2016 Life, Training, and Races

You guys, I am set.  I am so, so, so set for at least the first six month of 2016 and it isn’t even New Year’s Eve yet.  I’ve talked a little about a lot lately [How is that for ambiguity?] but I finally feel like my head is on straight, the path is clear, and I know exactly what I have to do.  We’re not even talking about on the road or track, but in my own personal life.  Normally I don’t go into those deep details for various reasons, but I’ll touch on it a bit.

We’ll get it all out of the way right now: I’m going to buy a house!  I guess I should rephrase that.  We’re going to buy a house.  I signed up for a first-time home buyer’s program this past week that New York State offers and after 10 months of saving a specified amount, they will provide a forgivable grant of $7500!  The plan is sometime in the October-November time frame, I will be a homeowner!  I keep saying “I” since everything is in my name (in order to qualify), but in reality, it’s our home.  That feels so great to say, I cannot wait for this new chapter!

Since adopting Dunkin the Howling Hound, I’ve had people mention to me that I should look into buying a home but I never thought it was a possibility because I envisioned needing $20k in savings, if not more.  After talking to great coworkers and looking into my options, it’s a relief to know it’s more than a possibility with this program.  As much trouble as this pup has given me over his anxiety, it’s a total blessing in disguise.  That being said, after all my Christmas shopping and stocking up on the training supplies, it’s time to hunker down and payoff as much debt as possible.  I’m so relieved that now I can see what the not-so-far future has in store.

Speaking of training supplies, I am completely stockpiled for the upcoming six months.  With the sales going on this past week, I’ve taken advantage of every single one that would provide useful to my training.  It’s been one of those things where I’m really trying to budget, but at the same time, some of the products I use regularly are really expensive and I have to consider that.  A few people helped me with my decision: Will you use it all the time?  Do you need it to train for the upcoming season?  Consider this your last big purchase before all your money goes into a house.  So that’s what I did.  It almost helps ease my mind to know that right now I’ve purchased everything I could need for my hobby (with exception to a few small races I want to do) and I can just focus on paying it off within the next year.

Without further adieu, here’s what I took advantage of this past week:

Rose Gold Garmin Fenix 3
Always reppin’ my Bills.

$100 off a Rose Gold Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire – Amazon
I’ve been looking at the Garmin Fenix 3 since last Christmas and never ordered it.  I’m relieved I waited because when I saw the rose gold version come out in October, I knew I had to have it.  My mom convinced me on this one with the “it’s your last purchase before you spend all your money on a house” and with knowing I’ve never seen this on sale for $100 off before and probably won’t again.  Side note: It’s already regular priced again.

chicago nuun water
Gimme, gimme, gimme!

25% off $100+ – The Clymb
[Psst – this one, with exception to the 25% off, is still going on!] Since a friend on Twitter (who I’ve since ran with in real life) recommended me Nuun over 3 years ago, I haven’t looked back.  I drink it all day.  I bought four tubes in Chicago at $5 each, but am already nearing empty.  I took advantage of purchasing two packs of 8 tubes for $39.98 each, which brings it to $5 per tube (usually $7 if you’re buying full price), but with my 25% off because I’d be spending over $100, it brought it down to $3.75 per tube or $60 in total.

I also bought two boxes of 16 Honey Stinger waffles for $13.98 each, which after the 25% off is about $10.50 per box.  Typically I buy them at Wegmans for $13.99 so while not as big as my Nuun savings, still a really good deal!  In all, I spent $89 for all of this, including my shipping which is about $50 saving off retail in my area!

Gen UCan
I picked up Pomegranate Blueberry.

25% off and free shipping on GenUCAN products – GenerationUCAN.com
[Psst – this one is still going on until December 6th, guys!]  During marathon training, I bought some samples at full price to try out on my long runs.  I knew Laura was using it and liked the results, so if it’s good for a girl training for a sub-3 hour marathon (she achieved it, by the way) I knew it’d be good enough for me.  I ended up loving this stuff.  It was easy enough to drink when I was starving after work, but needed to run 6-7 miles at the track.  It didn’t give me any gastrointestinal issues and curbed my hunger.  I also found that it provided more sustained energy for my long runs than anything else I’ve tried.  I bought a tub (30 servings) which is regularly priced at $60 for $45 with free shipping after the 25% off.

Phew.  On top of Christmas presents, that’s a lot of packages being delivered to my apartment.  Thankfully, I still have a ton of miles left on sneakers and other gear that Saucony sent with the 26 Strong program, too!  Between everything being delivered this week I should be more than motivated to get my butt out the door, right?

Speaking of motivation, I have an ideal schedule of races lined up for the first half of 2016, too!  As I already mentioned, my goal race is the Pittsburgh Half Marathon on May 1st, but I have a few more definites and maybes set in my training plan.

January 9th – Freezeroo 5 Miler with Laura and Heather – Definitely
February 13th – Lockport 5 Miler – Maybe
February 21st – Lake Effect Half Marathon – Definitely
March 12th – Shamrock Run 8k – Maybe
March 26th – Spring Forward Distance Run – Maybe
May 1st – Pittsburgh Half Marathon – Definitely
May 29th – Buffalo Half Marathon – Definitelyrace entry meme

That’s a lot more racing than these legs have ever been used to since I started running again.  Apparently after this year’s Turkey Trot, I’m looking to get really comfortable with racing the 5 mile difference, too!  It’ll be a good challenge for me and a place I’ve been looking to get to for a couple years now.  I’m finally comfortable knowing my body and what is too much, too little, and just right.  After a successful, basically injury-free year, it’s time to up the ante!


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Just a 20-something homegrown Buffalo sports loving, distance running, gin drinking kind of girl.

21 thoughts on “2016 Life, Training, and Races”

  1. Wow!! Congrats on the home ownership – that is so cool! You are going to LOVE being a homeowner. Yes, it is frustrating and things break and you often feel like you are in over your head but it is all so worth it to have a space that belongs to you. So excited for you! You also have a sick race schedule planned. Thanks to your list, I am now officially out of my rut and onto planning short distance races to add into my build for Boston! Wooohoo!


  2. Super exciting! Congrats! I may look into home owner grants in my state too… that’s a really cool program. I always assumed that any sort of homeowner assistance was “you get help now but pay for it later.” I didn’t even know that grants were a possibility. I would love to eventually own a home, but I always figured it was out of my price range as well.


    1. Thanks! Yeah, you’d be surprised what is out there. It sucks that we have to only use my information but for our first home, it’ll be worth the grant. There are tons of opportunities for homes for first time buyers who may not have the age-old 20% down payment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m excited for you about all of this. House is a huge deal and look forward to throwing you a crazy house warming party a year from now. As for stocking up on all the deals, I did the same thing and it’s nice knowing I don’t need to buy much of anything for running the next few months!


    1. Yes, totally check it out! It’s like one of two products I use where I notice a difference in a positive way. One tip — mix the drink the night before you need it and refrigerate it to thoroughly mix otherwise it’s a little clumpy.


  4. Congrats on starting the home buying process!! That’s so exciting! I’m hoping to do the same soon, but we’re nowhere near as ready.

    I had to LOL at that watch, sorry. I think you’re the first legit Bills fan I’ve ever met. I’m amazed at how many races you’re doing this Spring, I think I would lose my mind trying to do that many. You should change that March 12 race to a definitely though, because that’s my birthday so it will be good luck 😉


    1. Thanks! It literally wasn’t a thought in my mind two months ago but as it turns out, there’s opportunities so I’m excited to take advantage of it. HA, the Bills are my team! (Though I did change the watch face today.) it’s funny, I meet Bills fans all the time but then again, wearing gear in other states will help that lol. The March 12 race is where I got my 8k PR so… Maybe I will………..!


  5. Happy for you! The house is so exciting!! Do you plan on staying in the city!? Also pumped that you’re running Buffalo! I am signed up for the Full…it will be my first so fingers crossed I get to the starting line healthy and injury free! 🙂


    1. Thanks! We probably will move out of the city unless it’s North Buffalo. we need a yard for the dog and the houses that would have what we want and be in a good area would be out of our budget. And You will make it to the start healthy and injury free so long as you train smartly and err on the side of caution.


  6. You have some truly exciting stuff going on! Congrats on those great deals! Next year I will definitely do black friday shopping the way you did. I love that eBib, I totally agree! I asked for registration for my favorite race for Christmas.


  7. Congratulations on the new home!

    I ran the Pittsburgh full this year and it is a great race. The city is really interesting, the expo is huge! Volunteers and crowds are great. Nice swag too! The half is probably a better event then the full. Both groups start together and the full is the same course as the half for the first 11 miles or so. That was definately the best part of the course. You run around downtown and cross 5 bridges before the split. After the split, the full basically had 13.1 “filler miles”…some scary parts of town and tumble weeds blowing across the road…

    Consider running the 5k the day before and then you get the bonus (and very cool” Steele Challenge medal…

    I saw in your Chicago Marathon Race Report that you would be planning another marathon. Any ideas about which one and when?

    Good luck!


    1. I was debating on the full but a couple Pgh locals said the half is much better. It seems like I made the right choice! I’m afraid I’d go too hard in the 5k the day before but I’ll look into it!

      For another full, it’ll probably be Buffalo (hometown advantage) or maybe something else near by if I decide to do one next fall… Maybe Rochester or Erie?

      Liked by 1 person

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