Monday, July 29, 2013

Living Social Glow in the Dark 5K Dance Party Race Recap

The title basically explains this race! It was a night race in which we danced our way through a 5k! Here are the details for this fun run:

Where: Citi Field, home of the New York Mets

Rules: Untimed race. Wear all black. Dance. Have fun!

We were ready for FUN!

Race packet: a bib (Just for show I guess), two glow necklaces, and one of those typical two shoulder bags that we declined to take. (We have a million of them.) 

Our all black rule breaking friends from Daily Burn! Their shirts were awesome. We had so much fun hanging out with Matt and Em!

The course: It was a coned off course weaving around the parking lot. There were tunnels of lights, blow up tunnels, and music blasting on the entire course! Although I don't think it was a true 5k, I think I ran a 5k with the amount of weaving I did. More on that later.

Christmas in July!


- The race was in a unique location. It ended inside Citi Field, which was lights out for runners to go to the after party! They didn't have official photographers, but they assigned staff to take pictures with your iPhone at the finish backdrop (GENIUS):

I secretly wished I'd timed this run...these boys were fast!

- The after party was GREAT! There was a DJ, drinks for purchase, and the main concessions were open in the ballpark. (No, Shake Shack was NOT open! BOO.) There was tons of dancing and people watching. Living Social was projecting live tweets on the big screens which was fun to see. 

Huge stage with a DJ in an open air part of the stadium = amazing outdoor dance party!

- A LOT of people ran their first 5k. When the MC at the start asked "How many of you are running a 5k for the first time?" I'd say 75% of the hands went up! It was amazing to see probably 5,000 people crossing the start and finish line for the first time!


- Start line bathrooms were limited. There were 6 portapotties and 10,000 people. You do the math.

- The course was very narrow. It made it difficult to run. Despite it being a fun run, I wanted to get to the party! It was tricky to dodge people...especially people who clearly had no intention of running (ie those in dress shoes and jeans...really???)

- Stadium pricing was still in effect. The location was fun, but $9 for a beer can get pricey, especially when you wait in line for ten minutes to get one. The staff were efficient and fun, but we limited ourselves in beverages because, please child, that's expensive for Bud Light!

Verdict: It was a fun time! I'm not sure I would do it again, although the after party was definitely fun. I guess I would line up earlier to get going sooner! (I kept telling myself it was a fun run, but I had to keep up with the fast boys!!!)

How about you? Have you done a themed fun run? Have you seen these types of run motivate non-runners to join in the fun? Have any races you've run ended in a cool spot? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Summer Love

I've been having a serious love affair with summer. Yes, there are heat waves. Yes, there is a lot of sweat...but who doesn't love sweat?! This week has been a filled with amazing summer stuff! There have been some runs, some workouts, and some fun!

Nike has been making me move! I ran to NTC this past Monday and got a great workout from Will Aruffat. He posted this photo to remind all to keep moving, and I loved it:

Nike also helped me kick it. I got into another fantastic Nike Fuel Band event! This time it was Kick the Can, where Fuel Points count and there was a LOT of sprinting to jail. It reminded me of the summer nights my neighbors and I would play four yard capture the flag! So fun.
Photo Via +nikenyc 

There were obstacles to hide behind once the lights went out!

Thank you Nike for the gear and a wicked fun night!

I've also been going to the beach. My FABULOUS landlord has been sharing her beach pass with me, so the 35 minute drive to Jones Beach minus the $10 parking fee has become pretty enticing! I've been to the beach three times this week. As I told Mr. Miller, "The beach heals my soul."

These Backpack chairs rock my socks off. LOVE them! 

Took a 30 minute run with my coworker/running partner Ms. Bailey. 

We went and saw the JT/Jay-Z concert at Yankee Stadium! I didn't sit down once. It was an incredible show. 
It was SO hot sitting on a cushioned field level seat was actually uncomfortable!  

The hearing impaired captions were going which was kind of funny. Some of my favorites!

Summer lunches rock. I only work half a day, so when I get home, I get to relax and create yummy lunch options! 
 Damascus Bakery wrap, Boars Head buffalo chicken, pepper jack cheese topped with avocado and siracha! Grilled to perfection.

Summer school is almost over! Next Monday marks the last four days of summer school! I set my calendar up for Monday today. Exciting to see all those X's!
I never count the day I'm in during a countdown!  

THE ROYAL BABY HAS BEEN BORN TO US! Welcome, George! Mr. Miller sent me this photo. It made my day.
My People Magazine Royals edition arrived today. HELLO weekend reading!

Clearly, I am making the most of my time this summer! You would never catch me doing this much stuff in the winter, no way. I get so energized by the summer air I'm like a kid again, using every valuable ray of sunlight and enjoying life!

How about you? Do you feel more energized in the summer? Do you have special countdown rituals? Have you been to any good concerts or beaches lately? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

How awesome is too awesome?

We've all seen the awesome motivation on Pinterest. I've been there, done that. I LOVE pinning some "pinspiration"! It gets me motivated, reminds me to stay strong, and tells me that I can do it.

So true

Take chances

During this heat wave, I've been asking myself, how tough is too tough? I count myself pretty tough. I've toughed out two HOT summers of marathon training. I've done speed work on a hot afternoon as punishment for sleeping in. I've fallen, gotten up, and finished a run. I've wanted to throw up, but continued running despite it. I do my best to be AWESOME.

So true

Then, on Thursday night, my husband pulled the plug. I was going to a Nike run club with him to do a speed work workout. I was pumped. He called and said "It's way too hot. Let's skip this one." It was 98 degrees at 4pm, but felt like 9,843,905,394,839,020 degrees. I decided that he was right, it was a smart decision to skip the run.

I met these lovely runner gals for happy hour. They made it extra happy!

So, how far is too far? How much "extreme" in training is okay? AKA, how much "Are you crazy?" looks/comments do you get from the people in your life? I did okay running the Queensboro Bridge and working out at Nike Training Club in the heat on Monday because:

- I hydrated well.
- I didn't push my running pace.
- I poured water on my head more times than I'd like to admit. 

This is the "feels like" temp in my car...and yes, it DID feel like that!

As the week has gone on, the workouts have become more and more strenuous. With temps in the upper 90's daily and an EXTREME heat advisory in effect, I decided to take advantage of New York Sports Club's Heat Wave promotion. (Thanks Ashley for posting about it!) I was asked casually by the NYSC member specialist if I belonged to a gym etc. When I told him that my husband belonged to THAT gym, and I was simply a runner in need of treadmill heat relief, he left me alone. I enjoyed a few miles on the treadmill safely in the somewhat air conditioned gym (I'm always warm so of course I needed a towel for me sweat!). Between the afternoon treadmill and the morning's 1,000 meter swim, today's fitness was safe and cooler than usual.

This is a fun new kind of treadmill they have featured, it feels like running on a track. I like it!

How about you? When do you pull the plug on a workout? Do you skip it or take it indoors? Do you tough it out despite strenuous temperatures? Tell me about it!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Running through A-Z

Abby Tagged me in a fun survey type post. Do you remember those old email surveys? Forwards? Oh boy. Those were classic. Get ready for some retro internet fun!


A. Attached or Single? Attached for 4 1/2 years!

B. Best friend? Besides the Mr.? My sisters and my Cancun Crew.

C. Cake or Pie? Pie

D. Day of Choice: Saturday, the best things happen on Saturdays.

E. Essential Item: Water, I am never without it.

F. Favorite Color: Blue

G. Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms? SOUR PATCH KIDS

H. Hometown: Manchester, CT

I. Favorite Indulgence: Ice cream. OR Froyo.

J. January or July? July for social/mental wellness since I'm on summer break (Though I work summer school). January for running/training! LOVE COLD RUNNING!

K. Kids? I teach them everyday, and I have lucky #13 niece or nephew on the way!

 The first 10 with my parents!
The youngest 2...with one in the oven!

L. Life isn't complete without: The beach. It has such healing powers.

M. Marriage Date: 12/20/2008

N. Number of brothers and sisters: two brothers and three sisters.

O. Oranges or apples: APPLES!

P. Phobias: White things, such as sour cream, milk, etc. I make my husband smell it despite the expiration date being two weeks away. WORST phobia is mayo. I can't even look at it. BLECH. Made me nauseous just typing it.

Q: Quotes: I am a Finisher. -Me
and this:

Nike Town NYC Pin It Here

R: Reasons to smile: Obviously this little guy!
Such a little lush...he had just turned 3 here, aka 21 in dog years.

Season of Choice: Fall in New York. There's nothing like it! (Abby I agree!)

T: Tag 5 People: Sheesh! Alright, get on it Steph, Kimmy, Jen, Michelle, and Liz.

U: Unknown fact about me: I have dermatographism, which means if I scratch myself it leaves raised hive that look like I've been abused/whipped for about ten minutes. Don't worry, I can show you my magic skin in person sometime ;-)

V: Vegetable: Carrots (Because avocado is a fruit...)

W. Worst habit? I major on minors and minor on majors. It's gotten me in trouble a few times. Trying to change my ways...

X: X-Ray or ultrasound: Well, since I've broken my knee twice, and my wrist twice, let's go with the diagnostic powers of x-rays.

Y: Your favorite food: Um, I can't choose one. Let's go with pizza and pasta. Mmmm.

Z. Zodiac sign: Don't know and don't care.

Feel nostalgic for your old school internet email survey days?! Go ahead and do it yourself! Let me know you did it so I can check it out!

How about you? Don't feel like answering all these Q's? Try one of these: Favorite Quote, Essential Items, Phobias or Worst Habit? Tell me about it!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

MVPs of Hot Runs and NTC

NYC's heat wave is no joke. I think NYCers now know what it's like to live in a sauna! I don't have a gym membership, so I have to find a way to make it through the heat. This past Monday, I ran 4 miles to a Nike Training Club (NTC) workout, and then got WORKED by Will. How did I survive this in 90+ degrees? With a little help from my hot weather essentials...

Temperature: 94 degrees. We were FEARLESS at NTC thanks to Will

Hammer Endurolytes. These bad boys help me avoid that awful nauseous feelings I used to feel when I ran with just water. They have awesome electrolytes which aren't hidden in sugary food-color dyed sports drinks. If you feel depleted or dehydrated during a run, I strongly encourage you to get these NATURAL supplements that are absolute miracle workers.

My little miracle workers.

Nike apparel. I FINALLY got running shorts that work! It's a miracle! Enter: Nike Tech 8" Shorts. Two years of searching, and I finally found a pair of shorts that don't ride up. They also have a drawstring and a side pocket. They inseam is a bit long, but I'll take a bit long versus riding up constantly! I also purchased the Dri-Fit Touch Breeze tank top. I saw this at a NTC workout and had to get it. It felt like I was wearing NOTHING. Since I'm not a sports bra only runner, this was an amazing addition during a hot run.

I was beyond in love with this outfit. Perfect for nasty hot weather!

Cool down before the run. I've started wetting my hair with freezing cold water before I leave, and it's made a huge difference. A Sparkly Soul headband is sure to keep your frizzy hair where it belongs so you can run without annoyance!

I've tried braiding my hair to avoid heavy hair. It somewhat works! This headband DEFINITELY works.

Recovery fluids. I recently got my hands on some Watermelon Nuun, and I never looked back! I can't handle bubbles while running, but I love some Nuun post workout. 

If you want some more exercise in the heat tips, check out my guest blog on Rebecca's blog

How about you? What are your MVPs when training in the heat? Do you use anything extra in your hydration plan? Have you found any great gear lately? Tell me about it!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Races: does size matter?

After Saturday's 5k, I started thinking about race size. I was repeatedly frustrated by the crowds and being blocked in while trying to run. I was bobbing and weaving like a pro, which exerts so much energy that it becomes counter productive. However, in NYC, and especially in a NYRR race, there are thousands of runners to compete with on an often narrow course.

Can't even see the start line!

Large Race Pros:
- More competition
- Better Swag
- Better amenities (Bathrooms, fuel etc)

Large Race Cons:
- Bobbing and weaving
- Getting boxed in
- A seemingly large course becomes small with so many people

My 5k PR is from a small race in Connecticut. There were about 200 runners and I ran  fast (for me) without any real speed training (It was also November, which means my optimal cold weather for running!). I didn't have to worry about being boxed in.

Via From my 5K PR Race Jaime's Run, also known as the JK5K

Small Race Pros:
- Clearer roads
- Greater potential to place in your age group
- Often benefit a great cause

Small Race Cons:
- (Inevitably) cotton unisex race shirts
- Lack of amenities
- You could be uninspired while running alone/with less people

How about you? Do you prefer small races? Are your hometown races huge? Do you have a favorite race? What's your vote? TELL ME ABOUT IT! 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

MLB All-Star 5k Race Recap

Well, 5k's are a short affair, so I'll give a short recap. It was VERY stressful getting there; parking was not the best, and I'm a get there early kind of gal! I got to the start line (After parking at 7:50am, running to bag check, going to the bathroom etc) at 8:01am. SO, there's freak out number one! It was 94% humidity, which regardless of the temperature, totally affects me. Here is how this went down:

Mile 1: Decent first mile, lots of weaving as Mr. Miller and I tried to stay together despite the slower and often walking runners.
Mile 2: Big hill. The mile to push just a little more...but people were WALKING A TON. I simply was bobbing and weaving nonstop!
Mile 3: Annoyed by the hill, we settled in to a comfortably fast pace knowing my PR was not happening that day. 

Finish time: 28:57 (AKA, I PR'd in positive splits!)

Lesson learned: My mental game is a bit weak. I need to control my frustrations.

Positive moments: I saw tons of amazing people!

 YES. That's MARY WITTENBURG. We chit chatted about cheering on the Queensboro Bridge for the NYC Marathon...stay tuned. I was instructed to call her office to see if there's something we can do. EEK.

A word on Mary. She remembered my tweet on Friday asking if I could cheer on the Queensboro Bridge during the NYC marathon, and was waiting to get a better answer than "No" before she replied. She was BEYOND polite, gave me her contact info and wants to work something out. I was really impressed with her forthrightness, candor and charisma. Go Mary.
 Mr. Miller and I loved seeing our friends Bryan (Top right) and Bernadette (Bottom Right)! 
As always, the Slafters (Top) were ready for the gun show(Bottom Left). Mr. Miller's Mets friends (Bottom Right) were ready for the ASG Fan Fest!

What race is complete without yummy food? Our friends the Anders are going on a mission trip to South Africa to work with school students, so I attended their pancake social! It was a fun event with CLOSE attention to detail...Mrs. Anders is a party planner extraordinaire! If you need one, let me know. She's amazing.

Pancakes for a Cause

Finally, we ended the night with a @NikeNYC event. We got to go to a stickball game in Soho. Nike shut down the street and catered this event to perfection. It was fun watching Manhattan vs. Brooklyn while eating some Cracker Jacks and sipping some Heineken. 

 I love themed food. Yummy!
L-R Top to Bottom: Free baseball food, stickball, #makeitcount and DJ JAZZY JEFF! Perfection.

The event was fun, but DJ Jazzy Jeff made it amazing. The MC literally said "And we have DJ J---" and I started screaming, I'm such a fan! I just read a People magazine article about how he's still around, despite people thinking he's a has-been. Verdict? He was fantastic. 

How about you? Did you race this weekend? Did you run long this weekend? Do you love the Fresh Prince of Bel Air? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Lap Swimming Ettiquette

Wednesday night, I finally got back in the water. Swimming, shockingly, is my first sport love. Cue the angels singing:

Well hello there old friend.

As is always the case, there was some questionable etiquette happening. I'm not saying this to be rude, I'm saying it because sharing a workout space should be enjoyable for everyone. By not understanding the rules and etiquette, you can really frustrate or even hurt a fellow swimmer. Wednesday night I got cut off and passed by a swimmer because she thought I was slow; however, it was the gentleman in FRONT of me that was holding us up. I swam behind her for four laps before she gave up and realized that I was then being held up by her. There were also people in my lane who decided to not bring goggles. Or, they decided to walk half of the lap because they haven't swam in a while. All these things could have frustrated me, but I decided to write a blog instead of being upset...hopefully it will help some swimmers be great neighbors in the pool!

Me thinking, "THAT was an interesting swim!"

Etiquette Number One: Wear a swim cap and goggles. I know it cramps your style, and goggle eyes at work aren't attractive, but these items are like your socks and sneakers in the pool; you can't go on without them! Goggles will help you see your lane marker underwater, and your cap will keep your hair from (inevitably) falling out and distracting you. (I know this seems obvious, but after last night, well, I had to say it!)

Goggle eyes. EEK. Product reviews by the pool.

Etiquette Number Two: Be honest about your pace. This is NOT the time to think that you can roll with the big dogs. Serious swimmers get very upset when little lowly people like myself decide I'm ready to freestyle with the semi-professionals. (Those swimmers have every right to's like me trying to run the NYC marathon with the wave one! I'm a wave three kind of girl!) The key is to ease in by watching the swimmers for a few minutes, then choose a lane that seems completely doable for you. If the swimmers in the lane are slow, then move to a lane that seems to have a faster pace. My pool has lanes from left to right marked as a walking lane, slow lane, medium lane, and fast lane. The further right you go, the faster each lane within each category gets. I usually join the fast lane, but on my first return I settled into the medium lane. I slowly moved my way over to the fast lane, realizing that a lot of people were not honest with themselves about what lane they should be in. 

Obviously not my pool, but you get the idea. Via 

Etiquette Number 3:  Share the lane. My pool is a free public pool. Many people take advantage of it, which I think is fantastic. However, this means sharing a lane is mandatory with 5-10 swimmers. General etiquette is to have the lane marker be on your left side. You don't swim ON the lane marker, you swim next to it. That way, a swimmer coming from the opposite direction can equally share the space with you. Drafting is something that could help or annoy your fellow swimmer. Drafting is when you swim close behind another swimmer to benefit from them paving the way in the water. I was drafting with another swimmer (who I had just met at the pool!) and we agreed to take turns drafting. Otherwise, I could have thought she needed to pass me or vice versus, so communicate if you want to try to work with someone. Passing, however, is more of a silent move. You warn the swimmer by tapping them on the foot, and the swimmer should NOT speed up as you pass. I had a gentleman who got passed by my drafting partner, and clearly did not want another female passing him. He tried to beat me to the wall, which resulted in my almost getting punched by an unsuspecting swimmer in another lane. 

My pool is seriously this crowded. At least it's a 50m pool!

Etiquette Number Four: Be aware. Be sure to check how far you've drifted away from your lane marker, notice swimmers on your left and right, and try your best to stay consistent with your strokes and breathing pattern. This will help you react quickly if something happens. For example, I didn't realize that the aforementioned gentleman had stood up to walk a bit (?), and I ran right into his back. I had not raised my eyes to look ahead of me because I didn't see any bubbles, which signals that you're getting close to someone who is kicking/swimming in front of you. It was harmless, but if I had been more aware I could have simply swam around him...and avoided the passing duel. 

So, get in the water! For more practical information, check out this post for some more great lap swimming etiquette advice.


How about you? Do you swim laps? Any advice? Do you prefer to be in a floating device when at the pool? Have you ever tried aqua jogging? TELL ME ABOUT IT!