Monday, August 31, 2015

Birthdays and 5K Races with Kevin Hart

From the Crabfest adventures of mid-August to my healthy journey of eating more vegetables and participating in FitBit challenges, August has been a good time. 

Mary Anna's Non-Monday Birthday was a success. I made this fun Etsy-like sticker that read 336 months for the amount of months I am. You know, how they put those stickers on babies "3 months," "5 months," etc. I'm 28. Someone asked me how long it took me to do that math. I said "12 seconds, I used a calculator." I met up with my best friend and we caught up with my other friends at Morgan's Pier for dinner and drinks. They had this delicious concoction called "Mango Shandy" and it was made with apple cider and mango puree. I could drink those all day. Then I'd get diabetes. 

After dinner we went to Penn's Landing Summerfest and caught up with Jschool bestie, Alexa. Alexa and I tried our hand (or feet rather) at skating. I put the skates on and thought "nope." I quickly traded them for in-line rollerblades. I felt a bit more in control on the blades. Alexa skated around (her first time ever) with no problem at all. 
I was a wall clinger but I made it around a few times. People on the outside were cheering me on. It was pretty great. I didn't fall! I didn't fall at all! That was the biggest accomplishment. After skating Alexa and I went to Spruce Street Harbor Park for a little Cards Against Humanity. Then we traveled to The Tattoed Moms, the very first Philadelphia bar I went to when I moved here. The Moms staff made me a Not Your Father's Root Beer Float AND paid for my actual Not Your Father's Root Beer for my birthday. It made me love that place even more. 

After that Alexa and I retreated back to my apartment. We hung out on the roof for a little bit. I ended up going to bed at 3am, something I haven't done in a LONG time. It was a great birthday celebration with some awesome friends!

My actual birthday was pretty good too. I went to work on my birthday (like I do) and wore this huge birthday hat. It had candles on it and everything. A few coworkers gave me some presents. After work I went to Ray's Happy Birthday Bar for my annual birthday shot. I ended up hanging out with the bar patrons and we watched Jeopardy. It was fun guessing really wrong answers as well as the right answers. haha After a PBR I headed home. As I walked through South Philly I looked up at the pink sky and just thought, what a great way to end my birthday. 

I picked up some sushi and wine on the way home and enjoyed the last hours of my birthday chowing down on one of my favorite meals. I had an apple cake, put some candles on it, made a wish and then shared my cake with Bronx. 

My first week as a 28-year old was unremarkable. Work was work. Job hunting was job hunting. I was tired a lot. I felt, old. That all changed when the weekend after my birthday arrived and I found out Kevin Hart was hosting a spontaneous 5K run on Saturday. I immediately registered for the run and plotted out how I could get really close for pictures and still enjoy the run. 

The morning of the race I got up at 5:30am. I made it down to the art museum by 7. I got my shirt (my new fav shirt) and put my sign on my back. 

Little did I know this sign would be a huge hit with the crowd. People were taking pictures of it, taking pictures of me, taking selfies with it and posting it on social media. My joke was my "ass is trending." haha As I was running, people kept patting me on the shoulder and giving me a thumbs up. The irony was it was my 8th 5K and I ran Broad Street last year and I'm still SLOW as a TURTLE. 

Anyway, back to pre-race. So donning my sign and my new shirt I took my place by the DJ and danced it out a bit. Everyone was in this great party spirit. I didn't feel out of place, I felt in my element. Suddenly the crowd shifted to right in front of the art museum entrance. I made my way to the barricade and scored a spot front and center. Little did I know that I would be right in front of where Kevin Hart was to deliver his pep talk!

Everyone was friendly. I mean everyone. Then Kevin's step squad came out and the crowd started to get hype. Next thing you know, Kevin comes out with his kids Hendrix and Heaven! I was CLOSE.
Kevin stressed that it was not a race it was a run. This stuck with everyone who participated. (I later found out it was 4,500). After the pep talk we got in our running waves and were off. I ran the entire first mile without stopping to walk! I have never in my life been able to do that. It did go a little downhill from there but I was still glad to be out doing this free and fun run. The Nike + app is my new best friend. I loved how it updated me as I reached each mile and told me my pace. I'm an idiot for not using it before. 

I finished at a horrible time of 44:44. But I never felt the drive to really run and kill myself doing it. I ran at my pace and was happy with that. The race ended going UP the Rocky Steps. At that point, Kevin was surrounded by people and security I couldn't get my high five. I was really happy with my pre-race pictures though so I didn't worry about it. I went off to get water, bananas, apples, pretzels and water ice (how Philly) before heading home. 

I have to say, they cheered the last runner up the steps. Everyone was really positive and motivational. It felt like fitness was FUN. It also motivated me to run more. Now that I know how fun the Nike + app is, I'm planning on using it more often to train effectively. I can't wait to get out and kick asphalt again. In fact, I'm donning my new Kevin Hart shirt tonight at kickboxing because I feel fierce in it. 

Later in the evening I saw the professional shots of the event. I'm in a bunch of them (AND SO IS MY SIGN). I also landed in an NBC10 video of the event where they zoom in on me 17 seconds in. The whole event was an affair to remember. I'm so glad I got up early on a Saturday to take part in that. I wish Kevin the best of luck with is on-fire career and with his campaign to get people moving. #rallywithkevin #runwithhart. 

Until next time...

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