Friday, January 31, 2014

my 2014 schedule

I don't usually plan this, but most years end up having kind of a theme for me. 2013 was the Year of Running - first marathon, first time getting into trail running and a subsequent trail half marathon, joining a running club, first time winning a race, etc. 2012 was the Year of Hiking (obvs), 2011 the Year of Eventing (when I was leasing an event horse and showing regularly), and so on. Of course I still had running achievements during 2012 and good hikes in 2013, but there tends to be a standout theme for each year.

So what will 2014 be? I would be smart to devote my time and hard earned race entry money into one thing. But I am not smart and I want to do ALL THE THINGS. But here's my tentative schedule, introducing TWO firsts in Mackenzie history.... a relay and a triathlon!

April 19 - Flannery Pub Run HM
April 25 & 26 - the American Odyssey Relay
June- a week on the John Muir Trail in California (!)
August 2 - Culpeper Sprint Triathlon
September 13th - VHTRC Women's Trail HM (if I get in!)
October 18th, 25th and/or Nov 1st - Fall Foliage 10k Trail Series

I feel like each one of these events could cover an entire blog post. And I guess they probably will!

I look at these events and picture each one being really fun in a unique way. The April half will be Beau's first. The relay will be tiring and crazy. The JMT is the freaking JMT. The baby tri will be scary and awesome. And the trail races in the fall because I heart trail running, and there is no better time for trails than in the fall.

There are also no real cycling events on the calendar. Each year, Beau and I usually do one or two centuries together. As the years go on, we still really love the time on our bikes, but feel less of a need to do a paid cycling event. It is just as fun to do one on our own or with friends, and obviously cheaper. There is talk of repeating the Skyline Sufferfest, and maybe by the fall I will have forgotten how terrible it was.

I'm crossing my fingers that all of these events will work out. Some of the events have lotteries or deadlines far enough away that I haven't registered yet. The JMT won't be finalized until we hear back about permits and buy plane tickets.

 I'm excited for this year! I normally don't have everything planned out this far in advance, but just writing this blog post is getting me so antsy for spring!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

the Loudoun Half & 8k Race

As you plan your 2014 race schedule, take a look at this half marathon and 8k held in northern Virginia on April 13th!

My running club is sponsoring this race, but even if I didn't have a direct interest in promoting it, I would still want to run this. It's reasonably priced, local (okay, okay, that's not universal to everyone. But you can stay at my house if you want!), offers a medal and technical shirt for participants, and the course is a nice loop through Ashburn and on the scenic W&OD.

The registration fee is $45 and $25, but the price goes up this weekend so check it out!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Fit-tastic Friday Links

Some common reasons why marathon training doesn't always translate to weight loss -  Runner's World

Salads from a vending machine? This looks awesome - Farmer's Fridge

Running for Megan Cross Menzies, the Virginia runner struck and killed by a drunk driver last weekend - here and here via Runner's World

This video has nothing do to with fitness or health.... but it's hilarious. - Magic Vines via

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Blendtec Excitement

Things I have made in my new Blendtec since its arrival in my life one week ago:

- tortilla soup
- spinach vanilla ice cream
- multiple spinach smoothies, natch
- pesto 
- sweet potato curry soup, twice
- strawberry ice cream, which I followed no particular recipe and it was delicious
- a TRIPLE batch of hummus (go ahead and call me an idiot for not separating the batches and doing each one a different flavor.)

omggggg I love it.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

How to Make the Perfect Salad

I totally cringe when people tell me they don't like salads. I'm not trying to salads are the only way to eat healthy (definitely not!) but they are a good way to get lots of nutrients, easy to put together, and the flavor combinations are endless.

Greatist has a cute and handy infographic to help the salad illiterate.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Ringing in Hope 10k

So, dear readers (both of you), maybe you are interested in how the New Year's 10k went. Maybe you are wondering if I stuck to my plan and met my goal of running it in under 50 minutes.

Well! I'm happy to report that I had an awesome race!

 While my main goal was to come in at under 50 minutes (a 7:58 min/mile pace) I had a separate goal of maintaining a 7:50 minute mile. A friend from my running club had a similar goal, so we ran the whole thing together and it really helped to pace each other and stay accountable throughout the entire race.
I intended on starting off at 7:55ish, then after the halfway mark evaluate how I'm feeling to see if I could push it more in the second half. Of course, I started much faster than I wanted. But I felt really good the whole race. I definitely pushed myself harder than I ever have in a race this distance, but felt strong. I ended up finishing in 48:21, which is a 7:44 pace! If you're interested, my Garmin data is here on Strava and my splits are below.

Mile 1     7:42
Mile 2     7:42
Mile 3     7:54
Mile 4     7:54
Mile 5     7:28
Mile 6     7:51
0.2           7:13

(I'm surprised mile 6 was comparatively so slow. There was a slight hill, but I still thought it was faster than that. Hm.)

Love the twiner Garmin stop button pose.

After finishing, I hung around the finish line to cheer on Beau and my cousin, Shawney. This was Husband's first 10k and he rocked it! He has been running the weekly track workouts with me and was pleased with a time of 56 minutes.
I was curious to stay for the awards and see how the others in my running club did. I checked out the official times, and you can imagine my surprise when I saw that I was the 15th overall woman and first in my age group! I have never been on the podium before, so I was totally shocked to have won my age group. It was so exciting to have my name called, and I got a gift certificate to a local running store.

Also, there is a "team" division in this race, and I ran with the AARC team (my running group). I guess they take the top 4 results of each team for a cumulative time. There are several speedy guys in the club, and lucky for me, the speedy women were not running this race. So, again, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was also called up with my team to receive the first place team medal.

So that was fun. It makes me want to do more short and speedy races!

As far as the race itself, the Ringing in Hope races are pretty well organized and user friendly. They had lots of kid activities like pony rides, a moon bounce, balloon animals, etc. There was barbeque, pizza, and fruit for post races snacks, and everything seemed to be run pretty well. My only complaints are that the course is pretty boring (but what else are they supposed to do... all they have around there is neighborhood streets anyway) and that the race t shirt is a white cotton tee.

What a fun race! Now that I'm a fan of short races, I can't wait to do the next one!