Tag Archives: niceness

Taper Tuesday – What I’m Doing While I Do Nothing

Edit: WordPress has gone crazy with the formatting on this post but won’t let me into edit the coding. Hopefully it will appear pretty again soon.

I’ve been having a difficult time figuring out what to post today. The trouble with having a training focused blog is that there’s nothing much to post about on days off.

Instead of being stressed out about the things I’m not doing this week – I though I’d post all of the things I’m enjoying today.

Iced Passion Tea

Gorgeous weather in DC today!

This 7 pound bundle of puppy love

Sushi dinner date with the boyfriend tonight.


Talking to this awesome girl when I was having a rough morning

What makes you happy today?


Filed under exercise

Kicking Butt and Taking Names on the Hills

Yesterday I posted about my planned hill workout, how it scared the bejeezus out of me, and why running hills is an important workout despite the fear they induce.

The Custis Trail features hills...followed by more hills.

I’m proud to say that last night I kicked those hills right in the booty and had an awesome run. We started with a lap around the block holding W&L High School. That is one big school! Then we headed over to the Custis Trail for some 1.5 mile hill repeats.

Coach Zac wanted the hills run at a pace that was too fast to hold conversation. And he wanted us to negative split the 2 segments.  Ouch.  I was in a horrible mood so I was up for the challenge.  And it was a challenge.

Let’s look a little more closely at the hills:

I think the big spikes on the blue speed line are when I went under underpasses...

The elevation profiles on Daily Mile are way less dramatic than Garmin Connect

Suze and I took off and, with a lot of cursing but no conversation, made it through through the first 1.5 mile segment in 16:04, a 10:34 pace.  Um, what the heccccccck? That is really fast for me on flat terrain and I forgot my iPod so I was running without music which I thought was essential to running quickly – maybe not.

We turned around to go back, aiming for anything faster than 16:04.  I just got into a groove and spaced out.  I had a Jason DeRulo song on repeat in my head. Actually I had the first  two lines of the song in my head since I’d only heard it once in the car on the way… and the first line was, of course, “Jason DeRulooooo”. But I digress… about half a mile in I looked around and realized I was by myself.  I apparently let Suze and our other running buddy get behind me and since the trail was so curvy I couldn’t see where they were…so I just kept going.  The quicker I ran, the quicker I’d be done.  I pushed through and even though I felt like I ran out of gas completely about .4 miles before the end, I managed to finish the second segment in 15:57.  A 6 second improvement with a 10:31 pace!

I was so happy when I finished this.  Seriously I think I did a little dance. Suze finished right behind me but she’s training for a marathon (I’m training for a half) so she ran another lap around the school for cool down.  I just shook my legs out, walked over to where she’d finish and stretched.  I only needed to run 3 miles and I did 3.89 very quickly. I definitely consider the first temp/hill run of the VA Beach training plan a huge success.

Have you ever used a crappy day as motivation to do better on a run or workout?


Filed under exercise

Volunteering at the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

I love volunteering at races.  My experience may be limited but what I have done I have enjoyed so much that I wish it could be my job.  Sadly, volunteer work doesn’t pay the bills so I do it when I can.

This weekend I volunteered at the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler with Suze and Tiffany.  We worked packet pick up Saturday afternoon and handing out water at the finish area during the race on Sunday.

I love the Cherry Blossoms!

I had a few reasons for deciding to volunteer at Cherry Blossom and run the GW Parkway 10 Miler the week after. First off, I love the Cherry Blossoms. They’re one of my favorite parts of living in DC and this race is happening during the peak bloom.  I know I’ll have a lot of time to check them out and enjoy the Cherry Blossom Festival.  Second, their volunteer system is a fine tuned machine.  And of course, volunteering gives you guaranteed entry to the next year’s race.  Next year happens to be the 100th Anniversary of the Cherry Blossom Festival and I think that will make the lottery even more of a gamble.  I’m already relieved to know I won’t have to bother entering!

We definitely had a long weekend working packet pick up on Saturday and then volunteering the next day during the actual race.  I was supposed to be handing out water at the finish line but when I got there they had another job for me and you won’t believe what it was – handing out bananas!

It's literally Carly Bananas! (please excuse the fact that I'm wearing 3 shirts, jacket, and my volunteer shirt on top of it. It was freezing at 5:30 am!)

So many bananas!

I might have been on bananas overload by the time we were done, but it was a lot of fun.  I really can’t wait to run this race next year!


Filed under exercise

Giveaway Time: Zensah Arm Warmers

Those of you who know me or follow me on Twitter know that I’m a huge fan of Zensah compression shin sleeves. I recommend them to anyone who will listen: friends, runners on twitter, runners at races, and even coworkers headed out on long flights.  They’re super comfortable and they drastically reduce the shin and calf pain I used to feel running.

A few weeks ago, as the weather started to get warmer, I decided I needed some pink arm warmers to match my pink shin sleeves (don’t ever accuse me of not being girly enough!).

pretty and pink

Like my shin sleeves, they were really soft and really comfortable. Once I put them on they were  barely noticeable. From the Zensah website:

These compression arm sleeves have a second-skin feel which makes them the most comfortable compression arm sleeves out there. They are made with a seamless design and ergonomic fit which increases circulation for maximum performance.

I put them on and headed outside for a run.  But bad luck struck and after a few minutes the sleeves started sliding down.  It turned out that the sleeves were just a teeny bit too big for my skinny little chicken arms so after my run, I put them in a box and mailed them back to the online retailer I purchased them from.

This is where a sad story turns happy.  I sent a tweet to the nice folks at Zensah and asked them if there was a smaller size than Small/Medium*.  They replied back that there wasn’t but that they’d send me a new pair over, just in case the first pair I received was mislabeled.  And they did it for free!

When my replacement sleeves arrived and I was so excited that I did a little fashion show!

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As the photos show, the sleeves were still just a little too big.  But my loss is your gain! When I offered to return the sleeves to Zensah, they said I could use them for a giveaway. So here’s your chance to snag a pair for free!

To enter, leave a comment and tell me why you’d be excited to win a pair of pink Zensah arm sleeves.

Increase your odds! For bonus entries (please leave a separate comment for each):

  1. Tweet about the giveaway and leave a comment below letting me know you did.
  2. Follow @Zensah on Twitter
  3. Follow me (@carlyrachael) on Twitter
  4. Subscribe to CarlyBananas
  5. Add CarlyBananas to your blog roll

Good luck! I will select a winner at 5:00 p.m. Eastern on Friday, March 11th.

*Sizing Info:

Upper Arm(Unstretched) 8.0″
Length (Unstretched) 12.0″
Wrist (Unstretched) 5.0″

** I only wore these sleeves walking around my living room. I didn’t exercise in them and they never got sweaty.


Filed under Uncategorized

A Different Take on “Resolutioners”

Some people call them “Resolutioners” and some call them “January Joiners” and some call them “those people who hog the treadmills for 45 minutes to slowly walk shuffle”.   I’ve been guilty of harshly judging people who join gyms in January but something changed this year.

I spent a good chunk of Tuesday dreading going to the gym because I was convinced it was going to be overrun by people who had no interest in exercise but were there to suppress feelings of guilt.  You have to understand that my gym is unusually peaceful.  It’s brand new, modern (the treadmills have iPod charging docks and TVs), huge and doesn’t have a lot of members yet since it’s pretty expensive (luckily, I could piggy back onto a family plan that my mom has up in Pennsylvania and I pay next to nothing to be a member).  I’ve been there at 6 pm and maybe 10 treadmills are in use.  There is never a wait for a cardio machine and the weight area, which takes up the entire bottom floor, is usually deserted.  Classes are never full.  Basically it’s the best gym ever.

So I walked into the gym Tuesday night, grumbling about the crowds, and settled on a treadmill.  The person next to me was reading the Economist, which I think takes a fair degree of concentration that obviously detracts from athletic coordination, and he was walking at 2.7 mph.  I suppressed a scream, put down my water bottle, and started to stretch.

As I was warming up I scanned the room – I’m a pretty notorious people watcher – and I saw her.  No, this isn’t a romantic tale, I saw a woman on a treadmill one row over busting her butt at 4 mph. And then I realized: Everyone has to start somewhere.  Heck, I did Couch to 5K last June.  It was recent.  There are a lot of  people who make a resolution to go to the gym out of guilt or to socialize but there are some who are finally getting the guts to change their lives. So I grabbed my stuff and switched treadmills so I could run next to this lady.

I didn’t have the guts to say anything to her – I was too nervous that I’d end up sounding like a know-it-all or a total creeper.  So I just did my thing, smiled at her a few times, and hoped her first trip to the gym wasn’t so miserable that she changed her mind about exercise.  I wish she would have observed my 9:1 run/walk ratio because it really looked like she was going to die a few times but there’s always next time.

So tonight when I go to the gym to do treadmill speedwork (double ugh), I will be more tolerant of the crowds.  Besides, I know the guy reading the economist won’t show up too many more times 😉

How do you deal with increased gym crowds at the beginning of the year? Or are you a gym newbie?


Filed under exercise, Uncategorized