Friday, March 30, 2012

Race Review: Red Shoe Run and Walk

Quintessential race crowd pic
I know many of you didn't know this but I did a 5k over the weekend. You must be thinking to yourself, "A 5k after you just ran a half marathon a week before? You must be crazy!" But actually, it really wasn't that bad because (insert long dramatic pause here) I walked it! What?!?! Yes, you heard right I walked a 5k.

Look a Hoggette!
About a month ago, one of my co-workers asked me if I wanted to participate in a 5k with her and some of our other work colleagues. I asked her if anyone was running it and she said probably not. Hmmm...walking a race. Since this was unofficial "team building" I figured that I would walk with my co-workers so we could chit-chat and do some bonding. sweet! Anyway, I'm still going to give you my review of the 5k even though I didn't run it. 'Cause it's still a race, right? ;)

My co-workers and I with Ronald pre-race
The Red Shoe Run and Walk was in Herndon, VA and was held by the Potomac River Running Store for the Ronald McDonald House. Compared to the weather we've been having recently, it was pretty cold since it rained the night before. I don't want to say that it was small, so I'll use real estate terms and call it "cozy." It was a much appreciated contrast to the craziness and uber-crowds of the Rock and Roll Half Marathon I did the weekend before. I easily parked in the garage and went to packet pick up which was located on the first floor. How convenient! There were a couple of tables for free goodies. Key chains and tissues from TD Bank, sunblock, lip balm, and of course coffee, bagels, and yogurt parfaits from where else? McDonald's. They even had hash browns! I wasn't too keen on filling up before a race (even though I was walking it) so instead, I grabbed a couple of mini Powerades for the road.

Before the 5k started, there was a Kids Fun Run. That was pretty neat because although I had heard of them, I had never seen one before. The kids were totally cute and you could see their smiles after receiving their finishers medals!

The runners, walkers, stroller-pushers all started at the same time. The one thing that was kind of weird was that traffic wasn't stopped in both directions and we were running alongside traffic. It wasn't that bad, until people realized we couldn't use both lanes to run/walk in (D'oh!). The race course meandered though the nearby neighborhoods and new developments. Sorry, I'm from DC so I couldn't really tell you where I was, but it was pretty peaceful.

At the last mile there was a hill (isn't it always like that?) where my co-workers and I picked up the pace. One of my colleagues exclaimed, "Let's wog!" At first I didn't know what she was talking about until she told me what "wog" meant. Walk + Jog = Wog. Funny, huh? She cracks me up!

Another pic with my co-workers and my co-worker's daughter at the starting line
Overall, whether you ran, walked, or "wogged" I would say that this was a pretty good race to participate in. It was small, well organized and except for the hill at the end it was a relatively flat course (PR potential!). It will definitely be a race I'll consider running next year.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Race Review: 2012 Rock and Roll Half Marathon Washington DC

Hello Everybody!

A long blogging hiatus and another half marathon under my belt! With the half marathon out of the way (haven't planned my next race yet) and awesome weather on the horizon you can count on more things to come regarding our house.

But first things first, let me give you my review of the Rock and Roll (RnR) Half Marathon that I ran on Saturday in Washington, DC. This was the first time that a RnR Race has ever been done in DC. The Competitor Group (the company in charge of all the RnR Races worldwide) has a reputation for throwing well-organized races with great expos and entertainment and I think that this race was no different.

Let's start with the expo. I thought the expo was great! It had a good mix of sponsors', (free mac and cheese from Safeway, various different beverages, and even a grapefruit booth!), running gear and gadget booths. There was a large area where you could purchase additional RnR gear (hoodie or windbreaker, anyone?) if you felt so inclined. As for myself, I was satisfied with my finishers technical tee which was in a classy navy blue. The logo and graphics on the shirt were pretty understated which was kind of unusual since I'm used to receiving bright tees from races. Also, Justin got recognized (yet again!) by one of the booth attendants. She nearly ran after him just to ask, "Were you on House Hunters?" I wonder if he ever tires of hearing that? I wouldn't know since I rarely get recognized. sigh.
On to the race. Lucky for us, the starting line was only half a mile away so we of course walked to RFK Stadium as a pre-race warm up. Since Justin is much faster than my sisters and I he started in an earlier corral. Although the race started at 8:00am we didn't cross the start line until about 8:30am (good thing I went to the bathroom while I was waiting in my corral because it seems that port-o-potties weren't very plentiful along the race).

Anyway, the best thing about the race was running through all four quadrants of D.C. I always feel that races are a great way to see a city. Call it "Extreme Sightseeing" :) We started off in my neck of the woods, Capitol Hill, and ran around Lincoln Park, a place where I run quite frequently. Then we headed to downtown where we were welcomed by the sounds of an all-girl Japanese drumming troupe.  According to Jill, they perform at the U Street Metro often.

Although I appreciated the diversity of music that was presented at the race (i.e.: rapping kids, steel drums, DJ booth, etc), I was expecting more rock and roll bands at the race--a Journey cover band, perhaps? It wasn't too bad because I ended up listening to the "Pop Fitness" Station on Pandora for the majority of the race anyway.

After leaving downtown we headed to Adams Morgan .  From then on I felt that the crowd support was great! And boy did I need it because after the first major hill on Connecticut Ave we hit several hills in the following neighborhoods. Obviously, it isn't called Columbia Heights for nothing!

I think we went as far north as Petworth before heading back down towards Northeast. Running down H St. was pretty cool as I could see all the bars and restaurants in broad daylight. And it also meant that I was nearly done with the race!

I definitely started to lose steam toward the end, but was able to beat my Nike Women's Half Marathon time by about 15 minutes. A small accomplishment to say the least, but hopefully I'll get faster with the next one (don't I always say that?!).

Here is a pic of Justin and I in front of the Michelob Ultra Tent. Looks like we got some sun!

And Jill and her Kuya...look how tired she is, hahaha...she's faking!

I know this post is lacking pictures. I wasn't in much of a picture taking mood during the race, but here's a picture of my fully bloomed daffodils for your viewing pleasure!

And my wee crocus for extra credit!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Where do you go? My Lovely...


haha...More like where have you been?

Excuse my little musical break, I'm going a little stir crazy here. I hate being cooped up inside on this beautiful day.

Anyway, it has been a while since my last post so I'll fill you in on some of the stuff we've been up to.

Well, the House Hunters crew came by a few weekends ago to film our "Where are they now?" segment. 

Here is all of their equipment crammed in our living room. Since our house isn't that big, they had move their stuff from room to room for filming. Of course Louie is just keeping an eye on it all, as usual.

Justin and I spent the entire night before cleaning our house from top to bottom. We started at about 8pm and didn't finish until 2AM! No, we weren't living in filth or anything, it's just that some of the rooms we don't go into very often got a little...messy. Needless, to say I was out of it when my make-up gal came bright and early at 6am to get me ready for the filming for the day.

This is my post-make-up delirious face:

It's been almost a year since we wrapped up our episode and I complete forgot how exhausting filming was (especially if you're lacking sleep!). You have to be "on" at all times ("With energy!" the producer would prod). And of course I had relearn how to speak in the present tense and Justin had to keep from

Here is the film crew capturing Justin cooking in our kitchen. Just an average day, right?

With about eight hours of filming, guess how long our segment will be in the episode? According the producer--six minutes! And of course I'll let you know when it airs (as soon as I find out) because if you blink, you literally might miss it!

Wow, I couldn't believe we would be doing all that filming for such a small amount of time. But then again, I can believe it because for our episode we filmed for five, 8-hour days for just a 20 minute episode. Go figure.

Anyway, with the Rock and Roll Half Marathon coming up in a few weeks, Justin and I have put the home projects on the backburner in order to focus more on our training, but you can be sure that we'll be back at it by month's end. I'll try to give you some previews on some projects we hope to get started on this Spring.

Our social calendar seems pretty full for the month as well. With the half marathon, family coming into town, St. Practice and St. Patricks Day, and a certain someone (Justin!) turning the Big 3-0, I'll try my best to keep you posted on everything!

On another note, Louie made the Afternoon Animal Fix on one of our favorite blogs, Prince of Petworth. Hopefully, his individual fame won't go to head!