Thursday, December 30, 2010

Urban Pickle Assault Run

Yes, you read that correctly.  As much as I love my gym, my treadmill, and a my normal exercise routine, I love finding ways to switch it up.  When a colleague of mine told me about the Urban Pickle Assault Run I quickly signed up, and recruited my sister Jessica to join me.

The run was organized by Run the Day.  Each team was given a map, a pickle (well actually, I think it was a cucumber, but close enough) and a phone number.  Our mission was to run around Philadelphia taking photos of our pickle with famous Philadelphia landmarks (Rocky, the Art Museum, Rodin's Thinker, the Clothes Pin, etc.).  We got extra points for any pictures of our Pickle in a Precarious Predicament, Pickles Messing with the Public, or Pickles with bus drivers, police officers, or street vendors.  Once we took our fabulous and creative photos, we texted them to the phone number given to us so they could be judged.  All in all the course was about five miles, but the route we took was up to us!

A few highlights...
First some Philly Landmarks
Pickle at the Art Museum

Pickle at Love Park (with lots of cute kids who volunteered to help us out)!

Pickle with the Clothespin

Pickle with a Domino (and my sister)

Pickle with Rocky Feet

And some more creative photos:

Pickle at the Barber Shop

Pickle with a Police Officer

Pickle with a Biker

Pickle on the Phone

Pickle Slipping on a Banana Peel

Pickle at Subway

Pickle on a Bus

Pickle on a Trolley

Pickle Road Kill

My sister and I had a great time, and best of all, it didn't even feel like exercise!  Sadly, we didn't win, but the Race Directors told us we had the best pictures.  If there's a Pickle Run in your town, I highly recommend you participate!  It certainly won't be boring...

Bad Blogger

I'm not a very good blogger.  I have a little trouble with the whole consistency thing.  I will try to do better!  In the meantime, I wanted to share one of my very favorite runs.  I began on this route back when I lived at home with my mom, and it covers about 7 miles and meets all of my requirements for a good course:

#1: It must be safe, as in free of snakes, stalkers, dark alleys, rabid animals, narrow roads, and drivers with a death wish.
#2: It must be a distance long enough to make me feel really good when I'm finished, but short enough that I can motivate myself to get off the couch.
#3: It must have lots of good things to look at!

All geared up in a free giveaway t-shirt from Jim Carey's movie "Yes Man" which came out in 2008 (I never saw it but apparently feel the need to keep advertising it on myself... I like free stuff), a Brooks fleece from my grandmother and my secret weapon...

A monkey silly band that my niece Samantha gave me during the Philly Marathon.  I think it's good luck.

I drove over to my mother's house and hit the road.  My legs felt light and running felt easy... a nice result of a couple days of rest and recovery from the marathon.  The only problem was that when I tried to clip my iPod to my pants it kept pulling my pants down!  (I decided to spare you a picture of that.)

My run takes me through the little town of Wayne, with a festive Christmas tree...

Some very cute little stores...

And some beautiful homes...

Cute, right?

One of my favorite churches.  Apparently I love red doors!

I finished my run in an hour and walked a mile around my old neighborhood to cool down.  I'd love to tell you I stretched too, but well, that would be a lie!

Have a great day!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hello Hello!

So here goes nothing...
I have been running since I was in elementary school, when I would do laps around the middle school track while my older sister and brother played in their  middle school soccer games.  I ran with my older sister Jessica in the evenings, and loved the excuse to spend time with her.  I continued running through high school, as I played soccer, swam, and played softball.  I was never very coordinated, but I could always run.  I was a little slow in getting my driver's license (somehow getting in an accident the day I got my permit traumatized me a little bit) so I ran to my job as a lifeguard, ran to the gym, and sometimes literally "ran" errands.

My love for running continued into college, where I would jog around Penn State's golf course to blow off steam and avoid the freshman 15.  I ran when I studied abroad in Italy, although so many Italians would laugh and make fun of me that spent more time eating than exercising.  I ran a lot after my father passed away.  After college I ran my first marathon (Philly in '05) and did my second in 2006 and third in November of this year.

For most people, hearing a song takes them back to a time in their life or a place they visited.  For me, it takes me back to a run.  No judging my musical taste!  Anything by Tribe Called Quest puts me right back on the grass of the Penn State Golf Course.  ACDC reminds me of my first "real" race, the Mountain Back 50 mile Relay when I ran my allotted 13 miles (in a few different segments) and then threw up.  G Love reminds me of running my first ever 10 miles straight on the trails in Maine.  Counting Crows takes me right back to nights in Rome, running to the Colosseum or the Pantheon and usually to a gelato store afterward.

I started this blog at the poking and prodding of the people who know me best (I've always been a little intimidated to put myself out there!) and I hope to use it to document interesting places I run and to share a little bit of my life with you.  I hope you like it, whether you read it for entertainment, a little running inspiration, or to pass the hours at work, I appreciate the support!