Hershey 10k Race Recap

6 May

Well hello there!  I realize I haven’t posted in well over a month. That’s because, frankly, there hasn’t been much to say! Since I live in central Pennsylvania I’ve just been running on the treadmill a lot to try to gear up for my spring race plans. But now that the spring is here I’ve got a few race recaps lined up for you! It feels so good to be out running in the running community again. December-March can be a bit rough since I’m a long distance junkie and the weather around those months isn’t very conducive to local long distance running.  I have been pretty active on instagram though so hopefully you follow me over there for more frequent updates/cat photos.

All that being said, here’s my race recap for my first race of 2015 – the Hershey 10k in Hershey, PA!  I have run this race twice before, PRing in 2013, and then just taking it easy in 2014.  I love this race because it is a nice size – not to small but not too big, and a quick drive from home for me.  Packet pickup is always a breeze (I do it the night before but I know they have it the morning of too), and parking is never an issue since the start and finish is located at the stadium at Hershey Park – so there is tons of parking, that is free for the runners!

flatrunnerSince this race is in mid-april it usually requires a long-sleeved something. This year I went with capris, a short sleeved shirt and arm warmers so that I could pull them off if I got warm (I didn’t). It was going to be in the mid 40s to low 50s during the race.

The morning of the race I got up bright and early, checked out of my hotel and headed to Hershey Park.

2015Hershey10k_park
There was very little traffic because I got there about an hour before it started. I’m one of those people that prefers to be way early than even close to late. ;)

I had no goals for this race. My plan was to do 3/1 run/walk intervals since that is how I had been training for my spring half marathons. This was just going to be another training run with a ton of other runners and fun scenery!

Since I have run this race previously I know the course like the back of my hand. It’s a loop around the huge parking lot then up along Hersheypark Drive, behind the outlets next door and then a fun bit through the park itself before exiting the park and heading up the parking lot and into HersheyPark Stadium.

Hershey10kCourse
It is a fun course but it is hilly. There are rolling hills almost constantly as well as some longer inclines. Knowing this I planned to take it easy on the uphills and conserve energy, walking if I needed to if I was in a run interval, and then kick it into high gear on the downhills. This is a strategy that I’ve used in the past that really seems to work for me though it may seem a bit unusual. I’m able to make up the slowed pace of the uphills on the downhills pretty consistently.

I also told myself that I wasn’t allowed to switch my watch to see my overall time/pace until I hit the 5k mark. I can sometimes get obsessed with the minute by minute readings and then mentally defeat myself if something isn’t perfect. Since I was planning to do this like a training run and had no time goals I figured this would reduce any expectations.

Before the race started it getting quite windy so I was happy I had my arm warmers. I went to put my headphones in after the national anthem and realized one of my ear bud covers had fallen off at some point, making them too small to fit in my ears. I was bummed out, but reminded myself that with the wind and lack of music I’d just have to go with the flow.

Right on time, we were off. I started up my run/walk intervals and just payed attention to each interval at a time and focused on walking quickly during the walk breaks. At the 5k mark I switched my watch to see my overall time for the first time in the race and realized that I was at about 36:00. I started doing the math and realized that if I kept it up I could potentially PR this thing. But I tried not to get wrapped up in it and switched back to the interval screen on my watch and just told myself to “keep  moving.” Around mile 5 I looked at my watch again – exactly an hour. I know I was going to PR this because there was no way it would take my 18 minutes to do the last 1.2 miles. But I also knew there were some pretty significant uphills coming so I switched back the view on my watch and continued on, taking in the scenery of the park and the weather that was turning into perfect running weather.

At 5.5 I switched back my watch for the final time, to show overall pace/distance. I figured at this point I wouldn’t get in my head and defeat myself since a PR was almost a definite.

Sure enough I saw the finish line, gave it my all and crossed in 1:14:47.

2015Hershey10k_results

 

A four minute PR (to the second!) from 2 years ago. I was so thrilled and shocked and happy! I was not planning to PR this race, especially knowing the course and with the wind but it happened!! I decided I HAD to wait in line and get a finishers photo to celebrate the PR!

2015Hershey10k_finisherphoto

 

I am not sure what contributed to the PR but I suspect it has something to do with the GRIT classes I am taking at the gym, honing on a good run/walk combination for myself, and maybe, finally, getting a handle on my mental game when things feel tough.

But whatever the reason, an unexpected PR is really one of the best! :)

 

 

 

MealEnders Discount Code

23 Mar

Hey guys! I know it’s been a bit! Last week I was a bit busy at the beach. :)

Where my running shoes take me <3

A photo posted by Becca (@beccarun) on

Anyhow, I wanted to share a discount for MealEnders that I received (you can read my review of MealEnders here).

Just enter WINNER-TOO at the checkout on MealEnders website to get 30% off your order. This will expire on April 1.

Enjoy! :)

MealEnders (Product Review + Giveaway)

18 Feb

As part of my Sweat Pink Ambassadorship I received four packs of MealEnders for free in exchange for a review. I volunteered for this opportunity, and all opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links in this post.

The giveaway is now over, so comments have been closed. The winner has been notified.

Have you ever mindlessly snacked even though you weren’t hungry? Or kept eating past the “full” point until you were uncomfortable? I definitely have.  That’s why, when I was contacted about a review of MealEnders I was intrigued. However, honestly, I was also skeptical.  We’ve all seen ads (and as a blogger I get contacted from random companies) that promise a miracle product to help you lose weight.  However, when I looked closer at the ingredients of MealEnders I was presently surprised.  There are no drugs, weird herbs, no funny sounding stimulants, and no high fructose corn syrup. There is some sugar, but only 2g per lozenge, and only 15 calories. Sign me up!

The basic way they work is by signaling to your body that it’s time to stop eating.  The lozenges have 2 layers – the first is a sweet layer that tastes like dessert (for real!). I will talk about each of the flavors in more detail below.  The second layer of the lozenge is a cooling layer – sort of mentholy – that “engages the trigeminal nerve to cue the end of eating and clear the palate.”  Interesting!  You can find more about how MealEnders work here.  Eating a MealEnder also gives your body and mind something to do during the time after you finish eating – the time it takes for your mind to catch up to the idea that you are in fact, full.

They come in convenient individual wrappers so you can stick some in your car, purse, wherever. I know I’ll be keeping a stash in my desk drawer at work.

Another thing I really liked is that in all the media I have read about MealEnders, the company never claims to be a miracle maker. They say a few times that it’s important to use MealEnders in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise to create healthy habits.  No quick fixes here, just a tool to help you control those random cravings.

I have tried the different types of MealEnders over the past week and wanted to share my thoughts. MealEnders come in four flavors: cinnamon, citrus, mint chocolate and mocha.

IMG_0413 IMG_0414

I tried cinnamon first, after lunch one day when I was working from home. I find that I tend to mindlessly graze MUCH more when I work from home since my entire pantry is available.  I actually expected to like the cinnamon the least but LOVED it.  It tasted like apple pie!

I tried the mocha after dinner one night hoping to fulfill the need for sweets I have after dinner. It more than did the job and I didn’t feel like I needed to snack that night either.

I really like all the flavors but my favorite is probably the cinnamon, and my least favorite is the mocha.

I honestly don’t have anything bad to say about MealEnders – I think with the variety of flavors there’s something for everyone, and they are a convenient and helpful tool.

The giveaway is now over, so comments have been closed. The winner has been notified.

MealEnders Info: Website, Facebook, Twitter @mealenders, Instagram @mealenders

That time I cried after going to the gym

9 Feb

Last Wednesday I got in my car after finishing up at the gym at 5pm and started sobbing.  Raw, emotional, crying. I wasn’t sad though – it was for a really amazing reason.

Let’s back up.

Though I have not shared my goals for 2015 yet (if you’ve been reading here for more than a year you may remember that I take my time to think about my goals and usually don’t share them until early February), I have been thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2015.

A big part of that is, of course, my fitness goals.

I have had a few classes I have been scared to take since I started at my amazing gym in July 2013; 1. BodyStep class and 2. GRIT class.  These are the only two classes offered that I hadn’t had a chance to take – or rather, had wussed out to take.

The reason I had wussed out was because of one seemingly minor, yet debilitating reason.

LesMillsStep

The bench/step required for the classes.

Here’s the thing. I have used the bench in BodyPump classes for over a year. We use them for doing chest and tricep presses. I was familiar with using it in a non-threatening way.

However, BodyStep and GRIT require you to be comfortable with jumping onto, off of and over the bench.

The thought of jumping onto the bench and maintaining enough composure to jump off of it and back on to it again, scared the shit out of me. Maybe it’s because I fell down the stairs in our basement when I was 3 years old, I’m really not sure what caused this. All I know is that it felt like a huge mental block holding me back.

At the end of December I took my first GRIT class – it’s a super intense HIIT class created by Les Mills. I managed to avoid having to jump on and off the step for my first few classes.  The first time I walked into a GRIT class and instructor said “you need a bench today” I internally freaked out.  We had to do a couple sets of standing straddled over the bench, and then jump up, land on the middle of the bench, and then jump off back to a straddled position.

My heart rate jumped as soon as I saw her demonstrate and I really tried to master the move.  But it was awkward and I didn’t feel comfortable, and frankly I almost fell over so many times that at the end of the class I still was freaked out. I was just glad to be done.

I went to a few more GRIT classes and every time they said we didn’t need a bench I internally rejoiced.

Last Wednesday I couldn’t avoid it any more though. I seriously almost wussed out of going to class. But I knew I had to go, because I knew I had to face my fear.

GRIT rotates between strength, cardio and plyo formats. I knew that the plyo format was the one that would require jumping with the bench the most, and I knew that was the planned format for last Wednesday.

Once again, when the instructor said we would need a bench my heart rate went way up.  But I told myself, this is it, no excuses.

The first exercise we had to do was the hardest. Starting on one side of the bench, we had to jump sideways over it, land, and jump back to the original side. As soon as we started, I froze. I just could not psych myself up to even TRY.  At that minute the instructor (also the owner of the gym, gulp) walked over and stood right in front of me. She said “Do it. Just do it. You can do it.” So I took a breath, and forced my body up, and over that damn bench and landed, a bit awkwardly, without falling on my face. The instructor said “see? awesome job” and moved onto coaching someone else.  and I kept jumping, from one side, over the bench, to the other. And back again.

Don’t get me wrong, it was not easy. Every time I jumped over that bench I felt scared, but every time I landed on the other side successfully I felt like I was knocking out a brick in my mental wall.

After that set of exercises we moved on to jumping on and off the bench in different patterns and jumping over it from front to back.

By the end of the class I had jumped on, off and over that bench more times than I could count.

When I got in my car after class I felt like I had smashed my fear of that stupid bench. And I promised myself to never look back.  That’s when the tears started. It sounds silly, but that mental fear was really limiting me and knocking my confidence. I feel like I overcame that during that 30 minute GRIT plyo class.

Later in the week, I signed up for my first BodyStep class, knowing we would be using the bench for a ton of different exercises in the 60 minute class. I went to the BodyStep class on Saturday and rocked it.

If you have a fear I encourage you to smash it.  The feeling you will get from overcoming something that is holding you back is incredible.

FearQuote1

 

2014 Goals In Review

4 Feb

Hey there,

I just wanted to check in on how I did in my goals that I made for 2014!

My theme for my goals for 2014 was really all about getting stronger, mentally and physically.  And I think I succeeded in doing just that.

Healthy Living

Strength Training. Strength Training. Strength Training.  This was a huge success. BodyPump has been great for me and I feel myself becoming much stronger because of this.

I recently posted this on instagram but wanted to share a little BodyPump “Before and Current”… my first #transformationtuesday post.

Run Marathon #2 – Wineglass Marathon in October.  Success! and I PRed. I finished this race strongly and happy after a very strong training cycle.

Wineglass Marathon (4)

Focus on water intake.  I ended the year on a strong note with this, but it’s still something I want to focus on.

Yoga. Okay this was a pretty big fail. I did great with it during the Marathon taper period but other than that didn’t do so great.

Quality over Quantity with races.  The Wineglass Marathon was my focus in 2014. I did less races overall but have no regrets. I also feel like I finished many of my half marathons in 2014 feeling good and strong (though no PRs).

Battlefield Pro Photo

Focus on fresh and unprocessed. I did really great with this. I try to cook fresh, unprocessed meals, most week nights and have become much more comfortable with cooking as a result.  A lot of this is do to meal planning and prep on weekends.  It made a huge difference for me.

Personal

Focus on far away friends. I wish I could say I did better this year, but I didn’t.

More reading.  I definitely read more books in 2014 than I have in a while, but this is something I want to continue to improve on.

Focus on living in the now. I really tried to live in the moment in 2014 and overall I think I was successful. There were definitely moments where I was stressed out and a bit anxious but for the most part I was able to stop myself from wishing any moments away or worrying about the future.

At Home

Finish the basement of the house.  We finished this in March. YAY! A finished basement is a great thing. :)

Paint the interior. No progress on this… hopefully in 2015.

Overall I am happy with how I did on my goals in 2014, but feel there are definitely some things to continue to work on in 2015. I’ll be sharing my 2015 goals in an upcoming post soon!

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