Winter Classic 5K Race Recap

For the second time this year, I toed the line of a 5K. This time in Cambridge at the Winter Classic. The race took place December 8th at 10:30 AM. The cost was $30 plus fees and included your choice of pint glass or hat, a long sleeve tech shirt and beer!

You can sign up as an individual or as a team. Teams of 15 people or more got some perks, like their own beer supply, a table and a tent to chat around. Although, if you stopped by the team VIP area before the race, almost no one was there due to the cold.

photo 1 (4)

I’m rocking the I slept 4 hours and ran a bit look. O well, at least the shirt looks good. I’ve been wanting a black long sleeve to run in!

They had pre-race number pick-up for two days before the race, but I ended up grabbing my number before the start. It was easy and organized. It looked like all the volunteers knew what they were doing. They also arranged places for us to stay in doors and be warm before the race started. Basically the lobby of some of the business there and they had real bathrooms so I was content. Real bathrooms over portapottys always makes a race a winner.

The day was cloudy with high of 30 degrees and the wind chill making it feel like 25 degrees. So yes, most of us accepted the offer to wait in warmth before the race started.

At 10:30 the race started on time. They didn’t have corrals, but did have markings of where to stand based on your expected pace. I in my usual fashion, wobbled myself over to the front. I didn’t really expected myself to be fast, but I like starting in the front.

I was also running with some co-workers so I had two goals in mind. Maintain a 7 minute pace, and beat my co-workers.

The first mile fast, easy and hard at the same time. I forgot, how difficult and drying the cold air could be. I held back a cough and tried to old on. I saw one of my co-workers run ahead me and I decided to let him go. Around the mile and a half point I dosed off a bit as I noticed my pace slowing down into the 7s, so I told myself to snap out of it. Luckily, around that point, we hit the downhill part of the course and I whipped it into gear. I passed my main target and kept going for fear of falling behind again.

There was no mile markings that I saw, but I had a garmn that told me everything I would want to know. I was glad that I remembered to bring it last minute because it helped me manage my effort.

As I hit the 3 mile mark, with only .1 miles and a finish line in sight, I realized there was time for a PR. I kicked and kicked and kicked until I thought I would throw up the crab dip I ate for breakfast. Word of advice, don’t eat crab dip for breakfast, no matter how yummy it is before a 5K.

The good part about 5Ks is that everyone finishes together within a few minutes or so. And then there;s beer to be drunk!

photo 2 (4)

Tell me something about your weekend?

Do you run 5ks? What’s your favorite?

Weekly Recap – Running after a 3 week break

You know, I have to confess, I really thought running after a 3 week break would be easy. I thought me and running could take a 3 week no speaking, no “running into each other”, do our own thing break and reunite like nothing ever happened when I returned.

Unfortunately, running is a spiteful little number. While she welcomed me with open shoes, there will be some bruises. I know we’ll get back to the place we were with even better times ahead, but it’ll be rough for a few weeks.

I don’t regret not “working out” on vacation because sometimes it’s nice being lazy, and sometimes it’s just too damn hot with no roads, or safe place to run. However, the road to getting back where we left before has been a tad bumpy, but that’s what keeps it fun.

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 5 Miles
I plunged straight to where I left off, before I went away, only to almost fall flat on my face, literally. Yup, after 3 weeks of no running or any cardio “workout,” I thought I could jump on the treadmill at a 7:45 pace and be perfectly. And I felt perfect, and happy in pure bliss… for 2 miles until the ability to breath escaped me. Up at about 1/4th of my planned run, I felt tapped out. I stopped, took a break and restarted. I decided to settle myself on a 10K, but the walk breaks would not end. Finally, I decided 5 miles was good enough.

Wednesday – 8 Miles
To say, I felt sore, would be an understatement, but there’s no rest for the wicked, running PRs don’t grow on trees. Since, clearly I couldn’t find a pace I could stick with on the treadmill, I figured going outside might be a better deal. And luckily for my ego, I was right. At a steady pace, I went through 4, 6, & 8 miles. Average pace was 8:!5, a bit slower than the 7:30 10 milers I was flying through 3 weeks before I left, but I made it.

Thursday – Rest
If I thought I knew soreness Wednesday, Thursday brought me a whole new definition. I think the only time I felt more sore from running was when I ran my first half marathon. I barely wanted to move, and sitting hurt from my core to calves to arms. Why my arms hurt? Make it a mystery to my running form?

Friday – 3.1 Miles
Still felt tired and took it easy. In the evening, I decided to test out if I could run a 5K without a break. My course was my homemill and my company was the Eye of the Tiger. 23:30 and my pain was over.

Saturday – 9.16 Miles
I wasn’t sore! That was enough for a happy dance. I thought about doing 13 miles, but I wanted to partially race the 5K Sunday so I cut my run short. 75 minutes of running and I have reached my exhaustion comfort for the time. 8:07 pace, which was a hillier route and faster than my Wednesday run.

Sunday – 3.1 Miles

A PR!!!!

The course was much flatter than Somerville, which is my only 5K experience, and the weather was bone-chilling cold, but I know I’m almost back to where me and running left off.

 

Have you ever taken a complete, non injury related break from running, biking, etc? How long?

Friday Five – Home Sweet Home

I don’t usually do this, but why not, I have loads of internet time to catch up on after being disconnected for 3 weeks!

Five Things Friday

1. I’m back in the cold city of Boston that I missed. It was 90 and up when I was in South East Asia, so a little cold is refreshing. The sunset at 4pm however, is a total bummer.

Sunset

2. I’m back to running, kinda. After 3 weeks of absolutely not even a 100 meters of running or working out, I’m seeing how much my fitness diminished. I know I’ll get back to where I left before, but feeling sore about an “easy” 5 miler is a little frustrating. Esp since I’m racing friends and coworkers on Sunday (5K) and a marathon in less than 2 months away (NOLA). Post to follow about how long it takes to get back where I left before my vacation.

Running

3. I’m not gonna lie, the one thing I missed most on my vacation was my fur baby. Jack Meower and I have reunited. If only he would love me like I love him. Fickle cats.

Cat

4. American Breakfast! As much as I loved eating Asian noodles and sweet and sour chicken at 8AM every morning, I really missed American food. Corned beef hash, poached eggs, bacon with a side of veggies and salsa. OMG!

Breakfast

5. It’s holidays in the city again! I missed Thanksgiving, but my roommate is making 2 turkeys for us this weekend to make up for it! And I’m just in time for lights, trees and all the eating and baking December has in store.

Holidays

Runner’s/Wannabe Triathlete’s Wish List

It’s that time of year, when regardless of religious beliefs, or needs, you can’t help but wonder about all the things you want, like those things that are nice to have.

So here you go, my personal what to get your favorite runner list. They are in no order whatsoever. I used amazon for most links because it’s easier to search on one site and I find amazon is cheaper than most options. However, all of these things can be found at your local running or sporting goods store. Some of these things I already have and want every runner to have, some are things I am drooling over and hoping Jewish Santa will leave me under my menorah even though Hanukkah has passed.

Runner's Gift Guide for All Budgets

Garmin 910XT About $400

It’s beautiful! Truly beautiful piece of machinery that can be used to run/bike/swim! Although if you’re shopping for a starting running addict and want the most bang for your buck, I recommend Garmin Forerunner 110. A tad bit cheaper (about $130), but has everything you need for running and a potential ability to upgrade to heart rate training if you desire.

Running Socks! $9

Asics Intensity Low Cut Running Socks are my personal favorites. I’ve tried all the fancy kinds, but at the end of the day, these Asics ones work for me in the summer and winter and don’t give me the blisters that I received from some of the fancier and pricier styles you see at the expos. However, if you want to sprint for a pricey sock, any of the ultra cute ProCompression socks or sleeves will do. They are about $30 with a coupon code you can almost always find. I love me a good pair of cute socks to show off, but for everyday use, I prefer the low cut ones. I ain’t got time to battle putting them on and off!

The Grid Revolutionary Foam Roller $39

I know, you don’t need to spend a lot on a foam roller, in fact you could use one of those baking rolling pins that the dollar store has, but at the end of the day a nice roller, is quite frankly nice to have. Seeing my orange friend in the corner of the room reminds me to stretch, foam rolls and possibly crack my back (although not recommended for those who are less cracky). There’s even a pink one now available! Can I trade you?

Mizuno WaveRider17 $115

Everyone runner has their personal shoe preference and for me when it comes to marathons, I only want Mizuno waveriders. My WR 15s are slowly dying and the WaveRider 17 just came out December 5th!

Foot Rubz Surefoot Foot Rubz Massage Ball $6-$10

A friend got one of these babies for me when I was training for my first marathon and I am kinda in love with me. I carry it in my purse when I travel or have a ton of walking and sight-seeing as well. At the end of the day, I get back to my hotel and rub my feet with my buddy. I’m a loser, but if you have one, you would know.

As for other things? Well there’s plenty a little 5 foot former blonde runner could use, such as Nuun, Hammer Gels (Montana berry is the best), and salt sticks!

There’s also a small matter of the trisuit, the wetsuit, biking gloves and various other things I’ll need for my half ironman but I have no clue which type to get!

Ahh wish lists, they’re really made to just keep growing!

What’s on your wish list (or giving list) this season?

The 5 flights, 6 airports to go almost around the world and back – Airlines and airline food

What’s the longest flight you’ve taken? 6 hours across the US? 8 hours to get to Europe? 13 hours to Israel? That would be my history. Now (okay 3 weeks ago) would be a collection of flights that would take me almost 2 full days to reach my destination, Yangon, Myanmar. How as I to survive?

First, the longest leg of our trip from be 22+ hours. Since we would be spending 22 hours on a plain, we searched hard for a deal on the best airline we could afford.

The core of our flight would be on Singapore airlines, a 5 star airline that has consistently been one of the top 3 airlines around. Having only experienced the cream of crap that is American Airlines (AA, Delta, Spirit, United etc, except JetBlue, I love Jetblue but their international flights are limited), I also flown British Airways which was okay, Air Canada, not so bad and Virgin was the best of the three. So while I wasn’t exactly looking forward to the travel, at least I would be as comfortable as possible while still being in economy class.

One little problem, our Singapore Airlines flight was leaving from JFK, NY. Sadly they don’t have a shuttle from Logan, so we booked one on American Airlines. Luckily, we gave ourselves a 4 hour layover, because predictable our flight left an hour late and getting from terminal to terminal at JFK is about as easy as calculus, some people get it, most of us don’t.

jfk

The only good part was the pretty sunset I saw on the Airtran while switching terminals
steaknshake

Tony and I saw grabbed a “snack” at JFK since neither of us ate lunch yet. Finally got to try Shake Shack, which everyone in NYC, drools over. It was okay, I still prefer BGood.

SingaporeSling

Before I knew it, it was time to board Singapore Airlines. We boarded, got seated, got hot wet towels to freshen up. We then got our food menu for the 30 meals we would be eating on our flight to Singapore. There was options and a drink menu. We both got ordered a Singapore Sling – delicious mix of gin, Cointreau, orange juice and pineapple juice.

The meals on our first flight half of the flight included dinner Tony got pork something or other and I got the chicken.

Singapore Air Food

Singapore Air Food 2

A sandwich for a snack that I barely remember was also given but no photo. I was trying to stay up for the first 9 hours to sleep on the second 13 hour wing of the flight.

Then came breakfast:

Singapore Air Food 4

Our layer-over was in Frankfurt, airport 3 of the 7 we will be seeing before our Journey ends. I picked up my favorite chocolate candy in the world, that is a struggle to find in the states.

Kinder Country

Before I knew it, I was back on the second wing of the flight to Singapore. I watched Wolverine and Man of Steel, both of which were kinda disappointing a best. I did make sure to wake up for food.

Singapore Air Food 5

This leg of the flight included Lunch, snack, dinner and breakfast again. I didn’t take photos of everything.

Singapore Air Food 6

Singapore Air Food 7

Finally we landed in Singapore, exhausted but with still 2 more airports to go.

Singapore jet

The two floored jumbo jet that got us halfway around the world.

Our next flight was from Singapore, layover in Kuala Lumpur, Malayasia and final destination of Yangon, Myanmar.

Malayasia

For our flight from Singapore to Yangon, we chose Malaysia Air, another 5 star airline. Although our flight was good, leather seats, and good food, the experience was a little disappointing. There was no in-flight entertainment on our 4 hour flight, and when we tried to change our fly back date they would not allow us to fly stand by without paying an additional $210 per person on a flight that was half empty to begin with. So, I don’t recommend flying them if there’s cheaper options. The service was disappointing for the premium paid. We had carry-on, so baggage benefits did not affect us.

clouds

The meals, I got the fish curry and Tony the chicken. To be fair, I thought it was a little tastier than what I ate on the Singapore airlines flight.

Malayasia Food Tony

And just like that, as our plates were cleared, our journey was coming to an end. Almost 36 hours later. We left  at 3PM Thursday and didn’t arrive until Saturday 3 PM in Yangon. With the 12 hour time change, that’s 36 hours of travel we survived. To be fair, I thought it was almost easier than doing a red eye to Europe.

6 airports, 5 flights – Logan to JFK to Frankfurt to Singapore to Kuala Lumpur to Yangon, Myanmar alas.

As for our return home? It was a little easier. We flew back from Yangon to Kuala Lumpur and stayed there for a few days.

MIS Food

Food on the second flight back wasn’t as good, plus I was cranky at them not allowing us to change our return date. I did appreciate the KitKat bar though. I missed chocolate while in Myanmar.

From Kuala Lumpur we took a “luxury” bus for $12. It was a 16 passenger couch bus! Couch

The trip took about 5 hours from start to finish, included border patrol and was more comfortable than any flight could have been.

Afterwards we spent a few days in Singapore before flying back to the US. This time, I didn’t care about Jet-lag and just slept as it would come to me.

Singapore Return

Our dinner on our flight back through Frankfurt. I wasn’t really hungry, so most went to waste. Instead I had a screwdriver and went straight to sleep.

Our layover in Frankfurt sucked a lot more than the first time. No fault of their own, but the United States makes you go through airport security AGAIN before boarding any flight into the US. And yes, we went through security in Singapore, so going out the airport and back in, while half asleep was a pain in the sleepy ass. Other countries don’t require this, so connecting through Frankfurt while going to Singapore wasn’t as annoying.

I picked up two more boxes of Kinder Chocolate before returning back to the airplane to fly to JFK.

There was more food that I barely touched except the potato and bacon salad. That was pretty awesome. We also had sandwiches, and some breakfast noodles and ice cream not photographed because I slept through most of it after having a Bloody Mary for breakfast.

Singapore air Food return

Finally we landed in JFK. Since it was after Thanksgiving weekend, we couldn’t get a cheap shuttle to Boston so it was to the Greyhound bus for us. Luckily, we got on the new Greyhound buses with leather seats, wifi, and cup holders. Although, at that point, it really did not matter, both Tony and I blacked up until the bus stopped at South Station in Boston.

So there you go, the flights and meals of what takes you almost around the world!

#SDPharma – SD Pharmaceuticals Review

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of SDPharmaceuticals.

To be honest, I am not very experienced with taking supplements. I’m also not a doctor, nor a student of medicine beyond my own personal knowledge of what works and doesn’t work for me. I tend to eat a lot of vegetables in my diet and as “balanced” as I think I need to be. Furthermore, my running addiction has made me very lucky in not having to worry too much about fat loss and weight loss, although the thoughts do go through my head like any other western woman. I’m brainwashed like any other.

However, lately, I’ve been wondering about my nutrition for performance and general health while traveling, or when I’m super busy with work and tend to eat the majority of my meals from take out containers at my desk. So when I had the opportunity to test out some supplements from SD Pharmaceuticals with my Fitfluential affiliation, I went for it.

First, I goggled up SD Pharmaceuticals. I haven’t heard of them before so I wanted to research something before consuming it into my body. As someone who relies on her body for majority of my hobbies and passions, I take some interest into what my temple takes in (we can discuss my sugar addiction later).

About SD Pharmaceuticals:

“The Research Team at SD Pharmaceuticals only produces the most sophisticated ingredients and formulas, and those which are clinically validated in human research studies. If there isn’t any solid research behind an ingredient, then SD Pharmaceuticals’ researchers won’t use it! That’s what really distinguishes SD Pharmaceuticals from every other sports supplement company out there. On top of that, SD Pharmaceuticals only uses the most potent forms of every ingredient available, which includes pharmaceutical-grade synthetics and exclusive standardized herbal extracts.”

I was sent the following items:

SD Pharm

Dendrobium 600 – Used to promote the health of the stomach, kidney, and lungs
Diindolylmethane – Used to help maintain healthy hormonal balance in the body and support overall well being
Garcinia Cambogia – Used to support healthy serotonin levels and reduce appetite
Green Coffee Bean – Used to support fat loss, provides healthy antioxidants and reduce weight
Raspberry Ketone – Used to inhibit fat accumulation, increases calorie expenditure, and increases fat breakdown

As mentioned before, I don’t consider fat loss/appetite as my issues. If I wanted to eat less, I would run less. So I did not try those. However, after traveling for 3 weeks and not ever exercising due to heat, pollution and more excuses than I need to list, I might try the some of the fat burning ones.

I looked up each of the supplements in a little more detail. The one thing I noticed for all, is that not a lot is known about the effects on pregnancy or breastfeeding, so had I been either of those, I would not have taken any.

Stacking up the benefits

The company also provided me with a little useful chart that shows how combining the supplements makes them more beneficial for whatever goals you may have.

I decided to stack only Dendrobium & Dim. 

Dendrobium is a member of the orchid plant family. It is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Dendrobium has been used in China for over 1000 years to promote the health of the stomach, kidneys and lungs. In addition to its use as a medicine, it is also used as a powerful strengthening tonic

Den

SD Pharm Den

Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a natural compound formed during the breakdown of plants and the digestion of indole-3-carbinol, from the Brassica genus of plants. (Some of the vegetables of this genus include, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale.) Both men and women use DIM to support healthy estrogen metabolism and hormonal balance in the body.

DIM

SD Pharm Dim

Results?

I took one capsule a day after breakfast daily. Overall, I’ve been feeling great and energetic each day while constantly traveling for three weeks (two of them through developing countries). I thought I would feel more tired since my diet has gone worse as I’ve been eating a lot less vegetables and a lot more rice regularly than I normally do. However, some of the highs could be just from the excitement of my vacation. I will continue taking both and see how I feel now that I’ve returned to my daily life of working and responsibilities.

To learn more about the supplements I took or other ones available, visit SDPharmaceuticals website.