Race Recap (+Playlist): Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women

tufts-health-plan-10k-women-recapYesterday I ran the Tufts Health Plan 10K celebrating women, and hot damn was it a better way to spend October 12th than by honoring that a**hole Columbus!

Jokes aside, I had so much fun and crossing the finish line just reaffirmed for me that I did the right thing in applying to run the Boston Marathon for a charity team. I’ll keep you guys posted on that, but I just found out that my application got through to the second round, so I’m once step closer to getting accepted! But back to yesterday’s race …

My (Lack of) Preparedness for the Race

My original plan was to prepare by running three times a week—a shorter run, a longer run and some speed work in the form of a Barry’s Bootcamp class. For a while that was going well and I was really enjoying regularly running again! Welp. That changed.

Three weeks ago, I tweaked my knee, and although it was nothing serious, I had to stay off it for a week. Right when I was ready to resume running, a family emergency took Joe and I to New Jersey where working out was honestly the last thing on my mind. So yesterday’s race was the first time I’ve ran in three weeks.

Let’s make the situation worse. Against my better judgment, when I got back to Boston on Saturday, I was CRAVING a good workout, and did Btone classes both days leading up to the race. As anyone who’s taken a couple weeks off the megaformer and then returned will know, I was SO SORE on race day morning. Whoopsies. If you follow me on Snapchat (nicoleperr), you probably got the hint that I was unprepared (ha!) … snapchat-tufts-health-plank-10k

I contemplated backing out of the race at least ten times, but ultimately knew that I could finish (even if it was super slow), and am so happy I went through with it in the end!

Race Day

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Post-race with Sarah & Rachel

The race started and ended by the Boston Common so there were a bunch of tents and a stage area set up in the park. With a later start time of noon, there was ample time for runners and their families to walk around the park and Public Garden and hang out beforehand. The weather was gorgeous, but a little too hot for running. The majority of the course wasn’t in the shade and oh man–the sun killed me. With my circulation issues though, I would take the heat over the cold ANY day.

Tufts Health Plan graciously gave me and a few other local bloggers a free bib to run the race, and with that came access to their employee tent. After the race, I headed there to hang out and munch on a veggie wrap and a BOMB chocolate chip cookie. I always do the squeeze test before committing to a cookie (if you’re not soft, get the f outta here), and these were the perfect consistency. I’m not sure why I feel this a necessary detail to include in a race recap, but let’s just go with it.IMG_3648

The Race Course + Results

tufts-10k-recapThe course was basically a tour of my neighborhood, which was so convenient! I walked to the start line and walked home afterwards. The home stretch even took us right by my apartment. Another great thing given my lack of training was how flat the course was. There was one hill, but it was such a gradual incline that I barely noticed it. thp10kthp10k-recap

This was actually the first time I wore a watch during a race (I know, I know–welcome to 2015, Nicole), and it made the experience so much better! I used the Timex One GPS+ that I reviewed last month, and it helped so much with pacing and motivation. The watch also syncs to RunKeeper (which I just started using–I used to use the Nike Running app) so you can send your stats directly to the app. I forgot to stop the watch when I crossed the finish line (whoops) so the numbers are a little different from my official results, but here are my unofficial split times if you’re interested:

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I felt awesome the first four miles. The fifth mile started to feel tough, and then the last mile+ was a big struggle for me. Those split times don’t exactly reflect that, but I really had to tap into my mental game to will myself through mile 6.

Official Results: Finished in 54:30 with an average 8:47 pace.

I went into it telling myself I just wanted to finish the race, but secretly hoped to come in under an hour. I know I could have run faster if I’d prepared, but I am pumped with 54:30.

My 10k Playlist for the Race

The morning of the race, I threw some of my current favorite songs into a playlist. I’m obsessed with Young Love (feat. Koko LaRoo) – Felix Cartal so that jam got repeated a few times. 🙂 I’ve included the original playlist I made on Spotify as well as the same songs (with the exception of a few I couldn’t find) in an iTune playlist if that’s what you use.


sale-alert-shopbopThis has nothing to do with the THP 10K, but I had to share the news that the Shopbop friends & family sale just started. You can take 25% off your order with code INTHEFAM25. Their activewear boutique is amazing but pricey, so this is the perfect occasion to actually buy something instead of admiring from afar (at least that’s what I’m telling myself …). Happy shopping!

Have you ran the THP 10k for Women before?

What’s your fastest 10k time?

Have you ever gone into a race without preparing?

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5 Accounts to Follow on Spotify for Workout Music

5 Spotify Accounts to Follow for Workout MusicI’m sure my fellow group fitness instructors can relate—sometimes I question if I’m a trainer or a DJ. Creating playlists for classes can be extremely time consuming to the point where it takes longer than planning the actual workout. I found this especially true during my brief stint as an indoor cycling instructor, and it’s actually part of the reason why I ultimately don’t do it anymore. I’d get sucked into these SoundCloud/Spotify rabbit holes and next thing you know, I look at the clock and I’ve been searching for new songs for 5 hours. If teaching was my only job, I’d definitely put this kind of time into my playlists, but as the blog grows, I do have to divvy up my time accordingly. It’s kind of a bummer because DJ Pumps has a great ring to it, but that’s life my friends.

I save a ton of time looking for songs by following people on Spotify who regularly update their playlists with new music. Whether you are an instructor or just want to refresh your current workout playlist, I highly suggest searching for your favorite trainers and fitness studios on Spotify. You can follow the account or just the playlists of theirs that you like best.

Here are 5 of my current favorites…

5 Spotify Accounts to Follow for Workout Music

Ministry of Sound

I love this account because they have a handful of running playlists that they’re constantly updating.

Daily Deep

I follow their Daily Deep EDM and Daily Deep House playlists, both of which they frequently add to, for workout music. I love it when people do this, rather than creating multiple shorter playlists, because you can follow the playlist and get updates every time new songs are added.

B/SPOKE Beat Lab

To be a successful cycling studio, music has to just as good as the workout (in my opinion anyway), and B/SPOKE does not disappoint. And I really like the playlist organization of their Spotify—each instructor has a playlist with their favorite music, and B/SPOKE will also share music for outside of class (Memorial Day Weekend playlist, Morning Chillout, etc.). Just phenomenal taste in music all around.

@LAST RECORDS

@LAST has playlists with everything from relaxed tropical house playlists for relaxing by the pool to intense workout playlists. Great account to follow if you like EDM/house music.

SoulCycle

Again, cycling and music go hand-in-hand. I’m sure you’re not surprised to know the country’s titan of stationary bikes has a killer Spotify account.

And of course, you can always follow me on Spotify! 🙂

Ok, your turn: Who are your favorites to follow on Spotify for workout music?

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A Marathon Playlist, BioSport Headphones & Hanging Out with Me This Weekend

running-playlists-spotify-soundcloudWith the marathon right around the corner, Boston is BUZZING. I live a couple blocks from the finish line, and as cliché as it sounds, you can feel the excitement in the air. Even as a non-marathoner, it’s one of my favorite weekends in the city (a day off from work, friends, roof decks, beer—yes, please!).

Although I’m not running it, I thought it’d be fun to share some of my current favorite workout music in case any of you marathoners need some inspiration for your race-day playlist. I go back and forth between using Spotify and SoundCloud, so I’ve included both (with different music on each). I actually prefer SoundCloud because you can find crazy good remixes, but they’ve started playing ads so I can’t use it while teaching class. What a bummer!

First up, some jams for all you SoundCloud users:

Next up, some jams for all my Spotify peeps:

 

Intel x SMS Audio BioSport Headphones

intel-sms-audioSpeaking of music, I’m working with Intel and SMS Audio on a fun project for their new BioSport headphones (spoiler alert: I get to give away a couple sets to you guys!). These headphones, which have an in-ear heart rate monitor, are the lovechild of Intel’s technology and SMS Audio’s studio-quality sound.

For all you techies: They use a built-in optical sensor that continuously and accurately measures your heart rate while simultaneously removing noise signals caused by your body’s motion during your workout. The earbud shape allows it to sit deeper in the ear canal for consistent data collection, and the headphones are sweat and water-resistant.

The headphones also have a self-charging system (it’ll draw power from your smartphone) so no batteries are required. It won’t drain the battery life though—it uses the same amount of power as any set of headphones with a built-in mic.

For all the rest of us: 50 Cent—or as I like to call him, Fiddy—is the CEO of SMS Audio. So yeah, if the man who made the soundtrack to my high school years stands behind these headphones, count me in, too. (Anyone else jam out to Hate It or Love It at high school parties??) 🙂

runkeeper-biosport-headphonesThe in-ear heart rate monitor wires directly to your smartphone and syncs with the RunKeeper app. I’ve been playing around with it the last couple days, and it’s pretty cool!

Also, it’s worth noting that I’m super picky about earbuds (usually I don’t like having something stuffed in my ear), but the part that goes inside is actually pretty narrow on these. I think they’re comfortable–and that’s saying a lot! I’ll be giving away two sets of these headphones (they retail at $150 so it’s a pretty kickass prize!) in the coming weeks on the blog.

Come Hang Out with Me This Weekend!

marathon-playlistAs part of this project, I’ll be at the SMS Audio booth at the Boston Marathon Sports & Fitness Expo this weekend. If you’re local or will be in town to run, I’d love for you to swing by and say hi! I’ll be there Saturday from 3 to 3:30PM. The expo is open to the public, so you don’t have to be running the marathon to check out all the exhibits. It’s at Hynes Convention Center and you can check out a full list of the exhibitors/where their booths are located HERE. I’ll be at booth #2735 and hope to see some of you there!

Are you running Boston this year? Let me know if you’ll be by the expo!

What workout songs are currently on repeat for you? Side note: You can enter to win a pair of the BioSport headphones by sharing your top workout songs on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #IntelxBioSport. The contest is open until April 19th so hop on it! Terms and conditions

Enjoy your weekend! signature

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Intel. Although I was compensated, all opinions—as always!—are my own.