Parading Through the Weekend

Happy Monday all! We had a “cool front” come through and it made for a GORGEOUS weekend in the 70’s. Unheard of for Mississippi in May, but I’m not complaining.

On Saturday morning, I got up at 5:15 to go run 6 miles. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it, but when I was done I was so glad I got out early ahead of the warmer weather. Also, my view did not suck.

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I hurried home to pick up Bobby and Emma Kate, as we were meeting some of his workout buddies and their families for a workout at the local high school track. The kids all entertained themselves while we ran/worked out. I didn’t do all the workout with them but I did run another 1.5 miles for a total of 7.5 for the day.

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This weekend was our local parade of homes, so since bobby’s mom was in town we asked if she could watch Emma Kate while we spent a couple hours looking around, I LOVE looking at new homes so I had a blast. There are some gorgeous houses out there yall!

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We grabbed a bite to eat after and came home in time to put EK to bed.

Sunday morning was church, and a baby shower for our friends in our class who are due in a couple of weeks!

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One day he will learn to wait until I’m ready to take the pictures…

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After Emma Kate took a VERY short nap (she is killing me with the short naps!) We loaded up and looked at some more houses on the parade of homes that we didn’t get to the day before. There are some gorgeous, very expensive homes in the area. Way out of our price range but it was fun to dream!

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We spent some time outside in the afternoon playing with Emma Kate’s new water table we got on sale at Sam’s. She had a blast and played for over an hour before dinner.

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I love that it has an umbrella because our backyard is very sunny in the mornings.

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I wish I could bottle up the awesome weather we had this weekend and bring it back in July!

QOTD: What did you do for the weekend? Is there a parade of homes where you live?

5 Things Friday XVI

Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday! You’re welcome. Bust day of workout and work ahead of me, but the sun is shining and it’s Friday. I hope everyone has a great weekend! Catch ya on social media until Monday.

1.) Running Skirts has come out with a new ADORABLE compression sock with tiaras on them! Love! Even better, right now you can get these socks with free shipping. This probably won’t last long so I would jump on it.

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2.) Last week I spoke of loving the chocolate chip Complete Cookie. That was until I tried the birthday cake flavor. Holy cow, this is good stuff friends! If you like cake flavored things you should check these out. I love that I can get a box of twelve because Bobby keeps stealing them.

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3.) My child loves ducks and is not afraid of them. There are some pretty aggressive ducks at one of our local parks that will come right up to you if they think you have food. My kid is like “whatevs, I just want to hug them.” I love that she is obsessed with animals. Sweet baby. Now I just hope she doesn’t get attacked by one and scared for life.

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4.) Does anyone have any experience with this particular water and sand table? I saw it at Sam’s for a great price but haven’t heard reviews on this one. Thoughts?

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5.) As a Rock ‘n blogger, I get fun things from time to time like the Eagle Creek gear I made a video for last week. This week I got this great training journal and book about proper eating for athletes. Can’t wait to dive right in! Thanks Velopress!

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QOTD: Any experience with water tables? Any scary duck stories? I have been bitten several times. Favorite Complete cookie flavor?

5 Things Friday XV

Friday, we meet again! I hope everyone had a great week, and has an even better weekend.

1.) Mother’s Day: Mother’s Day is SUNDAY. Hopefully you were already aware of this fact and have plans to mail a card/send a gift/visit your mother. Do something. Your mom put up with you your entire life, including your angsty teen years, so tell her thank you.

2.) Beat the sun: ASICS is once again trying to beat the sun with a fun race, and this year they are including some amateur runners, and you can vote for your favorite! (ppstt. Ryan is a fellow ASICS ambassador, just saying.)

3.) Fabletics fun: Check out these adorable new pants and top I got from Fabletics this month. I love the top because it’s super light and nice and long for a tall person like me. The pants have tiny little cut outs in the pattern and I love the bright color. Very comfy!

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This post contains affiliate links, which means I get a small commission when you shop through them. However I would never advertise a product that I myself wouldn’t use, so thank you for supporting my blog!

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Also, how fun is my RunningSkirts.com skirt?

4.) Complete cookie: I know I am late to the party, but I just had my first Complete cookie recently and yall, eating protein has never been this tasty for me! I am hooked. I have only tried chocolate chip and birthday cake but they are both delicious! I usually eat half a cookie then save the other half for the next day.

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5.) Email list: Another huge thank you to those that have signed up for my email list via my free printables or my free how to start a blog e-course. If you want to join my email list (I only email bi-weekly right now) without signing up for one of the above two options, you can do so below. Thanks so much for your support. Lots of good things coming, and subscribers will be the first to know!

QOTD: Have you ever had a Complete cookie? What are you doing for Mother’s Day?

Snowballs, Sweet Tea, and Sunny Days

Happy Monday! We had a great weekend and I hope that you did, too. We drove to south Louisiana to visit my parents for the weekend and it went by way too fast! My dad had foot surgery back in March which left him unable to walk on his foot for about 6 weeks, and now he is in a boot and allowed to put a little pressure on his heel but is still pretty immobile. He has been going stir crazy so we served as a distraction for a couple of days.

We arrived Friday afternoon to gorgeous warm (but not humid) weather. We sat out on the back porch and ate pizza for dinner and caught up. Saturday morning, I went for a run on another beautiful day while my mom and dad watched Emma Kate.

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I ran 4 miles at a not easy but not hard pace, and I felt great which was really nice! They have really shaded streets and it was so flat, which helped I’m sure. I cooled off on the front porch. It was so beautiful outside I felt guilt going in!

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My parents went to a crawfish boil, and Bobby and I met up with Jen her husband, and her kiddos for lunch. We met at this same restaurant when we were pregnant with our kids, and they were born nine days apart! Check out the 2014 pic and then the one from this weekend!

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These two were so cute running circles around a big tree chasing each other. Emma Kate kept trying to hold her friends’ hand. I have a feeling the teen years are going to be rough on us.

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We got home and put Emma Kate down for a nap and just hung out outside waiting for my parents to get home.

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I went all out. Wedding cake cream with condensed milk. Totally worth it.

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When we got back, we decided to let Emma Kate play on the back patio with a house and some bowls and things. She had a BLAST and entertained herself for at least an hour, which is a record for the attention span! Bobby and my dad BBQ’ed while the water fun was happening.

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We just relaxed at the house Saturday evening, and then Sunday after a lunch of leftovers it was time to go home (we travel during nap time.) I had to stop at PJ’s of course because the southern wedding cake velvet ice is back for summer! It’s totally delicious and again, worth every calorie.

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Now it’s back to the work week grind for us! As usual the weekend flew by but it was a fun one.

A huge thank you to those who signed up for my free “how to start a blog” e-course! I am getting great feedback so far and I hope I have answered some of your questions. You can still sign up here.

QOTD: Favorite thing to BBQ? Best snowball flavor?

5 Things Friday XIV

It’s Fri-yay! I hope you are all having a great day, and enjoy the weekend. We are having beautiful spring weather here (sorry you folks up north in the seasons that are very confused right now). Here are your 5 Things Friday!

1.) Giveaway: Today is the LAST DAY to enter my Shabby Apple gift card giveaway. I will announce a winner tonight, so hurry and enter!

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2.) Family fun: My parents are in town for a couple of days so I may be a little absent on social media, but I still love yall, don’t worry.

3.) Get Your Hair Did: My poor sweet Bella got groomed yesterday, and instead of giving her a clean shaven face, they left her a little beard so now she looks like a sad old man. Poor baby.

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4.) Halloween?: Yesterday Emma Kate decided what she wants to be for Halloween. At least a ghost costume is easy? And yes she did this by herself, and yes she walked around running into things, and yes, I let her. Come on, a parent has to have a little fun.

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5.) Running Skirts: In case you missed my blog post yesterday (shame on you) I kid…sort of… then you may have missed that I am now a RunningSkirts ambassador! If you have any questions on skirt related things, let me know. (the above link is an affiliate link).

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QOTD: What are you doing this weekend? Favorite Halloween costume?

Running Skirts Ambassador

I have been a fan of RunningSkirts for a long time. When I first started distance running, a friend told me about them. I was a bit skeptical about running in a skirt, but I bought one anyway, and loved it! Freeing feeling, pockets, and adorable. I ran my very first half marathon in a skirt, (even though it was freezing!) and never looked back. 17957_532274161768_61700476_31353822_8119432_n

Now, I have quite the collection!

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Also a fun fact that you may know if you have been reading my blog from the beginning, but I used to work for running skirts. I went around selling to running stores, and I worked a lot of race expos.

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Unfortunately due to other work constraints, I was not able to continue my job after the first year, but I had a blast while I was able! I continued to wear RunningSkirts, even while I was pregnant (did you know they have maternity skirts?)

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For the several months (almost a year) after I had Emma Kate, I had a hard time fitting into my old skirts (and still can’t fit into some because I have gained so much more muscle!) but was stoked when I was finally able to wear some of them again.

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So imagine my excitement when last week I got a special surprise in the mail from my favorite set of twins! They chose me to be a skirt ambassador and I am so excited to be “back” in the skirt family.

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By the way, the tank they sent me is AMAZING. You can get it here then go to NEW and then “keep it chill collection” The tank actually COOLS YOU DOWN while you are running, perfect for summer!

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If you ever have any questions about RunningSkirts feel free to ask me, I can recommend all kinds of things to you. Also, you can shop at any of the links in this post, and there is also a button on my right sidebar that will click you through to their website. Happy shopping!

QOTD: Do you run in skirts? Favorite RunningSkirts print?

Racin’ For the Seed 5K Recap 2016

On Saturday, I participated in the Racin’ for the Seed 5k. You may remember last year Bobby ran the duathlon portion of the race, and at that time I had no idea there was a separate 5k, so I was excited to get to run it this year!

This race helped raise money for the Mustard Seed, which is the community center for adults with developmental disabilities. We had such a great time last year because they held a great event on top of a great race, so I knew this year would be fun. The race was held in a different location, and unfortunately it has been raining a lot here so it was very muddy.

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That morning we had some really chilly weather, and while standing around in 48 degree temps wasn’t fun pre race, I knew it would equal perfect running weather for me. I was nervous about this race because I really wanted to beat my three year old PR, but since I have only been running one day a week, I wasn’t sure if it was possible. The race was chip timed and a small race, so I lined up towards the front but not in the very front.

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I put my headphones in and started my watch having not warmed up at all. I’m the type that needs a solid mile or more of warming up, so I knew the first mile was going to be rough. We left the park and crossed over the highway into a neighborhood, turned right and immediately started going downhill. All my running buddies know what this means….yes yes, we would have to get back UP the hill at some point to re-enter the park.

I zoned out listening to my music and very much enjoyed that it was a small race because I didn’t have to do any weaving like last weekend at the Crescent City Classic! We went downhill some more, then up and down a couple of small rolling hills. My watch beeped one mile, and that split was an 8:25. A little bit fast for a first mile for me, but honestly I was panicked because I knew I would be slow my last mile because I would be going back uphill.

We made a turn to the left, confirming that we would be making a big loop through the neighborhood, and I just kept on trucking. The interesting thing about this race was that for the 5k portion, the duathlon folks and 5ker’s (like myself) were all running together, and I began hoping they had clear direction on who went what way because I didn’t remember reading anything about a turn off.

Soon we were at two miles, and I could feel myself having a harder time keeping pace. That lap was 8:25, so I was at approximately 17 minutes, giving me over 10.5 minutes until this race wasn’t a PR. I knew I was doing well, but with how I was feeling (getting nauseated from pushing hard) plus not sure what type of hill I would encounter or if the course would be long (I had been very careful to run the tangents the best I could), I wasn’t convinced I could PR.

In that last mile I kept telling myself “only one mile to go” then “only .75 to go” and “you can do anything for half a mile”. I was pretty sure I was going to finish in the upper 26:00’s which made me happy until about mile 2.70 when I got to the uphill. I pushed and pushed as hard as I could but my pace ended up slowing and the third mile was around 9:12.

I crosses back over the highway thinking I should be about to the finish by now according to my watch. I kept a lookout for where I was to turn to end the race, and apparently there was a person yelling telling us which way to go but I didn’t hear him. Thankfully I figured it out on my own and made the turn for the finish line (there was no one directly in front of me going the way I was going so I wasn’t sure!) We ended up finishing in the grass which made me nervous because of my weak ankles so I slowed up a bit, but still managed to cross in 27:13 chip time (my watch said I ran 3.17 miles) which is about a 40 second PR. I was frustrated because I wanted the 26:00’s and was so close and couldn’t stay at 3.10 even running the tangents, but that just leaves me for a goal for next time (and hopefully I can find a flatter course!)

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Here is a video of me coming into the finish, and I had no idea those guys were that close behind me!

After I caught my breath and saw Bobby and Emma Kate, we headed over to the animal exhibit that had like last year. Little miss thing was OBSESSED with the ferrets. My theory is because they don’t stay still, kind of like her. Every time I would set her on the ground she would run over to the cage.

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She was so cute petting them, we told her to be sweet and love them and she put her head down on it, it was adorable.

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We also saw Inky the clown who made her a balloon animal that I promptly took away because she tried to eat it.

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Also, Frank the camel was back! We had to get a picture since I had one holding EK last year (see below)

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I will have to say this race was excellent in so many ways. Great entertainment for the kids and family (a band played as well) and yall, they had SO MUCH FREE FOOD for the runners! I’m talking pizza, sandwiches, bagels, cookies, cakes, chicken tenders, bananas, PowerAde, chocolate milk, all from local restaurants and bakeries. It was amazing.

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We hung around for awards because there were only about 110 people in the 5k, and 26 all together in my age group of 30-39, so I was curious to see how I faired. Turns out, I faired well!

Emma Kate went with me to get my second place award for my age group.

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It was really sweet. The adults from the Mustard Seed hand painted mugs for the age group winners, and we each took a photo with our award and one of the “seedsters” as they are called.

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Everyone who signed up for the race also got a t-shirt and a coaster hand painted by a seedster as well. So cute!

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This is such a great race and I highly recommend it if you are in the Jackson, MS area (the race was in Brandon for those familiar). Everything was GREAT except I prefer flatter races (who doesn’t right?) AND it was a nightmare trying to get out of the park after because the only way out was the way cyclists and runners were coming in and out of as well, so it was a complete mess and we waited forever, so hopefully they will fix that next year, but otherwise I give it two thumbs up!

QOTD: Have you ever gotten a handmade race award? Favorite post race food?

runDisney Marathon Weekend Expo 2016

Hello friends! I am finally back home! I still have a lot of unpacking and catching up to do, but I wanted to let you guys know I am still alive, and I have a lot of fun recaps coming your way, plus a giveaway so hang in there. Today I thought I would tell you about the race expo, then I still have to recap the blogger meet up, an interview I did with some famous TV stars from Mexico, the race, the cool hotel experience I had, and of course the cruise!

We were actually only in Orlando for 24 hours, but a LOT happened in those hours. First after landing Friday I ran over to the Cigna blogger meet up with Megan, and then we went to the runDisney expo to get our packets for the half the next day. We had dinner at California Grill at 5:00 so sadly I didn’t get to spend near as much time at the expo as I would have liked, but I still got to soak up the runDisney magic and see some friends.

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First we picked up our race packets. It was weird “only” doing the half, since last time we participated in marathon weekend we ran dopey!

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Ready to run! or something like that (wait, we have to run? I haven’t really trained!)

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LOVE my new rundisney ears! They don’t give me terrible headaches like the ones from the parks. Maybe I just have a large noggin?

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We of course had to take the obligatory instagram photo before heading over to check out the merchandise. The guy asked how we wanted to pose and we said “something funny” and he just looked at us like we were crazy. No worries! We shall come up with something on our own!

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Hello expo floor, oh how I have missed you!

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A closer look at the shoes, and I dig them.

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I made my way to the Raw Threads booth (adorable stuff yall, go check them out!) and had a quick chat with my buddy Bobbi! Was great to see her again.

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I also ran over to my favorite running skirts brand and said hello to my former colleague and the sweetest girl in Minnie ears ever, Michelle!

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We literally flew through the official merchandise, I got an I did it shirt (I always get one) and a shirt for Emma Kate that says “future runner, catch me if you can” SO stinkin cute). and unfortunately we had to grab a cab back to the hotel so we could change for dinner.

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I wish I had gotten to spend some more time shopping and saying hello to other friends working expo booths, but there will always be other races, and hopefully for those I will be in town more than 24 hours!

QOTD: Is there an item you buy at every race expo?

Jingle Bell Jog 5k 2015

I ran my first race since the spring on Saturday, and it felt good to be back! Local races and very few and far between way down here in the summer, and early fall brought lots of changes and extra work so I have not been running as much. Actually, in November I am pretty sure I ran a total of 11 miles, so I was a bit nervous about the race. On the other hand, I have been going to boot camp, so I was excited to see if it was paying off.

Of course the one race I sign up for happens to be when it’s 32 degrees outside at the start! We bundled up and headed out to the local high school. This race had a 5k, 10k, and half marathon.

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I was very thankful I had only signed up for the 5k when I realized how cold it was! At the last minute however, I decided to shed my top jacket, and I am SO glad I did. I get warm very quickly when I run, and I would have been dying in that extra jacket/third layer.

The start of this race was very…interesting. They had the half marathoners start up the hill first, then had us back behind them about 35 yards, then had the 10k runners behind us about 100 yard, but we were told we would all be starting at the same time…ok?

No one was told “if you are walking start to the back” or anything like that. I got fairly close to the front when I realized there was no starting mat, only a finishers mat, so our timer would be started on the gun even if we didn’t cross the start when the gun went off. Well, the gun went off rather abruptly, and a bunch of people just casually started walking or slow jogging. You can see in the picture below, it was like “oh, let’s go for a stroll! As we stand at the FRONT of the 5k RACE!” I can’t blame the participants though, because they didn’t tell everyone where to line up.

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Anyway, I luckily didn’t have to do much weaving because we immediately were out onto a divided highway and we had both lanes to spread out in. I hugged the median because I didn’t want to run any extra distance (insert ominous music here). I warmed up fast, and actually felt really good. Then I realized why I felt really good, we were practically going straight downhill! This of course made me feel amazing, until I remembered we would have to go back UP the hill coming back to the finish! I really wanted to just let myself fly down the hill, but I reigned it in and saved some energy for the last half. Even so, I was having a good time and felt really strong. THANK YOU BOOTCAMP! I was so happy that it was working. I ran mile one in just over 9:00, and was happy with that, considering I was holding back a little. I came to a flat part where the turn around was to the other side of the highway, and tried to speed up a little bit before having to go back uphill. I also snapped a photo of the people in front of me on my side after the turn and the people still coming. There were 1000 people in all signed up between the three races.

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Apparently, while I was running, so was Emma Kate.

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I took this next one after the race but thought it might break up some of the text to insert here. Smile

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I made it to mile two in 8:59, and couldn’t believe it. I was going UPHILL and running a sub nine after running 11 miles over the last month? Yes please! I made it to 2.5, and still had not stopped to walk once and just kept pushing up the hill, but not TOO hard because I didn’t want to burn it out before I got too close to the end. When I got to 2.75, I started to get a little concerned. I know this road very well because I drive on it every week, and knew that we were way farther away than a quarter mile. Uh oh. I kept looking at my watch as it crept closer and closer to 3.1 miles, and the school still was not in sight! When I hit 3.13 I paused my garmin because I knew the course was long and wanted my true 5k distance time. I kept running, and will admit I did slow down because by then I was frustrated that I wasn’t going to get a “true” finish time.

I made the turn into the school, down the hill, and towards the finish and there was Bobby and Emma Kate cheering me on!

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My sad attempt at waving as I went by.

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I was happy that I felt so good and so strong but bummed about the length. I finished and told Bobby the course was long, that it measured 3.45 miles!

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My finish time for the 3.45 was 31:20, but my time for 3.13 was 28:30, which I am happy with! (I ended up with 6th place in the 30-39 age group out of 56 women in that age range).

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I got my medal and some water, found Bobby, and caught my breathe. I went over to the guy with the bullhorn who had been giving instructions at the start and asked if the 5k course was long. His answer was “I hope not.” Oh. good….. I asked if it was certified and he said no…then I asked if anyone else had said anything about the course being long and he said “well…it might be a little long””. Alrighty then.

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We were freezing so we decided to head on home pretty quickly. Oh, I forgot to mention, this race was to raise money for the children’s cancer hospital in Mississippi, a very worthy cause!

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Later that night I went to check the results and came across the race’s Facebook page. A lot of people (who ran all the different distances) were complaining about the race being long. Then someone pointed out that in VERY small numbers, the organizers had put the true distances in the results. Look closely next to the work “5K” and you will see it says (3.45). Ha! I was right!

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Aside from the course being long, I really did enjoy this race, and it was just what I needed to boost my running confidence. If I can run a 28:30 with no miles hardly, then I know I can do well combining the boot camp with my running if I can get on a good schedule after Christmas. I’m excited!

QOTD: Have you ever run a long or short course?

runDisney Princess Half Marathon 2015

A couple of weeks ago, I ran in my 4th runDisney Princess half marathon. Jen and I had been planning our outfits for years, and finally got the chance to be Anastasia and Drizella, Cinderella’s Stepsisters.

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My alarm went off at 2:15, and I was planning to leave my room at 3:15. Hey, fake eyelashes take some time to put on!

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We got our skirts from Rock City Skirts, our tops from Running Skirts, and we made the rest!

When we got to the start of the race, I got to meet up with some new and old friends, like Megan!

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and Karen

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The sisters ready to go!

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Aren’t we pretty? haha

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We made the long walk to our corral, and had about five minutes to spare before the first wave went off. We got closer and closer, and then it was time to go!

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Since I was dealing with tendonitis, and Jen had just had a stomach virus, we decided to take it nice and slow, take a bunch of pictures, and just have fun…and fun did we have!

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We talked and talked, the miles flew by, and soon we were getting close to the  Magic Kingdom!

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We stopped at the TTC to use the “real” bathrooms, and saw Jen’s husband there! Surprise! We stopped to talk to him for a minute and soon were on our way.

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It was starting to get light out, and although it was humid, the temperature was better than it has been in years past.

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We then made it to my favorite part of the race, turning down Main street where we had our first glimpse of the beautiful castle!

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We were actually kind of surprised about the lack of characters. We saw the tweedles, buzz lightyear, and then some Frozen characters on top of the castle before running through it. There were no princesses by new fantasyland sadly.

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On the other side of the castle, we stopped for another picture before heading into Frontierland. We passed where Princess Tiana usually is (there were no characters there this year).IMG_3110 (2)

Jen needed another bathroom break, so I waited for her outside and stretched and took a photo of the runners headed towards us

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We passed the line for Woody, and were a bit confused, this was the Princess half marathon and we had yet to be able to take a photo with a princess! On our way out of the Magic Kingdom, we finally got our wish! We had to stand in a long long line to get it (everyone else probably had the same idea about wanting a photo with a princess during the PRINCESS half, go figure), so we had plenty of time to plan our photo. We decided to run up to and fawn all over the prince and ignore Snow White. They both loved it and told us we were very funny and did a good job. Snow decided to “give us a moment” and step out of the picture. They were great!

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About this time we ran into some blog friends Carrie and Kristen, and ran with them for a bit before parting ways at a stop we knew we had to make near the Wedding Pavilion.

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We “fought” over the glass slipper and I think it made for a super cute picture! After passing the Grand Floridian, the rest of the course was just running. We realized we were running straight into the sun and neither of us brought sunglasses, whoops! We made it to the CLIF stop, and did some run walking in those later miles as needed.

We made the overpass loop and headed toward EPCOT and there were some really cute signs lining the road.

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Finally we saw big beautiful Spaceship earth in the morning light, we were almost there!

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But not before a couple of more stops! I don’t really consider Sofia a “princess stop” but I guess she technically counts? Hey, we were going to take what we could get.

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We also saw this lovely lady and asked her to help us get to the ball.

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We looped around to the other side of Spaceship earth, and could hear the gospel choir singing.

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A couple more turns, and we were in the home stretch of the finish line! Done! We finished in 3:02:04. By far one of my slowest races, but we definitely had a blast doing it! I have always told Jen how much fun it is to stop and take pictures during a runDisney race and just goof off, and I am so glad we were finally able to do it together.

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We ran into Karen at the finish as well!

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My new beautiful bling. Loved the silver!

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Final thoughts:

This had always been one of my favorite races, but honestly, the characters are getting a bit monotonous. The same ones were out in the exact same spots as they have been for the past three years. I love the course itself, but really wish runDisney would mix up the characters and the placements. Running the PRINCESS half marathon I thought we would see at least 3-4 princesses on course, but only seeing one was disappointing. I know Belle was in the family reunion area, but literally her line was about 100 people deep when I went by headed to the buses.

As usual, runDisney gets an A+ in organization, expo, signage, volunteers, fuel stops, med tents, transportation, and the like. Really my only complaint is the character issue.

This is a great race especially for a first timer looking for a no pressure but fun “girls weekend” type event, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. Thanks for another great race weekend runDisney!

QOTD: Have you ever run in costume?