Race Recap: 2016 Hershey Half Marathon

One Medal to Rule Them All

Another race in the books! The Hershey Half Marathon was my first official half in over a year! I kinda pulled myself away from the race scene this year because I simply wanted to keep it chill after the JFK 50. So after only 3 races under my belt this year, I decided to throw in a second round at Hershey. Especially since it lined up perfectly in my marathon training. However, there was little convincing when someone posted the “bling” on their Facebook several weeks ago.

When I saw that bronze Reese Cup, I basically told Peter that we had to do the race. My first run in the Hershey Half didn’t have a medal near as fab!

So, it was decided that we were going to run for the medal. I mean, who doesn’t want a Reese Cup as a medal hanging on their wall!? I mean…unless you hate Reese Cups (which you should totally leave my page now if you do 😉 ).

What’s great about the Hershey Half is not just the medal, BUT they include a lot of awesome swag! One of the biggest things they throw in is free admission for 2 to Hershey Park in the Dark. It’s no different than going to the park any other time of the year as most of the good rides are still open. Not to mention, you get the advantage of shorter lines, awesome decorations, people in costumes, and Halloween music. Did I mention that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays?

Packet Pickup & a Night at the Park!

Anyway, we journeyed down to Hershey on Saturday afternoon and I must admit, I had some anxiety. I have been doing a "cut” which means that I am reducing my fats, sugars, and carbs as the last phase of my Body Beast program. So that means absolutely NO CHOCOLATE! This may seem sinful since I was going to the chocolate capital of the world, but I was going to do my best to keep my food clean. I even packed my lunch to ensure that I was getting exactly what I needed.

The first thing we did when we arrived in Hershey was go straight to packet pick-up. That’s were we got our shirts, coupons, bibs, and park tickets. We also got awesome reusable Hershey Park bags. I'm all about free grocery bags! We've got tons!

Afterwards, we dropped our stuff off at the hotel, then quickly went back to the park.

Like I mentioned, when you go to Hershey in the off season, lines are way shorter. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I ever went to Hershey during their open season, but I do know that wait times exceed an hour on most of the coasters. This year, we were on and off rides like that! We mainly stick with the biggest coasters too. And I will be the first to tell you that I do fear them. Don't get me wrong! I do love them! But they also give me so much anxiety! ESPECIALLY FAHRENHEIT and The Storm Runner.

Here’s Fahrenheit.

Storm Runner is one of those rides that go zero to 60 in like negative 10 seconds.

I feel like my soul is literally sucked out of me when that coaster shoots off into the sky! Oh, who am I kidding! I have no soul! Ginger! Still, I have to close my eyes during the initial take off otherwise I can’t comprehend what the hell is going on.

We also got to try one of their newer coasters, Sky Rush which I also couldn’t handle.

Anyway, after a great evening at the park, we headed back to the hotel to eat dinner and rest up for the race.

Can I mention how much I loved that my husband got a room with 2 queen beds!? I sure love Peter, but I do love the times where we can sprawl out! We really need to upgrade to a king sized bed.

Race Day

After sleeping EXTREMELY well (not sure if it was because I slept alone...haha), we got up, ate breakfast and headed out.

Take my advice: Never wait until 6:30am to go to the race...even if your hotel is 5 minutes away. You WILL NOT make it on time. There's only 1 entrance to Hershey and thousands of runners were trying to get in. We didn't get to park until after 7:20 (race starts at 7:30) and had to make a long walk/jog to the start.

It was the first time in nearly 5 years of running that I did not make a race on time. Runners were still funneling through the start line by the time we made it, but we were at the back of the pack which put us at a disadvantage.

I was looking to PR at 1:45, but I was starting with a 9+ minute pace since the slower runners and walkers owned the road. I had to creatively weave myself through and it was like this for about the first 2 miles. It wasn't until mile 3 that I finally caught up with an 8 minute pace. If I wanted to get 1:45 though, I knew some of my miles would have to be in the 7 minute range. That scared the crap out of me! But miracles can happen! In fact, I began to run around a 7:50 pace. But some did climb to 8 from time to time simply because there were some killer hills (I did not train for hills like this), but overall, after mile 3, 7:50 became the average pace.

When I reached mile 6, I wasn't sure if I could quite keep up with my goal. I was going to give it my all, but my feet and legs were aching! I was not used to road running since I primarily trained on the canal these past several weeks.  My shoes were also worn out. I've had them since before my marathon in March!

Thankfully, there was a lot to look at in the park and a lot of positive course support to distract me. I was taking high fives when I could and tapping handmade signs that advised I could push for a power up. Oh and I think it's worth mentioning that one girl was listening to Sexy Back on her phone. That got me pumped. Haha.

Once I hit mile 12, many runners around me were beginning to walk. As much as I wanted to join them, I tried to be that voice of encouragement and let them know they had just a little further to go. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn't. I know that in the past, it has helped me so I try to return the favor when I can.

As I rounded the stadium and darted towards the finish line, I watched my time tick to 1:45. My watch showed that I already ran 13.1, but there were still a few tenths of a mile in the race itself that I had to cover I knew it was unrealistic for me to cross the finish line within a minute.

I may have missed my goal PR, BUT I knew I could still get one. And I was worth running for.

I crossed the finish line in 1:46:23. The Chocolate Town Challenge Facebook Page even caught it live. I'm about 20 seconds in!

I didn't relax for long. I still had Peter to wait for. So I rounded the stadium and waited for him to make his entrance into the stadium.

Despite some of the pain and injury he had this race season, he finished his 3rd half in 2:13.

We were both very pleased that we now had the medals we set out for!

I think I was more entertained with my superman heat blanket.

So now that the race is over, we turn our sights on the Niagara Falls Marathon which is now less than 2 weeks away. Training has gone well and I'm kicking myself for saying this, but I am aiming for a sub-4. It's my 5th marathon and I'm looking to turn it up a notch. Especially since I anticipate my next marathon (The Walt Disney World Marathon) to be pretty low key. But whatever ends up happening, I just pray to finish pain free! It's been a good year for that! *knocks on wood*

Why I Drink Shakeology & How I Afford It

Many of you cringe when I tell you that "Shakeology is ONLY $129.99!"

Really, Lindsey!? ONLY $129.99...for 30 days?!

Yes, it is a very cringe-worthy number for JUST a protein shake. In fact, when my coach was talking to me about Shakeology, I kept telling myself, "Well, she makes more money than me so of course Shakeology is affordable for her! I've got less money to work with and *insert list of expenses here*."

I didn't want to pay the money for it. I didn't see the value. And when I first started with Beachbody, I didn't drink it. For about a month I relied solely on the programs and said "meh" to Shakeology and stuck with what I knew about nutrition. At the time, that wasn't much. In fact, in January, I thought I knew what it was to be healthy! I thought I was provided ALL the correct information! But that was a complete joke because so much has been released to the public that is completely FALSE! But that's for another time!

Anyway, when I began to coach in February, I thought the only effective way I could talk about Shakeology was by trying all of the flavors myself. The only affordable way I wanted to do this was by purchasing the 7 Day Sampler for $35 (or $26.21 when you're a coach). This sampler included all of the flavors which Beachbody currently sells: Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Cafe Latte, Greenberry, Vegan Strawberry and Vegan Chocolate.

When I got my delivery, I drank all 7 single serving packets, one per day. From day 1, I knew I was in trouble. The first flavor I tried was Cafe Latte and it was love at first sip! But I kept reminding myself "You can't afford this, so you are not allowed love it!" However, as the week progressed, I was finding that I loved it more and was having a hard time choosing which flavor I loved the most vs which one I loved less (all were good in my opinion). 

What I found about Shakeology to be the most surprising was the fact that I actually felt full! This was not something I received from any other meal-replacement or protein drink I had in the past. In fact, while I was trying this 7 Day Sampler, I had a cheaper alternative in my pantry. It was 20 bucks for 20 servings and it was...okay! But nothing I ranted and raved over. I just took it as a "I need the extra nutrition or I'm never going to get the results I want!"

Anyway, not only did Shakeology fill me up, but it tasted better and it effectively stomped any sweet cravings that I had in the evenings (that's when I drank it). It also made me feel good to put simply. I can't explain it. The feeling my body had when I drank it, it almost was like it had a healing effect. It was as if all the crap I was putting in my body over the holiday season was now being cleaned out. And I mean that! Especially when it came to bathroom visits. No, I wasn't sprinting to the bathroom, but I noticed that within days, I became more regular. If I'm honest, that was something that was foreign to me. Let me be real, I was someone who wouldn't go for days. It left me feeling extremely bloated and absolutely uncomfortable for as long as a week! Today, I go every single day!

Now, I can list every reason why Shakeology is the price that it is. The fact that it has this ingredient or that ingredient, but honestly, it's about what it can do for you. Yes, ingredients are important and I will tell you straight up that Shakeology doesn't have the CRAP that many other comparable drinks have. I couldn't even read half the ingredients that were in my other shake. And after having Shakeology for that week, that stuff didn't even taste as good. I could taste the fake stuff that polluted it.

So I just sucked it up and bought a bag of Cafe Latte Shakeology. Now, I was making the excuse "Well, since I am a coach, I should pair this with my workout so I can give an even more effective review." Still, I had every intention on cancelling my monthly order, but the more I drank it, the better I felt, the less cravings I had, and the more regular I became. Needless to say, I made it possible to afford it every month since.

That brings me to my next topic: How can I afford Shakeology?

If you are not a coach, Shakeology costs $129.95 + Tax & Shipping. Without taking in tax & shipping into account, that's about $4.33/serving for 30 days. If you were to compare that to a daily visit to Starbucks, you'd be paying less for Shakeology. It would also be comparable to a McDonald's Breakfast, trip to Subway, or visit to a gas station breakfast. Comparable cost-wise. Nutrition-wise? There is no comparison. Shakeology blows them out of the water. Not to mention, you'd also be saving on gas.

Now, because I am a coach, I do get a discount. Shakeology is $97.46 + Tax & Shipping. Since I choose home direct, my Shakeology cost will end up totaling out to be $99.58. That is $3.32/day! Over a dollar drop! And what did I sacrifice to afford it? Well for one, I ditched my old protein drink. It cost me about $20 for about 2 weeks worth of drinks. So $40/month. Since I was also trying to clean up my eating, Peter and I stopped eating out once a week. For he and I both to eat out it would cost between $20-30. So we will just say $25/week. That is $100!!! Of course you also have to factor in that we ended up having to buy extra groceries to make up for that 1 day we weren't going out to eat, but the difference wasn't much. We will just say that it was about $10 a week added to my grocery bill.

So let's break it down:

+$99.58 - Shakeology on Home Direct
-$40.00 - Goodbye old nutrition drink
-$100.00 - Goodbye going out to eat
+$40.00 - Extra Groceries
=$0.42 - Saving

So I am basically breaking even by eating healthier and ditching my old shake. Yes, I am paying an extra $16/month for the coach membership fee, but that pays for itself if you are into being in the business side of it since you make 25% off of your sales. Also, Peter and I still will go out to eat on occasion, but not as often as we once did and are much better for it!

Shakeology is affordable. You just have to find where you can make adjustments in your budget to make it work for you. If you want to be healthy, skip the Starbucks runs, skip the fast food breakfast or the lunchtime milkshake, and stop eating out at restaurants as often! You can also become a coach for the discount alone or to also add additional income!

To receive more information on becoming a coach, fill out my form here: http://bit.ly/2b8iMAE

Shakeology is affordable if you make it! If you're willing to change, you must overcome your challenges!

Race Recap: The 2016 Nick Adenhart 5K

THIS WEEK! This is the week I will be able to tell you everything! The reason I don't update as much and the reason why I am so excited for the future! It's a valid excuse as to why the blog has hit the back burner! So if you've been sticking with me...THANK YOU! I know that I may have lost a following due to my absence, but it is all for good reason!!!

Anyway, I am still going to stay on top of my race recaps because they are a huge part of this blog.

Just over a week ago, I decided to randomly sign up for the Nick Adenhart 5k. Originally, I wasn't going to do it. In fact, I wasn't going to do more than a couple of races this year, but nostalgia hit me with this one. I have always done really well in it and I know that this could be the last time I could (more on that this week, I promise!). So I put down my $20 because hey! It was only $20! Also, it is so close to where I live and I have run this route dozens of times. I know this course like the back of my hand. Hell, a road on the course is named after my family!

Britner Ave!

This is the first race out of my 30+ that Peter couldn't make it! He has supported me more than anyone, but he had plans to go to Annapolis that day so I was on my own for this one. Fortunately, I had a TON of friends participating! So I did not feel alone at all! But with that being said, not a lot of pictures were taken!

I came into the race with a few goals in mind. I wanted to get a PR, I wanted that PR to be within 20-22 minutes, and I wanted to earn a age group award. Though I had the belief that I could accomplish all of this, I was a bit skeptical of my high expectations. I was coming off of 22 Minute Hard Corps' Hell Week, which was BRUTAL.

I was sore, grumpy, and tired all week. I also only ran a total of 2 miles that entire week so I wasn't sure if my body was capable of getting the time that I wanted. Still, I prepped that morning the best I could. I did a warm up lap (which I never do before a race) and I drank my Beachbody Performance Energize about 30 minutes before the start.

At the starting line, I was a bit ansy since I set the bar high for myself, but I was trying to hold the adrenaline for the last bit of the race.

I am guilty of starting out too fast for about any race. I wanted to keep in mind the previous 5ks I have done and how awful I would feel during that last mile due to a fast start. I wanted to maintain rather than drain myself. So when the gun went off, I started out as if I were alone. As if it were any typical Saturday morning run.

It was a little intimidating seeing a whole mess of people pass me left and right, but I knew that they were starting too fast. They were letting the excitement pulse through them like I would have and it took everything for me to just let them go.

Within about a half mile, I was already catching up with these people. They were now settling into the rhythm as I was hitting mine. I kept counting how many girls I could see in front of me because I knew where I wanted to place. Ideally, I wanted to be first in my age group, but I would have been satisfied to be in the top 3. Just under mile 2, I passed the last girl I could see. I wasn't sure where that put me, but as long as I could stay ahead, I was happy.

Once I hit mile two, that's when things began to get rough. The sun came out, the temps began to rise and the sweat began to pour. My legs felt a bit uneasy, especially as we made it through Williamsport Park. There's a section of trail that goes behind the park and towards the baseball field, which is a very steady uphill. Right before you connect with a road, this little trail takes a steep incline. Seriously, it is the shortest distance of a hill ever, but with how steep this baby was, it wore me out. Then, once you hit the road, you are greeted with your last uphill. Again, it was nothing too terrible, but I was feeling the burn. I could feel my exhaustion coming through from the Hell Week I just finished and the lack of mileage I put in.

That's when I glanced at my watch. I just hit mile 3. I was in the 21 minute zone. I needed to kill it to hit my goal. So I sprinted the last .1 to the finish line.

Ehhh...does that count for being within the 20-22 minute goal? I mean...it WAS in the 22 minute range! Oh who cares! I'll take it! It was nearly a minute PR and I hadn't run a 5K in nearly a year! Not too shabby for signing up just a few days prior!

I placed 2nd in my age group and 5th woman overall! I was proud of myself. I felt strong!

Several of the CFARians were there, as well. Most of which who also placed in their age groups.

So all in all, it was a great day for a race and I am happy that I decided to just do it! The Nick Adenhart 5K will always hold a special place in my heart. It represents so much about the small town in which I grew up in and if ever given the opportunity in the future, I would definitely run it again to support a past schoolmate.
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