St. Patrick’s Day + RunDisney Wine & Dine Registration

*Note: this was supposed to publish on St. Patrick’s Day, but ended up a draft due to technical difficulties.*

 

First up this is my second day of Paleo.  Yesterday was great if a little lacking in energy by rehearsal that evening.  Of course we were working the big dance number Ugh A Wugg so I was bound to be tired.

Here’s the trouble spot: I woke up this morning feeling like I had no energy at all.  I immediately scarfed down a banana, made some hot chocolate (not strictly paleo), and ate an apple with almond butter.  About an hour later I was back to normal.

My theory is that I didn’t eat enough calories yesterday.  Not having grains makes that harder.  My potential solution will be to track my calorie intake better just to make sure I am getting enough.

Moving on to part 2:

Today at noon, so like now since my computer is being slow, registration opens for runDisney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.  This year the event will be November 6-7, 2015.

This event has a special place in my heart since it was my first half marathon ever!  And after running the Jingle Jungle 5k that morning. And with a broken finger from my attempt to learn to ride a bike.

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While I don’t plan on running it in 2015 I highly recommend the race.  Really both races, because the Jungle Jungle 5k is honestly a blast! (Not to mention it was my first time ever seeing Animal Kingdom…. pretty cool way to experience a new park for the first time.)

Let the onslaught of pictures begin:

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Wine & Dine Half Marathon

There is simply no way to describe running through the Osborn Lights.  Maybe one way, magical!  But you just have to experience it for yourself.

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Oh forgot to tell you I managed to convince my dad to run too.  I think he is looking forward to just the 5k of Expedition Everest Challenge.

So what are you waiting for?  Register for the Wine & Dine today! (oh, and hit me up if you want to guest blog about your race.)

Keep it running & fierce!

– Little Red

Planning to run the Wine & Dine Half or Jingle Jungle 5k?

 

Pacers First Down 5k & Combine Race Report

Superbowl?  The only things I know about the Superbowl would be what I hear on WTOP to and from choreography jobs.  You all should be impressed I can tell you who was playing, the Seahawks & the Patriots, and no I didn’t google it.

So what does one do on Superbowl Sunday if they have no vested interest in anything having to do with sports?  Run a 5k of course!

And this was not any 5k.  Pacers had this little cross training challenge at the end which was optional for all runners: 20 push-ups, 20 jump squats, 20 sit-ups, and 20 yd walking lunges, hence the name First Down 5k & Combine.

Based on the ease I had picking up my packet the day of the Fairfax Four Miler also run by Pacers I decided to try my luck again and do packet pick-up right before the race.

This would be my first race in DC proper and since metro didn’t quite open early enough to trust it for a 8am start I decided to drive in.  Luck for me I live just across the river and within 15 minutes of leaving my building I had found free parking on a side street about half a mile from the start line.

After two easy pre-race packet pick-ups in a row I refuse to chalk it up to luck and fully credit Pacers with awesome organization and efficiency combined with spectacular volunteers!

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The only thing I didn’t plan for was what to do with my nifty race tech shirt that I got.  Well the cold temperature solved that for me and I put it on over the 4 layers I was already wearing.  I am cold my nature so my outfit for the day included two pairs of socks, running tights with windbreaker pants over, sports bra coved by tank top covered by long sleeve cold weather tech shirt covered by long sleeve Wine & Dine tech shirt covered by running jacket, gloves and hat.  You may start laughing when you hear it was 32 degrees but I was only slightly warm for the race.  (Next time I will skip one of the shirts.)

My cold self was thrilled to see they had hot apple cider available at the start & finish!  I also enjoyed watching a man juggling three full size footballs.  I would later see him running the whole race juggling them! I also saw one of the Nats presidents ready to run, I guess he is in training for when baseball season starts.

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The race was a beautiful flat out & back course with a water stop about half way through. I even saw my apartment while running along the river!

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I stuck to the 5 minute run/1 min walk intervals I had set on my Garmin and ran a pretty even 10:10 pace.  Considering I had basically taken a week and a half off any training due to life I was amazed every time I looked down.  I felt good but figured I must be going slower than usual because there were times I was basically alone on the course.  It never occurred to me it was just a small race field, for this area at least.

I crossed in 32:41 and after waffling the whole run on whether to do the combine or not made a “game time” decision to give it a try.  I am so glad I did, it was fun!

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I completed each station and got a mark on my bib from the referees to prove it and then headed across the last finish line.

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Little did I know they would be throwing me a miniature football as I ran across.  Then something amazing happened: I CAUGHT IT! I have the worst hand eye coordination ever but I caught it.

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I did have trouble finding water after the race, but I am chalking that up to me being so short I couldn’t see what was probably right in front of me.  No hard feelings though because I wanted some more of that apple cider! They also had bananas and Nature Valley bars available.

I was feeling good and decided to take a stroll around the reflection pool before heading back to my car.

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It’s easy to forget how cool DC is sometimes.

I got home to lounge around a bit and discovered results were already posted and I had a new 5k PR!!! Talk about a shock!

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Thanks to Pacers Running for another awesome race experience!  Next year I will need some kind of football jersey to sport during the race.

Keep it fast & fierce!

-Little Red

Have you ever had a surprise PR? What was your favorite part of Superbowl Sunday?

Oy, Oy, House McCoy

Sometimes life intersects in crazy ways. Like “how is that even a real thing this is so awesome” crazy ways.

By now most of you know I am an actor (actress? does it really matter?). Well for the past couple of late summer into fall seasons I have been working at a local Renaissance Festival portraying various village characters and performing in the Shakespeare play.

Well a few years ago they decided to run with a Hatfield/McCoy based storyline.  I know…. Hatfield & McCoy’s in Renaissance England, wasn’t the feud in Kentucky and West Virginia????  Well, yes.  But they made it an English vs. Irish shindig and I’ll give you one guess which side my redheaded self was on:

Irish McCoy’s!

The Six McCoy Siblings

The Six McCoy Siblings

Of course we look much fiercer with our warrior woad paint on:

Ready for battle!

Ready for battle!

Not only that, I was Rosanna McCoy.  Yep, I was in love with Jonny Hatfield and King Henry himself ensure we were married at the end of the day in hopes of ending the feud.

Marriage solves everything... right?

Marriage solves everything… right?

We spent a fair amount of the day shouting “Oy, Oy” and getting the patrons to respond “House McCoy” to show our pride!

Point being when I stumbled on a list of the best marathons in various states one in particular caught my eye: The Hatfield McCoy Marathon

Despite not playing the exact historical Rosanna McCoy I still based a lot of my research on the families of the Tug Valley.  I was instantly drawn to the idea of running where this history occurred.  And although I had originally thought Marine Corps Marathon would, hopefully, be my first I started rethinking my plan.  After all I had essentially spent 6 months thinking about these people.

The more I researched this marathon the more there seemed to be to love.  Every recap I read was glowing, a rarity at best.  It is a small race.  Goes through Kentucky & West Virginia.  Race director is a descendant of the Hatfields. Best of all: no time limit! And they mean that.  I looked at last years race results and the chance of being able to finish short of injury or illness is very very high.

Plus who couldn’t love the tagline “No Feudin’, Just Runnin'”.

So, I might be considering The Hatfield McCoy marathon as my first marathon.  I can only hope I end up on team McCoy!  And can maybe get an “Oy, Oy, House McCoy” at the finish.

Keep it irish & fierce!

-Little Red

What race means something to you?  Any crazy random discoveries lately?

Fairfax Four Miler Race Recap

In a somewhat last minute move I signed up to run the Pacers Fairfax Four Miler on New Year’s Eve.  I had been thinking about it for a while, but not knowing what my plans were for the evening and knowing it was a little ways away from home I held off.

Finally about a week out I decided I really wanted to end my year with a race.  Ok, so not exactly, I ended the year dancing with friends in DC, but close enough.

I have done a few of Pacers races in the past: George Washington Parkway Classic and their Crystal City 5k Fridays.  They are always well organized and on point, not to mention the awesome swag.  The Fairfax Four Miler was no different.

I decided to do packet pick-up right before the event since it was about a 30 minute drive from my house. This was the easiest packet pick-up of my life I’m sure.  Less than 5 minutes in and out which gave me plenty of time to make my way back to my car to store my amazing race swag:

My new favorite sweatshirt! It is so soft & comfy.

My new favorite sweatshirt! It is so soft & comfy.

I was amazed at how many people came out for this race.  They mentioned it was a record, I want to say over 1500 but I might be remembering wrong!  Regardless it got a little crowded at the start.

Before it got packed!

Before it got packed!

It's hard to tell from behind but the guy was wearing a tux and the lady an evening dress!

It’s hard to tell from behind but the guy was wearing a tux and the lady an evening dress!

The course was also super crowded in the beginning, not to mention a bit dark. I thought Pacers did a great job of having lights out where they could and as soon as you get to the George Mason University part the course really opens up nicely.  I did have one mishap in a  construction zone where I stepped on some gravel wrong and rolled my ankle (yep I have been wearing a brace for it since).  What cracked me up was less than 500 feet ahead there was an industrial light after the construction zone. (whoops!)

It was super fun to hear all of the race support staff and runners shouting “HAPPY NEW YEAR!” and encouraging each other.  I especially loved the families that were out running together.  One particular boy who couldn’t have been older than six kept correcting his dad’s running form “Dad, your shoulders are by your ears” “ok” “Dad, I’m just saying you aren’t supposed to run like that”.  It was adorable and hilarious, maybe not for the dad but for me!  Needless to say I was glad I ran without music or headphones for this one.

Just after I rolled my ankle.  That's my "uh oh" face.

Just after I rolled my ankle. That’s my “uh oh” face.           

I was pleasantly surprised by how good I felt, and how fun it was to be out doing a night race again!  I haven’t done one since the Wine & Dine Half Marathon in 2013.  After finishing in 45:17 which is speedy for me I got some water and headed into line for the pizza!  I’m telling you between the awesome sweatshirt, the well staffed and managed logistics, the fun atmosphere, and the pizza this race was well worth the entry fee.  Not to mention one of my favorite things about a new distance: guaranteed PR!

So kudos to Pacers, all the runners, volunteers, and spectators for an awesome and fun last run of 2014!

Keep it fun & fierce!

-Little Red

Did you run on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day?  What’s your favorite piece of race swag?