayed relatively clean (compared to everyone else) and all of the locals had a great time helping us celebrate without going overboard.



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The Taj Hotel...amazing!


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In our hotel lobby the morning of Holi

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Our first glimpse of Holi celebrations!

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Survived Holi pretty clean!!!

07 April, 2011

India Recap in Pictures... Bangalore

Bangalore was such a different city than New Delhi....more laid back, more spread out, more relaxed.  Definitely very populated but it seemed to have more of a care free atmosphere.  Had a great time wandering the markets and parks in our down time.  And trying to stuff our faces with as much food as possible!

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One of the many beautiful Hindu temples by our hotel

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Baby cow wandering the market

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Indian feast!

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Preparing for our chaotic rickshaw ride

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Bringing the vegetables to market

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Monkeys in the park

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Hanging out in the park

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Enjoying stolen cookies

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Beautiful sunset in Bangalore

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Another sunset

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Rice at the market


06 April, 2011

India Recap in Pictures... the Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal was absolutely beautiful!  Our day started out at some ridiculous hour (around 4am) to catch a 3 hour train up to Agra.  After spending the day wandering the Taj Mahal and Red Fort, we headed back to New Delhi and enjoyed a night in town.

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One of the crazy packed trains we saw on our trip

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Heading towards the Taj Mahal

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Our first glimpse!

Taj Mahal
The beautiful Taj Mahal

in bloom
In bloom

booties!
Booties! (To protect the marble)

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The view of the Taj from the Red Fort

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The drink of choice throughout the whole trip...King Fisher!

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Rolls & Kababs from Karim's

05 April, 2011

India Recap in Pictures.... New Delhi

Where do I even begin? The trip to India was awesome but hard to describe.  We traveled to New Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai and each city was completely different.  Chaotic, crazy, and beautiful is probably the best way to describe everything.  We took a side trip to the Taj Mahal, which was gorgeous as well.  When we weren't meeting with companies and other organizations to discuss doing business in India with my MBA class, we were able to wander the streets and take in all the excitement around us.

Since words can't justify the trip, this will mostly be a photo journey.....I'm going to break this down into smaller posts, most likely by city. Our first stop on our adventure? New Delhi!

New Delhi was definitely an overwhelming experience at first.  It was our first city, definitely the most populated of the places we visited, and an intense way to break into our India adventure.  After the first day, I started getting used to the hustle and bustle and started to really enjoy the city.  If I had a few more days, I would have loved to wander some more and I think we all would have felt more comfortable. 

Enjoy the pics!

Traffic at 1am
Traffic in Delhi at 1:30am on our way to the hotel from the airport!

Family Transportation
Typical family transportation....and this was a small amount of passengers compared to what we saw later in the week!

In the street
The streets of Delhi

Doing Business
Doing business in Delhi

Street Food
Some of the street food

Colorful Sarees
Beautiful colorful Saris

Dried Fruit & Nut Market
Nut & Fruit Market
Preparing for Holi
Preparing for Holi (a Hindu festival celebrating spring and the 'Festival of Colors')

In the spice market
In the spice market, an intense experience where even the locals were choking and coughing on the intense smells and spices in the air!

Elena and I started the Holi celebration early!
Celebrating Holi early....a shop owner selling powder decided to show the two of us how to properly celebrate...


Negotiating Rickshaw Rides
Negotiating prices for rickshaws to get the whole class back to our bus

All in rickshaws ready to go
Ready for our rickshaw rides

Wide Load
Wide load!

Colorful
Buying Saris

Street Food
More street food