Best Day EVER!!

So one week ago today was my 31st birthday aka the BEST DAY EVER.

Now you are probably wondering why I was so excited about turning 31. Well I wasn’t so much excited about that as I was about meeting my favorite singer Andrew McMahon!

Cheryl had found tickets for the Jack’s Mannequin reunion show on our birthday, so obviously we had to go. Then 2 weeks before on Instagram they announced a meet and greet. WHAT!!

Jack's Mannequin

We got there earlier than we needed to, but I was ok with that. Luckily it was warmer out.

The meet and greet started later than we thought, but it was worth it. We got to go watch sound check first.

Jack's Mannequin

I have never had a seat so close!

Jack's Mannequin

Then after sound check we got to meet Andrew and get pictures.

Jack's Mannequin

While waiting in line I realized I have been listening to Andrew (and all this bands) for 15 years!!

Jack's Mannequin


After the meet and greet we got food and then waited for the show. We had gotten VIP tickets for the show which means we had a separate section upstairs.

Jack's Mannequin

I am so glad we did. The pit was PACKED!

Jack's Mannequin

They played the whole Everything in Transit album. I was rocking out to every single song :) It was an awesome show.

Andrew even crowd surfed!

Jack's Mannequin

I am so glad we shelled out the additional money. It was definitely worth it on my birthday. I also still cannot believe I got to meet Andrew!


2015 Philadelphia Rock and Roll Half Marathon

So this year the Philadelphia Rock and Roll Half Marathon had a new date and sadly a new course.

The original weekend the half marathon has been for the past few years was Pope weekend, so they had to move it. Unfortunately the weekend they moved it to was Halloween. Originally I wasn’t going to run it, but we decided last minute to go.

Rock and Roll Philadelphia

It was fun doing the run in costume, but I forgot how cold it would be! Cheryl and I decided to reuse our Tinkerbell and Periwinkle costumes from the Disney Princess Half in February.

We had VIP again this year through Cheryl’s work. We got to the tent early (before coffee was ready), but it was nice having a place to sit, eat food and have private porta-potties.

Rock and Roll Philadelphia

Cheryl found some arm sleeves that matched our outfits which was great because it was COLD in the morning.

Rock and Roll Philadelphia

We started in corral 12 about 15 minutes after the start of the race. As we were running toward city hall I saw the elites running past us. I was so confused because of the 8 years I have run this race I have NEVER seen the elites pass by.

As we ran around city hall I realized why. The course changed!

Instead of running downtown past the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall we ran around city hall and then down Spring Garden. I was really annoyed when I realized what was happening because the never told us about the course change.

Rock and Roll Philadelphia

We ran down Kelly Drive and around the Schuylkill like always. At the bridge where we cross the river I decided to snap a pic and it was hot enough to ditch the arm warmers.

I loved seeing everyone run in costumes. Some of them were so unique! I am just so used to Disney costumes it was cool seeing other ideas.

Cheryl and I ran the race together and finished in 2:20:20. It’s nowhere near by best time, but I felt good after.

Rock and Roll Philadelphia

Then there was food and booze! I love VIP :)

Rock and Roll Philadelphia

Everyone did a great job and it turned into a really nice day!

We even got free massages after. Pampering after a run is the best.

Rock and Roll Philadelphia

Here’s hoping next year the race is back in September and back to the old course! My 8th Philadelphia Rock and Roll Half Marathon in the books!

Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

It’s September and you know what that means!?! The Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon!!

Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

This year was our 7th year running!

This year was also the 2nd year in a row Cheryl was able to get us VIP tickets through work. I really do love her job.

Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

Cheryl had asked for 4 VIP tickets. Originally Cindy was going to run, but she had a bridal shower so Jill’s friend Kaitlyn took her place.

We got up early again to get to the start. We had a parking pass to park near the start, but wanted to make sure we got there before the lot filled up. We did and after we parked we went to the VIP tent. I had assumed that since the elite runners were running this year they would be in the VIP tent. Unfortunately they were in a completely separate elite area next to our area :(

We needed to fuel up and we had more then enough options. There was coffee and tea, bagels (with peanut butter, jelly, butter or cream cheese), pound cake, yogurt and granola, fruit and Powerade bars. There were also bins full of water, powered and chocolate milk.

VIP Breakfast

I had coffee, a bagel with peanut butter and jelly and some fruit. I don’t like to eat too much before a run and luckily the bagels were on the smaller side.

The other people in the VIP area were sponsor runners, media and the streakers. There are a group of people who have run all 37 races. They are the streakers and they are adorable.


We ate and got ready for the race. Of course my watch decided to have low battery right before the race. Luckily Cheryl had the Nike+ app on her phone so we switched so that I could use that. There are private ports-potties in the VIP section, but the line got long as the race got closer. Cheryl and I were in corral 4 and Jill and Kaitlyn were in corral 11. We had to jog to get to our corrals and they were PACKED.

Start Corrals

Of course we had enough time to take a selfie.

Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

We started running before I even realized.

The race starts from the Art Museum down Ben Franklin Parkway. Of course the one year I finally have a hat it is overcast, but it was still humid.

Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

Then we run through Center City, down around City Hall, through Old City, past Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, through Chinatown and back up the Ben Franklin Parkway to the Art Museum.


Those are the first 5 miles. The other 8 are around the Schuylkill River Trail that Cheryl and I always run. Through the beginning of the race there is a lot to look at. People cheering, buildings, landmarks, but the rest is mostly bands, cheerleading groups, some spectators and a lot of scenery.

Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

My Yurbud headphones were SO ANNOYING. They kept falling out of my ears so I had to keep smushing them back in. A photographer actually got me doing it since I had to so often!

Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

All around the Schuylkill River they put up inspirational signs. I really love reading them because they tend to be different every year. There are also funny signs like “Cold beer at the finish” and “WTF – Where’s the finish”?

Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

I did pretty well throughout the race. I started off at a great pace of 9:20 and kept it up most of the beginning. Once I got to the Schuylkill the humidity was getting to me so I was slowing down a little. I made sure to have water at EVERY station, but somehow at mile 10 my calves started to cramp. I stretched them out, but it wouldn’t go away. I couldn’t really use my normal stride after that because I didn’t want a full on muscle spasm so I slowed down.

Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

I still finished just a few seconds behind my pace last year.

Half Results

It’s definitely not as well as I had wanted to do. I am still chasing that sub-2 hour time from 4 years ago.

Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

Once I was done I got my medal, grabbed a water and headed back to the VIP tent. We had our own bag check which was nice. I didn’t have to walk all over to get my stuff.

What I did do was stuff my face as soon as I changed into flip flops. They had breakfast burritos (which were phenomenal I had 3), sausage, bacon, french toast with strawberries and grain salad. I also had a mimosa (or 3) and some chocolate milk.

VIP Lunch

Cheryl was not far behind me and then a little while later we spotted Jill. This was her second half marathon, but I was hoping she would love it as much as us. She did! The last 2 longer races she did she felt sick after, but she said she felt great after this one. We all celebrated with mimosas!

Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

Deena Kastor (who is an amazing runner at 41!) came in 3rd at 1:09:36, but set 4 Masters World Records! I was so jealous because Cheryl got to meet her!

Deena Kastor

Once we ate and relaxed for a little we headed over to get our 3rd remix medal. The post-race concert was Rusted Root this year and they were a crowd pleaser.

Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

Before heading back we decided to do one more thing I have never done after a race before…run the Art Museum stairs like Rocky!

Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

I can’t say enough how much I love this race. It is so energetic and I also love that anyone can do it. They have a long time limit because a lot of first-time runners and disabled runners with charity participate. We will definitely be back next year!

After we headed back and showered and even though I ate a lot I was hungry again. Around 2:00 we went and got cheesesteaks (Jill never had one) and stopped by our friend Sean’s house. A few people were over watching the Eagles game so we stopped by, ate cheesesteaks, drank beer and then headed home. One the way back Cheryl wanted coffee and I wanted something sweet. I got some pumpkin munchkins from Dunkin Donuts. Yum!

Pumpkin Munchkins

I must say it was a really fun weekend. Sadly it was the last weekend of Summer, but we made it count!

A Long Time Ago….Veronica Mars Movie Premiere in LA

So this post I have been itching to write, but I definitely wanted to wait to give you the rest of my California adventure reviews.

A long time ago…we used to be friends. The infamous theme song from Veronica Mars. If you have never heard of Veronica Mars (I feel bad for you) I suggest you grab the DVDs and make a weekend of watching the 3 seasons. It was a TV series that originally aired in 2004. The premise was Veronica (played by Kristen Bell) was a high school student/private eye. Her best friend was murdered, her dad was the sheriff but was kicked out of office and her friends abandoned her. Her dad accused her best friends parents (RICH parents) of being involved. Writing it out is so hard to explain, you really just need to watch it. After 3 seasons the show was suddenly cancelled and the fans (like myself) were not happy. The show has definitely had a cult following and the actors themselves felt bad that they didn’t give the fans a proper ending and goodbye.

About a year before we heard that the cast and director of Veronica Mars were planning a Kickstarter to raise funds to make a movie. Warner Bros. said they would not fund a full movie, but if they raised enough money they would fund the distribution. The goal of Rob Thomas (the director) was to raise 2 million dollars. They thought it was going to take a lot so they speed the word via social media. The point of Kickstarter is if you “back” a project you get something in return. Depending on how much money you back the better the prize. Cheryl and I JUMPED at the chance to back a movie. As we were scrolling through the incentives we saw that one was an LA Movie Premiere and After Party. You got 2 tickets to both the premiere and after-party. It came with a big ticket though $1,000. We thought and fought about it for about 20 minutes then said “once in a lifetime opportunity” and bought it. We split it evenly and waited. The only way you get charged or get the prize is if they reach their goal. Well they did…in one day! By the time the Kickstarter ended they had raised $5 million! They had to keep adding incentives because they kept running out. They added a NY and Texas premiere as well, but the LA one seemed so much better.

So after spending the day at the pool we got ready for the premiere. We were going to meet some people in the lobby for drinks first.

We sat at the bar for a little, but I started getting antsy. I knew there would be a line and I wanted a good spot on the red carpet. A few people left before us and everyone was saying they were silly for leaving so early. Cheryl and I chugged our wine then headed out early as well. We got across the street then stood in a decent line to go check in. We were glad we got there when we did because the line started getting crazy after us. Our room looked directly at the theatre so I showed my mom how to use my camera (and zoom) and told her to take pictures. I called her to let her know we were almost at check in. Look it’s us!

After we checked in and got our tickets and VIP after party stuff we headed across the red carpet to the viewing area. There were already a lot of people there. I wanted to stand in front. There was a little space but then a security guard came over and asked everyone to move down to fit more people. I was still by the railing and moved further toward the street. I did some maneuvering as people around us took pictures. I mean why wouldn’t you move when someone was taking a picture. Anyway I somehow grabbed Cheryl and got her to the front railing as well. After a few minutes it started getting REALLY full and then we saw it…they made people arriving late GO INSIDE. There was not enough room for everyone on the red carpet. THANK GOODNESS we left when we did.

Then the cast started to arrive. The first person there was Amanda Noret (Madison Sinclair). She is so pretty in person. At first we just all said hi to her and she signed autographs. A little later we realized that we were allowed to ask for pictures (everyone else was). So we called her back over to get a photo with us. 

After Amanda was the leading lady herself. I honestly LOVE Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars). She is the nicest person I have ever met. She went down the line of fans signing autographs and taking pictures before going over to talk with the reports and stuff. I mean we DID pay for the movie to be made and she understood that.

At this point it started getting loud and a lot of people started to arrive at once. People were screaming and yelling and stuff. My mom got this handsome guy getting out of his car. TEAM LOGAN

Anyway Cheryl and I kept yelling “over here” and “can we get a photo”. Not sure if it was the twin thing, but we got a picture with every almost every cast member on the red carpet! Next we saw my favorite character from the show Francis Capra (Weevil).

Then it was a flood of people! Jerry O’Connell (Dan Lamb) and papa bear Enrico Colantoni (Keith Mars).

Then Kristen’s husband Dax Shepard (from Parenthood) showed up and Logan’s parents from the show. Real life married couple Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna (Aaron and Lynn Echolls). 

It was so cute to see Jason Dohring (Logan Echolls) reunite with them :)

It took a lot of screaming but we finally got the man himself, Rob Thomas, to take a picture with us.

Then a woman came over to talk to us. She was like “are you two twins” and we said yes of course. She said that she has two sets of twins (one set of boys and one set of girls). Then she says she is Jason Dohring’s mom. Then she said some magical words. “Hold on let me go get Jason for you”. Jason came over and she introduced us to him and he gave us a huge hug. HIGHLIGHT! Then we took a picture of course. Then Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas) showed up. He is so funny in person he was running around like a goof.

At this point they started telling everyone we had to go inside and get our seats for the show to start. It was already 10 minutes past when the movie was supposed to start. I saw a few other cast members on the red carpet so I decided to wait (we had assigned seats anyway). Right at the end Tina Majorino (Mac) and Percy Daggs III (Wallace) came by and we got our pictures.

The only person we didn’t get (who was a complete asshole the whole night) was Chris Lowell (Piz). Then they really started yelling and my feet were KILLING me so we headed inside and got in our seats. The whole cast went up and Rob Thomas introduced the movie and then it was time!

The movie was AMAZING. I have watched it multiple times since. I highly recommend seeing it (and the whole series too).

After the movie it was time for the after party. On the way out Jason Dohring was at the exit thanking people for coming. We found a few of our friends and started walking to where the after party was. I didn’t realize that they also had premiere only Kickstarter packages. A lot of people were bummed they couldn’t go with us. We headed down the street to Sadie’s. It was quite a walk in sore feet (I hate heels).

Now the reason we took so many pictures on the red carpet was because we weren’t sure how accessible the cast was going to be at the after party. Well they were there hanging out and mingling and drinking with everyone. Except Chris Lowell who thought he was the king of the party.

When we walked in we saw Daran Norris (Cliff) and I had to get a picture. I saw him off to the side on the red carpet, but he didn’t really walk it. This was the only picture I took with my regular camera (I forgot to charge it). All the other pictures we took on our iPhones.

As I was waiting in line for the bar I saw Francis Capra again. He was my favorite character so I asked if I could get a picture with him by myself. He said sure. He was having the time of his life. Cheryl tried a few times but it was too dark so we walked into the other room and got some nice pictures. (Yes I love pictures but I had to document the GREATEST night of my life).

We headed back to the bar and got some (free) drinks. I had brought money I wasn’t sure if it would all be free. Near the bar I noticed a girl. Then I realized it was Jessy Schram (Hannah). She wasn’t on the show for long, but I later realized i also knew her from Falling Skies.

Then we noticed people in small groups all over the bar. They were all waiting to take pictures with certain people. We figured why not and waited in a few of the little crowds. First I saw Ryan Hansen. He remembered us and said “TWINS!” haha

Then Cheryl wanted to take another picture with Enrico because the one on the red carpet was very bright. She also wanted to tell him how much she loved and missed Flash Point. He was so happy someone else knew about that show!

Then I noticed Jason near the door so I made a beeline over by him. He is seriously so cute.

The most changed night goes to Duane Daniels (Mr. Van Clemmons). I didn’t even recognize him, but after I did I asked to take a picture. Later on I had to sit to rest my feet and he came over by us and was talking. He was a little too talkative, but he just wanted to hang out and told us how much he missed working with everyone.

Then we walked around. Tried to get a picture with Chris Lowell (ass) and failed again. I didn’t really eat anything. How do you eat and drink at the same time? All the tables were taken. I did have a few of the very delicious drinks they were serving.

We noticed a huge line forming around the bar and realized they had a photo booth set up near the front and Kristen Bell and other cast members were taking pictures. We got in the crazy long time. As we were on line we noticed they had a VIP area off to the side. A bunch of the cast had made there way over there so I was glad we met the ones we did before. We did get a show by Enrico. He is hysterical.

We got to the front just as Kristen was leaving. She was a trooper she had been up front for almost 2 hours at this point. These pictures need no captions. Kristen Bell, Ryan Hansen and Percy Daggs III.

After Kristen left other people left too. As the party started to wind down we headed inside. I needed to sit again (stupid shoes). Jason’s mom found us again and we talked about twins and life and stuff until she left. We decided to call it quits around 12 and walk back to the hotel. When we got back we stopped in the restaurant downstairs to order food. I hadn’t had anything since noon! We saw some of our friends who only had premiere (not after party) tickets. We filled them in on the fun and then headed up to bed.

The Veronica Mars Movie Premiere was seriously one of the greatest nights of my life. It was worth the money and travel there. Every cast member (except Chris) was amazing and loved the fans. The movie was the perfect way to wrap up so many loose ends us fans wanted to know. All in all an amazing night I will never forget!

Healthy Life Inspiration: Jillian Michaels

Ever since the Biggest Loser first aired in 2004, I have been addicted. The whole concept was so fascinating to me. It was in the early years of Reality TV so the first few seasons were about changing your life and MAYBE winning money. After a while the competition part got a lot more cutthroat. People stopped caring about their fellow contestants and how they needed to change their life. They started getting mean and competitive and only caring about dollar signs. The last few seasons have changed to a more “changing your life” idealism. Even so who knows where the show will go in the future.

The Biggest Loser didn’t just bring us contestants who wanted to change their lives. It also brought us two trainers who would eventually turn into celebrities. First there was Bob Harper.


He was adorable, full of tattoos and even though he could be mean he always had a softer side that really wanted to help the contestants.

Then they also brought you the badass Jillian Michaels.


She was a woman who had struggled with weight as a child. She was fit, had an amazing body AND would scream in your face until you did what she said. Ever since that first season I have vowed if I won the lottery I would hire her as my personal trainer.

A few weeks ago Cheryl and I decided to buy tickets to her speaking tour. We had a previous engagement on the day she would be in NYC so we got tickets in Williamsport, PA. It was a sunday so we left in the afternoon to get there. We had opted into getting VIP tickets so that we could sit up front and meet her after (and all the other seats left were in the nosebleeds).

When we got to the theatre we parked and went inside. We had seats near the front on the right side of the stage. I am pretty sure it was the theatre technician, but man did he have that music BLASTING. I had to leave a few times because it hurt my ears. Finally after a a little speech by the mayor or some town official it was Jillian time.

Jillian discussed three topics and how these three things will make your well-rounded life better. They were nutrition/diet, exercise and your self-worth.

She started talking about nutrition. Stuff she talked about really made me think. I had been aware of the whole “clean eating” movement, but listening to her talk about it really made me say to myself “hmm what is in the stuff I eat”. I sat typing madly her list of “dirty dozen” and clean foods. The dirty dozen are mainly foods that don’t have a tough skin or could be easily contaminated. Things like apples (since you eat the skin), peppers, cherries, grapes, lettuce, potatoes, strawberries. She did not tell us not to eat them, but she did suggest buying these organic because there was likely to be less pesticides. The clean foods were things like avocado, cantaloupe, corn, onions, watermelon. She also talked about all those “other” ingredients on food labels and how some were used in cleaning products and stuff! Really eye opening.

Next she discussed exercise. Anyone can exercise, but mixing that with diet is the key to weight-loss. She had some kids come on stage to do some “boot camp” style running and such.

After the last thing she discussed was self-worth. She started by talking about her childhood and how she was overweight and she never felt like she was good enough. I mean who hasn’t had those kinds of thoughts before. She said that falling down and getting back up is a part of life and really is what helps you become a stronger person. She overcame a lot of obstacles (even getting fired from the Biggest Loser) but she persevered and conquered.

After she was done speaking she opened up the room to Q&A. A lot of people had questions like “What do you eat” and things like that. A few had some rough situations they needed advice for. One woman explained how she just wanted to help her sister loose weight and she felt like no matter what she did it didn’t help. Jillian told her one word. STOP. You can’t make someone do something unless they want to do it. You can yell and scream or cry, but no matter what if that person does not want to change, they won’t. That really hit home for me. I have a lot of people always saying to me “you need to make me work out”. When really you have to WANT to work out and I can help motivate you along the way. It all starts with you and I know that because once I decided I wanted to loose weight for me I did it. It took a long time but it was my accomplishment and not anyone else.

After the Q&A the audience started to leave but we were told to stay in our seats. After waiting a little while we were ushered upstairs to a room with a background set up. The crotchety old ladies (who must work at the theatre) were making everyone miserable. They kept yelling to stay in line and we couldn’t take photos (they had a photographer) and no signing anything. I was pretty annoyed because I paid money to meet Jillian, not be ushered past her like cattle.

The people in line in front of us looked SO FAMILIAR to me, but I couldn’t figure out why. Once Jillian came out (changed into comfy clothes) I realized it was because they were on the Biggest Loser!

Jen and Jay

Jenn and Jay had been on Season 11 of the Biggest Loser. I didn’t get a picture of them at the event (everything was moving too fast) but they still looked great! Jillian was so excited to see them and she told them to stick around so she could talk to them after. I even heard her and Jenn talking about emails they had recently been sending each other. It makes me happy to know that the Biggest Loser is a network of people that continue to help and motivate each other after the show.

Soon it was our turn. I always get so nervous around famous people. I turn bright red!

Jillian was so sweet (and shorter than me) and she took a picture with me and Cheryl individually and also together. She loved that we were twins. She said her parter had a twin!

I was bummed we couldn’t really talk to her or get anything signed, but between the talk and meeting her it was a great day! She is my hero and my motivator. Sometimes I contemplate making a running playlist and adding in her yelling MOVE FASTER from the show over some of my songs.

Since the show I have really started to pay attention to what I was eating. I can’t be completely clean. I mean almost everything you buy in the store is processed in some way or another, but I can be as smart about my food choices as possible. I try not to eat anything overly processed. A KIND bar here or there isn’t going to hurt me, but being mostly clean has really helped with my weight loss.

If you have a chance to go see Jillian’s tour I would recommend it. She is a wonderful and down-to-earth public speaker who really makes you stop and think about the way you are living your life.

Running with Oakley

So I have mentioned before that my sister works for Self Magazine online. Working in publishing sometimes gets you perks. When people send products to work and some of our editors don’t want them they will give them to us sometimes or put it on the free table. Since Cheryl works for a consumer magazine she gets a lot more perks than me. One of those perks is she gets invited to events to write/tweet/blog about them. If none of her other coworkers can go she will sometimes ask if I can tag along. Sometimes they say yes, sometimes they say no. This time though they said yes!

Cheryl was asked by Oakley if she wanted to participate in the Oakley Mini 10K. They also let me participate which I was excited about. The last time I ran the Mini was 2010 when I was doing the 9+1 to get into the NYC Marathon. I remembered loving the race because it was all women and during the summer so it was a warmer race.

Oakley emailed us a training plan for the 10K and asked us for our sizes (in everything). The first Oakley event was a strength training session in NYC at Ramscale Studios in NY. They had a session in the morning and in the evening. Since I don’t work in NY I had to take a half day, but I didn’t mind because I really wanted to attend. Michelle Lovitt was going to be the trainer running the class and she is pretty amazing.

A few days before Cheryl got packages at her office with some Oakley gear for us. We got two tank tops, capris, socks, headbands and a sports bra. The studio was really nice. It was set up with yoga mats, towels, water and backpacks for each person attending.

When we arrived and checked in they gave us each a new pair of Asics! I always run in Asics so I was beyond happy.

The class was mainly using resistance bands. I have been doing crossfit for a month or two now so I figured I could handle the middle resistance band. I could…for about 15 minutes, then I had to switch to the lower one because my arms were on fire. The class was great I definitely felt the burn.

After the class they had a bunch of green/beet juices and protein bars for us. They also reminded us to keep up with our running training.

They also said we each got a backpack full of goodies and we could keep the yoga mat and bag to put it in. The backpack had a pair of Oakley sunglasses. I have always wanted running sunglasses, but I never knew if they would annoy me or not. Now I get to try them out! The bag also had some headbands, socks, and other fitness goodies.

This past Saturday was the Oakley Mini 10K. Now I have to be honest. I did not train as much as I should have. I have been having problems balancing crossfit at 5:30am and running. I try to sleep in every other day and sometimes I can’t get to the gym at lunch or after work. I ran a few times in the days leading up to the run so I was confident I could finish it.

A few days before the run we got another delivery of Oakley’s fall gear to wear. We got a few more tank tops, capris, shorts, socks, headbands and a sport bra. The race started at 8am so we got up at 6am to get ready and leave for the city. We got in a little earlier than we had anticipated so we hung out in the car for a little then parked in a garage and headed to Central Park. We were able to utilize the media/vip tent for the race. It was right next to the finish line. They had water and food for us to fuel before the run.

I am not the best at striking up conversations with people. Cheryl and I tried to talk to a few people but we mainly got ourselves prepared for the run and ate/drank.

I didn’t realize until right before we were heading to the start line that Ashley Greene was there running the race as well. Also Karena and Katrina from Tone It Up were running! I can’t talk to famous people so I just stared and smiled.

Soon we were headed over to Central Park West to get into the corrals for the race. The race was partnered with NYRR and Oakley so we had to sign up through NYRR. I had been really fast a few years ago when I was running Central Park for the 9+1 races. My average pace was 8:36, sadly it is nowhere near that anymore. NYRR though keeps records and bases your bib on your fastest pace so I was in corral 2 and Cheryl was in corral 3. I knew most people around us would fly past us in the start.

The morning had been relatively cool. I had a long sleeve shirt on walking to Central Park. It started to warm up though when the race was starting and the sun started to come out. After they announced the elite runners and sang the National Anthem the gun went off and the race was on. I was surprised there was no corral separation. I guess I have gotten so used to the runDisney races where corrals are held for a few minutes apart. We just all kind of moved forward and started when you got to the start line.

The first mile was ok. I went slow because I always start off faster than I should so I made sure not to do that. Once we turned right into the park I was feeling pretty good but also sweating a lot. I forgot how humid it could be that early in the morning.

Cheryl and I ran together and we made sure to stop at all the water stations to keep hydrated (I also don’t mind the little walk breaks). Around mile 4 the hills were starting to get to me. I forgot how hilly Central Park was! I used to run it so often it didn’t bother me but my training runs have one or two hills in it. I was back to the rolling hills of the park.

Around mile 5 Cheryl and I both had to stop a few times and take walk breaks. Between the sun, the sweat pouring off me and the humidity, I felt like I was going to combust! One awesome thing was the most volunteers were guys. Since a lot of men run the NYRR races on the weekends they really had nothing to do at an all women’s race but volunteer. A lot of the NY running clubs had their male members off to the side cheering all the women on. It was a nice thing to see.

Finally we were heading downhill and turning toward the final 800m. I yelled at Cheryl not to leave me. She has a better final kick then me and tends to leave me in the dust and I didn’t want that since the Oakley tent was right at the finish line. We crossed together in 1:07:23. Which is A LOT slower than my pervious 10K runs. For now I have a lot of things I can blame it on (heat, lack of training, etc.) but I am going to accept it and move on and plan on running more.

After the race there was a brunch at the Le Parker Meridien Hotel. The hotel was a few blocks away and Cheryl wanted to go to the Apple store so we headed there first before heading to brunch. A few of the people who had flown in were also staying at the hotel and they showered before the brunch. Mostly everyone else was still in running attire though. The view from the penthouse over Central Park was amazing.

We had some mimosas and some awesome food. I love food and I always tend to overeat. Cheryl and I have been on a diet the past few weeks and I didn’t want to mess that up. I had an egg white omelette (prepared fresh there), some fruit, a piece of bacon, and some shrimp/avocado salad. Everything was outstanding and we were able to chat with a few other bloggers and Oakley representatives. We also got another goodies bag with a Tone It Up DVD and some of their bars/protein powders, some sunscreen from Coola, a freezable lunch bag and KIND bars.

All in all it was a great day and an amazing experience I hope to be able to have again! Thank you Oakley for letting me partake!

Philadelphia Rock and Roll Half Marathon

Yesterday was the Philadelphia Rock and Roll Half Marathon. The Philly Half was the first half marathon I ever ran and I have run it every year since.

The first time we ran Philly in 2008 was because my friend Erin had asked if we wanted to run for a charity for her cousin. The charity was NF, which stands for Neurofibromatosis. I had actually never heard of the disease before but I told her I would love to run and help out a great cause. The run was originally called the Philadelphia Distance Run and it was sponsored by ING.

After running my first half marathon I was pumped to keep running, and I have been doing it ever since. I gauge my running on Philly every year. I have tried to get faster and faster, but over the past few years I haven’t trained as well as I should have.

This year because Cheryl now works at Self we got VIP opportunities we never had in the past. The race starts at 8am so you need to get up early to get to the start line on time. This year we work up at 5:30am so we could be down at the start before they closed the roads. We got to park right by the start/finish village. We also usually grab bagels and coffee at Wawa before the run and have to stand in super long porta-potty lines. This year the VIP area had coffee, bagels, power bars and other things for us to eat as well as it’s own porta-potties.

One of Cheryl’s coworkers also came down to run. It was her first ever half marathon.

The weather was pretty cold in the morning. Compared to past years when I am fine in a tank top and shorts I was wearing long sleeves and capris. I toughed it out and took off the long sleeve for the run. Luckily the weather had heated up a little bit. Last week Competitor announced it would no longer pay elite athletes the appearance fee for races. Once I realized that we would have been in the same place as all the elites I got bummed. Only problem with that was they got to cut in front of the porta-pottie line since they had to go first and the line in VIP was very backed up for all us regular folk.

The run is awesome for first time half marathoners. Their pacing requirements are low so that even if you walked the whole race you could finish it. You start out in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum and run toward city hall. There are a few twisty streets in between. Then you run around city hall and down toward the liberty bell. In past years we ran all the way downtown in old city through cobblestone streets, but the course was a little different this year.

Then you head back up toward the art museum and run past it with it on your left. The rest of the race is around the Schuylkill River. They had a lot of inspirational signs this year along the course. Cheryl took a picture of this one.

This year I finished the race in 2:11:37. My fastest time on this course was in 2010. I finished in 1:56:49

This year was especially nice post race. The VIP tent had a lot of food and mimosas for us.

I have vowed that next year I will train properly again for this run and try and get under 2 hours again!