Archive | April, 2013

Philly Run Wild 5k

29 Apr

Yesterday I ran the Philly Run Wild 5k at the Philadelphia Zoo. I can’t even begin to explain how excited I was for this race. But I’ll have to try, since the whole point of blogging is to explain how excited you are about things. At least it is for me.

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Don’t I look excited?

For starters, for those of you who don’t know, three years ago this blog could have been named WildlyRunning rather than MainlyRunning. That’s right, my last name was Wild, not like Oscar Wilde, like the word. W-I-L-D. My last name went from a four letter word (that people like to put “e” on the end of) to a four letter word (that people like to put “e” on the end of). So short of finding a race with “Main” in the title, this is about as excited about a race name as I could possibly get. I mean, seriously, Philly Run Wild, could it be cooler?

Next, I LOVE the Philadelphia Zoo. How could you not? It’s the oldest zoo in America. It’s well maintained. It has penguins. And peacocks that roam freely. I honestly cannot think of a cooler place to run a race.

For the $25 race fee you got the race (obviously), a t-shirt, snacks at the end, AND free admission to the zoo. Admission to the Philly zoo on its own is $20, so basically for $5 you get to run a 5k, you get a race t-shirt (that says Run Wild!), and end of race snacks.

Leading up to the race I had the perfect race experience built out in my mind. A 5k in the zoo, a t-shirt, being able to run the entire race without walking, soft pretzels as the post-race snacks, and then a trip to the zoo, complete with a ride in the Zoo Balloon. I’ve always wanted to go in the Zoo Balloon, but every time we’ve gone to the zoo the balloon was grounded.

So here is how race day actually went. Saturday afternoon Alex sprained his ankle, so the race became a solo adventure. He was bummed, I was bummed, and there were many sad faces to be had. The only bonus was that he was there to take pictures of me at the finish line, and he held on to the extra warm layers I didn’t need for the race. Other than Alex not running, and the race not having race numbers (seriously?! Is this a thing now? I’ve never seen a race without race numbers. What am I going to hang on my race wall to commemorate this amazing experience?), everything went according to plan.

I ran the entire race, without walking, even on the hills that I am not used to running. I made a deal with myself that if I ran the entire race; I could go in the Zoo Balloon. That might have been one of the best motivators I’ve come up with to date. I finished in 32:40, which is my new personal best(!!!!). The end of the race did not come with soft pretzels, but the Philly Pretzel Factory stand gave us the hookup (did you know their soft pretzel braid has MORE calories than their Philly cheesesteak pretzel? that just seems wrong). We saw penguins and pigeons and peacocks. And the Zoo Balloon was flying! We got to see our city from high above; the skyline, the art museum, Fairmount Park, the Schuylkill. It was beautiful.

So basically, in short: Best. Race. Ever.

For more race day photos, check out my Flickr account!

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Running the Bridge

24 Apr

Alex and I ran the Ben Franklin Bridge for the first time! We rode our bikes the 3 miles from our house in South Philly to the entrance of the pedestrian path at 5th and Race Streets. After locking up our bikes we ran from Philly to Camden and back. Each pass over the bridge is roughly 1.5 miles, so it works well for 5k training. We finished the 3 miles in roughly 32 minutes, not too shabby!

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It was awesome.

Why was it awesome? Let me tell you:
1. You get to run on a major bridge.
2. You get to cross state lines on a work out.
3. Cars and Patco trains pass by below you.
4. You get to stare a Philadelphia’s gorgeous skyline for 1.5 miles
5. The sun was setting over Philadelphia as we ran back to the city.
6. The view makes Camden look good.
7. There are lots of runners and a police patrol, so it felt safe.
8. It’s one of the few places in Philly that you can run a hill.
9. It’s really windy so you stay a lot cooler.
10. I ran faster than Alex! Not by much, and he swears it was because he “usually runs behind me,” but really, since he usually leaves me in the dust, I’m taking this one.

Enjoy some the views!

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Running Errands … Literally

22 Apr

Since it is Earth Day, and we’re big into protecting Mother Earth at the Main House, today seemed like a great idea to discuss the great impact running can have on things other than your waist line.    

Alex and I are always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint. We recycle everything that Philadelphia will accept, and keep our eyes peeled for programs that recycle electronics, batteries, ink cartridges… the works. We save our plastic bags (which we try not to get in the first place) and take them back to Whole Foods to be recycled. If there is a bin for it, we’ve probably used it. 

When we grocery shop all of our purchases plant-based. I’ll definitely outline our very-near-vegan diet in another post, but I wanted to mention it because it is one of the ways that we make the greatest positive impact on our planet. We also buy organic whenever we can to keep pesticides out of our bodies, out of our soils, and out of our water supplies. 

When it comes to getting around town, we are always looking for ways to not have to drive our Prius. Lucy (my bike) and Sargent Pepper (Alex’s bike) get us to work on non-cold, non-rainy days. On cold or rainy days you’ll find us on the bus. If the bus is unreasonably late, we just hoof it. When all else fails we give in and ride in the Prius, and, well, let’s be honest, if you have to drive, rocking out in a Prius is about as earth friendly as you can get. 

But our newest addition to the “getting around town” repertoire is … drum roll please… running! Need a block of tofu for tonight’s dinner? Time for an out and back to ShopRite! Have to return that stuff doesn’t quite fit right to Target? Tuck the receipts in your iPhone armband and jog on over! Your front door needs a new lock? Lowe’s is only a mile and a half away!

While it’s impractical for all errands, I mean, we’re not getting our organic, vegan groceries home on a run, running is opening up a whole new opportunity for maximum efficiency. With both of us in grad school part-time and working full-time, we grab hold of any opportunity to kill two (or three, or four) birds with one stone. Running errands and getting a workout in not only saves time, but is also healthier for us, and healthier for the environment.

So the next time you need to popover to the store for that one small thing, consider running your errands. Literally!

Back Up and Running

20 Apr

I had aspirations for my first blog posts in 10 months to be poignant, focused and impactful, witty even. But I’m finding my thoughts hard to wrangle. I’ll do the best I can.

Since this blog is called “MainlyRunning” let’s start there. The last ten months have brought plenty of running. I continued training for most of the summer, though I didn’t write about it, which I do lament. And of course, I kept riding my trusty bike, Lucy.

My first race post knee surgery was in October. I teamed up with some good friends to run a Halloween inspired 5k in a graveyard. Prizes were given for best costumes in both the individual and group categories. I am happy to report that while I didn’t come close to winning the race (I finished in 32:45), we did win the best group costume contest. The Three Blind Mice were well received.IMG_1094

Later that month I joined my husband and some friends to run another 5k put on by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund. This course was at one of the usual Philly 5k haunts; it started at the Art Museum, and was an out and back down Martin Luther King Drive. My time slipped a bit, I finished in 34:29, but I had fun, and ran the majority of the course.549109_4204290903246_1567401214_n

In November I started to feel pain in my left foot. I ignored it for a while and employed the ill-advised “maybe it’ll go away on it’s own” mindset. I ran a 5-mile Turkey Trot race on Thanksgiving Day. It was one of the cooler races I’ve done, it’s an out and back on Fairmount Park’s Forbidden Drive and the 2.5-mile turn around is right next to the Inn I got married at! My goal was to finish in under an hour, and I wrapped up at 57:25. Success! …and then I spent the rest of Thanksgiving limping.

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An early December doctor’s appointment confirmed what I did not want to hear, I have plantar fasciitis in my left foot. I didn’t let that get me down, though the lazy half of me sure did want to. I did the prescribed exercises, I had a consultation with a “shoe guy,” got some inserts for my running shoes and my work shoes, and I asked for winter running gear for Christmas anyway.

Winter came and I healed, and I ran. I ran outside. I ran on the treadmill. I ran in the drizzle. And in the snow.

But the thing I didn’t do was write about it, and it’s time to get this blog back up and running. So here are my next steps:

1. Run a 5k race every month starting this month
2. Train for the Philadelphia Marathon Half Marathon in November
3. Blog about my running adventures at least once per week

I have even more specific breakdowns of these plans, but for now, that will do.

The biggest take away of the last 10 months, even if I haven’t written it is: Keep Running.