Boston Diva Dash 2014

I had a ton of fun running in last year’s Shape Diva Dash, so I get to be an ambassador again!


The Shape Diva Dash comes back to the Boston area on September 6, 2014. Obstacle course races are blowing up right now but this one is different because it’s only for women and you can make it as hard or as easy as you want. There is no dirt, no getting soaked, no electrocution. There were some fun obstacles like the tire mountain, a hay bale mountain, jumping over water, a fun thing where you walk on a rope, and some other surprises.

The race is on a wave system, with the final wave going at 2:45 pm.  You don’t even have to wake up early. This race had the most fun party vibe I’ve ever seen. The pre- and post- party was huge, with beer, wine, snacks and dancing. There were so many people who put teams together and dressed up according to their theme. I didn’t have a team last year and I regretted it, so you should definitely get your girls together for this. I think there is even a prize for best team costume.

The registration fee is currently $55 but you can knock $10 off using coupon code AXDIVAVILAY. The swag bag is great too. One of the starting waves is already sold out and we are six months out, so get your team in now to get a good starting wave. – Shape Diva Dash

SHAPE Diva Dash logo Horiz


Race report: Max’s O’Hartford 5k

The first 5k of 2014 is in the bag.

This is my only photo from the race because it was too cold to think about anything else but start to finish.

The temperature was officially 30 degree but a strong windchill making it feel like 19, according to the weather app. Ouch! I wore a t-shirt, fleece jacket, and an old St. Paddy’s Day race shirt on top of the fleece. I just wore normal pants instead of my thermal tights, but it turned out ok. The fleece was a good decision. Instead of a t-shirt, we got these beanies:

It will come in handy for next year’s St Patrick’s Day theme race, wherever that may be.

My niece (5 years old) was signed up to run the half mile kids race and I was running with her. It was one of those days where she woke up in the wrong side of the bed and was very whiny before we even left the house. Great. Can you parents out there confirm whether this is a normal thing? She was in good spirits as we waited inside for the race to start and even when she was lining up outside. We were off and running and life was good. Then the wind gusts started and she stopped dead in her tracks and began having a meltdown/panic attack. We were dead last and not even at the half waypoint. She started to cry and said she couldn’t breathe, which I was confused about since I have run with her before so I know it wasn’t from running too hard. We paused for 30 seconds while I calmed her down; meanwhile I am praying that no one is watching me and thinking I’m an asshole parent forcing her kid to run, lol. I wanted to yell, “She ran 1 full mile with me yesterday, I swear!” I think maybe it was a combination of the extreme cold plus anxiety about the environment (nervous energy, the crowds, and we saw a lot of kids falling). She got herself halfway together and walked/jogged the rest of the way with tears in her eyes, 1 hand in mine and the other hand covering her mouth because it was too cold. She promptly declared “I never want to race outside again.” Girl, we’ve all been there.

I had about 15 minutes of waiting and then it was time for us to go. By the way, there were people near us at the starting line who were taking shots of Fireball! That’s one way to keep warm I guess. The course itself was boring – a little rough and in-scenic but hey, that’s Hartford. We couldn’t exactly just run laps around Bushnell Park right? It was also hilly. I swear it felt like most of the course was uphill.y strategy was to keep jogging by very slowly up the hills, and I allowed myself to walk once I got to the top if I needed it. This way I would be able to catch my breath but lose less time.

This was my first race using my new Garmin that I got a couple of weeks ago. When it beeped saying that I had hit mile 3, I looked at the watch but runner brain didn’t quite put “1+1” together to realize I only had .2 miles of running left (the Garmin was ahead by .1 mi). The finish line didn’t have a huge overhead banner, just a small yellow flag. So I was caught by surprise when suddenly I could see the finishing chutes ahead of of me. I thought, “dammit I have more gas left in my tank!” I sprinted in but hit a traffic jam in the chute. I could have finished a minute faster if only I had started sprinting before mile 3.

Oh well.

The medal is so cute:


My official time was 36:44/average pace 11:36. That’s only 1:23 more than my 5k PR so I’ll take it. I’m annoyed that I haven’t improved my 5k time in an entire year but I also ran 7 miles the day before so I knew it wasn’t likely.

They gave out corned beef sandwiches and beer after the race but Brian already told me the sandwich was bad, so I grabbed my free Thomas Hooker beer and ran inside to my waiting family & chug the beer before they kicked us out of the convention hall. I’m not sure what the other post race food there was because I was just focused on getting inside.

This was my coldest race ever. March 16 and still 20 degrees out! definitely will rethink trying to do any New England race before March, such as those crazy ones that pop up in January. No thank you!

A discount on the Firefly Run New York

Disclaimer added 1/15/2014: As a Firefly Run ambassador, I was offered compensation for referring runners to sign up for the Firefly Run. To date, they have not paid me and they have not answered my follow up e-mails. Meanwhile, they continue to advertise an ambassador program.

Remember when I told you about the Firefly Run in New York/Brooklyn?

They just sent me a reminder that tomorrow, October 2, is the last day for you to use my discount code and save $10. If you’re still thinking about doing the Firefly Run, head over here, click on register, and enter code VILAY13 when you’re checking out.

Your registration will include this cool unisex tech shirt:

Firefly Run t-shirt

Firefly Run t-shirt

It’s pretty rare for a 5k to offer a tech shirt, let alone one a stylish one. I was going to say it was fly, but that would be a dorky pun.

You also get one of these reflective and light-up LED bands. It’s big enough to fit on your wrist, bicep, or ankle. I’ll definitely be re-using this for a night time race or evening runs.

Firefly Run LED bracelet

Firefly Run LED bracelet

Unfortunately, I can’t join the fun anymore. I had the Diva Dash and the Firefly Run planned this weekend, both races that I’ve been promoting and in the New York area the same weekend. Then some breaking news happened. You may have heard something in the news about certain people being temporarily out of work because of political crap? Now I have to conserve money since I’m not sure when my next paycheck will come. Boo.

If you go, give me a recap so I know how it went!

Firefly Run
Saturday, October 5, 2013
7:00 pm
Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Farmshare Week 17

The fun of having a farmshare is of course, the surprises. When the season started, I assumed something like July would be the peak bounty but we didn’t have a lot of hot weather. The farmer said that the tons of rain at the beginning of the season slowed the crops. Now we are at the end of September when things are supposed to slow down but we are getting the most vegetables.

farmshare week 17

Farmshare, week 17

This week, we’ve got:

  • beets
  • white eggplant
  • pattypan squash
  • chard
  • some weird, spiky, mystery herb?
  • bell peppers
  • one scotch bonnet pepper?
  • thyme
  • tomatoes
  • jalapenos

The only thing I missed this week was the lettuce mix. It was the first time all season I didn’t get lettuce!

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Firefly Run – NYC

Disclaimer added 1/15/2014: As a Firefly Run ambassador, I was offered compensation for referring runners to sign up for the Firefly Run. To date, they have not paid me and they have not answered my follow up e-mails. Meanwhile, they continue to advertise an ambassador program.

Firefly Run – NYC

I’m excited to announce a new partnership: the Firefly Run 5k in New York! My gift to you is a coupon code to save $10 on the race. I’m excited to be a race ambassador because I love themed races, and I love costumes! Everyone will be decked out in crazy, glowy outfits so get your costumes ready. There will be prizes for the best oufits too.

The charity partner for this race is the American Lung Association so in addition to helping them out, you will get:

  • a tech t-shirt (!)
  • light up LED bracelets
  • glow-in-the-dark rubber bracelets
  • post-race party with snacks (food trucks!) and DJ

Better perks than your average 5k right? I think the price is well worth it for such a fun race. Enter the discount code VILAY13 at checkout to take $10 off your registration fee.

Firefly Run

Saturday, October 5, 2013

7:00 pm

Prospect Park, Brooklyn