Philly’s Rock N Roll 10K

Months upon months ago, I signed up for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon.  Fast forward to the beginning of August, I realized I had neither the desire nor the endurance to run a half right now.

Despite Competitor’s reputation for being difficult to deal with, I realized I could seamlessly transition my half registration to the 10K. Since I had signed up so far in advance, I didn’t feel like I was losing a lot of money so I was happy to downgrade to run a race that I would enjoy.

Competitor’s expos are usually large and in charge, and this year’s was no different.  I showed up a little before the opening at noon on Friday to get in and out on my lunch break.  Unfortunately, everyone else had the same idea.

The line snaked around the lobby of the convention center.

Also unfortunately, an email went out right before I left that their shipment of tshirts was delayed and they wouldn’t arrive at the expo until 2pm. Normally this would annoy me, but I assumed that due to the hurricanes in the south, there were a lot of shipping issues across the country.  People were given the option to come back to the expo later or pick up one at the finish line.  I ended up not doing either…I’m not a fan of the RnR shirts so I didn’t want to clutter up my house with something I didn’t even want.

My favorite part of any RnR expo is the Brooks booth.  I wear a notoriously expensive sports bra and they are rarely on sale outside of a race expo, so I always buy at least one. With 15% off and a free lingerie bag with purchase, I was pretty pumped!  I plan on doing a post about the slight redesigns on the Juno after a few wears.

I wandered around for awhile, picking up some free snacks and checking out the shoe sales.  Unfortunately, my beloved Kayanos weren’t on sale enough to warrant buying a new pair at the time.  I’ll have to keep an eye out for deals.

This was my first race at the Art Museum since moving to Manayunk and I was concerned about race morning logistics.  Luckily, I had purchased an Uber Pass for the month and it was only $5.99 to get to the start.

Views like this never get old.

I was there early enough to easily check my bag and watch the first 5K runners come across the finish line before lining up to start my race.

I wasn’t really expecting much considering running hasn’t been my main focus for awhile, but I knew that a flat course would make for a much easier run than the hills I’ve been getting used to!

Unfortunately, I don’t have much to say about the race itself.  It’s a standard out and back course on MLK Drive along the Schuylkill River.  I love the views it provides, but it’s a standard course for any Philly runner.

I came across the finish in 1:08:33, which is far from my 10K PR.  I think it served as a great motivator for ramping up my running this winter in preparation for the Hot Chocolate 15K and the Broad Street Run in the spring!

I’ll leave you with a picture of my recovery plan…

I regret nothing.

To the Professor!

When I moved to Manayunk a few months ago, I knew my fitness routine would have to change a little…I was no longer downtown and walking past my favorite gyms and yoga studios on the way home.  Luckily, as a runner, my favorite workout can be done anywhere with the right pair of shoes, but I knew I would crave the inspiration and motivation that I get from fitness classes.

After seeing several posts about the Manayunk Beer Runners on Facebook (you might know their older brother, the Fishtown Beer Runners), I thought “Hey, this could work.”  A group of runners, all sizes/ages/paces, who enjoy torturing themselves for a few miles before meeting at a local bar for a cold beer? THESE ARE MY TYPE OF PEOPLE!

MBR 1 Year Group
Unfortunately, this picture doesn’t feature my favorite members of MBR…the dogs.

A few months have passed since my first run with MBR, and boy…was I right.  I have never met a more supportive, encouraging, hilarious, and weird group of people who I am happy to call my friends.  Led by Dave and Sandy, each week’s run is a challenging combination of hills…and hills (we don’t really have anything else in our area) that ends with good beer and great conversation.

The MBR chapter just celebrated their first anniversary with a beer-filled bash at Manayunk Brewing Company, where we congratulated each other on our accomplishments over the past year (nine people completed a marathon or ultra…including a few who ran Boston!), planned for the future with a new logo, and enjoyed talking running and complaining about how tired our legs are with our new friends.

MBR Logo
The artist who created this logo also made cover art for Snoop Dogg and/or Lion, which means we now have so much street cred. SO much.

It’s very rare as an adult to make new friends and I consider myself lucky to have easy access to a crew that gathers weekly to combine responsible running with responsible drinking in the interest of science, all with smiles and witty commentary as we try not to puke while running up Green Lane.

Did I mention that every run ends with a toast? I’m convinced people would be happier if they toasted more…maybe because they’d be drunk, but whatever.

To many more years of running, MBR, and most importantly…to the professor!

Join the Manayunk Beer Runners on Monday nights at 6:30 at Main Street and Green Lane. All paces welcome and drinking is obviously optional. Check the Facebook group for updates, route information, and general tomfoolery.

Week in Workouts

Let me start off this post with the disclaimer that I definitely feel old after a night out.  BF and I did a mini bar crawl through Main Street Manayunk before Morgan’s Pier on Saturday night and I was definitely feeling it on Monday (and Tuesday, if we’re being honest).

Monday: I walked to and from the kitchen several times for snacks to feed my hangover, but I don’t think that counts.

Tuesday: See Monday, but with less snacks.

Wednesday: AM Spin at The Wall…and probably the most wonderful sweat I’ve had in awhile.  I felt like a new human after.

Thursday: Solidcore

Friday: Beyonce Yoga

Saturday: A 5K with BF on the Cynwyd Heritage Trail and through West Laurel Hill Cemetery…so great to change up the route!

Sunday: A sweaty 75 minute yoga session at Hotbox.

While I started out less than perfectly, I definitely finished out strong.  With the Manayunk Beer Runners 1 Year Anniversary party tonight, I know I will be motivated to keep up the momentum through this week!

Life Lately

Oh boy, oh boy…

Quite a few things have changed since my last post.  Let’s see…

  • I never ran that marathon. When I started training for it, I was gung-ho. It made me happy to challenge myself that way and I loved being able to run with my boyfriend, but that feeling was short-lived.  At the time, I desperately needed to focus on what was actually wrong: I needed a new job and I needed to go back to school.  I ended up dropping down to the 8K, having a great time, and then played cheerleader for Mike during his first (and possibly last, if you ask him) marathon. He finished in 4:37!mikemarathon
  • I got a new job! I’m now an EA at Drexel and so far, so good. The position is busier and more challenging and I see opportunity to grow.  I’ve only been here for a little over a month and a half (including a vacation and Christmas break), so I don’t have a full grasp of the position yet, but I am excited to keep learning!
  • I’m back in school and I should have my masters in Communications this spring!  The program’s new director is a great addition to the department and I feel like I am prepared to do well in my classes, as evidenced by last quarter’s 4.0!  Here’s hoping that the current quarter goes as well.
  • Mike and I decided to start house hunting. We’re definitely staying in Philadelphia, but we’re ready to take this leap. At least, I think we are…ask me again when our hot water heater breaks/we need a new roof/our oven stops working.
  • We went to Jamaica!!! One of the best vacations I have ever had. I highly recommend Secrets Wild Orchid and Tara at Liberty Travel. She knows her stuff.parrot

I am sure there is a lot more that has happened, but since I am terrible at blogging regularly I have forgotten it and the world will never know.  I’m sure everyone will live. 🙂

Be Well Boot Camp

As many of you know, I was the marathon blogger for Be Well Philly last year during my training for the Philadelphia Marathon.  When the editor, Emily, asked me if I would help out at the second annual Be Well Boot Camp by moderating the Conquer Your First 5K panel, I jumped at the chance.  I also got to attend the event, which was awesome.

Local fitness studios, such as Ploome, Pure Barre, and Lithe held classes so people could try out the workouts without committing to buying any packages. In addition to free snacks, there were a ton of freebies as well as great discussions.  While I didn’t get a chance to try any of the fitness classes (gathering up all the freebies took awhile) I was lucky enough to attend Ali Shapiro‘s “Truce With Food” lecture.


It focused on all of the other reasons that we eat, which for me includes…everything.  Half of my family are emotional eaters, while the other half are Italian.  There is ALWAYS a good reason to eat!  My fight with food is probably why I struggle with my weight and accepting my body.  Basically, Ali (who is seriously adorable) offered four guidelines for overcoming a food problem:

1. Choose one meal to make over per day.  She suggested lunch. Make sure it has the healthy amounts of veggies, protein, fat, and carbs.

2. Take time to eat lunch.  Make lunch your biggest meal of the day and sit down at some point from 12-1:30pm and truly enjoy your meal.

3. Eat lunch in a beautiful environment, whether it be a restaurant or a park.

4. Eat clean and destress as much as you can.

I’m going to incorporate these four steps into my lunch this week and see what happens.  I will keep you posted, of course.

After that, it was time for my panel!

I’m so official! P.S. – That is my excited face. You’ll see this a lot.

My panel focused on preparing and running your first 5k.  I spoke with John from Moss Rehab, Ross from Philadelphia Runner, and Dr. Ballyamanda from Drexel Medicine.  They had great advice on staying motivated and healthy while getting ready to run!

Overall, I think it was a great event.  I can’t wait to attend next year!

Annie Runs on Donuts Today

First order of business, it is National Donut Day.  You have approximately three and a half hours (more if you’re a lucky West Coaster) to get a donut and devour it completely guilt-free.  After all, you’re only being patriotic. Luckily, I have the best boss who recognizes national holidays and she swung by Federal Donuts on her way into the office.

From left to right: lavender sugar, Indian spice, cinnamon sugar, and s’more. My favorite flavor was E. All of the above.

After consuming many tiny pieces of donuts,I had lofty goals for my lazy Friday night: go for a long run, hit up Whole Foods, and do laundry.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans and dumped an ocean’s worth of water on Philadelphia since rush hour last night.

I still got my workout in, albeit on the elliptical, but Whole Foods was just not happening.  So here I sit, waiting for my leftovers to heat up.  Laundry is happening, but only so I have clean workout pants to wear to Philadelphia Magazine’s Be Well Boot Camp!

I was lucky enough to be a guest blogger for Be Well Philly during my marathon training last year. A few weeks ago, the editor contacted me and asked me to be the moderator for the Conquer Your First 5K panel and I couldn’t be more excited!

It wasn’t long ago that I was a newbie runner, hoping not to finish last in her first 5K (I did).  I’m still not breaking any records, unless there’s a record for biggest smile while crossing the finish line, but I have definitely learned a lot since that race.  Two marathons later and I’m not looking back! I know the panel experts will have a lot to offer to runners of all levels, so if you’re attending the Boot Camp, please come check it out!

I leave you with this thought…

I run...I'm slower than a herd of stampeding turtles through peanut butter, but I run!