Cappadocia Ultra Trail Marathon Race Recap!

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As some of you know, my husband and I ran our first ultra-marathon on October 24th, in beautiful Cappaodocia, Turkey. Here is the much anticipated race recap! Enjoy!

Friday, October 23rd 

We arrived at our hotel in Urgup around 2 pm. We decided to stay in a cave hotel right in the city where the race started and finished. The hotel we stayed at was Hotel Cave Konak. DSC_0519A fantastic cave hotel that we both highly recommend! The staff was super helpful and very nice, the rooms were clean, the terrace had a great view, and breakfast was delicious.

The entrance to the hotel.DSC_0522

We booked a deluxe suite room and are so glad that we did.DSC_0428 DSC_0414

The terrace on the top of the hotel was a relaxing place to eat breakfast and provided a great view of the city, especially at night!DSC_0433

Little did we know just how close to the start/finish line we were. This was our view from our hotel.DSC_0435

We were literally a 2 minute walk from our hotel room to the start/finish line. It definitely made race morning less stressful.

After we got settled into our hotel and learned a little bit about the city from the owner of the hotel, we went to find our way to pick up our race packets. It took us a while to figure out where we needed to go, but once we did, it was super easy and we were all set for race day.

We were getting hungry, so we headed back up towards the center of the city to get something to eat. We ended up finding a restaurant that was actually serving spaghetti! It ended up being our favorite restaurant to eat at while in Urgup.DSC_0530

A wonderful small town restaurant with delicious food, great service, and great prices. We ate here 3 times and every time the food was spectacular. My favorite was the Ev Mantisi (homemade ravioli) with garlic. Rob had the Beyti and we shared the Borek.IMG_0054

While we were eating dinner, our friends who were going to be running the 36k, called and told us they were there. So we met up with them and went with them to the packet pick up and race briefing.DSC_0441

We showed them were it was since it wasn’t easy to find. After they got their race packets, we decided to take a few pictures next to our respective race signs.DSC_0439

Rob and I with the 60k course sign. Thanks for the picture Sarah and Teresa!

Then we were trying to take a selfie with all 4 of us (which wasn’t working out very well) and one of the race volunteers asked if we would like him to take one of us. So we ended up with a nice one of the 4 of us together.teresagrouppic

Photo Credit: Teresa

We still had about 30 minutes before the technical briefing, so we went next door and chatted while Sarah and Teresa grabbed a little something to eat. After the 45 minute technical briefing, we made our way to the pasta party. pastaparty

Photo Credit: Sarah

This was by far the best pasta party I have been to before a race. There was a ton of food, the lines were quick, and there was a lot of seating. It was a little chilly because it was windy, but the whole race atmosphere was incredible.

Once we were full of pasta and other treats, we headed back to our respective hotels for a good night’s sleep before the big day!

Saturday, October 24th – RACE DAY

Our day started at 4:30 am! We got up, ate some oatmeal, then got ready for the biggest race of our lives so far. Eating proved to be a challenge, as nerves were getting the best of both of us, but we finally managed to get something into our stomachs. We knew we were going to need that fuel to get us started.

At 6:15 am, we headed over to the start line, got checked in (so they knew we were on the course), and took some time to take a few pictures.DSCN1591

We saw so many people that we knew from Ankara at the start! It was nice to actually know some of the other runners that we would be running with. We talked with them while we waited for the start of the race.

The closer to 7 am it got, the more it started to fill in, but definitely the smallest race I have ever run. We still started pretty close to the front of the pack, which didn’t matter to us because our main goal was just to finish the race.DSCN1595

One more shot of the start before we began the race of a lifetime!DSCN1596

And we’re off! A few shots of the official start of the 110k and 60k races. If you look close enough you can see Rob in red on the right side next to the Voyager sign, but not me next to him because I am short! 🙂12182734_949262161786845_1851386767834449184_o

Photo Credit: Brian Hordes

A nice shot of the front runners running through Urgup, Turkey! That’s our hotel in the background to the left of the Mosque.12034485_949252535121141_7141506196179173932_o

Photo Credit: Brian Hordes

Once we started running all of the nerves were gone. I remember saying, “There’s no turning back now!” The first 5 miles of the race were wonderful. The weather, as you can see from the pictures below, was very overcast and cool. I was able to take some pictures while we were running and we were able to enjoy the beautiful landscape that this area had to offer.DSCN1598 DSCN1601 DSCN1602 DSCN1603 DSCN1604 DSCN1605 DSCN1613

 The picturesque landscape was what drew us in to run this race. Simply amazing!

Our first obstacle were some uneven stairs to run down. Little did we know that these stairs would turn out to be one of the easiest things we would conquer that day.DSCN1614

And then it started…the dreaded “r” word…RAIN! At first it was just a light drizzle, which was definitely something we could handle, but 15 to 20 minutes later it really started raining and hard!

The ground was already wet here, but it was just the beginning. This was the last photo I took for a while due to the rain.DSCN1616

Shortly after this photo, the sky opened up and it poured! We stopped under a tree to put on our waterproof shells. Thank goodness we had them because they definitely got put to good use.

IT RAINED HARD FOR THE NEXT 3 HOURS! And rained for a total of 3 hours and 20 minutes. I didn’t get a lot of pictures during this time because the terrain was so technical and difficult due to dealing with all of the water and mud on the course. The mud was so slippery that Rob ended up falling around mile 12. He landed on his wrist and it immediately started swelling. We really thought he had broken it. I asked him if he wanted to stop and he said no. At this point he was pretty much down to using only his right hand to help him with any of the obstacles that we encountered, which ended up being a lot more than we were expecting.

The hardest obstacle we came across was a steep decline with a rope to use for support! I was so scared when I saw this because when we hit this point, it was still raining and a muddy mess. The picture below shows what it looked like when the 30k runners got there.rope

Photo Credit: Teresa

Of course Rob had me go in front of him. I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I climbed over both ropes and grabbed onto the main rope with both hands as tight as I could. Thankfully there were a couple of guys that went down ahead of me because when I got to the bottom of the rope I didn’t know how I was going to let go and make it down the rest of the hill without falling. One of the guys braced himself against a tree at the bottom and told me to come on and that he would stop me. He did! I managed to make it down without falling! Runners are awesome!

Poor Rob came down after me bracing himself with his right hand on the rope and only using his left hand to guide him, as he couldn’t put any pressure on his wrist. I stayed at the bottom of the hill to help Rob stop, if he needed it, but he was able to stop himself just short of me.

Needless to say that mile definitely slowed us down a bit. At this point in the race, we were already feeling defeated from the rain, mud, and terrain, but knew we had put in too much time with our training to be defeated.

So we kept going…and the next mile was better…by 12 minutes. So our faith had been restored…at least for now!

At 13 miles into the race, we stopped, dug out the camera again, and took a few pictures at the top of Sunset Point in Goreme.DSCN1621

 It was still raining. We were soaked and covered in mud, but we were still SMILING!DSCN1618Even though it was raining, it was beautiful and a nice break from the technical terrain, as we were going to be heading into the town for a mile or so.DSCN1619 DSCN1620

After running through Goreme the first time, we were on our way to the second checkpoint…Uchisar. Unfortunately, due to the rain, I didn’t get any pictures of the beautiful scenery on the way up the hill to the Uchisar Castle. I really wish I would have because it was amazingly beautiful! I have never seen anything like it before.

I did manage to snap a couple of quick pictures before we headed up the hill of the mud that we had been running through!DSCN1622DSCN1623

Once we made it to the top, we were able to grab a little bit of fuel and some Cola at the checkpoint. That Cola tasted AMAZING!DSCN1625

By the time we were leaving the checkpoint it had finally stopped raining, so I got my camera out and snapped a few pictures from the top before we continued on our way.

The Uchisar Castle. At least part of it.DSCN1624View from the top! Look at those crazy clouds! 
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Ready to continue our journey through Cappadocia.DSCN1629

Not long after we left Uchisar and were on our way through Love Valley and headed back to Goreme, the sun came out and made the second half of the run much more enjoyable.

Yes, this is a picture from the same day! Hard to believe after seeing what the morning looked like. In the background is Rose Valley, which we end up running through a little bit later. DSCN1630

These were taken just after we got out of Love Valley and heading back towards Goreme. DSCN1631 DSCN1632

After we ran back through Goreme, checkpoint number 3, we headed towards Rose Valley.DSCN1633 DSCN1634 DSCN1635 DSCN1636

Still smiling about 21 miles into the race! And happy that we were finally drying out. DSCN1637

Another beautiful shot of the Cappadocia region! DSCN1638

We saw our shadows…finally! 😉 DSCN1639

Rose Valley was familiar territory for us, as we had hiked through some of it the first time we visited Cappadocia. Even though some of it was familiar, we still hit some sections and obstacles that we were not ready for. First up was a very tight section that was barely wide enough for one foot in front of the other.

Then there were 3 ladders to climb down through the caverns. At the first steep ladder there was a huge Kangal wild dog that had somehow managed to get down into the cavern. He was trying to get down the ladder, but everyone there was telling him not to do it. By the time we got through there he had not attempted to actually get down the ladder, but unfortunately, we don’t know how he was going to get out of there. So sad! It was hard for us to get down into there and to get back out.

The last obstacle through that section was another set of ladders, but this time it wasn’t just a few steps of a ladder. This time it was 2 full ladders to climb up that were built into the rock! I made sure to get a picture of these ones before we went up them and through a cave. Glad these weren’t wet when we had to climb up them!DSCN1640

After the caverns and caves through the first part of Rose Valley, we began another climb to run across the side of the valley. The views were absolutely breathtaking! We still needed to watch our footing though, as some spots were quite rocky and narrow. DSCN1643 DSCN1644 DSCN1645 DSCN1646 DSCN1647 DSCN1648

Running through Rose Valley!DSCN1649 DSCN1650 A quick selfie with Rose Valley behind us!DSCN1652

We ran along the side of the rocks in the background on our way to Cavusin and checkpoint number 4. We were about 25 miles into the run at this point.

Running through the town of Cavusin. I especially liked the stone road at this point in the run. It was nice to be able to make up a little bit of time. DSCN1653 Checkpoint number 4 and almost 28 miles in! We took a few extra minutes at this checkpoint to get some much needed water and some more Cola, as we knew what was coming up next! I am not a big Cola drinker, but it was amazing and gave me just what I needed to continue. DSCN1654After the checkpoint, THIS is what was waiting for us!
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Yes, those are people at the top! DSCN1656 And where we were headed! DSCN1657 Looking back down at the town of Cavusin from about half-way up the hill. DSCN1658 Still climbing and definitely not easy terrain, but at least it wasn’t raining! DSCN1659 A long slow climb…DSCN1660…but the view…magnificent!
DSCN1661 Looking down again. DSCN1662 View from the top!DSCN1663

We made it! DSCN1665_1 My Rocky Balboa pose, that Rob made me do at the top! DSCN1666 Thumbs up! Feeling pretty good here and at this point (between 28 and 29 miles) my longest run ever! DSCN1667 Rob did it! (Didn’t realize his eyes were closed until we got home!) DSCN1668

After we made it to the top, we began our run across the top towards Akdag! Our final checkpoint before the finish back in Urgup. DSCN1669 Looking down at part of Rose Valley!DSCN1670 DSCN1671 DSCN1672 Continuing our trek to Akdag! This part of the run was pretty nice and we were able to keep a decent pace. DSCN1673 AKDAG! Only 10.2 km left! DSCN1674

In Akdag, we saw some American fans coming to cheer their family members in. They saw us and told us, “You got this! You are almost there! You look great!” Definitely the boost we needed. Thank you!

Considering everything we had already accomplished to this point in the race, what we had left, was pretty easy. There were a couple of difficult sections, but we knew we were going to finish, something we weren’t so sure about 12 miles into the race!

This was one of those tough sections and it was at least 35 miles into the race at this point. DSC_0538

After we got through that, we continued down through this…DSC_0540 DSC_0537

…and finally…10 hours and 16 minutes after we started, we crossed the FINISH LINE hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, we are very disappointed that we do not have a finisher’s photo, even though there were photographers at the finish line and we were the only ones crossing the line at that time. 😦

Thankfully, another finisher offered to take a picture of us with our medals and vests, so this is all we have!DSCN1677_1

We were so happy to finish the race and to finish strong! We were flying down the shoot! We finished the last 1/4 mile with a best pace of 8:43. Not bad after 39 miles!

Here is the elevation for the first 23 miles of the race…map1

…and the elevation for the second part of the race. map2

Definitely not an easy course, but definitely worth it! The experience and the beautiful scenery is something we will never forget.

Race swag! DSC_0735 Back home with our medals and shirts!DSC_0722 DSC_0711

Overall, it was a nice race and we enjoyed it, except for the rain and mud! The course was well labeled, especially for such a long race. There were only a couple of sections were we really needed to stop and look to figure out which way we needed to go. So definitely impressed with that, as I was worried about getting lost.

Our major complaint is the lack of photographers and photographs from the professionals at the race. We understand that it was raining for over 3 hours of the race, but we were out on the course for over 10 hours and we do not have a single picture of us that we didn’t take ourselves! The only picture that we truly cared to have was the one of us crossing the finish line and NOTHING! However, there are pictures of the people who finished a couple of minutes ahead of us and of a girl who finished 3 minutes after us! Considering how small the race was, I can not believe how few pictures there are of the entire race. It seems like unless you were an elite runner or towards the front of the race that you didn’t get any pictures. Very disappointing, especially considering the training and time we put into preparing for this race.

We took the opportunity to run this race this year because we knew it would be our only chance to ever run it! Are we still glad we did, even though we have no actual race photos? Yes! Definitely a race to remember!

Thank you for reading!

~Brooke & Rob

In Progress, Giveaway, & Sneak Peak

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Sorry for my lack of posting for the last four months, but I have been super busy. I have some exciting news and events to share, so I am working on a brand new post. I hope to have it up in the next couple of days.

In the meantime, check out my A Day In The Life Of A Runner Facebook page here and give it a “like,” if you haven’t already. I am excited to have so many new followers, which has rekindled my interest for blogging. I really enjoy doing it, but sometimes time just gets away from me.

To celebrate having over 100 likes on my Facebook page, I was thinking about doing a running related giveaway. If you would be interested, please like my page and like my giveaway post. The amount of interest will decide if I do the giveaway or not!

Here is a sneak peak from what I have been up to:

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Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading!

~ Brooke & Rob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Trip To Yalıkavak & Bodrum Part 1

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At the beginning of April, Rob and I took our first real vacation since we have been married, and we have been married 14 years! I am going to break it up into at least 3 parts because there are a lot of pictures and we saw a lot.

I am going to start with Yalıkavak, which is a town about 11 miles from the city of Bodrum, Turkey. We spent the majority of our trip here along the Aegean Sea.

We walked a lot of the coastline and parts of it multiple times a day. Here is a map of Yalıkavak.

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Our hotel was located here as well.

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It was a nice little hotel and the restaurant food was delicious. We ended up getting in later than we planned due to a flight delay, but the hotel knew we were coming and kept the restaurant open just for us. We were so thankful because we were starving!

Outside our room.

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A view of the inside.

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We were happy with the hotel, the room, the restaurant, and their hospitality. The staff was very friendly and helpful.

The hotel was right along the Aegean Sea coastline, so the first day that we were there we went and explored the beach areas. Since we were there early in the season, about 2-3 weeks before peak tourist season, a lot of the hotels were just starting to prepare their beach areas. We did find a nice little section to sit and enjoy the view for a while.

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The view was amazing!

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I couldn’t be that close to the Aegean Sea and not put my feet in. The water actually wasn’t as cold as I was expecting it to be. It was kind of refreshing, even though it wasn’t very warm out. It was super windy though, hence the windblown hair in every picture!

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The water was so blue and clear. It was breathtaking!

A view of our hotel from one of the piers.

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We also walked up and down the coastline taking everything in. This was down by the Yalıkavak Marina.

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I loved the palm trees! They were huge!

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Another shot from one the piers. Isn’t that water amazing?!

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It was a lot of fun walking down the coastline and taking pictures. We saw some spectacular views.

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My favorite part was definitely the gorgeous sunset over the Aegean Sea. Does it get anymore beautiful than this?

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As you can see the views were amazing, but so was the food! We were even lucky enough to be able to enjoy the view and the delicious food at the same time.

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The first restaurant we ate at was Le Cafe. They had a mix of Italian and Turkish food.

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Of course, we went with the Turkish cuisine and it was fantastic. We started with börek, which is a flakey pastry filled with cheese.

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For my main course I had Chicken Şiş Kebap with rice.

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Rob had the same thing, only the lamb version.

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For dinner one night we ate at Reis Restaurant. They served mainly seafood, so I experienced eating non-breaded calamari and red snapper.

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We had another wonderful view of the sunset while waiting for our food.

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We started with the calamari. I have to admit, I wasn’t so sure about it when I saw it because I have always had the breaded, but it was really good.

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For our meal, Rob and I split the red snapper. It was my first time eating fresh fish. They had caught it that morning from the sea.

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The next day we ate lunch at Özmasa Restaurant, which was right next to Le Cafe.

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This was by far our favorite restaurant in Yalıkavak. We ended up eating there twice, it was so good. We had great food at a great price with a great view. We couldn’t beat it!

We started with the börek again.

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This restaurant had hummus and I couldn’t resist it. Nor the bread! Turkish bread is the best! I could have eaten just hummus and bread for my whole meal, but I didn’t.

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I did end up getting Turkish Pizza though, also known as Pide. This was the Chicken Pide.

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Rob had Beyti Sarma, which is basically meat wrapped in a tortilla with yogurt.

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And for dessert we split Künefe, a sweet shredded pastry with cheese! So yummy!

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The food in Turkey is amazing! So, I guess it is a good thing that we did a lot of walking while we were enjoying all of these delicious meals.

On Thursday (I will come back to Wednesday in another post), we stayed in Yalıkavak for most of the day and did some more sightseeing. I wanted to go check out Dodo Beach, which on the map didn’t look that far away, but it was quite a hike. Even though it was a bit of a trek, we ended up seeing some awesome sites.

Here are some pictures from along the way.

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A view of the boat yard.

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The other side of the Yalıkavak peninsula.

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On our way to Dodo Beach, we came across Panormus, also known as the Rock Tombs.

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Rob really enjoyed exploring the Rock Tombs.

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A close up of one of the tombs.

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There was a set of stairs, so we climbed them.

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The window at the top of the stairs.

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The view from the window at the top. This was to the right and the road that we walked to get there and back.

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The view to the left, and yes, those are cows on the road. Part of that down there is also Dodo Beach.

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After we finished exploring the Rock Tombs, we made our way down to Dodo Beach. I collected some seashells and sea glass before we decided to hike through the paths on the side of the hill.

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I was a little nervous about doing it, but it was so worth it for the view!

DSC_0625DSC_0652From the hill, looking back towards Dodo Beach.

DSC_0657Although it took us a few hours to walk there and back, it was totally worth it. So amazing!

And then we saw this on our walk back to the hotel.

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The Aegean Sea is absolutely stunning!

We had a wonderful time in Yalıkavak.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our trip, Bodrum!

Thanks for reading!

~Brooke & Rob

I Am Back…Again!

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I am back…again…to blogging that is! I know I haven’t been very good about it the last few months, but I am hoping to be able to get back into it again on a regular basis.

I have a couple of blogs that I am going to be working on in the next couple of days, so I can bring everyone up to speed on what I have been doing and what is coming up!

But until then…here are a few pictures from our run along the Aegean Sea during our most recent vacation to the Bodrum/Yalikavak area of Turkey.

The view in front of our hotel.

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Another view from our hotel.

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It was beautiful morning for a nice, easy run. The view wasn’t bad either!

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Absolutely breathtakingly beautiful!

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Just about half-way through our 4 mile run.

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We had a wonderful run, unfortunately that was the only run we managed to get in while we were on vacation, but we had a fabulous time. More on our trip in an upcoming blog!

Thanks for reading!

~Brooke & Rob

 

My Garmin Has Arrived!

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On Monday I finally received my new Garmin in the mail. It was my Christmas present, well part of it, from Rob and my parents. I say part of my Christmas present because I am spoiled. You know you are a runner when this is what your Christmas looks like.

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I absolutely loved everything I got, even though it took forever to get here! It was worth the wait especially for the Garmin.

I mentioned in a previous blog that I really wanted the Garmin Forerunner 620 for Christmas. I didn’t care if that was all I got either. I love Garmin products, but I had the Forerunner 405 CX and really started to dislike the bevel. It was so touchy and I didn’t like the idea of locking it while I was running. Besides the bevel, I really liked the 405 CX, but I wanted a Garmin that had some more features. I did some research and finally decided on the Garmin Forerunner 620.

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I know some of you have been waiting for my review of the 620, but I wanted to run with it a couple of times first. I ran 5 miles with it on Tuesday, 7 miles with it on Thursday, and 10 miles with it today. So, it has a few miles on it now. Plus, I use it for my strength training and core workouts.

So, what do I think of the new Garmin 620? Honestly, I love it! I am not just saying that either. I really think it was worth the money!

Here is what I love about it:

1. It is light-weight and less bulky than the 405 CX, even on my tiny wrist.

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I barely even notice that I have it on!

2. The band is not cloth and it does not velcro.

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I didn’t like the cloth and velcro on the 405 CX because it was hard to keep clean, especially on those hot summer days. The velcro didn’t want to stick very well after a couple of times washing it by hand.

3. A more comfortable chest strap to monitor your heart rate.

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It is a cloth strap, whereas my other strap was mostly plastic and it rubbed a lot on longer runs. This chest strap is washable and they recommend washing it after every 7 runs. Just don’t forget to take off the heart rate monitor module!

4. The features! This is what sold me on this specific Garmin. Here are all the features:

a) Color touchscreen – Love this! The color isn’t bad, but is shown brighter. However, the touchscreen is wonderful. It’s not too sensitive and it even worked through my gloves!

b) Recovery advisor – This gives you an estimate of how long it will take you to recover from that day’s workout.

c) VO2 max estimate and race predictor – I really wanted this feature for training and so far I love it. It gives me an idea of how hard I am running and working.

d) Running form metrics – cadence, ground contact time and vertical oscillation. I really wanted this information for my runs as well. I am very pleased with the amount of data that is given for each run.

5. Quick GPS connectivity – The first time it took a couple of minutes, but only took a few seconds before my runs Thursday and today! No more waiting 5 or more minutes for it to sync up!

6. Elevation – I like to know what I am running at and it can even be on your display, if you want.

7. Lots of screens – You can have up to 4 different screen displays with 4 different features on them.

8. Garmin Connect! – This is the website where all the workouts upload to. If you have a wifi connection and set it up on your Garmin, you can push a button on the watch and transfer your activities wirelessly. Awesome!

Here are a couple of screen shots of the dashboard, which is what you see when you first log in.

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I really like that it keeps track of your personal records and VO2 max right on the first page.

The analyze tab is where you have an overview of your workouts.

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When you click on a workout you are brought to another page where you can see all the data from that run.

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I also like how it tracks the weather conditions for you.

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All of that is on one page, but you can view your laps/splits in more detail by clicking on view splits.

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The information/data that you are presented with is incredible! Although it can be a little overwhelming at first, but I got over that quick!

I am not the only one who thinks Garmin got it right with this GPS watch and heart rate monitor. This was in my newest Women’s Running magazine.

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Best overall watch! I was very happy to see that it was rated so high, since I had just received mine in the mail the same day I got the magazine.

So, what do I dislike about this Garmin?

That I now spend even more time looking at my running data. But if it makes me a better runner, how can I really dislike it for that?!

Seriously though, the only thing I can really think of that I would prefer (so I don’t necessarily dislike it) is if it came with a wall charger, instead of only the USB cable that plugs into the computer. That being said, it charges quickly, so you don’t have to have it plugged in for very long.

Overall, I think the Garmin Forerunner 620 is well worth the money. It has everything a runner could possibly want to know about a single run. I highly recommend it if, and only if, you are going to use the extra features. Otherwise you are spending a lot of money for a watch and GPS. They do have a 220 version, which is less expensive and doesn’t have as many features.

Want to improve your running?

Then I believe this Garmin can help you do that! Great product from a great company!

~ Do you have the Garmin Forerunner 620? If so, I would love to know what you think about it as well! 

Thanks for reading!

~Brooke & Rob

Meg’s Miles, Meg Smiles

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On Monday, January 13, 2014, Meg Cross Menzies, a 34 year-old avid runner from the Richmond, Virginia area, was out for her morning run when she was tragically killed by a drunk driver.

A daughter, sister, wife, and mother to 3 young children, taken from this world too soon.

I did not personally know Meg, but as us runners, we support one another in good times and bad. So today’s 10 mile run is dedicated to Meg and her family and friends. It breaks my heart to think about what her family and friends are going through right now. So sad!

People all around the world are running for Meg today. According to the article, 71,000 runners have pledge to run in her honor today! Amazing! Runners rock! Here is an article that tells more about this tragic story.

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I ran some of today’s run with a couple of other runners, but I had to back off a little bit. I am just not ready to run that fast…yet! I am still working my way back from being sick and then falling. A gorgeous day for a run though! Which of course meant that I was dressed too warm. That made the way back tougher yet! It was 41 degrees at the start of today’s run and 52 degrees when I started my cool down walk! You wouldn’t know it was January!

I felt pretty good through the first 6 miles, but knew I needed to drop the pace back some more with the climb at the end. I wanted to get in 11 miles, but I had all I could do to make it to 10 with a run/walk up the hill.

Here are my splits for today’s run:

1— 8:25
2— 8:07
3— 8:06
4— 8:29
5— 8:43
6— 8:58
7— 9:00
8— 9:14
9— 9:47
10- 14:49

This was a tough run.

Elevation gain: 824 ft
Elevation loss: 832 ft
Min Elevation: 3190 ft
Max Elevation: 3898 ft

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The first mile had a couple of little hills. The second and part of the third mile was all downhill, which was nice. Miles 4 through most of 9 were around the lake, so it was flatter with some inclines and one bigger hill. The last .25 of mile 9 started the climb back up. Mile 10 was all up hill, hence the 14 minutes! I could only manage a run/walk up it again, but I did do better with this route this time than I did the last time. Of course, not dealing with snow and ice definitely helped.

Overall, a good tough run to honor a fellow runner who lost her life way too soon! Rest in peace, Meg!

Thanks for reading!

~Brooke & Rob

Happy New Year!

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First of all, let me wish everyone a Happy New Year!

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I know I am 16 days late, but better late than never, right?! I hope 2014 has been great for everyone so far. It has definitely been better for me than the end of 2013.

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Before I get into that though, do you remember (I know it has been a while) me saying that I was going to run a 5k? Well, I did on December 7th. Granted it was a small race, but I ended up placing second female. Here are a couple of finishing photos.

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The lady in pink was ahead of me the whole race and I finally started closing in on her during the 3rd mile. It wasn’t until the last few yards that I was able to finish strong and take 2nd female.

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As you can see, it was a good race! I ended up finishing in 23:46. I was hoping for a little bit better of a time, but the course wasn’t the best…grass, dirt, hills, and track. It was worth it though and the shirt was cute!

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I was doing so well with my blogging through the beginning of December. I was so proud of myself. Then things got busy. The first full week before Christmas I was subbing full-time in a first grade classroom. It was stressful for me because I had only been subbing a day or two here and there, so my body was not prepared to go full-time. The week definitely took a toll on me. By the end of the week I was very sick…light-headed, nauseous, cough, sore throat, and so tired. I went in to work on Friday and they ended up calling in another sub for me because I knew I wasn’t going to make it through the day. I came home and slept most of the day and then all night.

Saturday I wasn’t feeling much better, so I laid around all day, sleeping off and on. I tried to get fluids and some food in me as well, but that’s hard to do when you are sleeping most of the time. I went to bed with a horrible headache and feeling sick to my stomach, but figured I would be alright if I got some more sleep. I was wrong!

I woke up at 4 am Sunday morning to go to the bathroom and when I went to go back into the bedroom I ended up passing out. I fell and banged up my face pretty good.

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Rob took me to the ER to make sure I didn’t need stitches or have a concussion. No stitches and no concussion, but I was in a lot of pain. We are almost certain that I broke my nose (even though the doctors didn’t say anything about it) because of the swelling, bruising and amount of pain I was in. If I didn’t break it, it was very badly bruised because I had a hard time breathing properly out of my nose for about 2 weeks. I was also very dehydrated, which is what caused me to pass out. I ended up with a horrible headache (all I wanted to do was sleep) for 4 days and a slight headache for 3 days after that. Seven days with a headache is not fun!

So, long story short, I was sick/recovering from my fall for 2 weeks! Not the way I planned on spending Christmas at all. I was finally able to and actually felt like working out on December 30th. I still wasn’t 100%, but I couldn’t stand to sit around any longer. I still couldn’t run because my nose was very tender, but biking and walking I could handle. Which brings me to 2014!

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January 1st I decided to try to run again. I didn’t care what my pace was that day because I was just happy to be running again. I was able to run without any pain in my nose. It hurt some afterwards from breathing in the cold air, but nothing like it had been.

Thankfully, I have made a full recovery from my fall. It definitely could have been much worse, but because I fell to my knees first, it saved my face from taking the entire brunt of the fall.

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I am back to running and working out normally again and it feels GREAT! Not being able to do anything and all the holiday goodies really took a toll on me. It was time to get serious again!

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I sat down and planned out dinners for all of January and workouts through March. I am running 4 days a week, doing core work 2-3 days a week, and Les Mills Pump 3 days a week. It took some time to plan everything out, but it definitely has saved me a lot of time as well. So worth it! Plus, I find that I stick to working out better if I write it down, instead of just deciding that day what I am going to do.

Today is day 11 and I am feeling so much better. I am eating healthier and working out. I have tons more energy, have been getting up earlier, and I am a lot happier. It is amazing how much eating healthy and working out changes how you feel.

Even though I am spending more time in the kitchen now than I had been, I still have time for myself because I have planned ahead and prepare meals in advance. This is what I did yesterday while enjoying a green smoothie (more on this in another blog!).

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I had enough time (with working out) throughout the day to read my entire Women’s Running magazine from cover to cover. GREAT magazine, by the way! Lots of good information, some of which I will be sharing in an upcoming blog!

I have at least 3 new blogs that I am working on in the upcoming days. So keep your eyes open for them! If you are on Facebook, you can “like” my blog page A Day In The Life Of A Runner here for updates!

Hope you are having a great 2014!

Thanks for reading!

~Brooke & Rob

Short & Sweet

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I was planning on running today, but my body told me that a recovery day was in the plans instead and I actually listened. Sometimes that is the hardest thing to do. Listen to your body. You will be glad you did later. My hamstrings were feeling a little tight this morning, so I knew a run was not a good idea today. I decided to use today was a recovery day and let my body rest.

I did a 20 minute Les Mills Pump –  Flow workout and then did 10 minutes of foam rolling.

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Flow is a lot of stretching and yoga moves. It felt great!

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The foam rolling, on the other hand, did not! But, it is totally worth it the next day!

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These were emailed to us last night!

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2048We missed the tent they were at after the marathon, so Rob emailed them to see if we could get a copy of them mailed to us. We are happy they were willing to do that for us!

It is official! We are intercontinental runners!

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Speaking of running, I sent my picture to Women’s Running for their run brag gallery and I finally made it into it!

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I love my Women’s Running magazine! I read it from cover to cover. I am currently reading the November/December issue now. It usually doesn’t take me this long (I got it in the mail last Tuesday) to read it, but I have been busy. I don’t want to read through it too fast though because then it is torture waiting for the next issue!

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As the title promised, today’s blog is short and sweet! FYI…don’t drink a cup of coffee at 6:00 pm because it makes it very difficult to sleep. I don’t know what time I finally fell asleep last night/this morning, but it was not fun getting up at 6:45 this morning.

Now it is time for some The Big Bang Theory and a snack before bed! I am tired and have to be up early for my first full day of subbing tomorrow morning. Wish me luck!

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– What’s your favorite non-running workout?

– Any other Women’s Running magazine fans out there?

– Who else watches The Big Bang Theory?

Thanks for reading!

~Brooke & Rob

This Is The Life

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This is definitely the life….

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Dasha knows how to relax! Sometimes I wish I could just sleep all day!

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Wow! It has been a busy few weeks since we got back from our trip to Istanbul and southern Turkey. (Still working on the blog post from our trip! Lots of pictures to go through!)

We got back on Thursday, November 21st and have been going ever since. It started with a trip to the vet Friday afternoon. Dasha was very dehydrated and wasn’t eating, so we were very worried. She ended up spending the night there and it broke my heart because the last time we left our baby at the vet overnight he didn’t come home. 😦 Thankfully, she was doing much better when we went to pick her up Saturday afternoon. She still wasn’t feeling 100 percent, but she was on the mend until Thanksgiving Day.

We hosted Thanksgiving at our place this year! It was very nice to have people over for the holiday. We had a total of 10 people for Thanksgiving dinner, including us. The only pictures I managed to get that day was of the food.

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We had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving as well.

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As I mentioned above, Dasha was on the mend, but later that night she was still not eating much and wasn’t feeling well again. We think all the people being here made her anxious and messed with her stomach. She still wasn’t feeling great Friday morning, so we went to the store to buy her some canned food (she usually only eats dry food). She didn’t want that food either, but we managed to get her to eat a little bit of human food, so she would have something in her stomach. Finally, we decided to try the dry food she was eating before. Success! I am happy to report that Dasha is back to her normal, energetic self! 🙂

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The day after Thanksgiving is when we have always put up our Christmas tree. I wasn’t going to put up a tree this year because it is only us and we are so far away from family and friends. As the holidays started getting closer, I was going back and forth about putting up a tree. A few days before Thanksgiving, I decided I was definitely going to put a tree up. So, Friday afternoon we went and bought a tree, some decorations, and put our Christmas tree up while watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

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It is a small tree this year, but I love how it turned out!

Dasha posing in front of the tree.

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And a close up of our little girl by the tree.

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Friday was a tough day for us because it marked 3 months without our beloved Duke. We went and visited him that morning. This time of the year was his favorite. Here is a picture of Duke and I in front of our tree from last year.

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I am glad that I decided to put a tree up this year. It definitely makes it feel more like the holiday season.

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Yes, I have been running! It has been so nice to run as much or as little as I want and as often as I want! I love it!

Our weather has definitely gotten colder though, but I actually like cold weather running as long as I am dressed properly. Today I was thankful for my Under Armour cold gear!

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Here is a recap of today’s run:

A cold 4 mile run early this afternoon. In the sun it wasn’t bad, but the path was pretty shady for most of the run. The wind didn’t help either! The thermometer on our building said around 38 degrees without the wind. My hands froze the entire run, even with these gloves on!

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I just took it easy for today’s run, since I ran hard yesterday.

Here are my splits:

1— 9:11
2— 8:40
3— 8:37
4— 8:23

A nice little progressive run today!

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I haven’t ran with music the last couple of days because I needed to create a running playlist so I don’t have to listen to a whole cd while I am running. I hate having to mess with my iPod while I am on the move. I am looking forward to tomorrow’s run because I bought a few new songs and created a playlist!

Here is what my running playlist looks like!

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This should keep me busy for a few days!

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I almost forgot. I can’t believe it! Catching Fire was AWESOME! If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it!

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– Do you have your Christmas tree up yet?

– What gloves do you wear for running? 

– What’s on your running playlist?

Thanks for reading!

~Brooke & Rob

No Pressure Running

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It is so nice to be back to a normal schedule again! I love running marathons, but training for them takes a lot of time, especially on the weekends. Now that we aren’t marathon training, I feel like I have so much more time. That isn’t always a good thing though because I tend to get lazy when I don’t have a goal to reach. As is evidence of taking the last 2 days off from working out, but I was back at it today and it felt great! Sometimes you just need a couple of days to recharge!

I started my day with blueberry/banana oatmeal and a cup of coffee.

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I know it doesn’t look very good, but trust me, it was delicious! I have oatmeal for breakfast pretty much everyday. I always add in my own fruit though. I don’t like the prepackaged stuff anymore, plus you don’t get that much in those packets. Plain oats and fresh or frozen fruit is the way to go!

It was a rainy morning, so I did some stuff around the house before I headed outside for my run this afternoon.

I am loving these no pressure runs right now. It is a great feeling to just go and run how ever many miles I feel like. It didn’t rain at all while I was out there, but by the end the clouds started rolling in again. A good run today after a few days off. Felt great to get out there and run again.

Here are my splits for today’s run:

1— 8:46
2— 8:51
3— 8:38
4— 8:34
5— 8:32
6— 8:11

Super happy after today’s 6 mile run.

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Yes, I wore my Yurbuds again during today’s run! I still LOVE them! Once again, I forgot  I even had them in my ears. I might actually enjoy running with music now.

I listened to Katy Perry’s Roar the ENTIRE 6 mile run! I love that song and it is a great running song!

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I thought I might get sick of it before the 6 miles was up, but I didn’t. I changed it up a little bit for the cool down walk though and listened to 2 of her other songs, Firework and Teenage Dream. Then went to some Matchbox 20 for the rest of my cool down.

Let me tell you how happy I am to be back to eating home cooked meals! I was so tired of eating out after 7 days of it! Dinner tonight was Chicken Stir-Fry.

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Brown rice, chicken, mushrooms, squash, onions, green peppers and a little bit of lite soy sauce. Yummy!

Now it is time for a movie…

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The Hunger Games, in preparation for girl’s night out tomorrow to see Catching Fire! I am so excited! I have heard great things about this movie!

Have a great day!

– What’s your favorite breakfast?

– How far did you run today?

– Have you seen Catching Fire yet?

Thanks for reading!

~Brooke & Rob