Monday, November 28, 2011

10k Turkey Trot- New PR!

Every Thanksgiving since 2009 D and I have done the Thanks-4-Giving race in Lowell. The first year I did the 5k last year was 10k and this year 10k again. I have gotten to know the course very well since I have run these races on it and the New Years 10k and all the Lowell Triathlons are on a similar route.

Earlier in the week I wrote down my course PR and my 10k PR on a post it in my office and calculated the pace I would want to go if I wanted to break either. First goal: beat course time of 1:05:14 Goal 2: beat PR of 1:03:05 Goal 3: go for an hour or under.

Like I said I know this course pretty well- I know where the hills are and where to kick it in. We hit the first hill and the not so often 5k runners started walking like crazy. I think I should for my next turkey trot put myself further forward- not do my usual start farther back. Did a bit of dodging and weaving around folks for the whole 5k route. Since it is a double loop course the 5k runners peal off and the 10k'ers continue on. I crossed the timing mat at the 5k feeling pretty good. Mile 1- 9:50, Mile 2- 9:31, Mile 3- 9:40

The only change on the second pass is there is a jump into a neighborhood. It is on the hilly part of the course and it is through very winding roads so my time for this mile dropped. Mile 4- 9:58

I had seen my other paces and knew I was going to be able to beat goal one, and I was getting close to being able to beat goal two. Okay time to be sure to kick it in- only 2 miles left come on.... Back on pace with mile 5- 9:33. Miles 5 and 6 are the flat stretch of road on the course so I knew if I could get comfortable and cruise I would be okay. Somewhere in mile 5 it hit me not only was I going to beat goal two now but I was possibly going to make it for goal three. Okay Juls put your head down and get this done.

Mile 6- 9:39. I honestly have no idea where the mile marker was or when my watch went off but I knew it was time to finish strong. D came out and finished with me. I told him I couldn't talk. I just wanted to put my head down and finish. I wanted to finish in 1:00 or under. He helped push me through to a strong finish. As I crossed the line a friend who had finished around the same time as D was cheering and taking photos. I looked down at my watch when I crossed 1:00:48. I DID IT! Goal One, Two and Three done! I couldn't have been happier.

The last lil bit was at 8:42 pace. The course was 6.3 mi according to my garmin and 2 other people's also- so 6.3mi 1:00:48 works out to 9:39 pace. Race results with 6.2 mi course say 9:49 pace.

I knocked 5 minutes off my time on the course from last year and knocked 3 minutes off my PR! Not a bad Turkey Trot morning! D PR'd too! We both had a great Turkey Trot and definitely deserved our deep fried turkey that night! Goal 3 for the next 10k: under 1:00

For the record: that's 2 PR's in my new Team Sparkle skirt.... maybe the thing has magical powers?!

Monday, November 21, 2011

DVD Challenge Week 3- 30 Day Shred

I have been remiss in my blogging of this past week's challenge. Sorry all I was on the road. But I did do my photos and I did do my DVD and I did weigh myself- so let me get down to it. It was an interesting week or so... hard training week w 5:30 planned hours from coach then the week after was my recovery week. And- being that time of the month with a rough training week made me exhausted and of course didn't help with the scale! I stuck with level 2 but I think it might be time to get ready for the jump to Level 3! :) Thinking I won't be losing the "up to 20lbs in 30 days" like the tagline says

I am not overly impressed with the photos this week but maybe the same thing as the scale... that time of the month?! who knows!

yes diff background because I was traveling and wanted to be sure to take my photos :)

And the Stats:
This week's workouts- Tues- hill repeats, DVD#12, Weds- bikram yoga, Mon- Cycling 6.52 mi, DVD#13, Fri- off not feeling well, Sat- Cycling 18mi, DVD #14, Sun- run 3.06mi, DVD#15, Mon- yoga, Tues- cycling 9.58mi, DVD #16, Wedns- off from training but did DVD #17, Thurs- short run on the beach in FL 1.6mi, DVD#18, Fri- day off from training but did DVD #19, Sat- Cycling 15.4 mi, Sun- run 3.06mi, DVD #20

Weight Tuesday Morning- 182.6lb (up assuming this is water weight from that time of the month~ we'll see next week?!)

Nutrition- Example: Breakfast- Apple w honey spices and granola- 247cals
Lunch- stir fry chicken w veggies and brown rice- 350cals
Dinner- lasagna home made with meat and veggies- 469cals
Snacks- cereal- 160 cals
Total: 1226 cals <- NEED to get this up!

Thoughts- Still low on the calories... counting seems to always do me in. So only 10 more DVD days left to get to 30. Hopefully the scale and the pictures show some progress. Starting to think what my next challenge may be....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Review: Marathon-Photo

For those of you that follow me on twitter you saw my tweet about this but here's the story. I ordered my 5x7 photo from the Army Ten Miler on 19 Oct. On 31 Oct I was told they shipped and it would be 2 weeks for the picture to arrive and in just under 2 weeks I received my picture. I promptly went out and bought a 5x7 frame for my new race photo got home and IT DOESN'T FIT! I spent 23 bucks on a picture that I can't frame?! In order to frame it at the size it is at 5x7.5 I would have to buy a custom frame.

Frustrated I turned to contact the company, . They don't even have a number or email I can contact them in the US! WHAT?! So I entered into their automated system my frustration.

======== COMMENTS/QUESTION =========
I am very disappointed with the service of this company. It took almost 3 weeks for me to receive my photo. The photo I received was supposed to be a 5x7 and when it arrived it will not fit in a 5x7 frame and is actually 5x7.5. I would like a refund given the fact that the photo is not what I ordered! I am so unhappy I will gladly send the image back (if you provide a shipping code- I will not be charged to send back a photo I am not happy with). I look forward to your response.

Thank you,


And this was the response I received:

Hi Julia,

To have our quality control check this photo and possibly offer a replacement or refund, we need you to post back this photo.
Please enclose a note of explanation - a print out of this email would be good - and post to:

PO Box 60
Hamilton 3240
New Zealand

You might try writing "Return to Sender" on the original packaging to post back to us - please check the address is clearly as above.

Or post to:
Chris Parry, Dean Lodge, 16 Frieth Road, Marlow, Bucks, SL7 2QT, England

* Also, in case of a refund, please give a Visa or Mastercard number ( WITHOUT the expiry date).

Kindest Regards, Sheryl

Sheryl Laurie
Customer Services

Which prompted me to return this message:


You have to be kidding me? I have to pay to ship back a photo that you obviously printed wrong and now you want me to just send you my credit card information. You have to be joking send your credit card number to a foreign country with a package. This is rule one in protecting your identity. I am appauled that this is the way you treat customers and I have sent a detailed email to the Army Ten Miler support staff explaining my issues. I will not be returning the photo and I will not be sending my credit card information for a POSSIBLE refund. I will never be ordering a photo from your company again and plan to let all my friends know that are athletes too to keep an eye out for your company in future events.

Thank you. And best wishes in the future!


I am awaiting a response from them. I will keep you posted with any further developments. I have sent my issues to the race directors of the Army Ten Miler, also.

Just an FYI companies out there- you need to realize that customer service is bigger now than ever! In a second I can say don't use this company and my 800+ followers on twitter read it and one of them retweets it (@trirunner302) and you have your name disgraced to over 2000 people. Then add in the fact that @runteamsparkle put the comment in their newsletter and the reach goes exponentially. You just need to take the time to realize what you are saying and whether you want that out there in public because it is no longer I tell 2 friends I don't like you and it stops there. To be quite honest I didn't even realize how far my reach is but it is really worth while for companies to keep in mind especially with the economic times when people are worried about spending money and not having it be a worth while experience.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

5k for Pre-K Race Report- #sparkle

Saturday 5 Nov was the second year I put my toe to the line of the 5k for Pre-K. This race is TINY! They allow no registration online the only pre-registration is to drop off at the church where the preschool is that they run the race for in Holliston, MA. So obviously registration day of is popular. It is a cheap race at only 20 bucks for registration. There is no race shirt just a simple number no chip. Kinda nice. And super local.

I grew up pretty close to the start line so my parents were up for racing too. Mom did it last year and won her age group. D raced last year and placed in his age group too but this year a duathlon rescheduling caused him to decide against a double race weekend. Dad decided to join us this year even though he was doing the same duathlon as D (his first) the next day.

Last year my time on the course was probably my slowest 5k. Mind you I was 2 months in to being able to run again post surgery and this course is no walk in the park. It is possibly one of the hilliest courses for a 5k I have ever done. It starts at the bottom of a hill and ends with a nasty climb. Since I knew the course was gonna be tough I just wanted to beat my time from last year and have fun with it.

Dad offered to help pace me to beat my time from last year. I wanted to be sure I had enough in the tank to make it up that last hill so I told him around 10s- knowing I could probably do better than that. And as for having fun- I raced my first race in my Team Sparkle skirt. I made a decision a couple weeks ago to buy my first skirt and join the team when I realized all I was going to be doing was running races for a few months. I am not a fan of running races. I always feel so slow so I wanted something to add a little fun to it. The #sparkle added a lot of fun. I got lots of compliments!

Dad and I ran the first mile in 9:24- not bad did I mention it starts UPHILL! The plan was to try to stay around a 9:30 now for the rest of the race. Mile 2- 9:41- well a bit off. The last mile of this course is the worst mostly up hill with a killer hill at the end managed a 9:49 pace. Worked out to a finishing time of 29:58 with a 9:36 pace. Crushing my previous course time by 3 minutes! Mom managed to stay right on Dad and I's heels so she finished 30 something also beating her time by 3 minutes from last year.

This race also has a lovely tradition that the parents of the preschool make baked goods for all the award winners. There is a table full of goodies that you get to take a WHOLE plate of cookies, brownies whatever after accepting your award. They also did a fun little raffle. The times weren't posted when they started awards we were all hoping Mom would repeat her AG win. WHICH SHE DID! GO MOM!

The 18-39 age group- I know HUGE age group- was called and I couldn't believe it when they said 3rd place- ME!? I was in total shock! I have never placed in a running race. I have never gotten a medal at a running race that wasn't the medal they gave everyone who crossed the finish line! I think my #sparkle may have helped. Coach told me it is all the hard work of the season paying off. I have to say I have worked hard and I am glad I could wear my skirt and have a little fun too!

Mom and I with our awards :)

Side note: the rest of the weekend I was support for D and Dad's duathlon. It was Dad's first and he went all in with a costume for the Halloween themed race. D ended up doing great with a new course PR and got 4th in his AG. SO PROUD! I think Dad has a new found respect for multi-sport events. Maybe we can shame him into actually training to do another next season! My friend Julia was there too- she rocked out a 2nd place OA female award- WTG Jules!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

DVD Challenge Week 2- 30 Day Shred

Let's start off with a bit of honesty. I was a bit lame in doing my DVD this week- was away over the weekend which turned into way longer with the snow-apocalypse, had to tend to my bridesmaid duties, and had a race to prep for and run. So I wasn't as good about my DVD this week as I had been but that is the truth and it isn't like I did nothing so anyway.... Truth be told to start off!

I stuck with Level 2. I actually like the exercises in Level 2 and need to work on my plyo moves. I am still super psyched I can do the skaters but still working on the other jump moves- squat thrusts I am OKAY at but the plank jacks need work! I am not too sick of Jillian's voice for this level yet.... but getting there.

I don't think the photos look super different. Maybe a bit of slimming in the mid section?! or I am just being optimistic this morning.

And the Stats:
This week's workouts- Sat- ended up day off by accident with the wedding, Sun- Run 3mi, DVD#7, Mon- Cycling 15mi, DVD#8, Tues- Ran- 2.62mi (hill repeats), DVD #9, Weds- Ran 3.4mi, Thurs- 1450yds, DVD#10, Friday- day off to prep for race- wanted to save my legs and body, Sat- 5k (no gas for a DVD after), Sun- Sick, Mon- swim 1600yds, DVD #11

Weight Tuesday Morning- 181.4lb (down ~2 lb)

Nutrition- Example: Breakfast- Cereal w skim milk- 267cals
Lunch- chicken sausage, tomatoes, spaghetti and an apple- 532cals
Dinner- salad with blue cheese and steak w a hard cider- 672cals (ate out after social run- still survived the calorie count)
Snacks- bar- 105 cals
Total: 1576 cals <- better but still need to get this up!

Thoughts- I have decided that Jillian just says every over used motivation in the 20 min. I think I may need to start doing it with my own music again!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Taking Control with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

I have gone to an acupuncturist for close to a year now. I originally went in with hopes of acupuncture helping with stress and then my hip and shoulders. It has helped immensely with my stress and I am shocked how much it has done for my hip and shoulders. I actually don't even have to have her do anything for my shoulder anymore and the hip is just when it bugs me. I find the hour of relaxation helps with stress and mood overall.

Many people who know me know I have a constant struggle with my weight. Though I feel silly saying that. I feel like I am being vein since there are so many people in the country that are morbidly obese and I just need to lose 20 or 30 lbs. I am not sure what it is but I workout a lot and eat right and I can't seem to drop any more weight! I have been to a doctor to have regular blood work done and "your fine" was the result. I need to get to an endocrinologist to have some more tests done.

Since it is something that has really been eating my lunch this off season I have decided to do something till I can get to an endocrinologist. This is where we come full circle to the acupuncture- I asked my acupuncturist if she could help following my last appointment. She said actually you are a perfect candidate, someone who doesn't medically have something wrong, who is already doing things to help the weight loss- ie working out and eating right. Ive been to a nutritionist and know how to eat well and I have to say I am pretty good about it. The only thing I am bad about is making sure I eat enough. And you all know I work out!

She offered a tradition Chinese Medicine to start the process- Free and Easy Wanderer Plus- Jia Wei Xiao Yao Wan. She said it would help with mood and overall function. In reading it looks like it helps Liver function mostly. She said it is something she often gives to women for many issues and it helps a lot. I am taking 8 of these TINY little pills 3 times a day on an empty stomach. I started last Wednesday morning with the pills and the other thing will be acupuncture once a week focused on weight loss- first appointment is tomorrow.

After my talk with my acupuncturist I looked into some research on acupuncture and weight loss. I found some great articles everything from how it works to Dr. Oz to the truth that it can't be all you do to lose weight. Essentially it appears the acupuncture is used to help your body's function, with digestion and metabolism, and help with stress to help aid weight loss. Acupuncture releases endorphins which help with weight loss also. The truth is it is like anything else it isn't the magic cure all you have to do work yourself- eat right, exercise etc. These were some of the articles I found online:

This was my favorite with one of its article concluding in " So if you are getting tired and frustrated that your weight loss efforts do not seem to give you any favorable results, you should definitely try using acupuncture for weight loss; when combined with a proper diet and exercise, you will be amazed at how much improvement you will get from this ancient medical treatment."

So my thought is I am going to give this a shot. I am also going to keep working on getting in with the endocrinologist. I will continue the medicine and acupuncture appointments once a week for all of November- then at the end of the month re assess if I think it is working. I'll be sure to report back :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Farm Share - Go Organic?

Last year my parents had a share at a local Organic Farm, Silverwood Organic. They got some great veggies over the summer and were interested in the Winter Share, but sadly they only offer big Family shares (win for me!). We ended up splitting the Family share for the Winter Share.

Now some of you may not know this but I LOVE TO COOK! It is kind of a zen thing for me, get me in a kitchen it relaxes me and makes me feel so much better. Not to mention with my travel schedule it is nice to be home to cook! I saw the share as a great way to learn some new recipes with some new veggies I'd probably never have tried before. The other win is the farm is Organic.

Last night I made Candied Carrots and mixed up the saute greens with a shallot and some garlic (all from the share). Add some chicken and you have a meal. I am looking forward to making soup from the squash and pumpkin we got this week. Next Saturday is the next pickup- YAY more things to try!!

Since my veggies are gonna be Organic now... maybe I should make the switch to all Organic. I have been thinking a lot lately. I know it is more expensive but I just think I love supporting more local farmers, love the thought of less chemicals on my food, and I could just be making this up but the veggies taste better and I feel like I get more nutrients. Anyone out there Organic? why did you switch? is it more expensive?

Healthy food for training is my thought since as my coach just said "there is no OFF season only winter training!"