Thursday, July 2, 2015

Fit Foodie 5k

I'm finally getting around to my review of the Fit Foodie 5k.  I've already seen several reviews of this race up and I'm sure you have too :)  But here is my perspective on it.

I saw a bunch of reviews of this race last year and it looked like a lot of fun so I knew I wanted to give it a try this year.  But the price was a little daunting.  However, a friend of mine found a discount (either Groupon or Living Social, I can't remember which) where it was $30 for the race and we were happy to jump on that.  This price included the race and the runner's village afterward but no shirt.  It also didn't include the happy hour the evening before the race or the workouts/brunch the day after the race.

We decided to make a weekend of it and get a cheap hotel room close to the race.  We had our own dinner/happy hour Friday evening before the race :) We all knew that we were planning to treat this race as a fun run and not worry too much about time so we indulged in a couple drinks and yummy food.

The race was in the Mosaic district in Virginia, and I had never been here before so it was a new location to me. There was plenty of parking and we had no problem at all.  We were also doing packet pick up on race morning but this went smoothly as well.  There was very little line and the packet just consisted of the bib at that point so we didn't have to go back to the car.  One of my friends did have to use the bathroom and the line for that was so long that she didn't make it back to the start line until after the race had started.  But that seemed to be the only logistical snag.

All the warming up

Once we got our bibs, we joined the group warm up that was going on.  It started at 7am and it was fun.  There was some dynamic stretching and some dancing and the guys leading the warm up was definitely engaging.  One of my friends thought he may have been a little too chipper.

As soon as the warm up was done, we headed to the start line.  There didn't seem to be any sort of wave start or lining up by pace.  It was just a mass of people and we all kind of started at once.  But it wasn't too bad.  A little congested at first but I felt like it cleared up pretty quickly.  The course was very strange, with lots of doubling back on itself, hillier than expected, and there was one spot with a really smelly dumpster, and we had to pass that spot twice.  It was made worse by the fact that it was a super humid morning.  We all felt like we were dripping with sweat by the time we were done.

The other strange thing is that it was around the 3 mile marker, but the first time we past it my Garmin indicated we were around mile 1.5.  We were very confused and a little worried that maybe we had missed a turn somewhere.  But there were tons of people around us and all going the same way, so we weren't sure how that was possible.  But then as we got to the finish line, there were volunteers directing us to keep going and directing people that were actually finishing to the finish line.  So we ran right past the finish line and kept going to finish the second half of the race.  I was definitely not a fan of that, mostly because it was just so confusing.

But the race itself was probably the least important part of this event.  It's a weird thing to say but even though I didn't love the race, I will probably do this event next year and my friends all agreed.  And that is because the runner's village after the race was so awesome!  Once we finished, we were handed a bag and a bottle of water.  The bag had some coupons, discounts, and a couple snacks.  Then there were tons of tents with local restaurants giving out food samples.  I have no food photos because I pretty much shoved everything right in my mouth! 

I felt like there were plenty of options for vegetarians and one of my friends doesn't eat gluten and she felt like there were plenty of options for her as well.  The lines weren't too long except for a couple booths so we just skipped those.  Some of my favorites were the cheese samples, the house made poptarts, the Korean tofu, the kale salad, and the gazpacho.  But there really were tons of options, and so much swag that we began running out of space in our bags!  There were also several photo opportunities and we definitely took advantage of those :)

Lastly, there were stages with fitness demos and cooking demos going on and I thought that was a really nice touch.  There was also a tent for a gym where they were doing massages, assisted stretching, foam rolling, etc.

All four of us felt like this was something that we would definitely be interested in doing next year.  The 5k itself was just ok but the experience afterward made the whole thing worth it.  It was very family friendly, we saw several kids and strollers.  It was also walker friendly and very supportive down to the last person to cross the finish line.  There were also 2 water stops, which was great given the humid weather. 

Now, I'm not sure I would pay full price.  I would probably still only do it again if I found another discount like we used this time.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Weekly review

I'm definitely behind in posting this, but better late than never!  I had a mixed week last week.  It was busy at work, I had to travel to Boston for a meeting, and then get ready for a weekend camping trip.  But it was an active week, even if there wasn't that much traditional working out in there.

Monday - Rest day, but I got in some extra steps walking around the airport waiting for my flight to Boston, which was delayed.

Tuesday - Rest day.  I meant to get up early and use the treadmill but I had gotten in really late the night before due to the flight delay so that didn't happen.  I did at least walk the mile from the hotel to the meeting and the mile back.  I also walked around the harbor a bit after lunch.  It was a beautiful day and I really enjoyed the breeze off the water.  Sadly, my flight was delayed yet again and I ended up spending 7 hours at the airport.  But at least I made it home that day.

Hanging out by the water

Wednesday - Elliptical Machine

Thursday - Jillian Michael's yoga

Friday - We left for our camping trip with friends and got in a good amount of hiking around this day.

Saturday - It rained most of the day so didn't get in as many steps.  But we did have an impromptu dance party in the evening since we were going a bit stir crazy.  There was at least a solid hour of dancing.

Sunday - More hiking around, plus outdoors yoga in the morning since one of the people we were with was a yoga instructor.  I love yoga outside.

Sadly, with the muddy, uneven terrain, I seem to have hurt my foot.  I'm taking it easy this week in the hopes that resting and icing will make it better.  If it's not better by this afternoon I will probably call to make an appointment with the doctor.  I'm supposed to start Wine and Dine half marathon training next week and want to be able to start it pain free!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Weekly Review

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  It's time for another weekly review of my work outs.  There was a lot of rain last week so most of my workouts were indoors.  We also had some scheduling complications so they were a bit shorter than usual.  But I figured getting something in was better than nothing :)

Monday - Rest Day

Tuesday - Rest Day

Wednesday - Elliptical for a bit more than 30 minutes

Thursday - Elliptical again for a bit less than 30 minutes


Friday - Strength training

Saturday - Fit Foodie 5k with friends.  This was a really fun event and I'll do a full review later this week.

Sunday - I really enjoyed the So You Think You Can Dance workout DVD last week so I did it again, the Cha Cha with Dimitri this time :)

This is going to be another interesting week time wise.  I am traveling for work today and will get back late Tuesday night.  My plan is to wake up early and get in a run on the hotel treadmill Tuesday morning. Wednesday and Thursday are at home so I'll get in one run and one cross training day.  Friday we're leaving for a camping trip for a long weekend.  I may try to get in a run while we're out there but if not, we'll still have plenty of hiking!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Five - things making me happy right now

It's Friday!  This week has seemed like it has taken forever to go by for some reason.  But it's almost time for the weekend, and that means time for the Friday Five link up with Cynthia, Courtney and Mar.  The theme this week is things that make us happy.  So here we go.

1. Lifting heavy or not?  This article from Runner's World made me happy because I've been doing things like barre or body weight resistance exercises and not really lifting heavy weights.  I've read some articles about how that's just not good enough so I was happy to see this article that said they're not the same, but both are good as long as you're working your muscles to exhaustion. 

2.  Training plan - I haven't been following a training plan since the Rock and Roll Half in March.  I've been running as I feel like, and doing a lot of 5ks and a couple 10ks.  I've also managed a couple 5k PRs in this time.  But I'm going to start training for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in July and I think this little break has been good for me because I am excited to be following a training plan again!

3.  Running Hills - Not something I've been doing enough of and I know I have to incorporate it more into my training, especially for next year's Rock and Roll Half in DC.  But I don't really enjoy hills.  So I was happy to see this article, also from Runner's World, about other exercises that can result in improved hill running.  I know they won't be enough on their own, but I will take any help I can get. 

4. Fit Foodie 5k - Speaking of 5ks, I have another one this weekend!  I heard a lot of good things about this race from last year so I'm looking forward to it, especially because I got a hotel room in Virgina with some friends and we're making a little girls weekend out of it.

5. Cruise time - This one isn't fitness related, but I am getting very excited about the cruise Mike and I will be on in September.  It's still a while away but it's close enough that it's time to start booking things and making plans.  And planning vacation things makes me happy :)

And because even the Washington Post agrees that internet cats make everyone happy, here is a picture of Perry being cute.  I hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

2015 Lawyers Have Heart 10k

This is my second year doing this race.  You can check out my recap of last year if interested.  Last year, I would have said I loved this race and it was absolutely a must do every year.  Sadly, this year was a different story.  But I think that is mostly about the heat during this year's race and not anything in the race's control.

In fact, when I saw the forecast I threw out all thoughts of a PR.  I knew that this would be another 10k where I was just trying to get through.  And that's exactly what happened.  This was my slowest 10k ever.  I looked at the weather at last year's race to compare and according to the Garmin data, it felt 15 degrees hotter this year than last year.

But starting at the beginning... packet pick up was at a local running store in the city and they offered it for multiple days before the race.  A friend picked up my packet for me so I didn't experience it first hand but she said it was smooth.  They also had packet pick up on race day and the lines looked fairly short when I went by. One unusual thing is that they had 2 bibs, one to wear on the front of your shirt and one to wear on the back.

Beautiful morning by the river while waiting for the race to start

The race is in Georgetown so one of the logistical difficulties can be parking.  The race worked out an arrangement with several parking garages so you can get discounted parking in those garages, which is a nice touch.  You just have to remember to print out the parking coupon to bring with you.  We just chose to go early and there was plenty of street parking.  We got there at 6:30am for a 7:30 race start.

And there was already a crowd when we walked to the race start area.  But there were a lot of port a potties and no line at that point, so that was a definite plus.  A friend of mine tried them 7 minutes before the race start and while there was a line at that point, she still managed to make it back by the time we went off so the line couldn't have been too long.

They had a heart and briefcase to take photos with before and after the race :)

There are no official corrals but there are signs posted to mark paces and where runners should place themselves.  There was a 5k and 10k and one of the new things this year was that they started at the same time so we were all mixed in together.  There was also a fun walk and they just started behind the runners, no separate start time for them either.

Last year's course on the left and this year's on the right

The other big difference is that they changed the course this year.  Last year, the course was a simple out and back in Georgetown.  This year, the race started and ended in Georgetown but went toward downtown for the running.  I didn't like it as much because of all the turns and switchbacks.

It also felt like it had more uphills than the previous course, though it still wasn't too hilly. And it was probably in my head just because of the heat.

One good thing is that there was more shade toward the end of the course than there was last year. You can see with my splits where I flagged in the middle of the race because of the heat but gained a bit of momentum at the end due to the shade. 


Here are my official results.

Fun fountain at the waterfront where runners were cooling off after the race

My favorite thing about this race is that it ends at the waterfront and they arrange for a couple restaurants to be open early for brunch.  We had brunch at Farmers, Fishers and Bakers afterward and their buffet spread is amazing!  We enjoyed every bite as well as every sip of our celebratory mimosas.

Happy to be almost done!

So would I do this one again?  I think so.  It was really well organized and the proceeds go toward the American Heart Association.  In addition, I'm not in Georgetown much so it's a new area for me to run in. And the risk of heat is going to be there for any race in June. Plus, I enjoy all the legal puns on the various race shirts from the large law firms that participate :) We'll see what the course looks like next year but my distaste for this year's course is probably mostly due to the heat.