Fitness Friday

by Kristen L. on January 11, 2013

This post marks two this week, so I’m (somewhat) meeting my New Year’s Resolution of posting more! There hasn’t been much going on over here this week. We finally finished painting all the rooms in the house, so that’s one more thing to cross off the huge “To Do” list for home improvements. Next up is a upstairs bathroom re-do. The bathroom is super tiny, so the goal is to free up some space by installing a smaller tub and installing more storage under the sink. We also need to replace the mirror over the sink and I’ve been pinning a bunch of stuff on Pinterest (follow me!) to get some inspiration. I love all the beautiful interiors people can come up with, but I don’t have much of a knack for interior design. Hopefully we can create something halfway decent. And if anyone knows where you can purchase a tiny tub, let me know!

gorgeous bathroom

Can’t I just have this bathroom?

I took a #FITNESSFRIDAY hiatus last week, but it’s back! I cut back on doing a lot of circuit type stuff this week, since next week is the start of the Fitmixer Boot Camp. I won a space in the boot camp through Your Trainer Paige (which is an awesome blog with some great workouts) and I’m looking forward to shaking up my routine a bit and trying some new exercises. The workouts are created so that they can be done at home, but I still plan on keeping up my running regiment, so I’ll still hit the gym at least a couple of times a week. The boot camp also comes with products (protein powders + aminos), which I haven’t received yet, and a meal plan. I’m not too concerned with losing weight, but I’d be curious to try out the meal plan to at least cut out some of the crappy stuff that I eat.

FF_Jan_11

Yesterday and today brought a return to the Stairmaster, which I used to swear by when I was in peak marathon condition a few years ago. I immediately start sweating profusely once I’m on there, but it’s a great cardio workout and also builds up your quads and hamstrings, which mimics the abuse brought on by a hilly marathon course. I was doing the Stairmaster for 20 to 30 minutes after my treadmill workouts at the gym while I was training for Boston in 2006 and ran a 3:33.03, my current best time. I haven’t used the machine much since, and since I’m preparing for a spring marathon, it’s time to re-introduce it to my training.

The background picture to my #FITNESSFRIDAY graphic was taken by my husband on our walk around Hewitt Farm in North Stonington on Saturday. Hewitt Farm is a large property right outside of Foxwoods Casino that features a bunch of trails and paths. I’ve tried running there a few times, but the terrain is a bit wild. It was excellent for a nice walk with the dog, though, who had fun exploring the woods.

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Stan_hewitt_farm

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Climbing Tippin Rock

We have plans to go ice skating in New London this weekend, along with the usual errands. Maybe I can make it to three posts this week!

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Race Review: Guilford Rotary Club Frosty 5K

by Kristen L. on January 7, 2013

On New Year’s Day, Dave and I headed up to Guilford, CT, located about 15 miles north of New Haven, for the 28th running of the Frosty 5K. Sponsored by the Guilford Rotary Club, this annual event attracts a large group of runners (727 total, based off of the 2013 results) despite the chilly New England temperatures. Both of us ran the race last year, but I opted out in favor of spectating this time around. I did run around and capture a few iPhone pictures of Dave running, so I was able to get a mini-workout in. We did both note that last year’s race was completely different than this years – the registration area, the start/finish area and the course were nothing like they were in 2012. It’s unclear if the changes are here to stay, so we’ll have to wait until 2014. Dave was nice enough to write up the following review from his experience as a runner. I added in some things I noted as well.Frosty-logo4

 

Source

We arrived in Guilford at about 10:15 for the Frosty 5K, our second year running this race New Years Day.  It’s a fun, scenic, no frills race.  We
had about 45 minutes, which was just the right amount of time to find parking, get to the community center for packet pickup, and back to the
start.  The race started next to the Town Green, which made for a nice setting, but also meant no centralized parking.  There was ample street
parking, but just be prepared to leave your gear in the car and have a warm-up jog to the community center or starting line.  The town community center was the location for packet pick-up, and having an inside location to stay warm was great.

Kristen’s note: I registered Dave while he parked the car, since he hadn’t opted to sign up online beforehand. Day-of registration was relatively easy – the line moved fast enough. They used B-Tags for the timing chip. He didn’t get a shirt, though, which I thought was a bummer given that he paid $25. As a former race director, I know the perils of ordering too many shirts but ordering 30-50 more won’t break the bank. Both Dave and I used the facilities, which were the restrooms inside the Community Center (4 stalls). The line moved pretty quickly for the women but they’re going to run into issues once the race grows to over 1000 participants.

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Packet pick up and Registration

This race isn’t that big (750 runners this year), but it was a good size to have good competition.  There was a strong contingent of high school cross country runners that kept up a very fast pace. The course is scenic and flat, except for one hill over the Amtrak line, so the biggest concern is the weather. Fortunately, we had nice running weather – partly cloudy, 40 degrees with a 5-10 mph wind that was with us for the first half and against us the way in.

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Starting area around the Town Green

The start was not very congested, with a very nice singing of the national anthem.  I was pretty close to the start and was running at my desired pace within 100 yards.  That’s one of the best things about smaller races!  The first 1.2 miles is a straight, flat shot to the marina except for the train bridge.  There are some nice views of the marshes as you get out there and a bagpiper that was there last year as well.

bagpiper_frosty_5K

At just under 2 miles, you take a right and go through a neighborhood, and this was the only negative part of the race.  The walkers started at the same time apparently, and did not go all the way out to the marina, but instead turned into the neighborhood with the returning runners.  There were already a significant number of walkers making their turn and it created some level of congestion.  I was ahead of the major pack of runners so it wasn’t too bad, but it did create a slalom course for a couple of minutes.  Cars were also allowed on this stretch. While for the most part they were slow and courteous, there was one driver that was not!

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Dave around mile 2

Kristen’s note: I hung out around this stretch – by the Guilford Fair Grounds, on Lovers Lane – and while I was waiting, a car came barreling down the road while the race was going on, forcing the runners, walkers and kid fun runners to file off to one side. There was a police presence, so I’m not sure why they allowed this to happen (or at least attempted to give the car and the runners some direction). I was surprised there wasn’t an accident. Also, when the walkers converged with the runners, many of the walkers were getting in the way of the faster runners, walking 3 and 4 across and forcing the pack of runners to go around them. It would behoove the race organizers to re-think the timing of the walking/kid’s fun run. I know there is nothing more discouraging than stopping your forward momentum at mile 2.5 of a 5K to circumvent a walker.

All in all, it was a great race.  We exited the neighborhood and headed back to the start/finish.  There were no mile markers or water stops, but it’s a New Year’s Day run.  I expected informal fun and that’s what I got! You could warm up at the community center afterwards if you wanted, but we preferred a walk around the town, which is very pretty.  The results were posted promptly that afternoon.  I just missed my sub 22 goal, but came in at 22:03 and 60th overall.  Like I said, it was a fast field (which also thankfully meant few silly costumes).

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Post-race walk around Guilford, which has a great little downtown area with cozy looking restaurants and boutique-y shops

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(A Belated) Fitness Friday + 2013 Goals

December 31, 2012

Happy New Year’s Eve! Dave and I returned from the winter wonderland that is upstate New York on Thursday. I’m not the biggest fan of snow, so I was pretty excited to come back to a complete lack of the white stuff here in Groton. That was short lived, however, since we got 5-6 inches [...]

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Fitness Friday + Kitty & Canine Holiday Exchange

December 21, 2012

Another week has flown by! Tomorrow, we’ll be traveling for the holidays to visit Dave’s family and I’m looking forward to the change of scenery. Once we get back, it’s a few short days until New Year’s Eve, and then 2013 is upon us. I’m not sad to see 2012 go – it wasn’t a [...]

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Fitness Friday & Elf4Health

December 14, 2012

How is it 2 weeks until Christmas?! Crazy. I’ve been so distracted by some of the other pressures going on right now that it feels like I’m letting the holiday pass me by. I’m going to try and be better about taking the time out to enjoy the reflective time that the season brings and [...]

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10 Things About Me: Running Edition

December 4, 2012

I’ve been super-bad about posting new material and that’s mostly due to life getting in the way. Since I’m so new to this, I don’t have a posting schedule “down” yet and don’t really want to become beholden to one, either. I figure it will all come in time. We spent the weekend getting our [...]

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Kitty & Canine Holiday Blogger Gift Exchange

November 25, 2012

What a great few days it’s been. I’m sad that the long weekend is coming to a close, as it’s always great to have Dave around for more than just the weekend. It’s easy to get stressed out about the holidays, with all the various obligations that come with it, but these past 4 days [...]

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2012 Madison Turkey Trot

November 24, 2012

Happy Saturday! I wasn’t brave (or crazy) enough to battle the crowds for deals yesterday but more power to you if you were! Looked like there were some great deals to be had. My mom and brother are here until today, so we had a few fun outings on the menu yesterday, including a trip [...]

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Subase New London Turkey Trot Fun Run

November 20, 2012

Well, the overall blog design is finished and I’m very excited to get a regular posting schedule going. Caroline from the blog Sweet Caroline created the design and layout and I couldn’t be more pleased with the end result. I highly recommend her blog design services to anyone – she was responsive, quick and made [...]

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Welcome!

November 9, 2012

Greetings, everyone! This is the inaugural post of what I hope will be many as I start this new blog highlighting running and endurance events around Connecticut and Rhode Island. As an avid reader of healthy living and running blogs for the past year and a half, I’ve always flirted with the idea of starting [...]

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