Race Recap: Peace Love Run

I ran the Peace Love Run on April 14, 2013, the day after I ran the Happy 5K. If you already saw my Race Recap for it then you know that these two races took place wedged inside of one of my best friends’s birthday weekend celebrations. The day before I ran the Peace Love Run I went to the Renaissance Faire. It was fabulous and I highly recommend it if you enjoy whimsy and costumes.

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A friend loaned me clothes so I could dress up!

While we were at the Ren Faire, I decided to get my hair braided, and since the 5K was 60s themed, I decided to go for some bright colored swirls!

My awesome braids!

My awesome braids!

After getting home, I immediately hopped in the car and headed down to San Diego to stay with my friend who was running the race with me. It was so awesome to get to see her again, because it’s been a while since I’ve we’ve hung out and she’s always wonderful to be around. I also got to meet her two cats, who are precious.

One of them was obsessed with my shoes!

One of them was obsessed with my shoes!

We talked for a while, but fairly soon it was time to get some sleep for the race!

The next morning she made me an AWESOME green smoothie, which was amazing!

Seriously, words canot express how much I love green smoothies.

Seriously, words canot express how much I love green smoothies.

We immediately took off for the race, and much to my displeasure it was really cold! (Although I’m sure anyone who lives somewhere where it actually gets cold would probably scoff at me over that.) It took us a while to actually find the registration table and the approved parking lot because there was very little signage and we were given an intersection rather than an address to route to. Additionally the only signs were for the Expo that we got free admission to with our registration, rather than anything being labeled as for the actual race itself. (We probably would have been fine parking in any of the other lots in the area, but I always get worried about fines or being towed, so insisted on finding the labeled one.)

The (relatively small) sandwich board labeling the parking area.

The (relatively small) sandwich board labeling the parking area once we found it.

The actual registration area was pretty low key compared to the races I’d done so far, and getting our bibs and everything went fast enough that we were able to hit up the bathrooms despite the lines. We forewent the warm up in favor of staying warm in the car for the additional half hour between when we finished and when the race began.The 10K started 10 minutes before the 5, and we used that opportunity to snap a photo of me in front of some of the festive VW Buses that were parked nearby.

Super festive!

So cool! Also, check out those legit runners behind me! Someday I’ll be more like them.

We're ready to run!

We’re ready to run!

And with that, we were off!

This was my first race where I was running with someone the entire time and we chatted. Usually I run solo. Not necessarily because I want to (though I do tend to enjoy the opportunity to zone out or be alone with my thoughts and my music depending on how I feel) but because my dad is still too injured to run with me and I’m too shy to get involved in the local run club yet. Being able to talk together was a nice way to distract myself from the actual running and definitely something I’d like to start doing in the future once I develop a bit more stamina.

My friend was nice enough to snap a shot of me with the water in the background. (Yes I am running backwards here.)

My friend was nice enough to snap a shot of me with the water in the background. (Yes I am running backwards here.)

The views along the course were pretty awesome, and thank goodness we were running because the weather stayed pretty chilly the entire time.

Some really cool views and a giant ship!

Some really cool views and a giant ship!

Because it was the inaugural race most of the signs and things were fairly simple, but I liked them nonetheless.

2 Mile point!

2 Mile point!

At one point we passed some Naval artillery guns, and a few people posed with them and I thought it was interesting to see the old-fashioned guns and people dressed as hippies posing together.

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Just seemed to fit the theme well to me.

After the race ended, we got a few pictures taken with our cool VW Bus medals!

Woo! We finished!

Woo! We finished!

Peace!

Peace!

Afterwards we went out for celebratory breakfast rather than the expo, because I had a limited amount of time and we wanted to catch up a little. I treated myself to waffles! I haven’t had them in a long time, and they were so good! (Especially since I didn’t eat much the day before – corsets don’t leave a lot of room in your stomach for food to actually go.)

Of course, I was only able to eat about 1.5 waffles and the fruit.

Of course, I was only able to eat about 1.5 waffles and the fruit.

What a blast! Theme/costume runs are my favorite, and this one was no exception!

Plus, seriously, how cool is this medal?

Plus, seriously, how cool is this medal?

Interested in learning more about the Peace Love Run? Check out their website!

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Race Recap: Happy 5K

I learned about the Happy 5K from Erin just in the nick of time! Four days before it ended, yikes! (Check out Erin’s post about her Happy 5K here.) I’m so glad she posted about it, because I’m always looking for more races to add to my arsenal and honestly, I thought that it was not only a wonderful idea, but was pleased as punch to be running to help support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

I’m sorry that it’s taken me so long to give you guys this recap. I ran it two weeks ago, on April 13, 2013, but with everything that happened with Boston and the tragedy surrounding that, I first felt that it would be better to blog about that instead and save the recap for later, and then things got a little bogged down in my personal life with work and stress and trying to plan my move to Seattle sometime next month! (So soon! Yikes!)

An awesome idea for an good cause. My favorite!

A cool idea for an good cause. My favorite!

Anyway, the basic premise of  the Happy 5K is that it’s a virtual 5K. It was created by Amanda Kelly (more about Amanda here) and Laura Ingalls (visit Laura’s blog here). Participants were able to sign up online, and do a 5K where or whenever they pleased (as long as it was before April 15th) and then tweet, facebook, or instagram about it using the tag #Happy5K, and tagging appropriately based on the platform.

Because of the time crunch, my Happy 5K ended up being a little strange… It landed on the weekend of my good friend’s birthday weekend celebration and of the Peace Love Run! So it ended up wedged between a night out at a karaoke bar and a trip to the Renaissance Faire.

I had enough that I thought it'd be funny to take an obligatory duck-face selfie.

I thought it’d be funny to take an obligatory duck-face selfie. This is why I don’t drink.

Needless to say I woke up after partying at the karaoke bar and seriously didn’t want to get out of bed. If it hadn’t been for this 5K, I would have made excuses and let myself stay in bed all morning.  Instead, I forced myself up and decked myself out in some of my favorite past 5K stuff to help psych myself up!

My Color Runner necklace, my Royal Family 5K tee, and my Angel's 5K shoe tag.

My Color Runner necklace, my Royal Family 5K tee, and my Angel’s 5K shoe tag.

With my gear on and as ready as I was going to be, it was time to get running!

Ready to run happy!

Ready to run happy!

The weather was a little gloomy, but I’d already kind of planned out a path that I wanted to follow which took me down by the beach for some awesome views regardless!

The awesome view from my turnaround point!

The awesome view from my turnaround point!

These orange roses brought an extra little smile to my face since orange is my favorite color!

These orange roses brought an extra little smile to my face since orange is my favorite color!

This 5K was hard. I was tired and not feeling 100%, and knew that as soon as I was done I was off to a day on my feet at the Ren Faire, but I reminded myself why I was running it and what it was about and couldn’t help but feel happy in spite of all of it.

Totally worth it!

Totally worth it!

That's a pretty nice finish line!

A pretty awesome finish line!

Once I finished I threw some of the pictures together (as I’m sure you guys have noticed I love doing, haha) and tweeted about it, before running off to shower and get ready for the Ren Faire.

Can you tell I love collaging?

Can you tell I love collaging?

My experience with Happy 5K allowed me to prove myself that I could accomplish having a social life (because 90% of the time I’m kind of caught up in doing my own thing) and still stay active (because when I do have a social life I usually let my workouts take the hit and fall by the wayside). It allowed me to clear my head and cleanse my system from the night before. It encouraged me to push myself when I normally would have made excuses to stay in and laze around. And on top of that I got to participate in something awesome that I’d never heard of before – a virtual 5K – and to help support a good cause!

And guess what came in the mail today!

My medal! Probably my favorite so far!

My medal! Probably my favorite so far!

Interested in reading up on the Happy 5K? Check out the website!

My Heart Goes Out to Boston

Boston Marathon logo 2013

I was going to post a few more Race Recaps from my first virtual 5K, Happy 5K, and the inaugural Peace Love Run this weekend, but I’ll save those for a later date.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the 2013 Boston Marathon runners, spectators and their families in light of today’s tragedy. It’s heartbreaking to think about what an impact this might have on the people who were there – runners and spectators alike – who may have been dreaming of finishing someday who will never get that chance. When you think about everything that marathons represent – self improvement, perseverance, the power of the human spirit – the idea that someone would want to attack something like that, for any reason, is just heartbreaking and unfathomable.

Hopefully more information will be available to us soon about the extent of the damage, and we’ll learn more about what we can do to help. In the mean time, if you’re looking for someone you think may have been at the marathon or if you have information regarding someone, click here and search or help share.

I wasn’t going to run today, since I ran 5Ks on Sat and Sun and have another one coming up on the 27th, but I feel like I should go for a run of silence to honor the victims of today’s tragedy.

Race Recap: Anaheim Angels 5K!

Yep! This 5K took place at Angel Stadium!

Yep! This 5K took place at Angel Stadium!

My third 5K of 2013 was a doozy! In fact, it almost didn’t happen at all. Because of traveling and health complications in the family, I got a little sidetracked from my health and fitness goals, and almost let my race-a-month resolution fall by the wayside.

Luckily for me, I had a friend who wanted to do the races with me, who I certainly wasn’t going to let down!

Aren't we cute?

Aren’t we cute?

I had told her about my resolution before my first 5K, and she was eager to join me in my quest! We’d originally mapped out potential races for March, and on a whim I dropped her a text to see if she was still interested earlier in the month. She jumped right on board and texted me repeatedly to remind me/follow up on our status with the races.

Which is how I ended up at the Anaheim Angels 5K on March 30, 2013.

Unfortunately, because so much of it was planned at the last minute, I ended up not only not getting that day off of work, but closing the night before! Which of course meant I wasn’t off until 11:30 pm. Thankfully, my friend let me crash on her couch, so I wouldn’t have to drive down the morning of, but that still meant getting to Anaheim around 12:15 am! On top of this, we had to wake up early to pick up our bibs at registration because we couldn’t make it the day before; and my friend had to work at 10 am the morning of!

Busy, busy, busy!

Nevertheless, we got ourselves out of bed, practically inhaled some peanut buttered toast and water, and were off to the race!

We ended up getting there early which meant we had plenty of time to get ourselves set up, hit the bathrooms, and check out the awesome view of the empty stadium!

How awesome is this?!

How cool is this?!

Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t find any merch to buy; so if I want to keep up my goal of wearing something from each race at each of my races, I’ll have to just leave the nifty little shoe tag they gave us to track our times with on my shoe!

Kind of cool, right? Has the logo and everything!

Kind of neat, right? Has the logo and everything!

Finally, we lined up at the starting line, listened to the National Anthem (though I was a little embarrassed – I couldn’t find the flag anywhere), and heard a little mini-speech about what a great job their team was going to do this year.

Can you see the banner?

Can you see the banner?

 We had just enough time to put our headphones in, set up our run-tracking apps for timing ourselves, and get going!

Off we go!

Off we go!

We agreed to run separately and meet up at the finish line, since she’s a much more experienced runner than I am and has very different goals. Running the entire race alone was a new experience for me, and I had very mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I was able to listen to my music without feeling like I was being rude, which meant I could amp myself up to my power songs and push myself that way. On the other, I was lacking the distraction of having another person running next to me, and the race ended up feeling a lot like my usual solo runs.

Because I’d taken a hiatus from running, I didn’t have particularly high expectations for myself. After signing up for the race I did a few test runs; my first went abominably and I ended up having to walk almost the whole thing, and my second went alright but I still ended up at a 14:24 mins/mile pace. My goal for the race was to come in under a 14 min/mile average.

I worried about meeting my goal the whole time. When I’d have to take a short walking break, I’d fret that I was sacrificing too much time for comfort. (I kept reminding myself though, that I was working off very little sleep and while reaching my goals was important, it wasn’t something I could afford to injure myself over.)

I was pretty confident that I was coming in close to my goal time as I reached the final stretch of the race: the leg that took us through the actual stadium. We entered the field and traveled from First to Home, and then back out toward Third. This is where the bottleneck happened. Because the race was full of Angels fans, everyone wanted to stop and take pictures of themselves and their kids on the field and in the dugout. I started to worry that the congestion was going to cost me my goal, and kicked it into high gear for the last tiny piece before the finish line!

Look! My face matches my shirt!

Look! My face matches my shirt!

I made a beeline to where they were handing out water bottles and then looped back to find my friend and compare our times.

Woo! Look at this pair of winners!

Woo! Look at this pair of winners!

It turned out that she’d smashed her goal! She was shooting for around 9-10 mins/mile and came in under 8! But then came the dreaded question: How did I do?

I pulled out my phone to look at the damage:

Wahoo! Better than I'd hoped!

Wahoo! Better than I’d hoped!

I was thrilled to see that not only had I come in under a 14 min/mile like I’d wanted to, I’d made it under a 13 min/mile! We were both incredibly pleased with our success! We stopped at a tent to grab some awesome reusable bags, some cute baseball themed pens, and some food before high-tailing it back to her house so she could shower and get ready for work before dropping me off at my car.

Which meant I got to spend some quality time with her adorable puppy!

Which meant I got to spend some quality time with her adorable puppy!

All in all, a great race! Even with all of the craziness.

Interested in learning more about the Anaheim Angels 5k? Check out their website!

Fun Fact: 2/3 of my races so far this year have taken place at baseball stadiums! The Color Run – Los Angeles took place at Dodgers Stadium!

Race Recap: The Mickey and Minnie Royal Family 5K!

Yep, went insta-collage crazy on this one!

Yep, definitely went insta-collage crazy on this one!

My second 5K was the Mickey and Minnie Royal Family 5K on February 23,2013; part of the Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World! Not only was it an amazing race, it was also a great opportunity for my first trip to WDW!

This race was probably hands down my favorite, because on top of not getting as bogged down at each kilometer mark with color throws (like I did at the Color Run), we got cute little medals, there was an expo, and we got to run through Epcot!

Because we stayed at one of the Walt Disney World resorts, we got to take advantage of the free transportation both to and from the expo and the race!

Waiting for the charter bus to take us to the Expo!

Waiting for the charter bus to take us to the Expo!

When we got inside I was awestruck at how big the building was and pumped to pick up our numbers and shirts!

Giant expo!

Giant expo – giant sign!

How cute are the bibs?!

How cute is this bib?! It even has my name on it!

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I figured I’d go with an XL to be safe, but it turned out to be huge!

On the other side of the registration kiosks there were all kinds of merchandise tables, selling SPIbelts (of which we each got one), running shoes, insoles, gel packs, t-shirts, official merchandise, Sweaty Bands (of which I got two), themed skirts, headphones, and more!

I was particularly into the RawThreads villain t-shirts!

I was particularly into the RawThreads villain t-shirts! I bought the Ursula one.

Luna Bars also had a stand there, where they were providing signs to decorate for the spectators on race day! I decided to make one anyway, even though I couldn’t really use it.

Run like Prince Charming is waiting at the finish line!

Run like Prince Charming is waiting at the finish line!

After the expo we went to take a pre-emptive look at Epcot so that the next day when we were running through it I wouldn’t want to stop and look at everything because it was new and exciting.

The next morning we woke up at the crack of dawn and got decked out in our new gear and our tiaras! (Which I specially bought for the event, Amazon has some awesome selections for $15!)

Ready to run!

Ready to run!

We bussed our way over to the starting gate at the Epcot parking lot, hit up the porta potties, and had just enough time to get into the right corral before they closed off the entrance. (They were counting down from 10 and we had to make a dash for it! Talk about an impromptu warm up!)

Obligatory pre-race selfie.

Obligatory pre-race selfie at the corral.

We were in the slowest corral, which kind of turned out to be a mistake, since there was a lot of bottlenecking and walking – which kind of impeded our progress.

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Our race route!

But, the goal was to run the minimum speed requirement – 16:00 mins/mile, and I’m happy to report that we came in at 15:50 mins/mile, even with the scenery and getting bogged down with congestion!

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I had a goofy smile on my face the entire time. I just couldn’t stop grinning!

Spaceship Earth in the background! Woo!

Spaceship Earth in the background! Woo!

Crossing the finish line!

Crossing the finish line!

When we got in line to take our pictures after the race, we ended up behind a woman whose shirt had kept me going throughout the race!

Seriously, how great is this shirt?

Seriously, how great is this shirt?

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Photo time! Posing with our medals!

After we got our medals and took our pictures, we stopped by the tent where they were handing out post-race snack boxes!

Delicious and adorable!

Delicious and adorable!

On our way out of the photography area, we passed the medal racks and I snapped this pic to give an idea of how many people finished before us.

Plus I thought it kind of looked cool.

Plus I thought it kind of looked cool.

I took another shot with my medal for posterity!

I took another shot with my medal for posterity!

If you’ve never done a Disney race before and can afford one, I can’t even begin to say how highly I recommend it! What could be better than a great run through the happiest place on Earth? I’m definitely putting one of the half marathons on my list for 2014!

Being awesome with the logo!

Who could resist a photo with the logo?

Interested in running a RunDisney race? Check out their website! (Though be warned, they sell out FAST!)

And a bonus post-race shot of me and my favorite Mickey and Friends member at the hotel pool!

Can you tell he's my favorite?

Can you tell he’s my favorite?

Lazy Gal’s Lunch (aka The Snackstravaganza)

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I don’t know about you, but there are plenty of times when I need to eat, and need to eat in a hurry! This is when I’m most tempted to grab for those unhealthy and portable treats. My solution?

Throw a bunch of easy snacks on a plate and call it lunch!

Today’s snack-tastic meal?

  • Sliced turkey
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Half of an avocado (more like 1/3 because it was pretty bruised)
  • A bunch of grapes

What do you do when you need to eat on the go? Are you a pre-pack kind of eater or do you fly by the seat of your pants? Do you have some favorite staples for your snackstravaganzas?

Race Recap: The Color Run – Los Angeles

My First 5K of 2013 was AMAZING

On February 2, 2013 I participated in my first 5K of 2013! (And, let’s be honest here, my first 5K in years!) Long story short, it was a BLAST! I can’t imagine a better first 5K experience. Un-timed, themed, and silly, this race took all of the pressure I’d been worried about with my first race off of my shoulders and hurled it into the air in a brightly colored mushroom cloud.

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Stuff Cuff

The day before the race, I went to pick up registration for my friend and me, and also used that opportunity to pick up a little bit of merchandise for myself. I got this neat wrist cuff, called the Stuff Cuff. Which comes with a built in pocket to hold your money or your keys. The woman at the merchandise table tried to convince me it could hold your phone too, but I don’t really see that happening. At least not with my iPhone; I’m certainly not risking it. If you’re interested in buying one, they’re selling them online here. I also got a really cute pendant necklace that says Color Runner on it. Either of these will be awesome for my goal of wearing something from each race on my body at every consecutive race I do as part of my New Year’s resolution.

Tip: if you’re going to be doing the Color Run, pick up your registration early and use that opportunity to buy color packets if you plan to. We got to our race (which, admittedly, was the second of the day) two hours early and they were completely sold out of them. Better safe than sorry, right?

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Before leaving on race day!

We also got together to decorate our shirts for the race. (In case you can’t see, she drew sunflowers, and I drew a rubber duck with sneakers and a Color Runner headband.):

Shirts from the back!

Shirts from the back!

We ended up leaving pretty early, and despite stopping for coffee and bagels (Yikes, bad idea alert! Even three hours in advance, those did not sit well!) we got there a full two hours early. Which meant that we had plenty of time for her to do my make up!

Even my eyes are rainbow!

Even my eyes are rainbow!

We took lots of pictures to document this, because I knew it would be fun to have pictures to compare after the race was over!

More pre-race cleanness.

More pre-race cleanness.

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They had lots of cute/fun signs to pose with.

Especially this giant one!

Especially this giant one!

We waited around for a few hours and watched the crowds gather as the DJ entertained himself by commenting on some of the ridiculous clothes people were wearing – everything from rainbow tutus and tube socks, to guys in short shorts and pink fairy wings! Until finally, they called us over to start gathering for the first wave! (They released us in waves of 1,000 people because there were something like 10,000 of us in the 2:00 race alone!)

Final pre-race photo!

Our last pre-race photo!

We were worried it might start raining on us.

We were worried it might start raining on us!

Finally they let us go! My friend and I agreed to meet up after each color throw (at the kilometer marks) to take a picture of the damage. (Don’t worry, I had my phone in a plastic bag so that the cornstarch couldn’t mess it up.)

First color throw! Blue!

First color throw! Blue!

Tip: remember to keep your mouth closed or actually use your bandana to cover your mouth!

Second color throw! Orange! My favorite!

Second color throw! Orange! My favorite!

Perfect opportunity for some REALLY flattering photos!

Perfect opportunity for some REALLY flattering photos!

Somewhere between orange and yellow is when my plastic bag started to get really covered in powder, so the pictures got kind of foggy.

Third color throw! Yellow!

Third color throw! Yellow!

The final color throw was pink, but we decided to just wait and take a picture at the finish line.

Finish line!

Finish line!

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Woohoo! Officially a Color Runner!

The final wave was just leaving as we finished up, which meant we were able to get in some post-race photos with the starting line before they took it all down! Way cooler than up close finish line pics if you ask me.

Finally using the bandana!

Finally using the bandana!

I'm a color bandit!

I’m a color bandit!

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Obligatory photo with the Runicorn! (Plastic bag is back on.)

Afterwards we spent about 20 minutes at the post-race party with intermittent color throws. It was fun, but I definitely wouldn’t attempt it without covering my eyes, nose, and mouth. That powder goes everywhere. One group of kids around us got crazy and started shaking up a soda bottle and spraying one another (and everyone around them) with it so that the colors would really soak in. Not so cool.

Remember how I said not to open your mouth when going through color throws?

Remember how I said not to open your mouth when going through color throws?

Before we left to get back in the car, we got dusted off with these giant leaf blowers they had set up. Lots of color came off, but not as much as I would have hoped. Definitely glad we brought towels for the car seats.

Back in the car. Pristine headband line.

Back in the car. Pristine headband line.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that because we were in the second race of the day, there was already a bunch of color accumulated on the ground where the color throws were happening? The blue went through the breathing holes in my Nikes and stained not only my socks, but my feet too!

My feet were like this for almost a week!

My feet were like this for almost a week!

All in all it was a great experience! If I do it again next year I probably won’t bother with the post-race stuff. It’s the kind of thing that’s probably more fun if you like partying and are with a larger group of friends to mess around with.

Interested in the Color Run? Check out their website!