Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Recap! Friggin epic post!

Hi!

I had an amazing weekend, which I’m guessing you can gather from all the tweets and the FB posts that were all “omgomgomgomg I love it here!”.  I’m trying to figure out how many times I can tell you guys I’m having and epic weekend before you start to suspect that I do nothing but traipse around with no other purpose but to write about it, but rest assured, I have a real life too!  My weekends have just been insane this past month or so.

So anyways, I headed to DC this past weekend, the best city in the land, to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA half marathon, and the weekend literally gets a 10 out of 10 from me.  I’ll totally tell you why.

P1160264So I stayed at the Westin in Georgetown, and the first thing I saw when I walked in was this.  A big, giant, comfortable bed, with a robe on it.

P1160267Then I saw this, which I immediately decided would be put to good use before I raced the following day.  And use it I did.  Following a quick pre-race dinner of a sandwich and some greens, I immediately set about to fill up this tub, take a quick swig from my bottle of Skinny Girl California White, and soaked in the tub with a Demi Lovato book (don’t judge) until i was too sweaty to continue.  Baths usually go that way for me, I get too sweaty to enjoy it after awhile and I have to get out!

P1160272Westin has this sick program, where, for $5 a day, you can skip packing you workout clothes (which always take up a good bit of room), and sort of rent/borrow some New Balance apparel.  I believe they also guarantee that you will leap about like the model does in all-white clothing.  Added bonus!

P1160268More tub!  P1160276You didn’t think I was going to leave the hotel without trying on the robe, right?  It was comfy, and there’s my mug without makeup.  What do ya think?  And with all of that, I hit the sack for about 3 or 4 hours, and got prepped for the race, the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA!  (And don’t worry, I will go over all the good, the bad (none), and the awesome in a minute, just enjoy the photos for a second!)

P1160277What I wore!  The trusty Brooks Glycerin, my printed Nike tights, a muscle tee from Fabletics, and a little Fabletics Yoga hoodie.  As for socks, I went with some Smart Wool to keep my toots warm.
P1160278And let’s skip ahead!  Mama finished 13.1 and is still smiling, even after a bout with some Norovirus or something funky this week.

P1160279The Rock ‘n’ Roll VIP Tent!  Best post race thing ever!
P1160280More VIP celebrations!

P1160281Me and the beautiful Carrie Keagan hung out before and post race.  Side note, her parents are friggin adorable, and by the time we left, we were referring to each other as Mom, Dad, and their long lost dark-skinned daughter.

P1160282Back stage at the concert – The Head and the Heart.

P1160283What a crowd!

P1160284More more!

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And I finished off the weekend with a shower and friends!

So now that you got to see my wonderful pics, let’s talk about Rock ‘n’ Roll USA!

The Good

  • The start waves.  They nailed this one, better than anyone has ever nailed it before.  The waves were timed so well that although a ton of people were running, there was never a point where I felt like the situation was too crowded to move in.
  • The transportation.  If you weren’t familiar with the city, no matter because we were provided detailed maps in tons of ways to get to the start easily by the metro.  So seamless.
  • The course.  The course was sick.  Aside from an ungodly hill at mile 6 (that is all people were talking about after the race), the course was beautiful.

The Bad. 

  • Seriously?  I have 0 complaints.

The Awesome.

  • VIP Access.  Seriously, if you have never sprung for the VIP access, do it!  Because of my VIP access I had an early breakfast of oatmeal and fruit, I had a ride down the the start line, I had a charging station for my cell phone, I had a warm place to hang out pre-race, a separate bag check, and access to the heated VIP tent after the race, where there was a ton of food, liquids, and BEER after the race!
  • The concert.  So rad.  The Head and the Heart.  So rad.
  • The weather. Could not have asked for a more beautiful day.  I wore the yoga sweatshirt for maybe the first three miles, and then peeled it off and was able to get by in a muscle tee the rest of the race.

The verdict. 

Rock ‘n’ Roll USA was a 10/10.  I have run many a race, good and bad, and this one is up there as the best – the best organized, the best weather, the best course, and the best service of any race I’ve done, and from what I heard from my folks, Rock ‘n’ Roll has been like this in general.  Sign up sign up sign up!

[Disclaimer – I was given a race entry + VIP access, but I would tell you if it sucked or not.  Seriously, this race is a two thumbs up!]

RnR USA Preview + I love DC :)

I’m not gonna spoil tomorrow’s epic post about my weekend running DC for you guys, but I cannot tell you enough how much I love this city.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Raleigh, it’s where I met my future husband, and I love the little love nest we’ve turned Raleigh into, but I haven’t always felt that way about the city.  When I first moved here, I was doing a lot, too much in fact, and that soured my experience a little bit with here.  I moved right after I graduated undergrad, was prepping to go to grad school, was in the process of breaking up with someone, and I felt like I didn’t have any friends here, when the truth was, I did.  But when you’re feeling sorry for yourself, you really and truly convince yourself that you’re alone, and no one likes you, blah blah blah.

So anyhoo, the things that I’ve learned this weekend (without spoiling the epic race post I have for you)?

photo 1 (6)
My view from Saturday morning’s race!
  1.  My stomach is still healing from the little debacle I had last October, where I found out that I’d somehow developed gastritis.  I’ve been really good about taking my meds, but not as good at avoiding caffeine, and during the race, which went really well, my stomach definitely had a few moments where it tried to revolt a little bit.  I was able to breathe through it but it jerked me back to reality.  You can’t jump from gastritis to ultra marathons in a matter of a few months.  That’s just the facts.
  2. All that said, I think it might be a good idea for me to drop from the RnR Raleigh Full to the Half.  My stomach told me so, and I have to agree with her.  She needs more time to heal up before I start shoving Gu and stuff into it.
  3. I am a boss at this city.  I’ve been super open about my love affair with this city.  And nothing has changed, between the public transit, which I rocked at, and between being able to find stuff, I am so comfortable here.  So this blog might turn from a running blog, into a convincing-your-husband-that-moving-to-DC –is-a-bomb-ass-idea.  I’ll keep you posted J

How was your weekend?  What are you looking forward to this week? 

Y’all…

I’m in DC for the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA, and I’m having the most amazing time ever.  I cannot wait to tell you all about it!!! Stay tuned beautiful runners!

Calling all my social workers! A post on self-care.

imageSelf-care is a big buzzword in social work land.  (For those of you just kinda tuning in, I’m a runner, a Zumba instructor, a blogger, and a social worker, all usually within the same week).  Anyhoo, like I was saying, self-care is a big word in social work land, mainly because burnout in social work is really prevalent.  We work really really hard with very little pay, all because we love people, and we love to serve people.  If HIPAA wasn’t a thing, I’d talk to you all day and all night about my clients, and how phenomenal they are, but I guess I have to respect their right to privacy, right?

But it’s hard.  There were two weeks last month that I truly thought I wasn’t cut out for the work, after some clients were especially horrible to me, that after viewing the puffy stress eyes, that I was ready to quit the job, and blog full time.  But here I am, and I’m starting to recognize that self-care is really important, and not just something that we should be joking about in the office.

Self-care means….

  • Going for my runs.  And I make sure I do it 5-6 times a week, but sometimes, I don’t bathe myself in the runs like I should.  I shouldn’t be thinking about notes, about deadlines, about my to-do list.  I need to do my runs, and be present for the runs.
  • Not mindlessly scrolling through my phone.  I’ve found myself, before bed, mindlessly scrolling through my phone before bed.  I don’t need to do that.  I need to actually sleep when I’m in bed.
  • Throwing myself into the things I enjoy.  I enjoy teaching, dancing, planning my wedding, reading, blogging, running, going to yoga, and I need to quit doing that thing where I divide my mind time.  If I’m running, I need to be present.  If I’m teaching, my mind is only there.  If I’m planning, my mind is all on me and what my future husband are doing.  Blogging? I’m all yours.
  • Recognizing when I’m tired.  There’s a difference between sleep and tired.  And sometimes I have troubles recognizing when I’m exhausted, tired, and when I just need to slow things down.  This weekend, when I opened my eyes on Sunday morning on Fripp, I was so happy, so in love with life, so in love with the beach, and I recognized that not only did I sleep like a rock, that I am tired.
  • Booking a room for myself at the Westin in Georgetown to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half Marathon.  I’m checking into a hotel in a beautiful part of DC, and I will be ghost, snuggling in a king-sized bed by myself, taking a bath, reading a book, and thinking about why my life is so beautiful! 

What are you doing to care for yourself, beautiful readers?  

Here’s What + Rock ‘n’ Roll USA

Don’t you guys worry.  No matter how many times I post on my wedding, how many times I whine about how my throat hurts this week, or how often I blog about my dog, rest absolutely assured that I will never, never forget how and where this started.  And that was a running blog.  That said, if you’ve missed my last few “Here’s What:  What Three Things am I Obsessed With” posts, here they are!

1/31/14

2/7/14

2/14/14

2/21/14

So this week was the week from absolute hell at my real job, and that’s all I will say.  So Happy Friday, beautiful readers!  Now Here’s What Three Things I’m Obsessed with This Week!  

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  • Numero uno is powered by Rock ‘n’ Roll, and yes honey bunnies, I am running the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA 1/2 Marathon, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it!

wiigroll

First off, DC is one of my favorite cities in the US, so that certainly doesn’t hurt a race weekend.  Secondly, Rock ‘n’ Roll USA has made some pretty sweet changes this year, a few of which I’ll list for you, real convenient-like!

  1. The 5k.  For folks who feel like they don’t have the time at this point to register for the 1/2 or the full marathon, or for those of you new to what Rock ‘n’ Roll is all about, the 5k will give you a little taste of what Rock ‘n’ Roll does.  At 3.1 gorgeous miles, you’ll still have the cheerleaders and the music to push you along, without necessarily having to commit to a scary distance just yet.
  2. The race is run entirely in the district, which means that you get to run with some amazing monuments as a backdrop.  Seriously, if you’ve never run a race in DC, running with the history of our nation passing you by is a really incredible feeling.
  3. The race is on a Saturday, meaning that it’s not gonna eat up your entire weekend.  And that’s pretty darn cool!

So if you’re interested in signing up, click here.  I will be there, and I will be talking about this race up til the big day, Saturday, March 15th.

  • Speedwork.  I’ve never really put much stock into speedwork before this marathon training (I’m running another Rock ‘n’ Roll in Raleigh in April,) but I’m finding that even though I have to drag myself, kicking and screaming to do it, that once I get started, I love the way I feel, and I totally love the way I feel afterward.  Seriously, I think the endorphins go into overdrive cause I am really, really feeling myself when it’s time to be done with speedwork!
  • Sleep.  I am slightly sick this week, with a little sore throat and some congestion, and all I can think about is sleep.

Early this week at work, I had to go into the utility closet for something, and I fantasized about going all the way to the back of it and napping for a while before my senses took back over.  Sleep, I just wanna hold you.  Mama loves you so much!

Your turn!  What three things are you obsessed with?  

[Full disclosure lady bugs!  I was planning to run Rock ‘n’ Roll USA in prep for April’s marathon, and as a member of the media, I was comped an entry by Rock ‘n’ Roll.  But have no fear because every last opinion is my own, and I will be giving my honest, heartfelt opinion!]