31 August, 2011

Race Recap: Warrior Dash NY

Get ready for photo overload!

The week after the Yankee Stadium 5k, we ran in our 2nd Warrior Dash. A few of my friends ran with me the year prior and we had such a good time that we immediately registered again when it opened. Even better was that past runners got a discount entry, score!

Woke up bright and early and started our 2 hour trek north to Windham Mountain, where the race is held. Easily parked and took the shuttle up to the main lodge area and checked in to pick up our race bibs, shirts, and warrior helmets!

One of my friends had ran at 8am (our race started at 1:30) so we met up with him and compared how dirty he was with our fabulously clean clothes....

We grabbed a huge beer to share (we didn't all want to drink a huge liter before running!) and then hung around and watched the craziness unfold around us. These were by FAR the best costumes...

Before we knew it, it was time to line up and get ready to run ourselves.  I knew from last year that the first part of the run was torturous.  Windham Mountain is a ski resort and the race starts at the bottom of the mountain by the base lodge.  Runners have to run up the long windy green circle trail along the edge of the mountain.  Green trails don't seem so bad when you're snowboarding down them.  But running up them?  That's another story!  This incline was NEVER ENDING!!

I'm not going to talk about all of the obstacles...just the ones we have photos of :)

Going up!
Still climbing, we came to our first obstacle, the tire and car crawl.  A few old cars in the way and you had to get over them...

Still going up!! Yes, I surrendered

The next obstacle was new...a balance beam up and over and back down. Some people were freaking out about the height and I'll admit for some reason my nerves were a little shaken even though it was only a few feet high.

Next up was the muddy lake, or whatever they call it. They had fake logs in the lake that you had to get across. The frigid water felt FABULOUS after running up that damn mountain!

New this year was the tire weave. Just lots of car tires hanging by rope that you had to get through. Since no one was around us, it was pretty easy. But once those tires got moving, it was tough not to get nailed by one! I think my friend purposely attacked me with them.

Heading back down
You want me to smile!?

After the regular cargo net, we ran into the horizontal cargo net. It's hard crab crawling across that thing!

Finally we saw the finish line in our sights! We had to get through a very bumpy and not very slippery slip and slide. I have bruises from that thing!

And then take a death defying leap over fire....

And then the Warrior Dash's infamous mud pit...

Smurfs in the mud!

And we're done!! :)

After meeting up with our support crew, we tried to figure out how to clean off. They had make shift showers but they were freezing and hardly any water actually hit you. For some reason, they had shut down all of the bathrooms inside the lodge, probably because it was getting too muddy. They said that the restrooms were 'out of order' but I highly doubt that. I ended up making friends with two random girls who were also looking for a bathroom so we created a curtain out of towels which allowed me to change into dry clothes. Thanks ladies!

Oh...and the photo below? That's a mud line...NOT a tan line!

Like my mud line?

After drying off, I got to show off my medal and warrior helmet :)

We all met up again and were starving so found some open grass in the field and took turns going to get food. A pulled pork sandwich, corn on the cob, and Magic Hat beer had never tasted so good! We hung out for a few more hours enjoying the chaos and taking in all the awesome costumes.

Super Mario Kart!

They also had a Big Air Bag that my crazy friends decided to jump into. I decided to pass today, maybe next year!

It was another great day overall! The course was slightly different than last year and I think it took longer to complete. The after party was fun as always. Only things I would change? Keep the restrooms open please! And allow credit cards when purchasing tickets for food. The line for the ATM was insane.

30 August, 2011

Full Body Circuit Workout

I know a few people have asked on DailyMile about my full body circuit workout that I do at the gym.  Some of the exercises have some strange names that are hard to explain so I finally sat down and became best buddies with Google Images and tried to find photos that best portray the exercises!

So I now present to you....my workout.  :)

A normal full body circuit workout for me is 2 full sets of 15 reps of each exercise.  Normally I do each exercise once and then repeat the whole thing again.  Sometimes if I'm feeling like a change, I'll do each exercise twice, right after another, and then move onto the next one. 

1. Squat Press (with 32 lb bar) - the photo makes this pretty self explanatory

Image from womenshealthmag.com

2. Ball Wall Squats - hold each squat for 5 seconds before standing upright.  Made sure your hips don't fall in towards the wall.  If they do, move your feet out some more. 

Image from thebonearchitect.com
3. Side Lunges - I do these across the gym (usually 20-25 steps in one direction and then reverse to go in the other direction).  Feel the burn!

Image from beprettythinkpretty.blogspot.com

4. 5-Cone Touch - I couldn't find a photo that used 5 cones but this is similar.  I also have a cone directly in front of me, above the two in the photo, as well as 2 more cones below the 2 in the photo and further away from my body.  All 5 cones create a semi-circle.  Stand on one foot at the base of the semi-circle of cones and bend down and touch each cone.  After one semi-circle, return to the beginning.  You should touch 10 cones while balancing on each foot. 

Image from fit-pro.com
5. 1 Minute Side Step Ups on 10" Box - I couldn't find a good photo of these either.  But the photo shows the motion.  Stand one one side of a 10" box and alternate side steps for 1 minute. 

Image from beexercise.com

6. Flat Bench Press (55 lbs) - Self explanatory as well!

Image from fitnessdestination.com

7. Assisted Pull Ups - I have horrible upper body strength so working on my pullups.  Hoping one day I won't need the assistance!
Image from fullfitness.net

8.  Resistance Band Archery - OK, there were NO photos of this exercise that I could find.  Tie a resistance band to a pole  or something else stable and simulate an archery movement, ALMOST like the girl in the photo...but not quite as weird :)

Image from 43things.com

9. Curl & Press - Another self explanatory one

Image from thatsfit.com

10. Tricep Rope - Again, self explanatory.  I don't bow out my hands/wrists though at the bottom of the pull.

Image from bringingyoufitness.com

11.  Lateral Dumbell Raises - For some reason this is one of the hardest exercises for me!  And can I point out that the model in the photo has the exact body I want...

Image from muscleandperformancemag.com

12. Alternating Quadruped w/Ankle Weights - Do 15 on each side and then switch

Image from coreperformance.com

13. No Peek Crunches - Another hard one to find a photo of.  Most medicine ball ab crunches have you bring the medicine ball over your head and to your knees.  Not this one.  It's called 'no peek' because you are never supposed to see the medicine ball.  Keep the MB above your head and lift into a crunch and raise your shoulders off the ground.  Lower and repeat.

Image from ibodyfit.com

14.  1 Minute Russian Twist Crunches - For some reason these might be my favorite ab exercise ever! I don't keep my arms extended like this but maybe I should?

Image from eastbaytrainer.com

15. Lower Ab Reverse Curl Incline - So after my favorite ab exercise, now comes of my least favorite!

Image from ab-core-and-stomach-exercises.com

As time goes on, I'll gradually increase the weights when an exercise gets easier.  Also, my gym owner will suggest modifications on certain exercises to change things up.  But for now I'm really enjoying this whole circuit!

What do you guys think?   What are your faves?  Least faves? 

29 August, 2011

Training Update... T-9 Weeks Until MCM (and 19 to WDW)

I think my calculation was surprisingly correct last week! Hard to believe Marine Corps is only 9 weeks away.

Before I head out to California for the Disneyland Half this Thursday, wanted to give a quick update with my training from the previous week.

So this past week was a good training week as well...until Irene decided to make her way up the East Coast.

Monday, Aug 22nd:  Had a good day at the gym... did my full body circuit workout again and upped a few of the weights. Started running out of time though so cut out a few exercises on my 2nd set.  Also, I bought a pair of Nike Free's to do my gym workouts in and I think I love them!! :)  I was tired of wearing old running sneakers and these are so comfy!  I love that I don't have to wear socks with them. 

Tuesday, Aug 23rd:  5 Miles in the park (10:13 pace).  Attempted to wake up this morning but it didn't work.  Was supposed to do 6 but only had time for 5 after work but I'm still happy. Felt decent throughout the whole run. Hamstrings were a little tight still from the 12 on Sunday but loosened up as the run went on.  Didn't have any water with me so had to make a few pit stops at the water fountains along the way (paused the Garmin for those).

Wednesday, Aug 24th:  Full Body Circuit.  Holy bejeezuz I went to the gym twice in a week?! :) Felt good through the whole workout and did a full two sets of everything.

So for the remainder of the week I had a slight dilemma.  Hurricane Irene was heading our way and I had a 14 mile run scheduled for some point during the weekend.  Thursday I had a 6 mile run scheduled, thinking that I could take a rest day on Friday and get my long run in Saturday or Sunday.  But with the hurricane, the only nice day remaining this week was Friday.  So I held off my run on Thursday.

Of course Friday rolls around and my alarm goes off at 5:30 for the 14 miles and?  I couldn't get my body out of bed.  I seriously tried, I did!

Due to the hurricane I didn't get ANY running in during the weekend :(  I guess I'll just consider it my taper week before the half marathon?

Hope everyone stayed safe during Irene.  We didn't have any problems here.  Luckily kept power the whole storm and just had a ton of rain and wind.  A water pipe did break in our building a few hours before the storm, but it was totally unrelated from Irene.  Figures, right? 

27 August, 2011

Final Race Instructions Posted for Wine & Dine Weekend

photo from runDisney

It's crazy how quickly time is flying by!  Runners registered for Wine & Dine Weekend received emails yesterday with the final race instructions and bib waivers already.  If you haven't received the email yet, check your spam folder.  Mine was hiding out in there. 

Doesn't seem like much has changed in terms of what we need to do:

Race Waivers

Half Marathon Final Instructions

Half Marathon Relay Final Instructions

Halloween 5k Final Instructions

Kid Race Final Instructions

I will be more prepared this time around and hopefully won't have the same turn of events like last years race!

26 August, 2011

Jeff Galloway Meet-Up at the Disneyland Half!

runDisney has done it again!

Photo from runDisney

Yesterday on their Facebook page, they posted a quick teaser saying to be on the lookout on the Disney Parks Blog about a unique opportunity at the Disneyland Half.  To me, that could only mean one thing.  They posted the same announcement right before the Wine & Dine Half in October and I was one of the lucky ones selected.  My recap of the event is here

I had my fingers on the refresh button right at 2pm and the second I saw the blog post go up, I followed the directions, sent my email, and crossed my fingers.

A little before 4pm, someone on the runDisney FB page said that the list had been posted so I quickly headed over to the blog and, there it was!  And, to my surprise, my name was on it!!  Quickly browsing the list of names, I instantly recognized my friend Patrick, as well as a few other Running of the Ears clan.   The confirmation email came a few minutes after that. 

I'm SO excited for this meetup!  While I don't officially use the Galloway method to run my races, I do use a run-walk method for my full marathons.  Plus, Jeff was definitely a wealth of knowledge in regards to other running information such as nutrition, stretching, preparation, etc so I'll be sure to pick his brain.  Doesn't sound like it will be a run like last time, but a Q&A with him, as well as a chance to see the runDisney portion of the expo before anyone else does.  Time to go shopping! :)

Will definitely write up a full recap of everything and post a ton of photos.  I was excited before this but now next week can't come soon enough!!

Race Recap: Yankee Stadium 5k

Earlier this month, my friends and I ran in the Yankee Stadium 5k.  If you haven't noticed yet, I'm a huge Yankee fan.  Have been going to games my whole life and grew up loving the pin stripes.  :)

So when I heard that there's a 5k that runs through the stadium and on the field, I coudln't wait to register!  We signed up the day registration opened and then just had to sit and wait until race day came.

The race waves were based on estimated finish time and for some reason they put me and my friend in the 9:30am wave.  We got to the stadium bright and early and just wandered around a bit waiting for our other friends to show up.  Since we already picked up our race numbers the day before, we didn't have to wait in the long registration line, which was nice! 

There was some slight chaos prior to the race start though. Everyone knows that Yankee Stadium security isn't the friendliest. I guess it kinda comes along with the territory, but you'd think that for a fundraising 5k they'd be a little more personable, right? Negative.

Runners were completely given the runaround all morning prior to the race and security was the one to thank for it. At registration, the volunteers were directing runners to a certain gate for bag check/bathrooms/spectator entrances, etc. When we got to the gate we were told to go to, security acted as if we had tried to steal Steinbrenners' World Series ring collection! Eventually things got sorted out and the volunteers themselves were very friendly and helpful but seriously security...be a little friendlier.

When it was time for our wave to start, we were brought into the main concourse, or Great Hall to line up. It was still slight chaos in there and runners were commenting that it was much more organized the year prior. Wave 2 (us) was in line to start running and Wave 1 hadn't even started yet. I believe they also eventually let in Wave 3 which just led to more chaos.

We look so serious!

A few newscasters and 'famous' people said a few words (no Yankees unfortunately, they were in Boston getting their butts kicked :( ) and then Wave 1 was off. Wave 2 moved closer to the start line and waited for the 'gun' to go off. From here on out, I really have nothing to complain about!  The gun went off and the race started!! The first loop around the main concourse was a little tight in spots but thinned out as time went on.  I believe there were 300 people in each wave.  

Ahhhh room to breathe!

After two loops around the main concourse, arrows directed us to head down one more level to the field. It was pretty cool going 'backstage' and seeing where things take place. We then rounded a corner and were on the field! This was by far the coolest part of the whole entire race and easily worth the money that we spent to register. We ran two laps around the warning track and then headed back into the main stadium. Since we didn't know if or when we'd ever get on the field at Yankee Stadium again, we completely took our time and stopped for a million photos. :)

Our first glimpse of the field!
Our cheering squad
You can see me on the jumbotron taking this photo :)
Slightly sweaty but on the field!

Oh, the sweaty photo reminded me of the weather. It was MUGGY! Within the first mile, I was a sweaty mess. Luckily I wore a black tank top and you couldn't really see sweat marks. After our two loops around the field, we then had to run up ALL the stairs in the stadium to the upper deck, run around that level, run down the ramps back to the Great Hall, then back up the stairs for 1 more lap and then the ramps to the Great Hall to the finish line. CRAZY! I hate walking up all those stairs during regular baseball games... during a 5k was NO fun!

At least we get a nice view from up here!
View of the Great Hall on the way down the ramps

After crossing the finish line, we quickly grabbed water, bananas, bagels, and our medals. The medals were a little weak but the shirts were kinda cool. Of course I can't find photos of them right now but I'll definitely wear the shirt to the gym! After meeting up with our cheering squad, we all headed out to Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem for some fabulous yummy goodness. :)

Would I do this race again? Definitely! But honestly only because it's at Yankee Stadium. The price was a little steep... $40 fee plus you had to fund raise an additional $60 or else they charge your credit card the difference on race day. So $100 isn't ideal but it does go to a good cause. They said runners raised over $600K that day for cancer research, which is awesome.