Photo Dump November 2014

Apparently my phone refuses to backup because my storage is full, so I did one of the things I for some reason dislike doing (time consuming? Not sure?) and dumped my photos off of my phone, so I thought I would share some with you that haven’t made it onto the blog or Instagram (I don’t think).

Adorable bib from a friend

photodump1

One of the few times of the year I wear gloves to run. It was 32!

photodump2

The night after she got her shots. She was ssooo sleepy

photodump3

Big smiles in the morning

photodump4

Game day

photodump5

When my mom came to visit when EK was about 5 weeks old

photodump6

Mom and dad back for a visit at 7 weeks

photodump7

Late night feeding

photodump8

Women’s conference my mom and I went to at my church. The girl who played on the show the Facts of Life spoke!

photodump9

QOTD: If you dumped pictures from your phone what would they mostly be of?

August Flashback to 2013 with Under Armour

Thank you so much for all of your encouragement, tips and advice on yesterday’s blog post. I am happy to report we went on the hospital tour yesterday, so one more thing out of the way woo hoo!

It’s Friday, my brain is fried and I am sure yours is too, so no crazy in depth post today, I thought I would keep it light with a fun flashback post to last August. These posts have become even more comical to me now that I am pregnant. The thought of doing some of the things NOW I was doing this time last year make me laugh. Let’s take a look.

This time last year, I had ben invited to Baltimore to hang out at Under Armour Headquarters for a couple of days, and I had an ABSOLUTE BLAST. I learned a lot, met a lot of great people, and got to go shopping! I remember being so amazing at how cool it was outside, I’m sure everyone got tired of me saying it!

20130820-1O5A9671-35-ZF-8198-64045-1-004_thumb

We worked out, we shopped, we met with lots of different design teams from apparel to shoes, and ate very well!

20130820-1O5A0088-58-ZF-8198-64045-1-055_thumb

We even got to do some rooftop yoga and have massages all at the Four Seasons where we were staying.

20130821-1O5A0123-9-ZF-8198-64045-1-064_thumb

I had never been to Baltimore, and although it was a quick trip, it is one I will never forget! Under Armour is a great company that gives a good, strong message to women, and I was honored to be a part of the weekend and become an ambassador. Now if I can only get them to make maternity gear…

20130820-1O5A9967-21-ZF-8198-64045-1-042_thumb

You can check out all of my Under Armour visit recaps below:

Visit part 1

Visit part 2

Visit part 3

Visit part 4

*Photos courtesy of Matt Ryb

WINNER of the virtual race giveaway is Tim Lollar! Please email [email protected]! If you did NOT win, please please consider joining in the virtual race anyway or donating to the cause to help save these sweet pugs!

QOTD: What is one thing you learned when you traveled to a new city for the first time (like how I learned it’s COOL OUTSIDE in Baltimore in August!)

Under Armour Speedform Apollo

 

speedform

My friends at Under Armour recently sent me the new Speedform Apollo shoe to test out. I am usually a stability shoe kind of girl so I wasn’t so sure, but after walking and running in them, I can say I’m a believer (for short distances, with my super high arches I’m scared to run more than 4 miles in them).

speedform apollo

These shoes are crafted in a clothing factory (cool!) to make sure the fit is as comfortable as the Under Armour clothing that we ALL love. The fabric is so comfortable and flexible the Apollos didn’t even require to be “broken in!”

This is a slim shoe that has zero bulk. It has a seamless heel cup so rubbing shouldn’t be an issue, as it hasn’t been for me.

The shoes have a perforated toe so they are very breathable. There is also a 4D foam sock liner that conforms to your foot’s shape, so you don’t have to worry about sliding around in your shoes.

UA

They weigh only 6.5 ounces, and have cool molded toe detail. I felt like the ride was very smooth, but not SO minimal that I could feel every crack in the sidewalk. My feet felt great the whole time, and I didn’t have any issues afterwards. I noticed every though the shoe is very light and form fitting, the sole is actually pretty thick which gives some nice support without being bulky.

The women’s shoe comes in four great color combos and retails for $99.99. You can purchase them here through my affiliate link, too!

QOTD: Do you prefer a more stable shore or a lightweight minimal shoe?

Disclosure: I was provided these shoes by my friends at Under Armour, however all opinions are my own.

Pregnancy Update: Week 12

I’m officially Bumpin’ over here! I know I will look back one day and laugh at how small I am, but for now, I feel huge!

12weeks bump2

I went on a 2.5 mile run/walk yesterday. The weather was beautiful, so I had to take advantage. I have only been nauseated in the afternoon and evenings, so the mornings have been better the past few days. Other than that, I think that last time I exercised was a 2 mile run/walk last Thursday. I was planning to run 4/5 last weekend but it rained most of the time. Hoping to get it in this weekend.

Symptoms: Tired (but not as bas as before), breakouts on face, chest and shoulders. Nausea in evenings, constipation, forgetfulness, dry skin, bloated, peeing a lot.

Baby’s Size: Lime

Maternity Clothes?: My sweet friend Jen was kind enough to send me some of hers that she has outgrown, but I have not bought any of my own. I have bought a few workout things from Under Armour in bigger sizes that will hopefully hold me over for a couple more months at least.

Stretch Marks?: Not yet, but I’m not holding my breath. I have stretch marks on my legs from when I hit a huge growth spurt in 5th grade, so I have had them before…

Sleep: WAS really good but the past few nights it’s been tossing and turning. I have no problem falling asleep but then I wake up every couple hours wide awake, and of course to get up and pee.

Miss Anything?: I don’t drink a lot of alcohol, but with the weather warming up I have been having serious cravings for a Margarita or Pina Colada (I have been craving cold/frozen things like slushies so not surprising).

Cravings? Snowballs, slushies, ice cream, carbs like chips, cheez its, etc.

Aversions? Nothing makes me gag, but most foods just don’t sound appetizing. Mealtime is no fun because I literally just stare at the refrigerator because nothing sounds “good” to me. I force myself to at least snack all day though.

Looking Forward to: Second trimester and hopefully kissing morning sickness goodbye!

What I’m loving: Reading and planning. I am such a planner I love just researching and learning and getting ready!

QOTD: Anyone else craving frozen concoctions? When did your morning sickness subside?

Armour 39 Review + Giveaway

Everyone likes to be able to measure things. Goals, weight, progress, and workouts. There have been many heart rate monitors on the market, some glitchy, some just ok, but nothing compares to the amazing technology of Under Armour’s Armour 39.

1255371_LDF

I love the tagline “never cheat yourself again”, and this device simply won’t allow it. So what exactly does it measure? Heart rate, calories burned, intensity, and WILLpower.  (WILLPOWER™ IS THE FIRST TRUE MEASURE OF AN ATHLETE. IT BOILS YOUR WORKOUT DOWN TO A SINGLE SCORE 0.0-10.0.) So what IS a WILLpower score? WILLpower™ is a single score of how hard your body has worked during a training session, on a scale of 0.0 10.0. It accumulates over the length of your workout, taking into account information that includes the length of your workout, body position, intensity throughout, user profile, and key heart rate information. With WILLpower, you can, for the first time, objectively measure a hard day versus a light day. There are two options, both require the chest strap. You can use the strap and your mobile device,* or use the chest strap and the Display watch (sold separately)

photo 1 (2)

If you choose to use your smart phone, you simply download the Armour39 app from the app store, sync it to your chest strap, and begin! There is an optional assessment that I highly recommend doing at the beginning to help the device zero in on your target heart rate.

photo 2 (2)

*Compatible with iPhone® 4S, iPhone® 5, iPhone® 5S, iPhone® 5C, and iPod Touch® (5th gen) Here is an example of your workout overview:

Armour39-App

If you are anything like me, you struggle to take “easy days easy, and take cross training days seriously and need to up the intensity. With this device, you set a target so you never take a day too easy or too hard. I love having a goal, and I love looking at my phone, seeing I need to push harder, and then can see the results of “picking up the intensity”. It truly shows how much of your WILLpower you put into each workout, and is a great tool for any athlete. What’s better? Thanks to my friends at Under Amour Women, I am giving away a chest strap here on THLG! This strap retails for $150, and can be used with your smart phone, or you can purchase the watch to go with the strap. Simply follow the rafflecoptor instructions below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

2013 Runner Christmas Gift Guide

The most wonderful time of year is upon us! For some, it is also a stressful time of year, because you don’t know what to buy for your loved ones or what to ask for yourself.

christmas gift guide runners

If you are a runner or have to buy for a runner, I have a little gift guide that may help you out! These gifts range from stocking stuffer ideas to that “big gift” so there is something for everyone. Check it out below, along with a GIVEAWAY for one of the items on my gift list! Happy shopping!

1.) Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones:

drdre

I received these headphones to review from Staples. I have never been one to spend a lot of money on headphones, but yall, these are worth it! You can wear them while cross training, weight lifting, and of course traveling to and from races. I am weird about things being tight on my head, but these babies are super comfortable, adjustable, and cute! They have some really cute colors to choose from and I of course picked purple. Powered by a pair of AAA batteries, the noise cancellation feature in a pair of stylish Beats Studio headphones amplifies the music as it blocks out noise, giving you consistently powerful and intense sound. It’s awesome.

2.) Dexas duel chamber hydration bottle:

 

waterbottle

Dexas sent me one of each of the below water bottles to try. I was very impressed, and what a genius idea! One side for water, one side for Gatorade, or one side for water and one for protein powder, pre workout, etc. These babies are easy to clean, easy to grip, and don’t spill. The one with the straws is great for when I am lifting weights, on the elliptical, or just at home trying to get more liquids in for the day. There is a nifty handle for carting around, and they come in super fun colors. The other one with the caps is great for mixing, shaking, etc. (add some ice and it acts as a shaker ball for protein powder!) Each chamber stays sealed off individually, I love it! (Check them out on Facebook, too!)

My favorite way to use the two chambers would be out running because I alternate between water and Gatorade but who wants to carry two bottles around? This is a great solution! For post race or post run I would love to have chocolate milk in one side and protein powder to mix into the other. SO many options!

3.) Under Armour cold gear infrared:

UAcoldgear

Ok, so it doesn’t get freezing cold here, but we have had some really chilly mornings in the 30’s the past couple weeks, and I was so glad I had my Under Armour Cold Gear Infrared. It keeps you warm with no extra weight or bulk. The pattern inside the clothing helps absorb and retain your own body heat. How cool is that? Not to mention, I’m a sucker for thumb holes. There are tons of styles, colors, and price points to choose from. I want them all!

4.) Runner Calendars

unnamed

Runners are obsessed with calendars and dates, so we can plan our races of course! I was given two products to try out from http://www.andrewsmcmeel.com/ The day by day calendar is really cute and a fun gift to put on your desk at work. It’s a fun, daily calendar featuring humorous quotes, the best signs seen on a marathon route, and tips throughout the year.

The running log is very useful. It allows you to log, track, and write about your runs and even has some little stories here and there throughout the book. This best-selling calendar provides a year’s worth of tips to keep you motivated throughout the year. I will definitely be utilizing both of these in 2014! I think it’s so important to keep track of your runs so if you get injured or hit a plateau you can look back and see what you were doing.

 

5.) Advocare Rehydrate Gel:

A1403

This is Advocare’s version of fuel or a GU for running. They are only 80 calories, and encourage optimal performance through electrolyte balance. They also allow for immediate sustained energy and help facilitate hydration. Great stocking stuffers!

6.) Sport Hooks:

sporthook

It’s no secret I love my bling, and what a better way to display it than to hang it up on the wall? Sport Hooks has some amazing designs (check out the new painted ones, adorbs!) and prices to fit every budget. They have special Rock n roll designs as well as Boston and Disney displays!

7.) Gone for a Run bibfolio:

gone-for-a-run

I wrote a post about this product awhile back, and think it would make a great gift for any runner. Who doesn’t want a place to store all of their memories and bibs to look back on? Mine is sitting in the living room on the coffee table and is a great conversation piece. I love it!

TWO of the above companies have agreed to do giveaways so you can win one of these items for Christmas!

Dexas is giving FOUR THLG readers a hydration bottle of their choice, and two people will win running calendars! one will win the training log and one will win the daily calendar. So that’s six chances to win! See the TWO rafflecoptor widgets below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2013 Race Recap

About a week ago, I ran in my third runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon.

wine and dine half

Last year I was having some medical issues, so this year I wanted to have FUN and be illness free for the race, and I did just that! Let’s back up a bit.

Originally, I was going to run with Jen who is pregnant. She was nervous about finishing and being too slow, so I told her I would run with her and we would go in matching character outfits. A few days before the race, her doctor told her she needed to run as fast as possible to get off her feet…well, her fast as possible is faster than my fast as possible, so sadly we were not able to run together. My sweet husband didn’t want me to run alone so he joined in the costumed fun! Even though we didn’t race together, we still got some great pics.

230

236

Why yes, my KT Tape even matched.

242

Rawr!

We decided to drive our car to EPCOT and take the shuttle. Two years ago when I went out from EPCOT after the party to get on a bus, I had to wait in line for 30 minutes….at 3:00 am…it was not fun. So, we decided being able to hop in our car when we were ready to go would be a good move. (Please note we later found out bus waits were not bad, so glad that was improved upon!)

We  arrived at 7:40 ish and waited in line at EPCOT to get on a bus, but it moved very quickly and we were so excited and busy looking at costumes I didn’t notice. *Last buses left EPCOT at 8:00. We made it to Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex, and went straight to bag check. *Bag check closed at 9:00 so we wanted to go ahead and get that done with.

We then went straight to the port-o-potties, and NO LINE! It was awesome. Then it was just time to relax. We had an hour until it was time to get in our corrals, so we took a seat in the grass and people watched.

249

At 9:00 we met up with some friends for a #TeamrunDisney photo. I love how big this group has gotten, and I love seeing familiar faces at the race start.

254

It was time to go to our corrals, and I was spotted by these lovelies. So glad I got to see them before the race!

259

Meghann, Megan, me, and Kristin.

743213-1021-0038s

One of my favorite things about this race is not having to walk 1,000,000,000 miles to get to the corrals. They are just RIGHT THERE. Bliss. We immediately sat down upon getting into our corral, as we still had 45 minutes until the race started. *The race program said to be in your corral by 9:15, but we (along with a ton of other people) were still walking to them at this point.

I was glad I had Jen to chat with in the corral, it made the time go by much faster. There were many more corrals this year than in years past to help with course crowding, and I can honestly say the only time I felt crowded was on the Boardwalk, so I think it was a positive change! Soon the race started and our corral took off at 10:04.

264

I am SUCH an early bird, I couldn’t believe I was running a half marathon this late at night…again. It admittedly took me over two miles to really warm up, I think my body was very confused. I needed to use the bathroom, but told myself to wait until mile four when we got to the “real” ones at Animal Kingdom.

It was definitely warm out, but nothing crazy. Yes, I realize I live in the south and yes I run in heat most of the year, but trust me, it doesn’t really get “easier” you just learn that is the way it is. About mile three my foot/toe started bugging me. I have had issues with a stress fracture AND Morton’s Neuroma, and honestly I have no idea which is plaguing me now. It hurt but not enough to quit, so I kept an eye out for a medical tent to get some Tylenol.

I soon saw a familiar figure up ahead, and finally caught up to my buddy marathon Joe. We chatted for a bit, I am sure I made a fool of myself on air, and it was the fun little boost I needed to get me to Animal Kingdom.

269

Right before going into the park, I spotted heaven….er…a med tent. I asked for Tylenol, was given one, had my bib number written down, and then was given the black mark of death. Ok, so really it was just a big “X” with a sharpie, but it felt like I was being marked for having the plague or something. No joke, that marker would not come off. Check out this from the next day:

316

Also my awesome blue “Sulley” nails I painted for the race are on display.

Once in the park, I high tailed it to the bathroom. I felt much better after, and was ready to take some character pictures. We didn’t stop at EVERY photo, and I was also bummed to see 2-3 spots for a character, photographer ready to go, and NO character out! Sad times. This guy brightened my day…uh…night though!

275

I have a picture with Pluto in this spot all three years. Love it. Except for the evil eyes. I have the horns to go with them though right?

277

We wound our way through Animal Kingdom, and I was careful where I was stepping due to some uneven footing. There were a lot of Cast members out cheering us on which I so appreciate. Heading out of the park, I knew I wanted to stop for these guys even though the line was long. I am so glad I did, it’s my favorite character picture of the night.

279

I knew the next few miles would be a little more boring, and that we wouldn’t hit Hollywood Studios till about mile nine, and we were near mile 6. I figured, three miles on the roads, I can totally do that, so I broke the race up into segments and just wanted to make it to Hollywood Studios. I heard a familiar, bossy voice up ahead and charged my way up the hill to get a picture with this guy.

280

At about 8.5, we were given Clif shots. I was looking forward to this because I am obsessed with the vanilla flavor, but something was weird with the consistency. It was very thick and hard and I basically had to chew it. Did anyone else feel this way? I was a little bummed out and yes I am aware you have a sad life when you get excited about clif shots at a race.

We made it to 9, and I knew the rest of the race would be fine because there were distractions the rest of the way. You run through this park for a long time, then across the boardwalk and into EPCOT. We ran into these guys first, and I am bummed my photo came out like this:

281

We kept moving and ran into this duo, again, boo for dark photos.

283

I was getting excited, we were coming up to my favorite part of the race. I LOVE the Osbourne Lights, and running through them is so, so magical and special.

284

I knew we weren’t gong to have time to come back and look a them before our trip was over, so I soaked them in as much as I could as we ran though.

291

Bobby’s favorite character was next. Bobby said he wanted to force choke Darth, and I asked him what I was supposed to do and he said “I don’t know, smile?” Sssooo…I did. How original.

292

We made it out the front of Hollywood Studios and down to the Boardwalk. The only bad part about this is it’s quite narrow, and hard to pass people (especially when they are walking 2-3 across, come on people!) But we weaved our way through, and around by the Yacht and Beach Club. By this time my toe/foot was throbbing, but I knew I was almost done. There were a lot of spectators out, and people kept yelling “MIKE WAZOWSKI!” and I kept saying “I’M HERE TOO!” some people would say “oh, and there’s Sulley” but some said nothing at all. Bobby found this quite comical that all he did was last minute throw on a shirt and he gets all the love, while I carefully plan out my costume, and NOTHING! So it became our big joke that everyone was cheering for him and not me.

Finally we were in EPCOT, and we pushed the pace the last mile. The course was wall to wall screaming spectators, and that really helped me to run faster and push the last mile. We rounded those last couple of corners, and I could hear the announcers, we were almost there!!! We crossed the finish line side by side, and collected our newest bling. Bathroom stop + character photos = 2:31.

298

I was quite sweaty, and happy to be done.

282

We found Jen who wasn’t feeling up to the party so we took a quick picture before she headed to the busses.

301

We made it into EPCOT, and one thing that REALLY needs to be fixed is the crosswalk. If you were there you know what I mean. There is ONE spot where you an cross over the race course to get to the World Showcase, and we literally stood there 15 minutes waiting to go, group by group. I’m not sure what the solution is (a temporary bridge that goes over it maybe?) But exhausted runners don’t want to stand and wait that long to get food in them. There was a girl in front of me about to pass out and couldn’t even stand up anymore, but ha to wait to cross. it was kind of a mess. Also, I was FREEZING by this point. We decided to change in the bathrooms in EPCOT hoping for shorter lines, but we were wrong, so the plan was to change in World Showcase. We finally made it across, stood in more lines for the bathroom, and THEN it was time to eat and party!

I love that all the cast members were having so much fun. Singing, dancing, etc. The torches were lit, the music was blaring trough the park, and everyone was having a good time. They even had a conga line!

302

As I was taking pictures of the conga line, I spotted some friends!

305

We chatted for a bit before they headed out, and then Bobby and I got some food and found a bench. I needed to sit. I had wine to drink!

307

We made our way around the World Showcase stopping at booths along the way, but I was getting VERY tired, cold, and sore. Bobby was somehow unaffected and was super hyper and having a good time. I felt bad I didn’t share his feelings, but it was 2:30 in the morning. We made it to America when we decided it was time to go. Of COURSE we would be at the farthest point away from the exit. Of course.

Cast members dancing, oh yes.

309

We walked the rest of the way around the “world” and out the exit to the car by 3:00. We were showered and in bed by 3:45 am, and I got a kick out of the fact that the sun would be coming up in a couple hours.

All in all, we had an absolute blast and I am so glad I had a better experience with my health than last year (Foot update: it is still bothering me, I have only run once or twice since the race. Not sure what my next course of action is). I love this race and course way more than I ever though I would, and hope to come back again and again. runDisney seems to make minor adjustments and improvements every year, so I can’t wait to see what’s next!

QOTD: Have you ever run a night race? 

runDisney Wine and Dine Half Meet Up 2013

Last Thursday, I participated in the runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon meet up.

runDisney wine and dine

This was a special meet up, because it was the first one being held at night! We checked in at the front of Epcot and were given very comfy shirts that matched the Wine and Dine theme.

082

We aren’t too good at selfies.

084

We were given a park ticket for that night, as well as a fastpass for Test Track. We headed over immediately, then met up with Jen.

088

091

095

Soon after I got a text from Kelly who had arrived with Kristin, who I was so excited to meet. It was wonderful to see Kelly again as well, too!

097

We headed over to a special viewing area reserved just for meet up attendees to view Illuminations.

104

1107ZX_0122MS

1107ZX_0099MS

Me and Linzie.

1107ZX_0031MS

I was also excited to see Julie again, and finally meet Sara. We chatted about how much we missed our dogs, and I knew they would understand.

106

After the fireworks, we were brought over to the American Adventure pavilion where were were served what else…food and wine!

110

After some eating and mingling, it was time for the presentation to begin. Darrell Fry, sports media director, opened the show. We had no idea who was coming to speak and what information we would be given. Things were kicked off by Faron Kelley who gave away some raffle items like runDisney duffle bags and race entries!

116

DSC_0831

Next Jeff Galloway and nutritionist Tara Gidus took the stage to talk a bit about race day strategies and nutrition. They just gave a little bit of info and encouraged us to come hear them speak at the expo to learn more. One key thing they DID say however was to hydrate hydrate hydrate!

120

We also got to hear from a couple of chefs who work at Disney who told us a little about some of the new food offerings and booths at the food and wine festival. We were also told about wine, and how one glass of red wine a day and two for men can have health benefits. Just what we needed to hear. Hehe.

121

The next guest was very exciting. We got to hear from Ali about the new 2014 runDisney and New Balance limited edition shoe! We didn’t actually get to see the show, but they showed us a short video and told us that the whole shoe buying “experience” would be new and exciting, and I can’t wait to learn more! We were shown the new shoe box which looks awesome, and were told you could buy race specific inserts and charms for your shoe laces. How cool! You can see a couple of the inserts pictured below, as well as the box.

126

1107ZX_0784MS

DSC_0958

129

DSC_0905

The next guest was a special surprise, Jenny Simpson! This girl is a beast. She holds the 2013 women’s record for the mile in 4:19. WOW! She is an Olympian as well, and has a long, long list of accolades. She seemed so down to earth and spoke of her childhood Disney memories.

135

After the presentation closed out, it was time to run! I was actually glad (even though it was WAY past my bedtime) because I was starting to get chilly. First, it was time for a few more photos with friends. Me and Tara.

141

No meet up is complete with a picture with some friends with character.

wine and dine meet up

We broke into a straight run group and a run/walk/run group and ran around World Showcase 1.5 times. It was a fun run, and I got to chat with some friends along the way.

1107ZX_1115MS

Was happy to see this girl again, even though her jacket tried to blind me.

143

We finished up the run with a group photo, then a group straight run photo. Can you find me?

1107ZX_1190MS

DSC_0131

Spaceship earth was gorgeous, even at midnight.

144

As we walked toward the exit to leave, we had one more special surprise, a champagne toast!

147

Faron sent us off with a beautiful toast and best wishes for the race, and we all said goodbye.

149

But not before a photo with some #TeamrunDisney friends!

150

runDisney has outdone themselves again, and I loved that this meet up was different from all the other ones being at night, watching Illuminations, etc. I think the element of surprise is part of the fun, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next! I am so glad my husband and I got to attend, we had a blast!

QOTD: if you could plan the meet up, what is something different you would do?

Want more info on runDisney? Visit their website to sign up for events, get the latest news, and more!

Baltimore Half Marathon 2013

On October 12, I ran the Baltimore half marathon as part of the Baltimore Running Festival, thanks to my friends at Under Armour. I woke up that morning and looked out my window. I could see the marathon start line! Because there were multiple races that were a part of the festival, the half marathon didn’t start until 9:45 and the marathon started at 8.

photo 1 (10)

It was cool to be able to watch the start from my room, and still have time before going down to run my race!

photo 2 (9)

Since it’s still warm down south, I had no idea what to wear. I decided to go with some super soft cold gear courtesy of Under Armour, and while I did end up getting a little warm, everything was so comfortable, even for wearing it the very first time!

photo 3 (8)

My plan for this race was to have fun. I had been out of town for 8 days on my feet all day, and eating restaurant food at every meal, so I wasn’t expecting a lot out of this. Plus, I had just raced the Tower of Terror 10 miler the Saturday before.

photo 1 (11)

I walked downstairs and had no idea where the starting line was and had to ask some cops. So much for being prepared! I was really early, and ended up waiting around for awhile. It started to rain, but thankfully we just had a few showers here and there during the race. The set up for where to start the half was honestly a little confusing.

The path to get to the half start crossed the marathon course and people kept getting in the way. Maybe there is another way they can do this or change the course for next year?

We started at 9:45, and I started half 21 not knowing what to expect!

photo 2 (10)

I felt pretty good at first, but then we just kept climbing…and climbing…and climbing. I grew up below sea level, and don’t train on many hills, so this was a big wake up call for me (and my calves!)

photo 3 (9)

My pace slowed a lot, but I was determined not to walk on any of the hills. I am super proud to say I ran the whole race except for water stops.

At some point, we met up with the full marathon folks and finished the race with them all together, which I thought was really neat.

photo 4 (6)

The first 6.5 miles were literally all uphill, and I kept thinking “we have to go down at SOME point!” My legs were tired, and we finally hit a lake. Ah, flat ground.

photo 1 (12)

We ran all the way around the lake, and I kept texting Jami funny jokes, and then this photo. I get delirious when I run and say crazy things to people. No idea why.

photo 2 (11)

If you look closely on the other side of the lake you can see all the people coming around.

photo 3 (10)

I made it up another hill after going around the lake, and we went into some really pretty neighborhoods.

photo 4 (7)

There was a good amount of crowd support, lots of funny signs, and I enjoyed seeing the city.

photo 5 (3)

About mile 9, spectators started yelling things like “you got this, this is the last big hill!” I would get excited only to run into yet another hill. This kept happening and everyone around me would laugh and groan. Eventually though, we DID hit our last hill and the last couple miles were flat and downhill which was SO NICE at the end of a race.

photo 1 (14)

The crowds got thicker and thicker so I knew we were close.

photo 2 (13)

This race actually went by pretty fast, even though it was a tough one. I was glad to see the finish, but didn’t feel like I was dying.

I crossed at 2:19, and got this little guy.

photo 3 (12)

I was happy with my time for a fun run with tons of hills right after a vacation and another race. Works for me!

I met up with Jami after who rocked the first leg of the marathon relay. We got some grub, hung out for a bit, then it was time for me to head back to the hotel before I caught my car to go back to the airport.

under armour baltimore half

photo 1 (13)

photo 2 (12)

photo 3 (11)

The race shirts from Under Armour are so soft, I love wearing mine! I of course had to match with my speedforms going to the airport.

under armour baltimore

Why yes, I did wear my medal to the airport and on the plane!

photo 5 (4)

This was a great race with good crowd support and a fun although challenging course. Under Armour is a great sponsor, and the city was a great host. If you have a chance to run this one be sure to do it!

QOTD: Do you like hilly races? Do you run them?

Disclosure: My friends at Under Armour sent me to Baltimore to run this half marathon (flights, food, hotel, race entry) however, thoughts and opinions are my own.

*Don’t forget, you can order Under Armour Product straight through my website!  This is the shirt I raced in and these are the tights. The green speedforms I wore to the airport, and the headband as well.

 

Baltimore Running Festival Expo

This time last weekend I was running a half marathon! It was such a whirlwind trip, but also SO much fun.

Baltimore_Half-Medal-Logo

I flew straight from vacation in Orlando up to Baltimore for the Baltimore running festival, and a car picked me up at the airport at 3:00. They brought me to the Hilton, where I would be staying for the night. My room was ready, and I had a great view of the marathon start line, the baseball stadium, and if I looked in the very left corner I could see the football stadium.

photo 1 (7)

photo 2 (6)

photo 3 (6)

I headed over to the expo, as I was told it was next door. I didn’t even have to go outside which was nice because it was cold! I left Orlando and it was in the upper 80’s, so my body was VERY confused.

photo 4 (4)

The expo was very organized, they had a section for people who had already registered to pick up their bib, and then they sent us downstairs to get our bag and shirt. I LOVE the Under Armour shirts. They are SO silky and soft, and a very fun color.

photo 4 (5)

They had a big course map at the expo, which really did me no good since I knew where nothing in Baltimore was. I didn’t even know where the start line was! I assumed I would just follow people on race morning. ha.

photo 1 (8)

There was a big section for official merchandise, and they had some really cute stuff. I went on through out to see the other vendors. It was a smaller expo compared to the ones I am used to with Disney or Rock n roll, but it was organized, and had some familiar booths.

photo 2 (7)

At the end there was a huge Under Armour section with a great selection of merchandise.

photo 3 (7)

I was wearing my UA speedform shoes, and had several people ask me about them, and I was happy to share how much I love them! Overall the expo was well run and I was able to get in and out without any problems or long lines.

I headed out after that, I was meeting Jami from under Armour for dinner, and we went to the cutest little place called Live 2 Eat. It was adorable, and had the most AMAZING food. If you live in the area, you don’t want to miss this gem.

photo 1 (9)

We shared delicious risotto balls for appetizers. I also had some great baked chicken for my meal that I devoured before taking a picture.

photo 2 (8)

We shared fudge like chocolate cake with delicious ice cream. We were stuffed. It was getting late, and we had to race in the morning! I think I may have fallen asleep before my head even hit the pillow, but I slept wonderfully in the comfy beds.

Be on the lookout for my race recap on Monday!

QOTD: Do you eat dessert the night before a race?

Disclosure: My friends at Under Armour sent me up to Baltimore to run this race, and covered my airfare, hotel, and race registration. However, all opinions are my own.