Category Archives: Fitness

Blue Moonlight Biking

Last week I participated in the Anthem Moonlight Ride in Richmond for the first time, along with my brother. It was a lot of fun!

You had the option of biking 8 miles or 17 and we both did the 17 mile course which took us on main roads throughout RVA (Monument Ave.), through some neighborhoods and side streets, and through Bryan Park which was my absolute favorite part since it was so dark but the path was lined with glow sticks. There is a costume contest and tacky lights contest as well, and many people dressed up and had glow sticks, Christmas lights, etc.

I can’t say the entire course was super easy, as there were some hills to conquer but they were doable and where there’s an up, there’s a down! Keep in mind that my bike is a $150 Huffy bike from Target (snicker, snicker) – no, it does not have a basket or pom pom strings hanging from the handlebars, but it DOES have a sweet bell! Given that I don’t have many gear options, I was happy with myself that I did not have to stop, get off of my bike or stand up in order to get to the top of the hills; I just pushed on through as best as I could on the highest gear and did it. It drizzled a bit in some parts but didn’t bother me whatsoever – it actually felt good. There were at least 2 food/drink/bike mechanic pitstops along the way but I didn’t want to stop my stride. Although my bike speedometer was not calibrated correctly and said I did 28 miles, I managed to do 17 miles in 1 hr. 30 min. My brother completed in 1 hr. 13 min. I was happy with that given that the website said the avg. was 2 hrs. to complete the course. In the past, before having Abby, I had done the Livestrong 20 mile course in PA. Can’t remember what my time was for that but I remember stopping to eat along the way haha.

After the ride (not race), we got in line for our free food (Papa John’s pizza, Jimmy John’s subs, ice-cream novelties, Blue Moon beer and other drinks) and listened to the after-party band named the Good Birds. I heard that they ran out of food later on so I guess there needs to be some better planning in that area for next time. And next year I hope to do it again!

Once we left and I began the drive back home, the skies opened up and the rain really started to come down throughout the night and the next day. We lucked out with the weather!

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The Ukrops Monument Ave. 10K

Saturday morning I ran and completed my first 10K race – the Ukrops Monument Ave. 10K in Richmond, VA. Also participating with me were my brother Chris and sister-in-law Julie. The weather was absolutely perfect – sunny, low-mid 60’s in the morning. My parents and sister-in-law Jennifer watched and stayed with Abby while we ran.

I had started to get a tad nervous (good jitters) leading up to the morning of the race. I didn’t do the greatest job of training and prepping for the race so I wasn’t sure how I’d do. I only ran outside in the neighborhood a few times and the rest were on the treadmill at the gym (and we all know running on the treadmill is not the same as running on pavement and cobblestone streets). Which by the way, I finally joined a gym around here. It’s not a big flashy gym but it’s open 24/7 and was only $32/month.

Anyway, Julie arrived at our house Friday night and we got to bed around 11:45. Probably should have been a little bit earlier but we were too busy looking up “cicada apocolypse” images on Google. The alarm went off at 5:45am the next morning. We snarfed some bagels w/ pb, banana, Gatorade and were on the road to Richmond around 7:15 after my parents picked us up. We met up at the TORX office with Chris and Jennifer and got ourselves organized before heading off to the start line. Our wave time start was 9:20 and we literally walked right up to merge into the group as they were starting to move. Perfect timing.

The race was exciting – bands on every block (playing songs like ‘Eye of the Tiger’), cheering sections, different organizations set up to cheer you on dressed in various themes, kids giving high fives along the way, people holding all kinds of funny and/or motivational signs, balloons, people dressed in funny costumes, spectators all over, people grilling on their porches and drinking beer… so much fun. The houses and buildings along Monument Ave. are impressive as well so there was always something neat to look at. There were also plenty of water stops along the course. I nabbed water at 3 of the stops because my mouth was so dry but made sure to keep walking fast while drinking (if I tried to run and drink it’d be down my shirt). If I drank anymore I would have peed my pants while running – ha! I also stopped to say hi to Abby quickly when I saw her on the sidelines somewhere between mile 5 and 6. It was so nice to see them there and helped me move a bit faster at the end to get across the finish line. I finished with a time of 73:07. My brother was just behind me by about 40 seconds and Julie was somewhere around 64 min. I felt pretty good throughout the whole race, just sore and tired afterwards of course.

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We then nabbed some post-race food (bananas, 50,000 fruit cups, Martin’s rolls, water, powerade, granola bars) and other flare at the post-race event in Monroe Park before heading back to TORX.

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Next, we headed to casa de Rhines to shower and clean up before heading out to nom on some Mexico for lunch. I really enjoyed my grilled chicken quesedilla with guacamole salad and spanish rice… and of course chips and salsa and queso. Tasted oh so good.

It’s funny what you can do if you put your mind to it. A few years ago I would have said I could never (and would never) do a running race. I first tried last year by doing 2 5Ks and then decided to double it and try a 10K. Did I die? No. Did I blaze on through with a fast pace? No, but I ran and I finished and had fun. I don’t consider myself a runner by any means and I probably do all kinds of things wrong in terms of technique but I feel good after doing it and I reach my goals in steps – and that’s what counts. I’ve always said that I don’t think I could do a 1/2 marathon but who knows… never say never!

Thanks to my parents for driving us and watching Abby while we ran! Thanks to Julie for being my race buddy and for motivating me! Thanks to Chris for getting us to sign up and for running w/ me… and for picking up our packets and accomodating us w/ your office location and hot showers at the house! Thanks to Amy for being an inspiration to have me just run any distance. This girl runs all kinds of races, marathons, and is training for her first triathalon in September. Given what she does on a regular basis, I should be able to get off my butt and do a 5K or 10K here and there. 😉

Can’t wait to (hopefully) do the Monument Ave. 10K again next year!