4th Annual Frankenfooter Half marathon

This weekend was my first race in awhile.  My family and I participated in the 4th Annual Frankenfooter Half Marathon.  We had run this race, or a race with the same name in 2011 and it was a lot of fun so we decided to register again.  Somehow, our shirts in 2011 say 2nd Annual Frankenfooter, so I’m not sure how that timing works out…but that’s not relevant to the story.  The race was also held at a different location than the 2011 race, but still in the New Port Richey area.  The start and parking was at Port Richey Waterfront Park, a small park right on the water with boat docks and nice scenery.  It wound through some neighborhoods and through several nearby parks on the water as well, before ending at Gil Dawg Marina for the post party.

The race was supposed to start at 7am at Waterfront Park.  It was very dark, and no one was quite sure exactly where the starting line was, so, as with many races, the runners were mostly congregated around the restrooms.  Around 6:45, race coordinators announced that the start was being moved to the road in front of Gil Dawg Marina, due to it being so dark.  I believe the first part of the run was supposed to be on the small trail section in Waterfront Park, and I think they though twice about having us run that in the dark…a good move, I think.  Plus the view from that trail section was beautiful and would have been totally wasted in the dark.

Here we are pre-race in the dark.  I wore my new, sparkly running tutu from Team Sparkle (I bought mine off of amazon).

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The race started a little late, around 7:10am, which wasn’t a big deal.  Amazingly, for changing the route of the course last minute, the route was very clearly marked.  There were also volunteers at every area where there could be any confusion.  Many of those volunteers were very enthusiastic and cheered us on as we raced, which is always a great encouragement.  I can actually feel myself run faster after being cheered on…  The race/runners seemed to be unusually fast compared to other races I have run.  I ran a 2:04:33 half marathon – my personal best.  This means I ran, on average, around 9:30 miles.  For many races, especially local races, I feel like I usually run in the middle/faster end of the pack of runners.  Not this race.  There were a lot of out and back segments to the race, so you could see the runners ahead of you looping back, which was fun, but from that view it seemed like I was in the middle/slower end of the pack.  I felt like there were a lot more people ahead of me than behind me.  Considering I feel like 9:30 miles is pretty good for a small, local race this means there were a lot of really fast people there.  The woman who won the race finished in about 1 hour and 24 minutes!  Almost all of the age group winners had times under 1 hour 40 minutes!  I got a personal record though, so I was pretty happy with myself.

I was attempting a new style of racing for myself, running by feel rather than by pace.  I started the first 7-8 miles running easily, as if I could keep going forever.  The next 3-4 miles, I started focusing on individual racers and trying to pass them.  Finally, the last 2 miles I ran hard, like I wasn’t sure how long I could keep it up before I was spent.  Here’s my splits:

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I finished the race feeling like I worked hard and gave it my best, but not so dead that I was feeling sick – of course, I did get a fairly bad upset stomach starting about 1 hour later, but we wont get into that…

Here’s the whole family after the race!  Jordan (brother) got first place in his age group with an impressive time of 1 hour and 42 minutes!  And he received a fancy Frankenstein Trophy as an award.  Erin finished shortly before I did, and Mom and Dad finished in 2 hours and 50 minutes – they ran 6.6 miles of it, doing a run/walk method.

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The post race party included breakfast, bananas, and the mandatory post-race beer.  We enjoyed the food and then went home to relax!

Any Florida Races you guys have tried out?  We are always looking for new races to try, especially if they are on Sundays!

**I had to edit this – my parents corrected me that they actually ran 6.6 miles of the half marathon – more than half (I had originally put 6 miles 🙂  Great job guys!

Freezer Meals, Running, and a Little More Stitch Fix!

Forgive me, anyone who likes posts to be about one topic.  This will not be that kind of post.  Mostly because I have been pretty busy lately, but also because a lot of the topics I have to write about seem to involve subscription boxes of some type, and I am trying to not turn this into a subscription box blog….but there will be a little Stitch Fix at the end, because my mom and sister got their boxes, and I want to share their clothes with you too!

I guess, chronologically first up would be running.  Not too much to talk about that, since unfortunately Mark and I have been sick, and it had prevented me from running for the past 3-3 1/2 weeks (we had mono 😦 Crazy, right?  What are we, teenagers?)  Anyways, I am finally feeling up to running this week, and was reviewing my training schedule to assess the damage.  Let me tell you, it’s bad…I have been following the Hal Higdon Novice Supreme 30 week marathon training schedule, and had been actually very consistent.  But now I missed weeks 19-22!  I looked at the schedule and realized I had only 7 weeks of training until the Space Coast Marathon, and 3 of those are supposed to be taper weeks (where you run less miles and let your muscles recover and prepare for the race).  So it’s going to be a stretch to get myself in marathon shape by then, but I’m going to try.  I also had the Savage Race Scheduled, which is an obstacle course mud race, but my doctor said no to that one because of the mono.  On the plus side, that freed up my schedule to register for the half marathon the rest of my family was already running on the same day – a Halloween themed race called the Frankenfooter Half marathon, and I’m pretty excited about that.  Plus, it will motivate me to get back on the wagon for marathon training.

This week represented a change in work schedule for me.  I started working an extra day, which I think will work out very well in the long run.  However, I’m the type of person that any change in my schedule represents a significant amount of stress, and I usually deal with that stress by coming up with random projects to do.  So Sunday I decided to make several different meals and then freeze some of them, so I wouldn’t have to worry about making dinner when I got off of work!  Of course I went to Pinterest to find the recipes, that site is really the best for random projects like this.  I decided to start *small* and found 2 dinner recipes and 1 breakfast recipe.  Both of the dinner recipes are from The Humbled Homemaker Blog, and I picked them because they were easy to make and easy to cook out of the freezer.  The 2 recipes I used were her Chicken Divan recipe and her Baked Ziti Recipe.  I am actually eating the Chicken Divan leftover for dinner as I type this.  For the breakfast recipe I used the recipe from GetCreativeJuice Blog with some of my own modifications.  All told it took me about 2 1/2 hours to make all of these recipes, and ended up with 2 trays of Baked Ziti, 5 freezer bags of Chicken Divan and 24 mini breakfast muffins.  We had the Baked Ziti for dinner, and I thought it was yummy, although V vetoed it and I don’t think Mark was happy I put in zucchini.

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Ok, now on to Stitch Fix.  If you dont know about stitch fix, this blog post explains it all.  Since this is my sister Kelly’s fix, I don’t have all the same details like price on them, but I can still share the cute pictures.  My mom got her fix too, but I have yet to receive permission to post her pics, maybe next post I will.  On to the fix!

1. Hanlee airy knit raglan sweater

2. Jimmy ankle length skinny jeans

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Obviously the sweater does not fit right, but she says the jeans are a maybe (I know you cant see them that well, they are ankle length skinny jeans)

3. Kassidy open lattice detail tank

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Sadly another fit problem, which is too bad because we both LOVE the idea of this shirt and think it would have been a keeper if it had fit.

4. Roma floral print short-sleeve blouse

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She loves the fit and style of this cute floral shirt!

5. Ashland chevron print dress

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I think this dress is SUPER ADORABLE, but she is not sure about it.  I think she likes it too, just isn’t sure where she would wear it too and whether it would get the wear for the price (not sure of the price, sorry).  I hope she keeps it, but I get not wanting to buy a probably fairly pricey dress if you are not sure you will wear it.  By the way, once again, all stitch fix links are referral links.

That’s all for now guys, thanks for reading!  Let me know what you think!

Fabletics…A Gateway Into my New Interest?

I told you guys about Stitch Fix in my introduction blog.  If you don’t remember you can read about it here.  Anyways, I signed up for it, but it has about a month long waiting period before receiving your first box.  So I have had nothing to do but think about it since ordering it…torture!  So, in the meantime I have found it very interesting to read other people’s stitch fix blogs.  These blogs usually show exactly what came in each box, most show how much each item cost, and why they did or did not decide to keep each item.  It is very entertaining if you are into that sort of thing.  While reading some of these blogs, I came across a different kind of blogger…the subscription box blogger.  OMG these things look like so much fun.  So much so that I am sure they are potentially dangerous to my bank account, but don’t worry, I’m keeping it under control (so far).  Subscription boxes are monthly (usually) boxes that are sent to your house from various companies.  In most cases the contents are a surprise and vary by the type of box received (beauty boxes, lifestyle boxes, food boxes, etc).  There are probably several hundred if not more types of subscription boxes out there, and they all look like fun.  I have also found that many of these boxes have starting coupons for your first box at a significantly reduced price or sometimes even free, so I have arranged to try a *few* of these boxes and see if they are worth the hype.

Fabletics was the first shipment to come in.  This is a workout clothes company co-founded by Kate Hudson that, based on your style and exercise profile that you fill out, picks out several outfits for you to choose from every month.  The cost is $49.95/outfit/month, but you can buy more than one outfit if you want, I had a coupon to get my first outfit 50% off, which they offer anyone (it pops up automatically when you visit their website).  I wear A LOT of workout clothes, and I figured I would have a hard time getting a full workout outfit for $25.00 even at Target (my usual workout clothes store), so I figured it was a safe investment.  I filled out my style profile, which asks what your primary type of exercise is, and what body parts you like to show off, then hand-selects some outfits the site thinks you will like.  I was a little disappointed with this part.  I am a runner, so obviously I selected running, and I selected running outside rather than in a gym.  I also selected that I preferred to show off my legs (it’s Florida, people, no time for long pants while running!).  3 of the 4 outfits that were “hand-selected” for me included long yoga pants or capris!  The other one had shorts but they were very tight and short, and it came with a cotton t-shirt, not great for marathon running (at least for me).  Luckily, I could browse all of their available outfits, and after some work was able to select an outfit that I would wear, even if it still wasn’t the best running gear.  I really feel like this site is more geared to people going to yoga classes who want to still look stylish, but I feel like they should branch out if they are going to have running as one of their style choices.

I ordered online on Sunday evening, and got an e-mail that it had shipped Monday afternoon, which I thought was very fast processing.  My package finally arrived on Saturday afternoon, which I thought was a long time to ship, but whatever.  It arrived in a soft envelope, pictured here:

photo 1 (15)I will admit I was a little disappointed in the packaging.  One of the fun things that I have enjoyed seeing is how pretty a lot of the packaging and presentations are for these boxes.  I know that this isn’t exactly the same as a subscription box, but I was still expecting something cute.

And here’s the outfit I got:

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I thought all of the clothes were very well made with high quality materials.  They also all fit well!  I decided the capris were even light enough that I could probably use them to run in when the weather cools off a bit, and I have already tested out the sports bra and top on a run and they did great.  The best part about the top (besides for the amazing print!) is that nearly the whole back is open, which makes it a little stylish/sexy and keeps you cool!

Here’s me wearing them (excuse the bathroom selfies)

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Cute and good fit! And check out that back!

Overall Experience:  Good.  I enjoyed the clothes, they are high quality, and at approximately $25.00 they were less expensive that pretty much any of my other workout clothes.  As far as a subscription box goes, it didn’t have that same surprise factor, since I picked out the clothes, which made it a little less exciting I think.  I also don’t think I would want to spend $50.00/month on clothes (however cute) that I may not be able to run in.

With Fabletics, you have the option to look at your offered outfits at the beginning of the month and choose not to buy anything.  If you do not “opt out” then you are automatically charged $50.00 and can pick out your outfit.  I decided to cancel my account because it just wasn’t as much fun as I had hoped, however nice the clothes were.  Cancelling was the one low point of the whole experience.  You have to actually call their customer service vs cancelling online.  Their customer service, while polite, had to put me through the whole “well, what if I gave you this, then would you stay?” or “we can send you reminder e-mails monthly so you don’t forget to skip”, which was mildly annoying because I had to just keep telling them that I just wanted to cancel.  However, the entire process really only took like 5-10 minutes.

Along with learning about Fabletics, I also learned the difference a good and bad picture can make as far as overall appearance, and to maybe not let Mark take my pictures anymore (but more on that later).  Until next time – See you all later!

My Running…Start

So I told you all that I enjoy running, right?  And, really, I do.  I will say if you are still on the fence about running (or even firmly on the other side of the fence), it’s not like you can just start running and immediately like it.  Or, at least I can’t.  When I first got back into running about 3 months after having V, it did not feel good, and I did not like it.  Several members of my family and I had decided to sign up for the Walt Disney World Marathon though so I knew I needed to train. I wasn’t sure then if running would ever feel good, but i remembered that I genuinely had enjoyed it when I was in shape at previous points in my life.  

To start out, I downloaded the *free* “Couch to 5k” App on my iPhone.  This is an 8 week training app that gets you to go from no running at all to continuously running 3.1 miles.  It starts with walk/running (30 seconds running, 2 min walking) and gradually transitions to all running.  Most of the workouts are 30 minutes or less as well, which fit in with even my busy schedule.  Again, totally free.  I tried some of the longer “Couch to …” apps but did not like them as much.  Even the “couch to 10K” app regularly has training times of 60+ minutes, and I just don’t have that much time!  But feel free to try them out if you are interested. 

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Once I got to the point where I could run 3.1 miles fairly comfortably, I finally started to enjoy running.  I tell people all the time “if you can run 3 miles, you can run most distances”, at least for me, 3 miles was my turning point.  I continued training for longer and longer miles, and eventually finished my first marathon in January, 2014.  It wasn’t a pretty finish, I definitely “bonked” in the middle, but I finished and am extremely proud of myself.  I have now signed up for 2 more marathons this season, and am hoping that they will both be much stronger races.

My plan is to eventually talk about the apps, gear, etc that I use when I run, as well as the races as I run them, but if you are interested in getting started running, this app is a good place to start.  Besides for that, all you need are some sneakers, a t-shirt, shorts and (maybe) a sports bra!  What are your go-to apps or gear when you run?  Have you tried this app?

 

**I have no affiliation at all with any of the C25K products, and receive no compensation