running

Electric Run 5k at National Harbor

Ever thought about becoming a runner?

Now's definitely the time! To get started, sign up for an Electric run and brace yourself: this won't feel like exercise. I promise! In fact, it doesn't even resemble exercise! With its glow sticks, DJs, black light body paint, and costumes, it'll feel more like halloween. A halloween rave. That's what the National Harbor felt like on Saturday night.

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People were decked out in full-on custome, lit from head to toe. Many wore bright-colored tutus or at the very least, neon tanks. The Harbor was buzzing with runners - they'd practically taken over the resturants and shops. I love the Harbor, by the way. We had our rehearsal dinner there and it's just as gorgeous now as it was then, if not moreso with the addition of several new restaruants and shops.

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Before we got in line to start the run, we had to get some swag! They were selling everything from t-shirts to light-up moholk headbands (see the image on the left below) to wigs and glowsticks and leg warmers... you name it!

I showed up wearing the race t-shirt and plain black shorts - totally boring! - so I bought some black light body paint (in bright pink) and a glow ring, and got myself ready!

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I still felt somewhat underdressed. The costumes were outrageous!

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And I decided I'm wearing a tutu next time.

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As the sun went down, the energy in the crowd went way up! It felt like we were inching our way to the starting line - runners were let go in waves - and over and over again, we counted down from 10.

I could not wait to be released onto the course!

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When we finally did take off, it was a fairly easy first mile. It was quiet along the first stretch and pretty boring compared to what awaited us near the end. I loved the first stop, though - a black light tunnel! What a perfect photo-op!

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By the way, that's our resident photographer in the black tunnel with me. This was her first 5k! CONGRATULATIONS LAUREN ON AN EXCELLENT RUN!

I thought it was really cool that we got to run along the water. I especially love the view below from the far west end of the Harbor. The Gaylord Resort is simply gorgeous all lit up at night!

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The next few stops along the trail were really elaborate! They had a whole stretch of umbrellas hanging in the trees with blue and green spot lights on them. Then, in the second picture on the left below you'll see a tunnel of enormous lit-up rings that actually changed in sync with the beat of the music. Coolest. thing. ever.

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The finish line was pretty elaborate, too with a smoke machine and an entirely lit-up water station with neon-colored cups! It was really cool.  Not to mention the DJ. My God! The DJ was amazing! Everyone was dancing and throwing up their glow sticks. I think they might have been jacked up on caffenine (the event was sponsored by Rockstar and they were passing out free engery drinks all night). You can definitely get a feel for the intensity, watching this video I posted to instagram.

Afterward we took pictures in front of the official Electric Run sign, which was in all black lights, of course!

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 And then, because I was exhausted, I went home! It would have been fun to party along with the other runners - and the party didn't appear to be ending anytime soon - but I was ready to call it night! I got home a little after 11 p.m., which for me, is the latest I've ever come home from a race! They're usually first thing in the morning. I have to say, I enjoyed the night-time vibe and I can't wait to do another!

I'm looking at signing up for the 5k dance party in November!

Who wants to join?

Have you ever done an Electric run or other kind of fun run?

Meet Meredith Perdue, Triathlete & Wedding Photographer

Greetings friends!

I'm starting a new feature on the blog to introduce you to some of my very favorite wedding industry professionals, and highlight healthy tidbits about them you may not know! So often, these guys are busy behind the scenes, making our wedding dreams a reality, whether it's as an event planner, photographer, or florist, but you'd be surprised - many of them are into fitness, too!

I got the idea for this series awhile ago, but had not reached out to anyone for a feature yet. Then, when I saw that my own wedding photographer, the lovely Meredith Perdue, did a triathlon, I knew it was time to get the ball rolling!

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Meredith is a sought-after wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Maine, and she's also co-author of the most adorable foodie/travel blog called Map & Menu. What you may not know about Meredith is that she's also a triathlete! I think that's pretty cool!

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I wanted to know more about this side of Meredith, so I sent her some questions:

Was this your first triathlon?
Technically I participated in my first triathlon when I was in middle school. I swam, while my stepfather completed the bike & run. It was fun to be one of the youngest people at the race! I completed my first solo triathlon when I was in high school, always training with my stepfather and sometimes even my sister. I continued to do a couple of races each year in college, but took a break after we moved to Maine five years ago. The Pirate Triathlon in Casco, Maine, was my first race in quite awhile!
 
What got you interested in doing a triathlon?
My stepfather was my inspiration. He'd been doing triathlons long before I met him, but like many triathletes, he dreaded the swim. After doing a few races as a relay team together, he convinced me to put my old mountain bike to good use and complete an entire race alongside him. We competed in several races together over the years, including a half ironman during my senior year in college. He's always the first person I call about a race nowadays.
How did you train? Did you start several months in advance?
I signed up for the race, which was on June 9th, in April and I made a Google training calendar that I tried my very best to follow.
How often did you train (for example, did you swim everyday or once a week)?
I'm pretty laid-back when it comes to training. I made sure to get in a workout a day, five days a week. I had every intention of riding my bike at least once a week, but somehow I only managed to ride a handful of times before the race. Swimming is my favorite activity, and running pretty much only requires lacing up your shoes and getting out there, so those two are what I did the most during the week. I also completed two brick (bike-run) workouts before the race to try and get my muscles used to running after spending an hour or so on the bike - those are the most challenging workouts for me.
What's your favorite workout?
Swimming, by far! I swam competitively in high school, and although I'm not nearly as fast as I was back then, I love being in the water.
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Workout clothes - do you wear nikes or asics?

I just recently switched from Asics to Nike running shoes, and I'm loving them so far!

Do you have a bike? What kind?
When I graduated from high school, my parents bought me an entry level Trek road bike that I still use and love!
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During the triathlon, what was the hardest part: swimming, running, or bicycling?
I've been dealing with some nagging running injuries since college, so finishing the run when my muscles are tight from a bike ride is always a challenge for my constantly tight IT band.
Did you watch your diet at all prior to the race?
I tried to minimize my sugar intake the week of the race and made sure to start drinking more water than I normally do a few days out.
Did you have a hard time balancing the demands of your career as a wedding photographer and blogger with training?
Yes! In fact, I find that signing up for various races throughout the year (mostly 5Ks or 10Ks) will keep me fairly active. If I don't have an end goal, it's easy for me to get caught up with work & travel, and skip exercising completely.
Finally, how'd you feel at the finish? Were you satisfied with your time?
I felt great! My knee was a little achy, but other than that I felt surprisingly strong!
Do you plan on participating in another triathlon?
Yes! Responding to these questions has actually inspired me to sign up for a local August 18th race!
What advice would you give a first-time triathlete?
If you can, find a friend with whom you might like to train. You don't have to join each other for every single workout, but it's so helpful to have someone support you - it holds you accountable!

Thank you answering these questions and providing these great photos, Meredith!

Readers: You can read Meredith's account of the triathlon here on her lifestyle blog, Map & Menu. Additionally, if you're interested in learning more about Meredith as a wedding photographer, check out her blog. Her work can also be seen on several mainstream wedding blogs, like Style Me Pretty and Southern Weddings. I blogged about her quite a bit prior to our big day, too (here) and if you'd like to see it, our wedding is also featured on Meredith's blog.

Obviously I'm biased, but I have to say, I think she's THE BEST wedding photographer out there!

Thanks again, Meredith!

Have you ever considered participating in a triathlon?

Are there any interesting health or fitness facts about any of your wedding vendors?