Archive for March, 2010

Come Unity

With our first race under our belts it is now time to look forward to our next race.  Just as we ran in the 5K for a cause our next race is for an equally important cause.  On April 18th we will be participating in the Come Unity 6K!

March 22nd was World Water Day and communities in Africa were able to celebrate with the new equipment they received to help provide clean water.  The Come Unity organization provided the funds to build two water wells in Africa.  Probably the most common question about this race is “Why a 6K and not just a regular 5K?”  Many women in Africa have to walk the distance of a 6K on daily basis to get clean water for their families.  Imagine not being able to turn on the kitchen faucet to get a drink of clean water but first needing to walk nearly 4 miles!  And that is why we are running.  To help raise awareness of the situation in Africa and to raise money to help build more wells so that these women do not have to walk the 6K to get water for their households.

If you’re interested in joining us and running the 6K check out the online registration HERE.

Running Thoughts

This weekend was a 6-mile run in the training for our 10-mile race on May 2nd.  Due to all of our crazy schedules I was on my own for this run and learned a couple of things while on my run…

1.Ducks do not make good running companions.  There really are so many reasons why this is true beginning with they do not possess good conversation skills.  Additionally, when they are on land they can not keep up with humans.

2. Yes 45 degrees can be considered cold, BUT if you are planning on running 6-miles and it is sunny out, DO NOT wear a sweatshirt…you will be hot!

3. If 6 miles is the furthest you have ever run then it is NOT a good idea to work on sprints right after your 6-mile run.

4.While I love Owl City, they are not a helpful addition to your running playlist.

If you are also a runner I would advice taking these lessons to heart and do not suggest testing my advice on your own…just take my word.

A Fresh Start

Opening day of baseball is quickly approaching and I am excited about the first pitch of the season!  On the first day of the season every team carries high expectations and hopes that this year will be the year.  Fans enter stadiums believing that this will be the season where players have breakthrough years and their teams make it to the Fall Classic.

Opening day of baseball represents the fresh start that I constanty crave.  Maybe that’s one of the reasons I like teaching, we get a brand new start at work every September.  My classroom smells of newly sharpened pencils and the desks wait for the new students that will fill the seats that year.  A fresh start erases the mistakes I’ve made and lets me strive for reaching new goals.

There are so many other ways to find these fresh starts and this week I found that new beginning in running.  I recently invested in a new pair of running shoes and this week was their debut run.  I laced up my new Saucony Grid Excursions and set out for a light 4-mile run (as a side note I like that I can now call a 4-mile run ‘light’)  WOW…it was like running on air!  I can not believe the difference the new pair of shoes made.  They were so light and gave me a spring in my stride.  The shoes renewed my love of running…and made me want to stock up on these shoes so that I can pull out a fresh pair every couple of months and get this feeling again!

This weekend I’m setting out on a 6-mile run and look forward to the next race in April.

More than just runners

One of the things I have loved the most about training for these races is the great group of girls that run alongside me.  We have trained through snow, bad days, injuries, cold, good days, sun and more.  And recently we had the chance to bond off the training path and I wanted to share the great idea with all of you.

All of the Reckless Runners have busy lives outside of running…full-time jobs, second jobs, volunteering, grad school, and the list goes on and on.  Cooking can sometimes be difficult at the end of a long busy day but since we are training it is so important that we are eating healthy (and hopefully nutritious) meals!  And so the idea of a meal exchange was born.  Each of us needed to make one dish and divide our dish up into single serving containers.  We met up for dinner one evening (I hosted and made delcious Beef Enchiladas from Jen over at My Kitchen Addiction) and we traded all of our meals.

It’s been amazing to be able to pull a dish out from the freezer in the morning and have it ready when I finally make it home at the end of the day.  And the variety has been wonderful…Chicken Feta Cheese Burgers, Meatloaf, Hamburger Stroganoff, Ravioli, Pizza Pasta Salad, Muffins and Cheesy Corn Chowder!  I can’t wait until next month when we get to exchange meals again 🙂

Our First 5K

The weather yesterday in Philadelphia was absolutely beautiful for our first 5K!  Going into the big race was both nerve-wracking and incredibly exciting.  Since this was my first race I wasn’t entirely sure of how I should prepare for the race, but I do remember that when my brother was on the high school cross country team they always had a big pasta dinner the night before the race.  So I figured it couldn’t hurt to enjoy some pasta Saturday night!

The atmosphere on the Ben Franklin Parkway when we arrived at the steps of the Art Museum on Sunday morning was definitely festive.  Seeing all of the other people who were going to be participating in the race definitely helped put me in the right frame of mind.  Our biggest fear was seeing racers who helped put John F. Kennedy into office and hoping they would not smoke right past us on the course!  We laced up our D-Tag trackers and joined in the pre-race stretching.

And then it was off to the starting line for the big race.  Never having been in a race before I wasn’t really sure how the start would work with so many runners and I have to say, it’s kind of confusing!  The race starts but since you can’t put all of the runners on the starting line at the same time your individual race doesn’t actually start until you cross the finish line.

The race itself was amazing!  It was so inspiring to be surrounded by so many runners and they helped motivate me to keep pushing myself further.  Mentally it helped to keep challenging myself to pass more runners although hitting the 2-mile mark began a difficult stretch mentally.  I had to keep pushing and reminding myself that I could make it to the finish line.  And what a great feeling it was to cross over the finish line!

Crossing the finish line of my first 5K!

Sara crossing the finish line

What a great feeling to successfully complete a 5K run…and even more so because I could run in memory of my Grandpa Byma.

Race Day Stats…

267th place (out of 898 runners)

Completed race in 26:44 for a pace of 8:54 per mile

46th out of 190 runners in the Females 20-29 division

98th out of 532 female runners

Running Smart

As we gear up for this Sunday’s race (and continue training for other races this year) we have kicked around the idea of challenging ourselves to run a race in every state.  This would be a huge undertaking, but this would be big.  And this is definitely something we could be proud of accomplishing.

That being said I realized today as I was running that I need to start running smarter.  Over the last three months I have fallen in love with running and I think if I want to continue pushing myself further I need to start educating myself.  I need to get my hands on books, blogs, trainers, products and other resources that will teach me how to maximize my efforts and help me to do so.  This might be a big task but I’m excited to start learning and finding answers to the many questions that I have.

What is the best way to hydrate before, during and after running?
What foods should I be eating to properly fuel before runs and replenish after runs?
What shoes will give me the best support?
How do I also incorporate weight training into my training?

A Hot Mess

I have been teaching middle school for five years now and there is one phrase that has remained the same through hundreds of students…a hot mess.  I have spent the last five years trying to figure out what exactly my students meant when they used this particular phrase.  Did it refer to the way that another student was dressing?  Did it refer to the behavior of a classmate?  Or did it refer to the style of their hair?  Despite my best efforts to define this common phrase I was never able to completely articulate what it meant to call someone a “hot mess”

And then I went running today and realized I no longer needed to search for the definition, I was the definition.  Take a picture of me today and you could put that snapshot right there in the dictionary next to “hot mess.”  You see this afternoon’s temperature was in the mid 60’s so I thought it would be a great idea to wear running shorts and short sleeves.

Problem one: Pasty white legs. It has been winter for the last three-and-a-half months and so my legs have not seen the sun since November.  I am going to chalk up the near run in with one biker to the fact that he was blinded by the sun reflecting off my oh-so-white legs.

Problem two: My running shorts don’t fit properly.  Meaning that no matter how tight I tied them they rode up.  So there I was running through Center City with my shorts above my belly button.

Problem three: My shirt didn’t lay right.  I tried out a new dry fit shirt and all the shirt did the whole run was creep up (oh and it did wick away the sweat)

So there I was running downtown with pasty white legs, shorts up past my belly button and a shirt that didn’t even meet the top of my shorts.  And the great part is that when you run downtown past all those beautiful picture windows you can glance over and see what a mess you are while you run!

Not only did I truly learn the true meaning of a “hot mess” today, I also learned several lessons  about running…
– It is important to not wear new clothes on the day of the race…it was my first time wearing the outfit described above and had this been a race day, that would have been very distracting
– I need to research, and then invest in, good running gear…shoes, ipod holder, device for carrying water, a way to hold my keys, etc.
– Updating my running playlist is crucial to having good runs in the future
– Stretching is important.  Stretching is important.  Stretching is important.

p.s. our first race is in just four days!

National Food Bloggers Bake Sale

I have been sick for the last three days and even though I have wanted to get out and run, I just can’t.  So since I can’t write a post about running I thought I would share an upcoming event I’m really excited about…

I am going to be a part of the first ever National Food Bloggers Bake Sale, which is part of the Great American Bake Sale. We are raising money for Share Our Strength (SOS), a national organization fighting to end childhood hunger in the United States.

Food bloggers from across the country will unite to support the cause by holding bake sales in their states. These bake sales will give loyal readers the opportunity to taste the baked goods from their favorite food blogs and introduce others to the treats featured on these great blogs, all while supporting Share Our Strength in their fight to end childhood hunger in the United States.

Pennsylvania is going to be having THREE bake sales, one in the Pittsburgh area, one in Hershey, and one here in Philadelphia.  I am organizing the Philadelphia location and Jen, from My Kitchen Addiction, is organizing the Hershey location.  If you live in Pennsylvania we hope you will come out and help us raise money for SOS.

The bake sales will take place on:

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

More location details will be coming in a post in a near future.

If you are a Philly food blogger and would like to help, please leave a comment and we will be in touch with you!

If you would like to get involved in your state, click here to find out who to contact.

If you live in Pennsylvania, mark your calendars for April 17th!  Come out and taste some of your favorite food bloggers tasty treats!

One week to go

Our first race is just one week away and I think there are a lot of feelings that go along with our final preparations.  This past week of training was difficult as Sara (sore knee), Kim (sore ankle) and I (sick) have all had to skip a run.  Even though in the big picture we’re still on track for our remaining races this year it was discouraging to have to skip a run when we have been so dedicated to our training schedule the last couple of months.  I think the key will be whether we are able to resume training this week…especially with our race just a week away.

I know that for me as this race approaches I am feeling pride, apprehension and excitement.  I am so proud of myself and the the rest of the girls for sticking to this challenge for nearly three months already.  They say that it takes 30 days for something to become a habit and I think I can say that we have made running a habit…and that is something I am really proud of.  I am also apprehensive about the race since we will be doing something we’ve never done before.  Even though I am confident we will be able to run the three miles I worry about the details of race day…will I hydrate properly?  Will I wear the right gear?  Will I start off too fast setting a difficult to maintain pace?  Yet at the same time, I am very excited about the race.  When we cross that finish line we’ll be able to say that we have run in a 5K and that’s pretty exciting.

By next Sunday evening you should see a post on here celebrating our first accomplishment…running a 5K!

Movie set or training run

Disclaimer 1: To my mom…since you live 3000 miles away and can’t check on me yourself do not read this post, it might worry you and cause sleepless nights

Disclaimer 2: Kim and I are both alive and we have all of our appendanges still intact

Wednesday afternoon Kim and I set out for a four mile run through the streets of Philadelphia.  As we set out on our course we had no idea of the dangers that were ahead.  The run began nicely enough…gorgeous weather (read: no layers needed), most of the snow piles gone and enough energy to tackle the task ahead.  And then we hit Center City.

And as we ran we found ourselves leaping over luggage being wheeled down the street by pedestrians, dodging around teenagers out for an afternoon stroll after school (translation: kids walking around with their heads down while they text) and narrowly missing bike messengers careening down the street.  By mile two we looked more like two of Charlie’s Angels running through the streets than two regular Philly teachers.  There were cars to dodge, friends to avert who had a sudden urge to stop in the middle of the sidewalk and strike up a conversation and doors to avoid as shoppers stepped out from an afternoon of shopping.

The advantage of all of these obstacles is that we did not face boredom on our run and the run served as preparation for our Down and Dirty run in July.  But on Saturday we’ll probably be back to our peaceful runs along the river 🙂

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