I Survived my 5k!

If you’ve been following along to my randomness, you know that I decided impulsively last Wednesday to go ahead and run the Baltimore Running Festival 5k on Saturday. I was incredibly unprepared since I hadn’t actually run 3 miles in over 16 months (before conceiving Jack). I decided that it was a total “mind over matter” moment though and decided to just suck it up and run the darn thing.

I bought this sticker and wore it on my back during the race.

My only goal was to run the entire race (no walking allowed) and to complete it in less than 40 minutes.

Jack and I woke up super early to get ready and pick up my brother, Jason, on the way to Baltimore. Jason had offered to hang out with Jack while I ran, which made this little challenge possible. Even though we gave ourselves plenty of time, we were (of course) running late.

After we parked and were finally walking towards the race start, we split up so that I could jog over in time for the race to start. Yeah, I said jog. It was such a waste of running energy. By time I got there, the race already started, so that kind of sucked. Timing chips were in our race numbers though, so in theory my actual race time wouldn’t start until I crossed the start line.

I turned on my super awesome iPod mix that I created especially for the race and started the run. One cool thing about starting dead last is that you get to pass a bunch of people! And pass I did, first I jogged passed a couple cute grandma types with walkers. Then, I darted around some blind walkers with their handlers.

Yeah, I felt like a freaking Olympian with my incredible quickness.

Um, no. No I didn’t.

Anyways, the first mile was pretty easy. I had purposefully loaded some chill songs on my mix, so I kind of relaxed into the run. There were a TON of people there though, so I was continuously darting around runners and walkers so that I wouldn’t smack into the back of anyone. All in all, I passed almost 1,000 people – which when you think about it like that is pretty darn cool.

I started feeling it somewhere between 1.5 to 2.5 miles – that was the point where I had to start giving myself a little pep talk. It pretty much went like this:

Me to self: Come on, you can DO IT! You pushed a baby out of your hooha, you can totally run three stinking miles!

Self to me: I can’t. This sucks and I would so much rather be sitting on the couch in my pajamas.

Me to self: Don’t be a little bitch! Look at all the people you are passing. You are a BEAST. (Looks at thin and beautiful girl in an adorable running outfit). See that girl? You just passed her. I PASSED YOU SKINNY GIRL! BooYA!

Self to me: Okay, that’s pretty cool.

Me to self: See that guy. Yeah, I’m going to pass him too…. BOOM. That JUST happened!

Self to me: {giggles} I am kind of a beast.

Me to self: Dude, this song is awesome. I’m totally going to sing along in my head to it and gesture wildly because I’m AWESOME. {Starts run-dancing along with ipod song and mouthing the words. May accidently be singing some of the words out loud}

Self to me: Um, lets dial it back a bit Ms. Crazy.

So yeah, that was pretty much what was going through my head for the middle part of the race. At one point between 2.5 miles and 3 miles I was convinced that they moved the mile marker sign. I don’t know if it was that I was running uphill or that I kept passing and then being passed by an 8 year old girl, but this part of the race seemed to go on slow motion.

Jack and me after the race — my shirt says: “Running slow is not a character flaw… QUITTING IS!”

When I FINALLY passed the 3 mile sign I started sprinting towards the finish line like I had made the mistake of eating lunch at Taco Bell. My arms were flailing around, I had an angry look on my face and I may have shoved people out of my way.

It wasn’t graceful, but it was a finish!

Since I started the race late, I didn’t know if I had accomplished my goal of completing it under 40 minutes. However, later that evening I was able to see my stats online… and I finished the race in 38 minutes and 49 seconds!

{Insert victory dance here! Victory dance is kind of lame though because my body hurts.}

Yes, I know that my time isn’t fast by any means – but I’m darn proud of myself anyways. With no preparation at all, I knocked out three miles in under 40 minutes! My overall place was 2,205 out of 3,181, so I was faster than 976 other people. And of the 2,022 women who ran the race, I came in at 1,310th – so I totally BEAT 712 other ladies (100 of them were in my age group)!

So yes, I’m proud of my accomplishment. And if I can accomplish this random goal what in the heck is holding me back from my other goals?

Like what you see? Share me with your friends!

Last Minute (Possibly Stupid) Decision

A few months ago when I was all in my “I’m totally going to get in shape, girl” mood I signed up to do the Baltimore Running Festival 5k. I had a few months to prepare and had run a bunch of 5k’s before pregnancy, so I figured it was no big deal. Well, fast forward a few months and I’ve pretty much done NOTHING to get myself back in shape. Unless you count the fact that I haven’t had a chance to go to the store to restock my super-sized marshmallows.

That doesn’t count? Crap.

When I signed up for the race, my friend Lindsay signed up to run it with me. Which I thought would be really great for us both to have an incentive to start/keep running to prepare. Unfortunately, she had to start wearing one of those super sassy boot things on her ankle/foot due to an old injury and wasn’t going to be able to run after all. Add that to the fact that I hadn’t arranged for a babysitter (my parents will be out of town and my husband will be working) and I figured that I’d just skip the event.

So that brings us to this week. I saw Lindsay yesterday and she has decided to run the race after all. She doesn’t have to wear the boot anymore and she’s in pretty great shape from a combo of working out and that awesome glow/weight loss that comes with being in a new relationship. Yes, I’m jealous – not of the new love (I’m incredibly happy with my man thankyouverymuch) but of the effortless loss of weight! Still, I had no babysitter so I figured I’d pass on the race.

Then, this morning I was listening to a local morning radio show and they were talking about the Baltimore Running Festival. One of their callers would be running his 49th marathon this year and he doesn’t even train.

What?!  He doesn’t train and can just go out there and run 26 miles???

Which got me to thinking – when I was “training” I pretty much just got my butt out there and ran between 1 – 4 miles without doing much preparation. I would just start and go with whatever felt good at the moment. Now, let me be clear… I AM NOT FAST! I just go at my own speed and I’m totally okay with that.

I ran 2 miles on June 26th and haven’t run since. Yeah, I’m totally ready to run a race in three days…

When I decided to start running again over the summer, I literally went out with my baby in the jogging stroller and ran a mile. A couple days later I ran two miles. And then I got busy/lazy and haven’t run again since then. That was in June and despite my wishing that I would turn into someone who liked exercising, I haven’t really done much since then.

Every week I start out telling myself that I’m going to use the elliptical machine, eat healthy, go for a walk/run, etc. And every week something comes up – last week it was the cold/croup combo that hit Jack (and the rest of us). Before that it was a 6 day workweek where I didn’t get home until 9pm three of the nights. See, always an excuse.

This morning when I heard that guy say how he just got out there and did it, it flipped a switch in my brain. I always say that things are mind over matter and if you tell yourself you can do something, you CAN do it. Well, I decided to shut my damn mouth and prove it.

My awesome brother has volunteered to hang out with Jack by the finish line and I’m running the race on Saturday. Yes, I decided Wednesday morning to run a 5k in less than three days. With no preparation at all.

But you know what; I believe I can do it. So I’m GOING to do it.

I mean, three miles isn’t that far, right? I doubt I’m going to get my best time ever, but I sure as heck won’t be last either. I even went online to make sure and last year dozens of people took over an hour to finish. My old times were closer to the 33 – 36 minute mark, so as long as I finish in less than 40 minutes or so I’ll be a happy girl.

I’m going to load a super fun running mix on my ipod, dress in my most comfortable running clothes, braid my hair so it’s out of my face… and run my butt off.

I’m going to prove to myself that I can do this. And if I can do this, I can put my mind to it and make some other positive changes in my life.

Please say a little prayer for me or cross your fingers or something, because I’m going to need all the support I can get!

Like what you see? Share me with your friends!

Reviewing Zamzee: Will it Help Me Be More Active?

I’m going to be honest with you guys. My Get in Shape, Girl workout isn’t going so well. I can blame it on all the random traveling I’ve done lately (vacation = excuse to eat whatever the heck I want), but it really just comes down to the fact that I’m lazy and prefer food that is bad for me.

Meet my Zamzee dude — so dapper in orange!

I mean, that’s pretty much everyone’s issue, right?

So I was looking for ways to bribe myself into thinking exercise is fun. Which as you can imagine is pretty hard to do when you work full-time and have a 6 month old.* However, when I was at BlogHer 2012 I found this cute little guy.

He is the spokes-dude(?) for Zamzee. I hadn’t ever heard of Zamzee before that day but I was given the opportunity to try it out for free. So I figured, why not?

Zamzee is an activity meter that you clip to yourself, much like a pedometer. However, instead of just counting your steps, the meter measures the intensity of your activity. The Zamzee is designed for kids, with the goal of enticing them to get more physically active. There is even a website specially designed for kids and tweens that helps track their progress and has fun activity-based games.

Obviously, I’m not a kid anymore but I decided to give it a try. And honestly, I thought this little meter was pretty cool. Instead of getting obsessive over steps walked and calories burned, it was actually kind of fun to do activities and see how many Pointz I accumulated (yes, they’re called Pointz… which is what the cool kids are into these days. Or is it, kidz and dayz?). You can just plug the meter into your computer and the Pointz get uploaded into your account. Super easy! And I like earning Pointz – it’s kind of like earning a gold star!

This is what a zamzee looks like, mine is black. (Source: zamzee.com)

I wore the Zamzee to my Stroller Strides class last week and tried to push it** extra hard to earn some additional points. I’ve also been wearing the meter to work each day, which is awesome because it gives me a reason to get off my butt. After I’ve been sitting at the computer for a couple hours I click on the website and pick a challenge. Typically for a challenge, I’ll get out of my office for 5 minutes and just do a quick loop around my building. Sometimes, I close my door and bust a move to earn Pointz. And yes, I totally did this last week.

Zamzee is currently in beta, with about 5,000 users and is expected to launch in the Fall. However, the beta program is currently open to the public and you can purchase a meter for $29.95 plus shipping (there is no monthly cost).

Why buy one when I can give you one for free? That’s right I have a brand new meter to give away to my awesome readers!

I’ve never done a giveaway on my blog before, so this is pretty fun stuff. In fact, I’m almost drunk with power. MooHAHA***

So here’s what you have to do to enter the contest: Leave me a comment on this blog post or on the Pocketful of Joules Facebook page that includes the word “Zamzee” somewhere in the text. I will print out the names of everyone who enters and randomly pick a winner. Let’s do one entry per person, per platform – so you are welcome to enter both on my blog AND my Facebook page. The giveaway closes at noon on September 6, 2012. So get your comments in!

 * Excuses, excuses! Do you see what I’m dealing with here??!!

** Push it REAL GOOD… now that song is in my head!

*** That’s my drunk with power laugh. Duh. It’s like in that episode of Friends where I think Ross was doing an evil laugh – there was some sort of blackout and he did his laugh and the lights came back on and Rachel was kissing someone. I can’t find the clip on youtube, but I’m pretty sure it happened in reality and not in my head.

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post, but I was given a free Zamzee to review. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own and I would never write about or review something unless I actually liked it!

9/6 Update: This contest is now closed. The winner, according to the Random Numbers Generator at random.org is…. Just Keep Swimming! She can now be one of the cool kids with her very own Zamzee!

Like what you see? Share me with your friends!