randomthoughtrunning

Running 13, 13.1's in 2013 and the thoughts along the way!

A Severe case of the “Keys Disease”

In just 24 hours the disease I suffer with year round will be temporally alleviated…don’t be alarmed, its only a case of the “Keys Disease”, which is my need to be in Key West as often as possible and never feel my time there is long enough. While I will probably always be longing to get down there for my next vacation, I am very fortunate that I get to travel there multiple times in a year or stay for extended times. So why Key West?

Decorating my house from top to bottom in Key West decor helps alleviate symptoms...

Decorating my house from top to bottom in Key West decor helps alleviate symptoms…

For those that have been there, you know it is a colorful place that offers probably the closest thing to true relaxation. You get to be exactly who you are and not worry one bit about the outfit you have on or if your hair is severely frizzing with the heavy humidity. I think this is one of the main reasons I wanted to be married there. Who wouldn’t want to be married in a place that you truly get to be who you are and feel relaxed?  People are nice, for the most part it is reasonably priced and safe, and here is the secret that I think people miss out on: while it has every aspect of truly being an island in the tropics….you are still in the good ol’ US of A. From Boston, we are in Key West in 5 hours, no passport needed. Don’t get me wrong there are still plenty of places in the tropics I want to explore, but Key West has become familiar to us, we don’t need a map and well when the island is only 3 miles long, we have covered it all.

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To those that love to being “doing” alot on vacation, Key West might not be for you. We are the type of travelers that like to experience the local feel and do our own thing, resorts and all inclusive are not for us. This is where Key West suits us perfectly. We are able to rent a condo and go out to eat when we want, but also cook at home. We are close to local establishments and bike to where ever we feel like.

So if you are thinking about Key West for your next vacation here are some things to keep in mind:

  • There are beaches in Key West, in fact Smathers was rated one of the best in the world, but overall, beaches are not the main attraction.
  • Key West is not so kid friendly. We see families down there often, but there is not alot for them to do and honestly some places are better left for adults only.
  • The island is small but there is Old Town and New Town. You will find very cheap hotels in New Town, but you will be bummed as you won’t feel like you are on an island. Old Town is the place to stay to be close to different attractions, bars, and restaurants.
  • Here is my favorite…open containers are OK…kinda…while it is not officially ok to drink on the streets, bars will give you a drink to go. Its amazing. We walk everywhere when we are there, so of course we never mix drinking and driving. There is nothing like a roadie to get your day going.

All in all, check out Key West. You can get rested and relaxed in 3 days or 3 weeks. You can sit under a palm tree and read or head to Duval to drink up the social scene. Key West…here I come!

Run On-

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What am I Listening to Right Now?

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I thought it would be fun to share exactly what I listened to on my last run. I am ALWAYS looking for music ideas from others. Mostly to use for my spin classes, but in general I find alot of good tunes from word of mouth. Alot of people tell me my workout music is random and for the most part it is, but I think that is what keeps it interesting. I can’t listen to one style for too long, so here is what was on the list for my 8 miler this past weekend:

One of those Nights- Tim McGraw

Out of Our Heads- Dropkick Murphys

Hall of Fame- The Script/ Will. I. Am

#Beautiful- Mariah Carey

My City of Ruins-Bruce Springsteen

Runaway Baby-Bruno Mars

Island Song- Zac Brown Band

Next to Me-Emili Sande

Thunder Road- Bruce Springsteen

Rose Tattoo- Dropkick Murphys

Growing Older but not Up-Jimmy Buffett

When I see this Bar- Kenny Chesney

Blurred Lines- Robin Thicke

5-1-5-0 Dierks Bentley

Zumba- Don Omar

Off to See the Lizard- Jimmy Buffett

Wagon Wheel- Old Crow Medicine Show

Love On Top-Beyonce

Iko Iko- Captain Jack

Empty Sky-Bruce Springsteen

Americano-Lady Gaga

I told you it was random! What was on your last playlist?

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Motivate Me Monday!

Its Monday and I am 3 days from vacation, motivation is needed! Have a great day!

“Running along our journey doesn’t only teach us how to keep moving forward through what life throws at us, it also makes us into the best version of ourselves.”

-Ashley Erickson, freelance fitness writer/editor

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-Run On

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Race Fees…Are They Worth It?

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I was excited when Run with an Idea selected race fees as our next topic for discussion, I was planning a post like this anyways so it was perfect timing! Be sure to check out what other think on this topic and feel free to weigh in on the discussion!

When beginning to plan out my 13, 13.1 challenge I struggled with finding 13 races that didn’t require me to travel across the country. As cool as that would have been, I also have to maintain some type of a budget. Then finally finding my 13 races and making them work with my schedule…I had to pay for them. Yikes! I have spent on average of $50 per race…for those that need a calculator that is just about $650. $650! Do you know how many things I could have bought a Lululemon for that? Ok well not as many as I would like, but still $650 is alot of money and there are alot of things I could have done with it. Not to mention 2 races required a hotel and all but 2 races have been over an hour away….so yes this has been an expensive challenge, but it has been worth it. It is my hobby and while most people have a hobby that they spend some of their hard earned money on, I feel I get a bonus out of mine as I also get the benefits of physical activity every time I run, and there is no price tag for that! Back to the original question, are the fees worth it? While I have accepted the cost, I strongly disagree with many races and the cost that they charge to sign up. Before going further, I just want to put in a side note, that I realize many races are for charity, but many are not, so when all race fees go to the cause, I have alot easier time accepting the cost. For the sake of this post I am going to focus on the cost of a  majority of my races which were not for a cause.

I ran half marathon #2 for $10 in February and then paid $75 for my most expensive half which will be lucky #13. I must say my $10 race was one of my favorites and the after party was amazing.  As mentioned before, the fees have averaged out to about $50 per race and its amazing the difference of amenities each race offers. This just boggles my mind, its the same amount of miles no matter how you slice it, but price can vary by $65??? Sure the location of the race is really going to effect this price, the amount of road closures and police support definitely make a difference. The amount of people matters too, I have run half’s with 200 people and then run others with over a 1000, so again I get it, things like that will make a difference in the price. My problem is I have paid the same price for some of my races and the support was completely different. One race did not offer medals and only 1-2 water stops, I felt I was out for a run by myself but had to pay 50 bucks to do it. The race feel was hardly there. While another race, same price offered multiple water stops, medals, after party etc. Both were about the same number of runners and similar locations, so how does that work? How are the fees determined? I don’t have the answer and would love to hear someone who does organize races. Maybe I am missing something.

Here are some of my pet peeves that I think could alleviate costs:

Race shirts-I have more race shirts than I know what to do with. I understand those that may only run one race in their life want the shirt and that is fine, but most times when I register I am asked what size I would like, why not put an option of indicating you would not like a shirt. While I don’t expect a discount, I think it could overall lower the cost of the event. How many extra shirts do you usually see after a race? ALOT!

Swag-Most times this is donated so I am ok with it, but rather than giving me one more key chain or silly piece of paper, why not get a donation to alleviate race costs and throw up a big banner thanking them?

Start time- While this one is a long shot, I never understand the point of a race starting at 10am, why not start at 6:30/7:00a? There is alot less traffic and need for race support.

After party-I usually am not in the mood for a slice of pizza after a race and so many times the amount of food after a race is out of control. I will usually grab a few things to snack on at a later point, but the pizza, chilli, chips, etc…really not necessary. I am good with some bananas and bagels. Next time you are passing through the after party, also note who is enjoying it most…its usually the spectators! While I love their support and think they deserve a little snack…I am always amazed at the amount of non runners taking gatorade and eating the food.

So would I say no to a race that I thought I was too expensive? At the end of day the answer is no. I am going to run whatever race I have picked and suck it up and pay the entry fee. I am just asking those that organize races to keep in mind the fine line of over the top cost verse reasonable for the size and location. Excuse me while I go throw some change in my piggy bank for my next race.

Run On-

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Thinkin’ on Thursdays

With getting work done on my house, lots of stuff going on with work, and teaching extra spin classes, I almost forgot that its Thursday! Here is what I am thinking…

It just been one of those weeks, where it feels like there have been alot of challenges thrown at me and I am doing everything to keep sane as we muddle through them all. Which we always do!

One week alert! While there is alot of things going on, just 7 short days until I am in my most favorite place in the world: Key West! As promised, next week I will be sure to share my thoughts on what I like to call my severe case of the “Keys Disease”

Was asked to join a friend at a “Hot” yoga class. While I couldn’t make it this week, I have added it to my Try It list and hope to check it out soon. 

Looking forward to sharing my next post tomorrow with the other bloggers over at Run With an Idea. This week we are talking race entry fees and are they really worth it for some races…as someone who has had to pay for 13 half marathons, I can’t WAIT to share my thoughts on this one.

I have an 8 miler planned for Saturday morning, and then its close to 2 weeks of little to no running. Don’t get me wrong, I love to run and some vacations running can be built in, but in Key West its all about total relaxation and recharging and that goes for running too!

I plan to lay low on the drinks this weekend, but look forward to attending the Country 102.5 Street Party outside Fenway Park on Sunday. Should be alot of good music and fun!

Don’t forget to like my Facebook page!  Click here: www.facebook.com/Randomthoughtrunning to like my page!

Run On-

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I tried it Tuesday!

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This is something I tried last year, but still felt it was worthy to share: Running Groups. When I trained for the Chicago Marathon last summer, I decided to join a running group last spring. All 4 marathons prior, I trained by myself and didn’t mind it, but thought it was time to push myself a little more and a running group might just do the trick.

When I started looking into what my options were, I got frustrated. Most running clubs in the area advertised “Interested runners, just drop in!” This intimidated me, would I be the slowest one? Would these runners already be good friends and I was the awkward girl trying to join them? I had a lot of questions and just didn’t feel comfertable dropping into a running group. It is also important to note here, when I see runners that are part of a group at races they are generally in the “Kenyan fast” category or” I have so much gear on and just want to talk about my latest PR” category…so I was just all around skeptical. Then I found Boston Fit, a running group that trains for a fall marathon. The group does not meet year round and while it is more of a training program than a running club, I thought this was just the group to try out!

There was a fee to join, but affordable and after doing my 21 miler with their aid stations along the way rather than my usual hiding water in the bushes, it was well worth it! I loved the fact that while some of the B fitters, as the members refer to themselves, had participated in years past everyone was starting on the same day. There was no intimidation of dropping in and on the first day we ran as a group run to determine which pace group we should be part of.

After determining your group, you are then assigned a coach who is supposed to give you tips and encouragement along the way. I had some great group mates who I actually still run with from time to time. We had great conversations each week and it was a totally different marathon training experience doing it with someone else. I think only ran with music once over the 4 month span. I would say the running friends I made and the support I received from them was the best part of the experience. The actual coaching, training lectures, and communications I was not too impressed with. I will point out this program is very much geared towards first time marathoners, so there were many first time questions and much of the info conveyed seemed pretty basic to me, but I was fine with it, I was there for the running pals, which I had and enjoyed every Saturday.

I will say there were some downsides, including start time. One of the things about running by myself is I get up, throw on my sneakers and I am out the door, no waiting for anyone or hanging around, but with the group I was at the mercy of their start time. Alot of times they started late, which drove me crazy, but again overall it wasn’t horrible.

So here I am done with 11 half marathons and I have not run with a group once…I would say the reason for this is logistics more than anything, I have moved about 45 minutes away from the meeting spot, and that is just too far to drive to go for a run! But more than that, I think am happy running alone. I will plug here, if you are looking to push yourself, try training for your next race with a group, I definitely improved my times when training with Boston Fit.  I haven’t totally given up on the idea on finding a group to run with closer to my house, but it will just need to be the right dynamic of people, so until then… I hit the pavement on my own!

Run On-

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I came…I saw…I cleansed

…and hated it! Last weekend I decided it was time to give my liver some love and try a 48 hour liver detox cleanse. Because of my schedule, I decided Monday and Tuesday were the best days for me to do the cleanse. My liver is very good to me and I want to keep it that way. I had been feeling a little sluggish and after alot of fun summer events over the last few weeks, I thought this detox might help. I am still not sure if it did, but here is how the 48 hours went:

*Disclaimer, be sure to research any type of cleanse and of course talk to your doctor if you have any medical concerns before trying something new*

After reading a bunch of different articles and opinions from various nutrition sources I decided to try Dr. Oz’s 48 Hour Liver Detox, it involved eating liver friendly foods and was not too restrictive which is what I needed because I was not changing up my workouts for the 2 days (morning lifting workout, teaching spin in the evening). I feel I eat pretty clean for the most part, so I didn’t think this cleanse was going to be too challenging…I was wrong.

First up: Prep

On Sunday, I followed all the recipes and made my juices and prepped my veggies for my snacks. I made my breakfast quinoa so I could just grab and zap it in the morning. I planned on making my lunch smoothie the morning of to keep it as cold as possible. I also made my dinner which became nicknamed “the stew” in our house. It involved a whole lot of vegetables roughly chopped and boiled for an hour. While I am I am not sure if I followed the recipe correctly or what… but it was definitely the worst part of this cleanse.

Day 1 Here we go:

I start off my morning with my workout and come home to my first bowl of quinoa and prunes (my husband questioned my age and said no one under the age of 80 should have prunes in their house…) I drizzled flax seed oil on it and dug in. It was good and filling! I started off my day very optimistic and actually excited about this!

Fast forward to 9:30a…

I started to feel hungry and turned to my pomegranate juice mix to hold me over…it was ok but not great.

Finally lunch…

I choked down my blueberry banana smoothie and was still really hungry. There is something about having a liquid lunch, but I pressed on and kept trying to remind myself of the good things I was doing for my liver.

The day wore on and I munched on my bag of green beans and radishes. I never felt full and had a headache all day…when it came time to teach, my energy was low, but I tried to remember I have a nice bowl of “stew” waiting for me at home along with an apple and sauerkraut…yes you read that correctly…apples and sauerkraut were part of the plan. As mentioned before, the stew was awful. There was not a bit of flavor but I was so hungry at that point, that I had a big bowl and chased it down with my ‘kraut and apples (it was actually good!).

20 minutes till bed…24 hours almost down:

The last thing I was instructed to do was drink a cup of dandelion root tea before bed. I did and nearly brought up my German dinner feast up. I don’t like tea to begin with, but this tea had a strong licorice taste, which I hate!

As I was watching a few minutes of tv before dozing off, a Taco Bell commercial came on and I actually said YUM out loud (I have only eaten at Taco Bell twice in my life, neither by choice), this is when I knew I was in trouble and I still had a long 24 hours ahead of me.

I wake up the next morning, actually feeling like I have a little more energy than usual at the hour and head to the gym. From there, I repeat everything I did the day before. The day wears on and I am struggling to get through each hour. My energy is really low, I have a major headache, and just generally very cranky. Before my evening spin class, I did contemplate to throw in the towel. I really wondered what the point of this was and really if there was any benefit to doing this. I am not sure how I even got through my class, I felt awful, but I figured I had come this far I might as well stick it out. I choked down my final German feast and disgusting delicious dandelion tea and go to bed…

My alarm goes off on day 3 and I literally danced out of bed! I throw on my workout gear and make my way to my usual pre workout snack clif bar. It has never tasted SO delicious. And that was it, back to normal. I tried not to go crazy and binge on some big unhealthy meal, and eat as normally as possible. I didn’t just torture myself for 2 days to undo it in the first 5 minutes of day 3! Overall, I didn’t feel any different, I didn’t feel cleansed. I did loose 3.5lbs, but I think that was just the lack of calories and I am sure I have already gained it back, but I will say I did feel like I was little less bloaty, again I am not sure it was just lack of food. So here are my final 3 thoughts on the detox cleanse:

-I will never do it again

-I think I can keep my liver healthy with a balanced diet and mixing in some liver friendly foods on a regular basis

-After doing my research on this, I can’t BELIEVE the cleanses that are out there and the insane things people will do. Eat healthy everyday and live a balanced life and I don’t think a cleanse is necessary.

Run On-

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Thinkin’ on Thursdays

A slow week for posts, I think with the way too hot weather my brain is turning to mush. None the less here is what I am thinking…

Looking forward to a quick getaway this weekend, a little beach, a little music, and a whole lot of drinks!

After “cleansing” my liver with a 48 hour detox this week, I am finally feeling back to normal. Can’t wait to share my experience with cleansing. 

Even though it is hot, I got to relax at a friends  hot tub last night, boy did my muscles love it, felt so great!

I am loving the discussion going on at Run With an Idea. Its been so fun to hear others perspectives especially outside the good ol’ US of A.

I am going with Margaritas as the drink of choice this weekend, just refreshing and easy to make when its this hot!

Sent these little sneakers off to a friend who just had a baby, my favorite gift to give, their first running shoes!!

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Don’t forget to like my Facebook page!  Click here: www.facebook.com/Randomthoughtrunning to like my page!

Run On-

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11 down…2 to go! Jamestown Half

Do I really only have 2 races left in this crazy challenge??? For some reason, 2 just seems so close! I won’t be running another race until September 7th, which just seems SO far away, but with vacations and just some rest time, I must say I am looking forward to the break. Don’t worry I will still be doing plenty of running and thinking those random thoughts, so posts won’t be lacking!

Great concert to start a crazy 24 hours!

Great concert to start a crazy 24 hours!

Here was the 24 hours leading up to the Jamestown Half:

Friday, 4:30p: Friend arrives and we head to Fenway area for dinner

6:30p: Hop on Hubway bikes and ride to Fenway for concert

6:45p: Find our seats and settle in among the already way too drunk crowd

10:45: Enjoyed a great concert and extra excited that it ended before 11!

12:00a Get home, ready for bed and fall asleep by 12:45

Sat 4:15a: Alarm goes off and I am dressed for the race

4:30a: Back in the car and driving to Jamestown RI

So if you had trouble following that timeline, I got almost 4 hours of sleep before running a half marathon. I was expecting the worst. As mentioned in earlier posts, I was excited for the early start time on Saturday, I just didn’t know how tired I was actually going to feel when I got there. I was tired! When I arrived at the race at 5:40a, I took a 10 minute power nap which really helped. I then got out of my car to pick up my number and get myself ready. The race started at 6:30a, and I was well aware I had to take a 10 minute shuttle to the start. I figured 5:50 was plenty of time to accomplish all of this. WRONG! It took 40 minutes to get through the number pick up line. It was crazy and I can’t really pinpoint why it was so slow. Everything was organized, but just moved at a snails pace. I tried not to stress myself out as there were about 500 other runners in the same situation as me. I came to accept that they were either going to start the race late or I would just start running when I get there. I mean I don’t really have to be there when the gun goes off, my chip records my time either way, right?

I arrive at the start and no one is moving too fast, at this point it would have been nice to have a little more communication that they had decided to start the race late, but I had to find out from a spectator. So with this news, I headed to the PortaJon line (which wasn’t bad at all!) and do my thing and head to the start. It was cool but muggy, if that is possible, and very overcast which was perfect!

800px-Claiborne_Pell_Newport_Bridge

Such a nice backdrop for the race finish

The race itself was hilly, I knew this going into it, so there were no surprises. While it was hilly it was manageable, the hills required you to push yourself, but there were enough downhills to keep you sane. The course was scenic, and Jamestown itself was beautiful. The runners, I must say were a sight to see. As you know my thoughts of runners and well…alot of them are really odd, this race only supported my thoughts even more. I had one woman that smelled so strongly of Ben Gay, my sinuses will be clear for the next 3 months. She insisted on sprinting past me and then walking, which led to us continually running near each other and me breathing in that one of a kind smell. I had another runner carry a sponge and continuously sponge herself off during the race and then my favorite runner, the one who listened to her iphone on speaker for all of us to listen in, because I really want Carly Rae Jepsen inspiring me up this hill (can you tell this one is a pet peeve??)

Besides the strange runners, I had a pretty good race. I went into it knowing I was going to be tired and it was going to be hot, so I just ran very relaxed. I tried to push my pace slightly but knew I was not going to be setting any records which in turn led to a great race. I felt good the whole time and when I was finished I felt great, despite asking myself how the heck I got here and did I really just run a half with 3.5 hours of sleep?

Who knows how I mustered up the energy, but I did it and now it was time to get back on the shuttle. I will say before getting on the shuttle, the finish area was very crowded and hard to navigate. Spectators were allowed to wander through which made getting to the water frustrating. Once crossing the finish, the first thing greeting the runners was pizza (gross!) and then there were snacks, protein drinks, and then FINALLY I found the water down the road. I thought it was weird, but there was plenty once I got there. I grabbed one and headed right to the shuttle, which I was dreading, but there were no lines and the loading area was very organized. The ride was only about 8 minutes, but the bus looked like someone had taken a hose to the inside of it. Sweat drenched every inch of the bus. It was gross, my bus buddy and I agreed that its just sweat and we were ok if one of us “dripped” on the other. Disgusting I know, but it was better than one of us awkwardly trying to wipe off the sweat.

Once back at the car, I toweled off and changed. I tried my best to look human again as I had made plans to meet up with my friend in the next town over of Newport. We had a great morning in Newport and I would love to spend more time there. We had breakfast at Diegos and drinks at The Landing. It was great and I could have spent all day there, but I knew I had an hour and half drive ahead of me and sleep was calling my name!

So now I have 49 days until my next race, Run to the Rock. I am sure it will be here fast, and I have alot of fun stuff in between to keep me busy. Oh and I haven’t mentioned this to anyone as I was too sad to acknowledge it, but Saturday was my last race in my 20’s. The next time I run I will be moved to a new age group…watch out 30-34 year olds, I am coming for ya!

Run On-

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GIVEAWAY – Workplay Bags ‘Fleetfoot II’

Our first discussion over at Run With an Idea is off to a great start! In order continue great discussion, be sure to check out all of the posts and share your thoughts.

“It can be a bit daunting making seemingly negative comments on someone’s blog can’t it? As Dash rightly says in her Olympic Legacy blog there’s an unspoken agreement that we’re all nice to each other.

We disagree. We think it’s good and fun and interesting to disagree. It creates interesting opinions, challenges robustness and introduces variety.

So in an effort to get you all discussing and debating we’re offering a GIVEAWAY to one lucky commentor!

Workplay Bags are giving us one of their Fleetfoot II running waist bags to give away to the best comment in this fortnight’s debate. In the same way magazines give away a prize for the star letter, we’re doing it for our ‘star comment’.”

Click here to see the complete details of the giveaway. Good Luck!

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