NYRR France 8k – Race Recap

Another hot/humid summer day in NYC. I drove into the city bright and early; called my friend H & we headed to Central Park for our long run. I was running the France 8k as part of my long run so I decided to log a few miles before. I logged 2 miles in the park with my amazing friend Haley before looping around to head back to the starting line & wait for the race to begin.

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My only goal for this race was to enjoy the run. I had no time goals as I was using this toward a 12 mile long run while earning credit toward my 9 + 1 for TCS NYC Marathon 2016. I took my place in my corral and minutes later the Star Spangled Banner was sung. Halfway through the song; it started to rain. In minutes we were off! By mile two it started to downpour and my sneakers began to fill with water. They got heavier and heavier with each mile! I had no goal time so my only goal at this point was to finish without slipping. I refused to give up no matter how heavy my sneakers got. I kept moving! I crossed the finish line, took a quick photo and tried to dump some of the water out of my wet shoes.

I was soaked & it was more humid than it was before the race began, but I knew my work was not done! I had a few more miles to go to complete my 12 mile run so I got to it. I continued running in Central Park in & logged my 12 miles! Not a bad pace for running in soaked clothes. πŸ™‚

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After I completed my run; I met up with Haley & we grabbed some protein smoothies before heading back to her place to watch the Men’s Olympic Marathon. H was nice enough to give me dry clothes to change into so I didn’t have to drive home completely drenched! She’s such a good friend!

By the time I left the city; the sun was shining and it was just beautiful outside!

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It was a good day!! Next up – 5th Avenue Mile!

Thank you as always for following my journey!! @meretherunner14

 

Neptune City 5K Race Recap – 1ST in Age Group

A little behind with my race recaps – racing, marathon training and a busy work schedule have kept me from blogging as much as I’d like to. Thinking back to August 6th; a cloudy, humid morning. As many 5k’s/races as I’ve done – this distance still gives me the pre-race jitters. The thought of going all out for a shorter distance gets my nerves going, but I continue to register for them constantly testing my limits!! It was a hot/muggy morning – high humidity so I quickly took the pressure off myself by simply saying to myself “Be safe let’s see how this goes in the heat – listen to your body!” Before the race start we all said the Pledge of Allegiance. I took my spot at the front of the pack & within minutes we were off. It was hot/humid so I made sure to pace myself! I was feeling good at mile 1 and continued to pace myself through mile 2. With 1 mile left, I picked up the pace a bit in hopes of a strong finish. I don’t run well in heat/humidity but I crossed the finish in 23:07 feeling strong!

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I felt like I still had something left in the tank & that was a good sign considering I had my long run the next day!!

I found my hubby & we headed over to check the results. I placed 1st in my age group, 4th female and 24th overall.

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I received my medal on stage and after I went to breakfast with my hubby to celebrate. I am so thankful for his constant support!!

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Next up – NYRR France 8k.

Thank you as always for following my journey! @meretherunner14

Boomer’s Cystic Fibrosis Run to Breathe 4 miler – Race Recap

With summer here; although I am training & racing – I’ve fallen a bit behind on my blogging! Here I am, back & catching up!😊 On Saturday, July 16th I got out of bed bright & early to head this NYC. Today, I would be running my ” 6th NYRR race toward my 9 + 1 for

NYCM 2017. It was another hot, humid summer morning in the city. I did not have any time goals going into the race & decided not to put any pressure on myself to run a certain pace. My thought was “its hot – its humid – I’ll run with no music – listen to my body & see how this goes.” The race began with the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, announcements from the race director – telling us to run safe in the heat and some inspiring words from Boomer Esiason. Within minutes, the race started. It was a hot one but I felt good. My goal was to not focus on the time on my watch but instead ruin by feel & hydrate along the course! I crossed the mile 1 marker at a pace of 7:58. I wasn’t all out racing, I was running a comfortable pace & feeling good! I made sure to grab water sip some of it & pour the rest over my head at every water stop. At mile 2 I was at a pace of 7:59, still feeling good. Halfway through, the sun was shining bright & it was getting even warmer but I was so determined! I crossed the mile,3 mark at 7:44 pace and at that point I said to myself “finish this race strong!” We came to a downhill in the park where there was a crowd of spectators yelling “less than a mile to go!” I kept repeating to myself, you’ve got this! I conquered the heat finishing mile 4 at 7:37! Average pace was 7:48/mile – finishing just 27 seconds off from a 4 mile PR even in the scorching heat.

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Overall, I was very happy with the way I paced myself in this race & content with my time. Below; I’m sprinting full speed to the finish line!

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After the race I ran into my amazing friend Martina who ran the race as part of her long run for TCS NYC Marathon! It’s always so great to see this girl!!

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I headed back over to the finish to stand with my hubby & brother- in-law as we cheered on my amazing sister-in-law Jess as she crossed the finish line!! 😊

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We hung out in Central Park, took some pics & just enjoyed the beautiful summer weather in the city!!

As always our hubby’s were there to support us & to be silly!

We grabbed some Starbucks coffee!

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Of course Jess & I got our Instagram names put on our cups!!

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After we said goodbye & headed back to the parking garage where our car was. The guy in the parking garage was nice enough to let us know that if we came back in 30 minutes (which would be 4 hours of parking) the cost would be half. We decided to grab some protein smoothies so we found this cute little place nearby and that’s exactly what we did!!

It was a wonderful day with wonderful company!!

Thank you as always for following my journey! Mere @meretherunner14

Β Next up – Neptune City 5k – 8/6 (I placed 1st in my age group – blog coming soon)! 😊

Tiux Compression Sock Giveaway

There is still time to enter my giveaway from Tiux! One lucky person will win one pair of Tiux Compression socks (your choice of colors). Visit my Instagram @meretherunner14 & look under this photo (on my Instagram page) for details. “Run. Jump. Go.” Contest ends at 11pm (EST) today 8/4. Winner will be announced on Instagram tomorrow 8/5.

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Belmar Five – Race Recap

This summer has been quite busy; putting me a little behind on my blogging but here I am on “Throwback Thursday” ready to tell you all about this awesome race! I am blogging as I wait for my car to get an oil change so here goes!! On July 9th I ran the Belmar Five! This is a local race that takes you through beautiful Belmar; one of the Jersey Shore beach towns.

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People from all over New Jersey & even outside NJ come to participate! This race is known for being one of the hottest races of the year (last year’s race pics below).

However this year was quite different! This year it was cloudy, humid & misty & the rain picked as the race started.

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This was my second year running this race. Last year I ran this race with a sesimoid stress fracture in my foot (with my doctors ok) so I knew this year’s time would most likely be better!I went out running with no music; as I’ve done in all my race & training runs since early June. I went out with no pressure on myself; no high expectations but simply a goal to just run strong! I’ve found in the past that when I set goals for myself prior to a race; I would spend the whole race looking down at my watch stressing myself out if I’m not where I need to be. That took the fun out of racing for me. With that; I’ve recently stopped running with music, stopped starring down at my Garmin constantly to take the pressure off myself & just focusing on listening to my body & running the best race I can. The start was a little crowded which helped me to pace myself for the first mile – keeping it at 7:43! The rain was coming down but with the high humidity, it just felt perfect!! At mile 2; I was feeling good and I spotted Heather – a fellow instagrammer on the course so I ran beside her and said hello!! We saw one another out on the course at Runapalooza in April, but never actually met so it was so great to see her!! I continued on pushing through the humidity & enjoying the rain falling on me; keeping me cool!! I crossed the mile 2 mark at 7:39. As we headed into mile 3 and approached the Belmar boardwalk; we were greeted by a large group of people cheering for us!! I was feeling determined & loving these cooler temps! We ran through a bit of wind as we ran along the ocean, but I pushed through strong holding a 7:43/mile pace. With just 2 miles left; I looked down at my watch and knew the chance of running a PR was pretty good!!! I stood clear of focusing on the time on my watch prior to this to keep from stressing myself. I was determined; pushing the pace crossing the mile 4 mark at 7:38/mile pace. I was feeling good!! I said to myself “1 mile left Mere; you’ve got this!” I focused on staying strong as my SparkletΒ  bracelet from Momentum Jewelry says and you know what – I did!!!

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I ran mile 5 at a 7:26/mile pace crossed the finish line with an overall pace of 7:37/mile!!! πŸ˜€ This was huge for me; not only a course PR (shaving over 3 minutes off of last years time) but a new 5 mile PR! 😊

I managed to run negative splits and place 11th/ 165 females 35 – 39 years old, 76th/1,216 women and 355th/2,438 overall!! I was so proud! After the race; I ran into Heather, we chatted and of course took some pics as we Instagram folks do!

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She told me of a post race BBQ for all runners at a local Bar/Restaurant in town so hubby and I decided to go!! 😊 Each person received their choice of a hot dog or hamburger platter! We also received a medal & a flower at the finish-line, a T-shirt and a Belmar 5 souvenir cup for the races 40th anniversary!!

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Hubby and I hung out and just relaxed for a few hours; it was so nice!!

Overall it was a wonderful day; I earned my 53rd medal & put my 84th race in the books!

Although it tends to be a hot one every year; this is one of my favorite races along the Jersey Shore & I will definitely be back next year!!! 😊

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And… my car is ready – talk about using time wisely!! Thanks for reading!

Do you go into every race with a time goal? Do you enjoy running in the rain as much as I do? Do you race with music?

Thoughts? Please share.Β 

Next up – Boomer’s Cystic Fibrosis – Run to Breathe – 4 miler – NYRR – NYC (already ran it – recap coming soon).

Thank you as always for following my journey!!! Mere @meretherunner14

Tasty Treat Tuesday – A Hint of Mint

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This green smoothie inspired by Hungry Girl is DELICIOUS, less than 100 calories and is so easy to make!!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup of spinach
  • 1 1/4 cup of ice
  • 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup of mint leaves
  • 1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder (you can add more if you would like)
  • 2 packets of Stevia (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened coconut – vanilla almond milk

Blend it all up in a blender; pour it into your favorite glass, add a straw & a pretty umbrella of course & ENJOY!!!

Mere @meretherunner14

Tasty Treat Tuesday – Guilt-Free Ice Pops

Looking for a refreshing treat on a hot summer day without the extra sugar & artificial flavoring? Here it is – Guilt Free Ice Pops! A co-worker of mine recently introduced me to an antioxidant beverage called “bai“. Being someone that drinks only water & coffee for the most part; I was skeptical at first. One Saturday; after spending the day hiking my hubby & I stopped at a store for some extra cold water. I saw “bai” on the shelf & thought “I am going to finally give it a try! After checking out the selection of flavors; I decided on “Molokai Coconut Cocofusion!” Why? Because it reminded me of Hawaii; the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited! My 1st reaction was:

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Even better “bai”contains no artificial preservatives! It is:

– Gluten Free – Low Glycemic – Non-GMO – Kosher – Vegan – Soy Free – Contains only 5 calories per 8oz. serving – 1g of sugar – no artificial sweeteners

* contains 35mg of caffeine per serving

I thought; “this is so refreshing – I wonder how this would taste if I made it into an ice pop!” So I decided to give it a try! I purchased 1 18oz. bottle of “bai” – Molokai Coconut Cocofusion (If you are not a fan of coconut there are a variety of other flavors to choose from)!!

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Frozen Ice Pop Tray

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Poured the “bai” into each tray, put it in the freezer overnight & let it freeze. The next day; it was another hot/sticky day so I decided to give them a whirl!!

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My reaction “This is the perfect summer treat without the sugar & artificial sweeteners! I hope you enjoy this refreshing treat as much as I do! Thank you “bai” for giving us these healthier options!

Thank you as always for visiting my page & for following my journey!

Mere @meretherunner14

Tasty Treat Tuesday – Skinny Pina Coladas

Are you craving a frozen summer drink without all the extra calories? Well here it is! This recipe was inspired by the AMAZING Hungry Girl! I saw it & had to try it!! I am so glad I did! I switched out a couple of ingredients because I did not have them & it still came out PERFECTLY!

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Ingredients

3 tablespoons vanilla protein powder

1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/3 cup fresh pineapple

2 packets of Stevia or your choice of sweetener

6 ice cubes

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Optional – 50ml of coconut rum – with rum approximately 185 calories

Put it in the blender; blend it up, add a pretty umbrella & ENJOY this guilt-free treat!! recipe

Jess & I thought it was just DELICIOUS!!!

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NYRR Achilles Hope & Possibility – Race Recap

Sunday morning I headed into NYC bright & early to run my 83rd race (28th NYRR race) & believe it or not; my 2nd 4 mile race ever. It was another hot/humid summer day & well we all know how I feel about running in the heat.

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However, I did not let that get in the way of what I thought could be a PR for me.

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The only 4 mile race I ever ran was 2 years ago. It was just months after returning to running after a stress fracture in my 2nd metatarsal of my left foot & I had no time goals. I ran with friends & just enjoyed the race. Today was different; today I set out to beat my best! I was determined to do the best that I possibly could in the heat. Before the start of the race the NYRR director spoke to us, he went through the safety precautions & told us to be careful in the heat. Within minutes the hand cyclists and wheelchair athletes started before each corrall started one by one; I was in corral D. For some reason my Garmin couldn’t find a signal; I realized later this was a blessing in disguise. I ran the first .6 miles with absolutely no idea of what pace I was running. At mile .6; my Garmin finally decided to ‘find me’ & by that point I had already decided that I was racing “watch less.” Hills, heat & humidity but I was feeling good; taking full advantage of the water at the water stops (sipping & pouring it over my head) & running through the sprinklers set up at each mile. As I ran; I was so inspired by the wheelchair athletes, the guides pushing wheelchair athletes, the walkers – it was truly amazing! Yes, it was hot, it was humid, it was tough but I was so completely inspired by each of these amazing athletes that I pushed through with pure determination. I refused to give less than everything I had that day! Along with mile 3 came many uphills as I expected; I paced myself properly hoping for a strong finish. I paced mile 3; I thought ‘just one mile left.” I am not sure where it came from but I got a sudden burst of energy; kicking it into high gear maintaining a pace of 7:08/mile. With just 800 meters left we passed a few volunteers & a crowd of people that yelled “just a half mile to go!” I looked down at my watch & I was still maintaining a pace in the low 7:00’s. The crowds yelled & cheered as we approached the finish line! I crossed the finish line; looked down at my watch & couldn’t believe it – I finished in 31:16 (7:49/mile)!! Nearly a 9 minutes PR!

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Yes it was hot, yes it was humid, yes the hills were tough but this girl refused to give up! After recovering from injury after injury over the last 3 yrs: it’s been quite a while since I could say that I PR’d & this is definitely a day I won’t forget. Overall; I felt so strong through this race & I know my sister (my angel) was beside me the whole time & there to see me PR at the 4 mile distance. ❀

After the race; I walked over to pick up my race t-shirt & check out the post-race party where I listened for the winners of the raffles.I didn’t win any prizes but this race was a win in my book!! I headed back to NJ after the race spending the rest of the day with family & friends. My sisters dog; Carter was so proud of his Auntie Mere!

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It was a good day! 😊 I was definitely on a “runners high” for the rest of the day!

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I later found out that I placed 16th in my age group out of 444 females 35-39, 130th out of 2,781 females and 845th out of 5,629 runners! This was a fantastic race & I will definitely be back again next year!!!

Thank you as always for following my journey!

Mere @meretherunner14

Gone Camping!!

Summer has officially arrived & being the nature lovers that we are; there is nothing that we enjoy more than a some extra quality time with nature! 😊 Last Tuesday, I got up bright & early to sneak in a quick run. This was a HOT one!!

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I got cleaned up; quickly packed up some clothes & Hubby and I packed up the car with all of our camping necessities & headed north! Our destination; The Catskills Mountains! We reserved a spot there last year, but a nasty rain storm kept up from going. This year was a bit different. We did not have a campsite reserved but after making some calls & doing a bit of research Hubby found many places with available campsites for “walk-ins”. We knew that we wanted to stay on the water because water activities such as kayaking is one of our favorite things to do together. The drive up was beautiful; the scenery became more & more picturesque the further north we went! We pondered stopping to camp somewhere closer but decided to keep going to the Catskill Mountains to a place that we had in mind called Mongaup Lake. It took us about 2 1/2 hours to reach the exit for Mongaup Lake. The road that we took to get to the campground was a winding long road with miles of beautiful trees that lined the streets! We saw beautiful white horses & several beautifulΒ  log cabin homes; which I absolutely love! After miles & miles we reached our campsite. One thing we realized right away – no cell phone service! We notified our families immediately so nobody would worry!! Upon arrival the kind staff gave us the locations of the campsites available & allowed us to drive around & choose our campsite! After driving around for just a couple minutes; we found this perfect campsite right on the lake!! Upon arrival to our campsite ; we were greeted by a family of beautiful ducks that hopped right our of the water & walked up to us as we pitched our tent. We just arrived & already we made some new friends!

 

After pitching our tent; we headed out to the nearest food store to pick up some food (chicken etc.) to cook at our campsite as well as some snacks & lots of water to stay hydrated.

I was very surprised at the difference in temperature; about 15 degrees cooler than it was at home & that was perfectly fine with me!Β  The night was much cooler (in the low 60’s); I was thankful I decided to throw that sweatshirt & long pants in my bag at the last minute.

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Hubby cooked us up a fantastic dinner.

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We watched the beautiful sunset while staying warm by the campfire.

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The next day; we woke up bright & early to a breathtaking sunrise.Hubby made us some coffee, we grabbed some water & snacks and rented Kayaks for the day! The scenery out on the water was truly amazing!

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It was unlike anything I’ve seen before!

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While we were kayaking; our friends the ducks came swam over to see us!We were the only ones out in the water & it was relaxing and peaceful at the same time! Exactly what I needed.

We stayed out on the water for a few hours; until we felt like we couldn’t paddle any longer!

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We headed back to our campsite and decided to take a walk & do some sightseeing around the campgrounds!

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The views were just breathtaking!

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We headed back to cook dinner; which was absolutely delicious! I never knew camping food could taste so good, but my hubby is a fantastic cook. We sat around talking about how much we didn’t want to go home, but planned to definitely come to this spot again. It was so relaxing & peaceful & although at 1st I thought having no cell phone to use would bother me; I didn’t mind it one bit!! I enjoyed every moment of the quality time I got to spend with my hubby. It was like the ‘old days’ before cell phones & social media. Thursday arrived; we packed up our things; took down our tent loaded up the car & we were on our way!! We decided if we saw anything interesting on the way back; we’d stop off!! We saw signs for lots of lakes before coming to a sign for Bear Mountain State Park. I had been there with my family when I was little but hadn’t been there in years. I said to hubby “let’s go there.” His reply, “sure!” He is always game for hitting the trails & exploring a new park!! We took a long winding road that took us up and around to the top of the mountain & if I didn’t think the views were amazing before – wow, this was just unbelievable!!

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I do have a fear of heights so I made sure to keep my distance from the edge of the rocks!

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The view truly looked like a postcard!! Hubby checked out the trail map & found us a trail to hike!! The views from this trail were incredible! Of course we took many pics!! We stayed for a bit before getting back in the car to continue our ride home! Overall this trip was relaxing, peaceful ; included all of my favorite things & it was just perfect! We are already planning our next camping trip; that will be number 4!Β  Can’t wait to tell you all about our next adventure!!

Do you enjoy camping? What are some of your favorite spots to go camping? Please Share.Β 

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Thank you as always for following my journey!!

Mere @meretherunner14