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!

Week in Workouts!

After my move to Manayunk, it took me awhile to get back into a good workout groove.  While I was still working out 4-5 times a week, I didn’t feel like I had a routine and I was truly craving it. I knew with fall looming I would be getting back into a normal work schedule and thought I’d start before Labor Day.  It has definitely changed my mood regarding the end of summer for the better!

Monday: 4 miles on the Cynwyd Heritage Trail

IMG_3901 (1)
Goats! The Cynwyd Heritage Trail uses goats for landscaping. It cuts down on on pollution and labor costs for the non-profit. And they’re cute.

Tuesday: A super sweaty first yoga class at Hotbox Manayunk

Wednesday: Solidcore

Thursday: Rest Day

Friday: Solidcore Arms & Abs (It should be called Arms & Ow cause I was in some good pain)!

Saturday: Spin at The Wall

Sunday: Another hot yoga class at Hotbox!

All in all, it was a solid week for working out.  I am hoping that the Saturday/Sunday spin and yoga combo will become a staple in my weekly routine when I am in town…both teachers were phenomenal!

Now that the weather is getting cooler and my allergies seem to be improving (I’ve had constant sinus problems and infections for the last few months), I’m hoping to get back into morning workouts.  The Wall offers super early – like 5:15 AM – spin classes that I’d love to attend regularly!

Getting your fitness on with Erica in America!

As you all know,  I am not a certified fitness instructor….I’m just a girl who is trying to stay in shape, get in better shape, and still eat as many cookies as humanly possible.  That is why it’s great to have friends in high places, such as my main girl Erica Hildenbrand who is a certified fitness and boot camp instructor in the Philadelphia area!  I asked her to create a workout for me to do while I’m running, focusing solely on using my own body weight to develop muscle.  Who knows?  Maybe after doing this work out I’ll have some sort of upper body strength to speak of. 

Since I wanted you to hear about the workout straight from the source, I asked Erica to do a guest post for me and since she’s the best, she did! 

Things Erica likes: burpees, lunges, and really sweet workout pants.

Hello and happy Wednesday! My pal Annie has been writing this blog and I love her for it, but I also love her for her smile, her freckles, her optimism, and for the way she tends to make everything fun and exciting. (Cheese wheels! Kittens! Running long distances! You get my point).

I have been teaching an outdoor Bootcamp class for a couple years now (woah!) and I love the group that comes. It is where I met Annie!! The most important thing to me is that we have fun and don’t dread coming to class. It’s ok if you hate the burpees I might make you do, though (evil laugh).

Here’s a little workout you can add into your running days (just find a stretch of grass and a bench) or do on its own. If I can stress anything, it is that you need to warm up, stretch, cool down, and stretch some more. So many times we rush to get in that cardio or strength but we skimp on the stretching. Flexibility is JUST as important as the cardiovascular endurance or muscle strength you’re building.

So go get it!!! And please, as always, check with a doctor before starting any new exercise program!

Love, Erica in America



Warm-up for 8-10 minutes however you prefer; stretch

Set 1 (if you’re running, do it at the 25% mark of your run)

  • 15 squats
  • 10 push ups
  • 20 alternating lunges (right-left = 2 reps)
  • 10 sit ups
  • Repeat twice (yes, the whole thing!)
  • Rest 2 minutes

Set 2 (throw it in at your halfway point)

  • 20 step-ups onto a bench or high step (10 per side, then switch)
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 10 dips on a bench
  • 50 high knees (right-left equals 2 reps)
  • (you knew it was coming) 10 burpees
  • Repeat twice (you can do it!)
  • Rest 2 minutes

Set 3 (at the end of your run)

  • Hold a plank for 1 minute (forearms)
  • 30 crunches with knees tucked in toward your chest
  • Hold one more plank for as long as you can!
  • STRETCH for a good 5-10 minutes
  • Rehydrate
  • Shower, I can smell you from here!

You can modify or substitute if a move feels too challenging or uncomfortable. Remember to let your heart rate go down a bit before you start each set. Have fun with it and flood Annie’s inbox with your sweaty workout photos!

Seriously….send me the photos.  It’s really nice to know that I’m not the only one who is really sweaty after these shennanigans.