Ocean Road 10K 2017 Race Recap

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to fly to Rhode Island and have a weekend of fun, fitness, and learning with Cabot and the Cabot Fit Team. We traveled to Narragansett (and it took me all weekend to remember how to pronounce it!) visited a local farm, ate tons of great food, stayed in an adorable inn, and ran a gorgeous 10k. It was action packed but still restful which I loved. I will be sharing more on the rest of the weekend in another post, but this one is strictly about the Ocean Road 10k race.

I haven’t raced since February due to a nagging quad injury, so I was really excited to have this opportunity. I really love the 10k distance and thought it would be a good chance to test out my leg while racing on a beautiful course. The race was held on Sunday morning, and it was so fun to be able to watch the sun rise over the ocean. The sun comes up way earlier in Rhode Island than it does in Florida, so when I woke up at 6:15 it was just about to peek over the horizon.

I got dressed, ate breakfast in my room, and headed to the lobby to meet my teammates. This is when I realized it was 43 degrees outside and was thankful I had packed accordingly. We all hurried into the team van and off we went to the starting line. We made it to the runner drop off area, which just so happened to be by the water, so of COURSE we had to take a group photo.

We were cutting it pretty close, the race started at 8:00 and it was nearing 7:45, but we were just having too much fun.

We finally got our act together and walked to the start line, only to discover there were VERY few port-o-potties and a line well over 100 people long. I decided I was just going to have to hold it, as they were lining people up and then singing the national anthem before I could really decide what I wanted to do. I hurried and turned on my Garmin and got Pandora working, and then we were racing! I was cold, but I have run enough races to know that I personally warm up very fast even when it’s cold outside and hate being miserably hot at a race because I overdressed, so I opted to wear a skirt, compression socks, and a throw away jacket over my team shirt, as well as something to keep my ears warm.

I started off too fast (shocker) and realized my thighs were completely numb. I just kept moving and was hitting them making sure my legs were still there, it was the oddest feeling. I got in the zone and just listened to my music and soaked in the gorgeous surroundings. They don’t call it the Ocean Road 10k for nothing. You literally run right along the ocean for much of the course. We passed gorgeous homes, beautiful tree lines streets, and rolling hills. I ended up throwing off my top layer at mile 2 and was so glad I didn’t overdress. My face was hot but my ears were cold, so I was again glad for the head wear.

I didn’t take many photos because I was just soaking it all in. I did take a few Instagram stories but didn’t save them to my phone. I kept a pretty good clip the first three miles considering I didn’t really train. I run 3 miles twice a week on the treadmill at Orange Theory, and I ran one four miler and one five miler prior to the race and called it a training cycle. (Hey, life is crazy right now ok?)

Anyway, I wasn’t expecting any kind of PR, I was just curious to see how my quad would do. Mile one was a sub 9:00 mile, and two and three were low nines. That’s where the wheels came off. At about mile 3.5ish, my leg started to get tight. I have not been training on up or downhills (I live in flat Florida!) and I foolishly thought it would still be OK. I had a goal to not walk, so I just kept on trucking even though my pace slowed down.

I made it to mile 5, and we were soon heading down a hill right out onto Ocean Road and past the inn where we were staying. This was my favorite part of the course.

I saw mile six, and knew I was close, but unfortunately didn’t really have any “kick” to give, so I just kept on at the same pace, taking in the beautiful sites. I finished it just over 59 minutes, not a PR, but I was super proud of my pace all things considered.

I found a couple of my teammates who had already finished, and we cheered on the rest of the girls as they came in, then we all walked down to the beach to take pictures of course.

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we took off our shoes, dipped our tired feet in the freezing water, then walked back to the inn. It was an amazing morning and I was so happy to have had the chance to run in such an amazing place. I quickly fell in love with Narragansett, and hope to return someday.

The race is in it’s fifth year, and if you live nearby (or not!) I highly recommend running it. We got lucky with perfect weather and it really was the cherry on top of a great race.

Disclosure: I attended this weekend free of charge thanks to Cabot, however all thoughts and opinions are my own and I was not asked to write this post. 

 

runDisney Kids races: Star Wars

When I realized our family Disney World trip lined up with the runDisney Star Wars half marathon weekend, I couldn’t believe all the stars were aligning for not only Bobby and I to run the half marathon, but for Emma Kate (2 years old) to participate in her very first kids races. I was pleasantly surprised that the registration price was very reasonable ($20!) and that each child got a medal (rubber) and a t-shirt. As a lover of the “I Did it” shirts, I couldn’t wait for my little mini me to have her very own.

The kids races were held on Friday and Saturday, but since Bobby wasn’t arriving until Friday night, we opted for the Saturday morning race. It actually all worked out nicely, as we were able to get to the expo right when it opened at 10:00, get all three of our bibs, and then walk over to the track at the Wide World of Sports and attend the kids races. Keep in mind strollers are NOT allowed in the expo, but are allowed on the grounds of WWOS, so we simply parked ours in a stroller parking area to get our bibs, then brought it down to the track with us for the races.

Of course Emma Kate had to get her picture with the kids race sign, and I wore her “future runDisney runner” shirt.

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After getting our bibs (you have to sign a race waiver for the kiddos, too) and getting our t-shirts, we headed out to the track around 10:45. I will be honest and say it seemed REALLY chaotic. Having never been to one before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I figured out that I was supposed to match the color of Emma Kate’s race bib with the flags at the starting line area, so we all walked over that way, to be told only one adult could actually “run” the race with the child. So Bobby and my parents headed to the side of the track behind a fence so they could see her run and hopefully squeeze in to the fence once it was time for her wave.

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It was hot outside and I wanted to get done quickly, but in hindsight I should have just chilled and waited for the last wave. We were basically put in a holding area all close together which made it even more hot. I can see how it could be overwhelming for some kids that don’t like a lot of people. There were plenty of volunteers and they all did a great job don’t get me wrong, but it was still chaotic, but I guess organized chaos would be a better word?

They would line up a handful of kids on the start line then put another group behind them, then after the first group went, the one behind would step forward, and the volunteers filled in the back with another line of kids. This part seemed very organized, but there wasn’t really a line so it was more of a free for all as to which parent pushed through the area first to get their kid to the start. We ended up somewhere towards the middle. Usually EK doesn’t let me hold her but I think all the people made her nervous so she was happy to be on my hip while we waited. She made some funny faces for me, and soon we were in the holding area for the next wave.

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I texted my family to let them know we were coming, and thankfully I was wearing pink and Emma Kate had on a huge pink bow so we were hard to miss. When we were standing behind the wave about to go, I told her to watch the boys and girls run and that was what we were going to do when the man said to go. She didn’t look too sure about it and I had NO idea how she would react.

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It was our turn, and our wave began. Emma Kate started running (sort of) and looking around all at the same time. 100 meters seems a long way when you are running with a two year old! Midway through we got a shout out from announcer Carisa who spotted EK’s big bow.

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About 75 meters in, Emma Kate realized she was tired and wanted me to hold her. About that time I saw Mickey, so I grabbed her and went over to him for a quick hug. Then because I just can’t help it, I put her down and made her walk across the finish line herself. #RunnerMom.

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We all cheered, and she got her medal, but was way more concerned about her banana oddly enough. We found my family and took some photos before grabbing the stroller and heading out. Did I mention it was really warm? (heh.)

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I had a lot of fun and loved sharing something that I do with my little girl. I feel like now that I know what to expect, the next time will be way less overwhelming for all of us.

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I love how runDisney kept everyone moving and then moved on to the next race. We got some free gogo squeeze pouches too which was nice since EK loves those things (they are a sponsor). Emma Kate wore her medal to the park, and looked adorable in her I did it shirt.

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When do we sign up again?

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Here are a couple of videos from the race:


Then of course the video I shot while she was running. Please excuse my shrieking voice in the background. I was a little excited.

 

QOTD: Has your child ever done a kids race?

May 2017 Goals

Happy new month! I know for most of the country it’s just starting to warm up and people are thinking about getting outside and doing outdoor activities. However, here in Florida, it’s getting into the mid 90’s and it’s time to hibernate inside for the next 6 months! Before we get into my May goals, let’s take a look at April. I have some interesting stuff going on this month so read all the way down!

1.) Be able to run the Star Wars Half pain free: C Well, my knee did hurt for the majority of the race, but it was manageable and I was still able to run/walk. The good news is every day it got better and better after, so it isn’t like it stayed hurting the same amount for days and days after. It’s been over a week and I have been walking pain free for 3 days. Back to foam rolling, stretching, and walking. (Please realize I knew that running 13.1 pain free was a stretch. Anyone who doesn’t run for 8 weeks then tries to run a half is going to have some aches and pains, but I am just glad my quad gave me zero pain, which is where the injury began back in February!)

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2.) Organize extra room: B+ With Bobby’s help, we moved some of the storage items out and the room looks a lot better. I still have a couple of boxes and a handful of random items I need to find a home for, but it looks so much better than it did last month!

3.) Walk 4x’s a week: B I am giving myself a B because there was one week I only walked 3 times. It made me feel good to be able to do “something” even though I wasn’t running. We had some nice weather last month so I’m glad I got to take advantage of that before the heat set in. I was walking up to 3 miles at a time pain free!

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May goals:

1.) Eat Salad 3x’s a week: If you know me at all, you know salad is not my thing. However, I have been trying really hard at making myself eat it, and I know it’s good for me, too. I have been adding fruit and other things I like to make it easier, and so far it hasn’t been so bad (I started my experiment over the weekend). I know it will help my overall health!

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2.) Organize my guest room: Now that one room is almost completely cleaned out, it’s time to move on to the guest room. Same as last month, this room just needs some purging and organizing to make me not want to keep the door shut all the time!

3.) Lose 4 pounds: Ok guys. Here is the big one. It’s something I have been trying to ignore since March, but I can’t any longer. I was doing so well maintaining my weight when we first moved to Florida, but then I got injured. I thought I would only be out of commission for a week or two, so I didn’t bother trying to do other workouts because I thought my body could use a break. Then two weeks turned into a month then six weeks and two months. Yes I started walking after 6/7 weeks, but with the way I was eating I was still gaining weight. After our most recent trip and feeling gross after eating fried and fatty foods for a week, I decided my body needed a cleanse/reset.

I have sold Advocare for years, but I generally don’t talk about it unless someone asks me, and then I took the past 6 months off because of the move etc. However, I think the best thing for me right now is to do the 24 day challenge. I have done it a few times in the past and it’s a really good jump start for me to get back on track. Please hear me when I say it’s ENTIRELY possible to lose weight without this program. I have done it before. However, sometimes I need a little more motivation and a strict schedule to follow, an I think right now this is what I need.

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However, I would love some accountability, so I thought it would be a great idea to open this up to my readers and see if any of you wanted to participate in the challenge with me. If you purchase the products from my link and if I get enough interest, I would open up a Facebook challenge group where we can hold each other accountable, share recipes, workouts, etc. to make it through the 24 days. If you are interested in joining in, you can email me at heather@heatherslookingglass.com or just purchase the challenge bundle here and I will be notified. If you have any questions please let me know! (PS: if you want 20% off your order, you can become a distributor. There are NO auto ships and NO minimum orders, simply purchase what you want when you want, you just have to pay the $59 distributor fee and it’s good for a year. You can choose to sell to others or just keep the discount for personal use. However, if you sell enough, you can get your discount up to 40%!)

I would be happy to discuss the options with you, or go through any add on products you may want to try for the challenge. I would love for you to join in with me and lose a little weight and get healthy before swimsuit season! (I am looking to start the challenge within the next two weeks, so if you would like to participate you would need to order this week to have time for shipping!)

QOTD: What are your goals for May? Is it hot where you live?

*Don’t forget that if your goals are in front of your face all the time you are more likely to stick with them! Click here to get my set of FREE goal and fitness tracking printables.

runDisney Princess Half Marathon Race Recap 2017

A couple of weeks ago I have the privilege of running in my 6th runDisney Princess half marathon. I ran the Glass Slipper Challenge last year and in 2014, but this year my friend Jen and I decided to save some money (and some sleep!) and just run the half marathon. (Pssst. There is a video at the end of the post so hang tight to watch a recap from my Instagram Stories!)

Every year we dress up, and this year was a bit crazy for both of us and we didn’t have time to create elaborate matching costumes like we have done in the past. However, we still dressed up and per usual kept our costumes a secret until the night before the race. We went to bed early, and my 2:45 am alarm came way too soon.

We got dressed, put on our traditional fake eyelashes like we do every year (you would THINK we would be better at this by now!) and headed to the bus.

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(Coming soon: A tutorial on how I created my costume, the easy/I’m terrible at sewing kind of tutorial!)

We got to the bus stop in front of the Yacht Club, and were the last people loaded before we left. What was interesting was we were on a park bus, not a regular greyhound which was a first for me with runDisney. There was a lot of traffic, but we made it to EPCOT by about 4:15 and walked to the family reunion area where we met up with a friend before checking Jen’s bag. It was chillier than I expected, and I was thankful for my throw away sweatshirt I remembered to bring.

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We had never gotten to the corrals this early before, and they were pretty empty! runDisney got smart and put a row of port-o-potties close to the front corrals so we were able to go to the bathroom with no line and then jump in D corral. Karen was also in our corral, so she hung out with us and started the race with us, too. Our plan was to just have fun and take walk breaks. I was super undertrained and this was just a “for fun” race.

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The race started a few minutes late because the traffic was so bad, but finally we made it up to the start line with the rest of our corral.

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After a quick hi to Rudy and Carissa, we were off on our 13.1 mile journey!

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The first couple of miles are always so uneventful. It’s dark, there is nothing to look at, and you start thinking about all the miles ahead! Thankfully we just all chatted together until around mile 2 when Karen decided to stop for a character photo that we decided to skip (lines were already so long! I can’t imagine how bad they were for the corrals behind us.) We made it to the Magic Kingdom gates and I was excited we were getting closer to the more exciting parts of the course.

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After a quick stop at the med tent for body glide, we were on our way towards the TTC. I have to admit, I was a little bummed at the low crows at this spot. Traditionally this is my second favorite spot in the race because of all the energy from wall to wall people screaming and cheering, but this year there was hardly anyone and it made me sad. Did anyone else notice this? It wasn’t very cold outside so I’m not sure what the deal was. We passed my favorite drummers and kept going towards the big hill.

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When we made the turn to get to the Magic Kingdom, we thought it was odd that the 5 mile marker wasn’t in it’s usual place. (The things you notice when you have run this course over a dozen times!) We would later find out the course through the Magic Kingdom was slightly altered which is why the markers were in a different place.

We made the turn onto Main Street, my favorite part, and again it just didn’t have the same crowd and energy I am used to seeing, but it’s still my favorite part.

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We stopped and found a girl by herself trying to take a photo and we took turns getting pics for each other. I love runners!

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Next stop was the bathroom in Tomorrowland. We used to stop at the ones at the TTC, but a couple years ago they started locking those for us for some reason, which means even more princesses waiting in line in Tomorrowland. We had a several minute delay, and then were on our way again.

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We made it out of the Magic Kingdom (sad times) and made another bathroom stop at the next water station (too much coffee!) We arrived at the long stretch of single lane road, and Jen and I can’t figure out why its always so COLD on this part of the course! Any ideas? Before long we were at mile seven by the Grand Floridian. I took a picture with Snow White, since the line for her in the Magic Kingdom was dozens of people long. This is as close as I was going to get.

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The next few miles were uneventful again, just running out on the road. We saw the race going the other way towards the Magic Kingdom around mile 2.5 I guess, and I saw the balloon ladies! I yelled for the princesses to run faster! We grabbed a CLIF shot at the free station around mile nine, and took a walk break to eat those (I am not coordinated enough to run and eat at the same time). Next we were making the turn on the loop of death at mile 10 (it KILLS my IT bands) and had a 5k to go. At this point we had gotten to the length of my longest and one and only really long run from this training cycle of 10 miles, and I was getting tight even though we weren’t running fast at all. My right thigh/quad up near my hip flexor started to hurt, but we only had a couple miles to go so I just pushed through.

Soon we hit mile 11, and looped around and up the overpass and down into EPCOT and mile 12. A photographer caught me doing an Insta story on my phone. Oops. But seriously, if this doesn’t sum up my life I don’t know what does.

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We looped around the small part of the course that goes through the park, and then I could hear the gospel choir singing! Miles 13 came and went, and we were in the home stretch of the finish line.

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Can I just say that I love getting race pictures free as an annual passholder?!?

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We made it! After crossing the finish line in 2:32, we had to get pixie dusted of course.

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We got our medals, and headed over to the Media/VIP tent for some much deserved food and of course, mimosas.

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Now I was able to do my favorite thing, cheer other runners on as they came through the finish. I LOVE seeing runners tearing up, holding hands with loved ones, and just getting to experience the looks on their faces as they are mere steps from the finish line. There is just nothing like it, and it makes me so happy.

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Mimosas make me happy, too.

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So does this guy. Always takes time to talk to runners and makes us all feel so special. Jeff Galloway is the best!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carissa came into the tent for some food and we were able to say hello for a minute and grab a picture.

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We hung out and ate some more, met with a couple of people, and then headed back to the resort. I am so thankful to have a friend like Jen who gifted me with the opportunity to run in another Princess half marathon. I also love our little tradition of running the Princess half!

If you want to see a video I took during the race as a recap, and also see what Jen and I did for the rest of the day after the race, be sure to check out the video below. Please note this video is my Instagram story from the day, and apparently it doesn’t like when you have still shots mixed in with your videos, so there are about 5 times during the video where you will see it “Freeze up” for a couple of seconds. These are the places where I had still shots that won’t come up, so just ignore it, it will keep playing!

 

For more race recaps and general runDisney information, photos, and posts, check out my runDisney page!

The Bridge 5k 2016

A couple weeks ago, I ran my first 5k since this past spring. Since I haven’t been running much, I knew there would be no PR but I really wanted to participate because it was being sponsored by my church, and was for a good cause:

The Bridge exists to build a bridge of hope and encouragement to our surrounding community. Proceeds will be used to provide equipment, materials, and training to address recidivism among men currently or previously incarcerated in correctional facilities in central Mississippi.

I signed up on a whim the week of the race, and was up bright and early Saturday morning. I went by myself which is fine, but I left a little too early and got bored standing around waiting to start.

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The race was set to begin at 8:00, which is late for Mississippi in September. It was hot and humid yall. I did a little warming up and then hung out around the start line. At 8:00, it was announced that they had blown a breaker so we would be starting late. Great. It was getting hotter and hotter by the minute, and my once ready to run and warmed up body was getting tight. Oh well.

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We finally began at 8:17. There was a 5k and 10k option, and after standing around in the 94% humidity and 83 degrees, I was so glad I opted for the 5k! The race was pretty small (just over 100 in the 5k and 10k) and I had no grand illusions of doing well or placing. I was dumb and went to a hard boot camp class the day before where we did lots of running, and my legs were definitely not feeling fresh (totally my fault).

We took off, and I noticed I was about the 4th female back after about .25 miles. We went down a big hill which I knew meant we would be going back up after the turn, so I decided to not push too hard on the front end. I had my music playing and just hung out behind this one guy for a while, kind of zoning out. Two girls passed me, and then I passed then just before the turn around. At this point, I wasn’t sure if there were any girls ahead of me because I hadn’t paid attention to the people coming back the other way, and I saw at least two girls going straight for the 10k course. I felt it a very strange feeling to be the possible lead female, and it made me chuckle in slight embarrassment because with the time I was running I should NOT have been in the front. I made my way up the second hill and when I had a half mile left I started to really fade. I felt like I was going to throw up and my face was so hot it felt like it was on fire.

All of the sudden, a girl sprints past me. Hmm. Well, if I was in the lead I wasn’t anymore. Oh well. I had about .35 left and was SO ready to be done. I had slowed considerably, and another girl goes by. Well. That’s what I expected so I wasn’t upset. I turned the corner and got to the last straightaway and saw the girl in front of me had slowed down considerably. I gave it all I had and sprinted past her to the finish. Turns out, I was second overall female which means I WAS leading all that time haha!

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I finished the race in just over 28:00. Everyone was saying how much slower their times were because of how oppressive the humidity was, so at least that made me feel a little bit better. Some cheerleaders from the local high school were there, and they did some cheers while we waited on the last 10k finishers and the awards.

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There were a bunch of door prizes, but sadly I didn’t win anything.

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The pastor of my church got up and said a few words about the money we raised and how it was going to a good cause in the community. Then the awards were handed out.

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I was second overall female and first in my age group (which I thought was weird because in most races I have run, if you win an overall award, you are taken out of the age group category for winning?) Either way, I was proud of my accomplishment despite it not being a great time for me in the race. I truly gave it my all with what energy I had that day. I also really liked the hand carved awards!

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QOTD: Do you race when it’s hot outside or wait for cooler weather? Any races coming up?

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?

Crescent City Classic 10K Recap 2016

Saturday morning, we woke up to our alarms at 6:15 (super late by race day standards!) and got ready to run the Crescent City Classic 10K in New Orleans for the fifth time.

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I had yet to decide on an outfit, but went with bright pink to go with the Easter theming, and of course my bunny ears, which I have worn for every CCC I have run!

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We were staying at the Hyatt, the host hotel and where the expo was located, so it was amazing to just walk downstairs and there was the start line! We were waiting for the other bloggers at the start line before heading to our corral.

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We weren’t able to get everyone, (that’s what happens when your race has over 20,000 registrants, but here are some of us!

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Bobby took this one, not too sure what was going on, apparently. So glad Jen wore her ears, too!

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We headed to Champions Square and up the Superdome steps to get into our corral.

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The corrals were color coded, and the first three were seeded corrals. They had big colored banners to help you figure out where to go, but since green was in front of purple and red, we had a hard time figuring out how to get past those two corrals and into ours.

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We weaved our way through, right as the race was starting and our corral took off! Poor Bobby had forgotten to get location on his GPS so he had no idea what his time/pace was for the first two miles. We were both running alone, and of course he took off at the start and I never saw him again. I put my headphones in and zoned out. I really wanted to PR but was nervous because it was 97% humidity and it was already had to breath just standing there.

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The first mile was very frustrating because there were so. many. people. and I had to do a lot of weaving (this would come back to bite me later, but I had no choice). I started out way too fast because I knew I needed to make up time from behind stuck behind people, walking, holding hands, etc. and my first mile beeped at 8:39. I knew that was a bit too fast for me for a 10k, but I was feeling good and kept going at that pace (foreshadowing…now). We ran down Decatur and through the French Quarter.

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I was sweating SO MUCH that I couldn’t get the camera on my phone to come on because every time I tried to swipe the screen it was soaked with my sweat from my hands. Hence why the above picture of the St. Louis Cathedral is blocked by a tree. We hit Café Du Monde and honestly, I snapped the below pic and then never even looked to the side. I was SO focused on not tripping or running into anyone and on keeping my pace.

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We made the familiar turn onto Esplanade and I decided to take a picture before I got too tired to do so. I saw a bunch of people running on the opposite side of the road where it was much less congested, so I eventually made my way over there and am so glad I did. I had way more room and just felt more relaxed not constantly having to change up my cadence to go around people.

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Miles four and five were rough for me. I ran a 9:30 pace for both of those. My body felt fine but I could not catch my breath with the humidity. I looked down for most of those miles and just told myself to keep going. I stopped twice to grab water and took two sips then poured the rest down my back, as I was getting really warm.

The course was new this year, so instead of running towards the art museum and around back, we went to the side, and kind of zig zagged our way to the front of the Museum. It was kind of a tease because you could SEE the finish line but weren’t quite there yet.

The whole race I thought I was going to run a 57:00, then realized that because of all the weaving I had to do, that I would be over a tenth long so my time on my GPS watch would not match the finish time. This was frustrating because I knew I could run a 57:00! However, I knew I could still PR (old PR was 59:04) so I gave it everything I had. That last mile was so mentally challenging, but thankfully it was faster than miles four and five. I barely even looked up as I approached the finish, and didn’t even smile for the cameras. I was just powering through with every ounce of energy I had left.

According to my watch, I ran 6.31 in 58:26. (That was my official time just not official distance!) While I am really happy to have PR’ed, I knew I could still go faster, and being the uber competitive person I am, wasn’t completely satisfied. After the race, all I wanted was water. They told us to keep walking and we would get to water and our medals. Well, we walked…and we walked…and we walked. I was about to fall out! I get why they did it, as to not bottle up the finish, but the water was REALLY far away. Then we had to keep walking more to get to the finish festival.

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I bee lined it for the VIP tent, and texted Bobby who said he was where the medals were. I assumed he was just waiting for me so I told him to come on to the VIP area. The tables were set so cute for Easter!

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I immediately grabbed chocolate milk, a sandwich, and a Mimosa (great combination, I know) and took a seat.

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Our two sided medal was really cute!

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Finally Bobby appeared and didn’t have a good race. He had worked out really had four days that week (including the day before) and his legs were dead. Apparently I passed him somewhere along the way but had no idea. I felt so bad for him, I thought he had long since finished. Sad smile

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We ate and met up with some blogger friends, and then it started POURING. Thankfully, we had the tent to get under and it only lasted about ten minutes, and then the sun came out.

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More friends arrived and we just hung out listening to the music and eating and having a good time.

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The race announcer, Mike spotted us and it was great to see him. He does a great job with so many races!

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Rockin’ Dopsie headlined the event and did an amazing job. Check out this video:

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After awhile we decided it was time to head back too the hotel, pack up, and head back to my parents house. Sweet Jen and her husband had their car at the finish and offered to give us a ride to our hotel.

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We made it back, showered, packed, and left NOLA once again. We had a blast and it went by way too quickly! A huge thanks to Crescent City Classic for an amazing race weekend that just gets better and better every year!

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Disclosure: I received race entries and VIP passes for this event, however all opinions are my own.

QOTD: What race has the best post race party that you been to? Do you like the 10K distance?

Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans Recap 2016

At the end of February, I ran the Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans half marathon once again. This race would be a little different for me as I was running it by myself for the first time, and I was coming off of a challenge weekend (10k and half marathon) in Walt Disney World. I was still excited to run my hometown race, and the weather was looking perfect!

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What was it I said about the weather? It was COLD that morning. I much prefer to run in the cold though, and I knew it would be warming up quickly as soon as the sun came up. I left my hotel room and made my way to the VIP hotel. I went in and grabbed a little coffee and a bagel, and met a girl from new York who is running a half marathon in all 50 states! It  was really cool to hear her story.

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The best thing about the Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans VIP package that you can purchase is being able to use real bathrooms before the start, and being able to hang out in the warmth of a building and then just walk right out to your corral.

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I sat in the hall in my jacket and stretched for several minutes then used the restroom one last time (thanks, coffee, I guess I had too much liquid!) and then handed over my bag for private gear check before walking a block down to my corral only five minutes before the 7:30 start. I was in corral 7, so I knew I wouldn’t miss anything, but wanted to get out before the start so I could cross the street to get where I needed to go.

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Well, one thing I wasn’t expecting was utter chaos! There were still SO many people trying to get into their corrals, and since Rock ‘N’ Roll doesn’t enforce what corral you get into, all of the first corrals were so jam packed that people couldn’t even get into them. I finally found the sign for corral seven and jumped through the opening. As we were singing the national anthem, I looked around and realized I had accidentally jumped into the back of 6 instead of the front of 7. Dang it! I made my way to the very back of 6 as to not impede any runners, because there was no way I could get out onto the street and back a corral at this point, as you can see from the below photo.

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We made our way up to the start, and it was time to go! I was SO not mentally prepared for this race and had a moment of “oh, wait, I have to run 13.1 miles now!” right as our corral took off. Well, nothing I could do now but put in my headphones and run for a couple of hours!

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My first mile felt really good and I ran the pace I wanted to run the whole race in. It was a little crowded, but I have run in much worse so it didn’t really bother me too much. The course is very familiar to me, and I was most concerned with the road conditions so I kept my head down a lot.

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We were running on St. Charles where the beautiful old mansion are, and right after we hit mile two, I got a pain in my right hip. uh oh. This is what I was afraid of. When I ran the Glass Slipper Challenge the weekend before, I did fine in the 10k, but about midway through the half my hip started to hurt. It got worse and worse as the race went on, but I was able to finish. The whole week prior to this race, I didn’t work out at all, and just foam rolled and stretched in the hope of it getting better and not bothering me. No such luck apparently. I had taken Tylenol prior to the race start and it was already hurting me at mile two…this was going to be a long race.

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I had a quick moment of panic where I wanted to just sit on the curb and cry. I thought to myself…you have three choices here. One, you can quit now. Two, you can keep going at a run walk as to not be in pain and finish sometime tomorrow (haha) or three, you can SUCK IT UP, fight through the pain and finish as strong as possible and be proud of your effort. About that time, I saw a med tent. I grabbed some more Tylenol, and decided to just got for it. I picked a number, 10:00 pace, and decided to just try and hold that pace for as long as I could. About that time, the song “Fight Song” came on, and I started tearing up. I CAN do this, I WANT to do this. YES I was frustrated because I have been working really hard and despite running one day a week and running two races the last weekend, I was on track and had the ability to PR in that race, and now I knew it wasn’t going to happen, BUT, I knew I still had a lot of fight left in me, and I wanted to run to the best of the ability that I had for that day. So I pushed, and I pushed, and I struggled. I would run on the dirt street car tracks in the median, then jump down to the road, trying to figure out which felt better on my hip. I stopped occasionally to try to stretch out my hip. I took some GU. I counted down the miles. I gave myself a lot of pep talks. I started at the road, one foot in front of the other. I finally made it into the French quarter.

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I REALLY wanted to stop at Café du Monde, but I kept going Smile

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We made the turn onto Esplanade, and I knew I only had 3-4 miles left. This is where I was unable to hold onto my pace any longer. This is also when the pain started growing and moving from my hip to my glute, and would occasionally seize up the entire muscle group, which was super fun. I had to stop and walk more often and stop and stretch on stop signs. I was DETERMINED to finish as hard and strong as I possible could. It was starting to get hot outside, and I just kept staring at the ground in front of me (I nearly rolled an ankle a few times, yall, the roads in NOLA are BAD.) and kept glancing at my watch to see how far away I was.

When I made it to the museum of art, I knew I was close, but boy did that last half mile seem like the longest of my life. Normally this is where I would kick it in, but I had no kick in me. It was more of a hobble/limp to the finish, but I went as hard as I could. I didn’t even raise my hands when I crossed the finish, I was just so ready to stop running to stop the pain. I crossed in 2:14:59. Not exactly what I was expecting, but I also surprised myself considering all the things I had going against me.

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My watch said I ran 13.36 miles with average pace of 10:06 if I remember correctly. It’s not what I wanted but at least it’s encouraging that if I can do my PT/get stronger and run more than once a week I will PR. Here are my splits:

  • mile 1- 9:31
  • mile 2- 9:55 —> stopped at med tent
  • mile 3- 9:39
  • mile 4- 9:54
  • mile 5- 10:00
  • mile 6- 9:48
  • mile 7- 9:45
  • mile 8- 10:06
  • mile 9- 10:30 —> took a GU
  • mile 10- 10:06
  • mile 11- 10:54 —> took another GU
  • mile 12- 10:18 —> almost died
  • mile 13- 9:12

I made it out of the chute and ran into Mindy and Jenny. Was great to chat with them for a bit!RnR friends

I then walked over to the VIP tent and immediately put my name down for a massage, then got some food. The weather was wonderful, and it was nice to just sit and listen to the music and enjoy the day.

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I got a text from Megan and we met up for a quick hello. Great to see a fellow ASICS ambassador!

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Around 12:00 I knew it was time to head back to the hotel to checkout and drive back to my parents. I didn’t want to leave because I was just enjoying being still after such a stressful morning, but I also knew it was a trek back to the hotel. (Rock ‘N’ Roll has bus transportation back downtown for participants).

My struggles with this race were not the fault of Rock ‘N’ Roll, it truly is a great race and my favorite Rock ‘N’ Roll so far. My one qualm is the terrible roads which I am sure contributed to the early onset of hip pain I experienced. The after party, the bling, the bands, everything else was wonderful and I hope to always get to run this race.

Also, if you have the chance to purchase the VIP package for Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans I would recommend it! The pre race breakfast, bathrooms, private gear check are worth it to me, but then you also get the post race food, alcohol, massages, gear pick up, charging station, and VIP bus (no waiting in line) back downtown. Let me know if you have any questions about this event, I would be happy to answer!

PS: If you want to save $15 on Rock ‘N’ Roll half and full marathons, use my code at checkout! Some exclusions apply such as San Antonio, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and a couple of others.

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QOTD: Have you ever had to fight through pain to finish a race?

Disclosure: I received free entry and VIP package as a Rock ‘N’ Blog member, however I was not asked to write this post, and all opinions are my own.

runDisney Princess Half Recap 2016

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in the runDisney Glass Slipper Challenge, and the second part of that challenge was to run the Princess Half.

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My friend Jen and I wanted to wear matching costumes again (last year we were the evil stepsisters), and since neither of us are crafty or creative, we enlisted her mom to create our adorable hats for the race.

On Sunday morning, we got up and had breakfast at our hotel, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. We were cheered on by cheerleaders who even waited on us to go outside to our car after the buses had left so they could give us a proper sendoff. It was so sweet!

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I am a dork and didn’t think to start taking pictures until after the race had started. It was kind of an eventful start too! We got stuck in some serious traffic and were lucky enough to get to park on the far end of the last row of the parking lot at EPCOT. We booked it to the family reunion area and then to the start line, and literally walked into our corral about one minute before we started moving! It worked out great but we couldn’t have timed it better if we had tried!

Our plan was to just have fun, nothing fancy. Oh, and we wanted to beat last years time of 3:00:00. Last year Jen had been in the hospital the day before and I was just coming back after having Emma Kate, so we took it SUPER slow. This year we wanted to have fun but still actually do some running.

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We made it through the Magic Kingdom gates and I apparently had way too much water and coffee before the race because I had to find a bathroom. They had the ones at the TTC ROPED OFF and I knew I wouldn’t make it to the ones in the Magic Kingdom. I stopped off at some portable ones around mile 4.5, and felt SO much better. We made it to the Magic Kingdom and Jen needed to go and we both wanted to wash our hands, so we planned to stop again, but not before getting a castle shot!

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We made it to Tomorrowland and just as I have done in pervious years, we went into the men’s room (along with a ton of other women) and were promptly shooed out by a cast member. The men didn’t care and said it was our race and that we should get to use their bathroom, but the cast member was having none of it. So, we made it through the other side of the castle and stopped in Frontierland. I took a picture with my favorite cowboy while I waited for Jen.

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We had made it to mile 6, and my hip started to slightly hurt. At this point, I was wishing the race was a 10k like the day before!

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We went out the back way of the Magic Kingdom and there was a gust of wind and it got COLD! it was crazy how we weren’t cold before. I call that the magic of Disney. I swear they control the weather. Anyway, we made it to the halfway mark and to the Grand Floridian where we snapped a picture with Bert and the penguins.

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At this point we started taking walk breaks every few minutes because my hip was getting worse. I stopped and got some Tylenol at a med tent, too. We took some gels at the stop around mile nine, and were soon going around the overpass curve of death (to my IT band and hip), where the solider told us to MOVE MOVE MOVE towards EPCOT. Ah, what a beautiful site. I also started getting really warm about mile 11 and I felt bad for the people in the later corrals that would be running when the sun was up higher.

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We made it into the park and I loved that the coach was here this year!

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We looped around towards world showcase and towards the finish line. I Now have a love/hate relationship with this section of EPCOT thanks to runDisney races.

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We passed the gospel choir, and headed towards the finish line. I am happy to say we stomped our goal and finish in 2:33, which isn’t too shabby for several stops for characters and bathrooms and med tents!

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We got so many compliments on our costumes, they are definitely one of my favorites I have worn. We collected our two new medals before heading back to the hotel.

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Another successful runDisney race, and I am so happy that we both were able to get our Glass Slipper medals this year with no illnesses or mishaps! The volunteers were great, the weather was great, and the spectators were encouraging, and a good time was had by all. Thanks runDisney!

QOTD Have you ever dressed up for a race?

runDisney Half Marathon 2016 Race Recap

Saturday morning, my alarm went off at 1:45. I had only gotten about two and a half hours of sleep, and I knew I would pay for it later. But, it was time to run a half marathon!

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I stumbled around the hotel room, thankful I had laid out my costume the night before, and started getting ready. My amazing tutu came from this great Etsy shop. She does tons of Disney characters, so be sure to check her out for your next runDisney race! (You can also follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.) I knew just where to find the best shirt to complete my outfit, Raw Threads. They always have a great booth at the runDisney expos as well. I ran in my new ASICS Meta Run shoes, they are so comfortable and the black goes with any costume.

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We were running a little behind, but thankfully Hilton Bonnet Creek had multiple buses to take people to the start, and we had plenty of time to grab some food and get onboard. Once at Epcot, we realized we were really early and still had a lot of time to kill, so we got in line for a character picture, which we usually never have time to do.

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Daisy told me Donald was getting ready for the race, but he wished us good luck.

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We used the bathrooms, and then headed to the corrals as soon as they opened. We made it to the front of F, and took a seat on the ground to wait. It was truly amazing watching all the people try to sneak into the wrong corral. I mean dozens and dozens of people. Those volunteers have a TOUGH job. People were trying to hide their bib under a sweatshirt, put their finger over part of the letter to make it look like a different one, begging and pleading because their best friend wanted to run with them, you name it. I am glad we had tough volunteers who didn’t let anyone in that wasn’t supposed to be there!

Before long, it was our turn to be at the starting line. Since we were in the front, they kept pushing us up closer and closer to the start line…and then I got a text saying I had started the race (I was tracking myself). NO! I had NOT started the race, they had made us squish up so close to the line that the official tracker started! It wasn’t until about a minute later that we were sent off, so it was a bit frustrating starting the race already losing 60 seconds!

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The first few miles were pretty uneventful. It was cool but not freezing, but SO FOGGY and very very humid. I soon started sweating pretty badly, and made a stop at a medic tent for some body glide. We kept a steady pace, and made it to the Magic Kingdom sign.

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After a couple more miles, we went through the TTC, and then the Magic Kingdom was in sight. I was stoked that the still had the icicle lights on, because I had not yet seen them this year, or the year before actually, so I was really happy to run down Main street towards the gorgeous castle. Bobby snapped the below picture of me and I love it. I think it really captures all the feels of running down Main Street!

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The crowds were great as usual, and I heard a couple of people shout my name and I waved in the general direction of the noise, so if you were yelling to me and I didn’t see you, I’m sorry, but I did hear you!

I knew I wanted to stop and get a pic in front of the castle. It was so foggy it barely came out though, but I think the castle looks kind of cool.

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I had told Bobby before the race that I didn’t care how long the line for the Queen of Hearts was, that if she was out, I wanted a picture. We saw her just past the carousel in Fantasyland, and even though the line was about 13 deep, we stopped anyway.

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We made it to the back of the castle, and had to stop for a shot of these guys. Imagine how long the line would be if they were on the ground! I also wanted to get a shot of Bobby by the castle but it didn’t come out too well.

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We sadly came out of the Magic Kingdom, knowing the most fun part of the race was over. We wound around by the Grand Floridian and Wedding pavilion, and I was thankful the road opened back up again. At about mile nine my lack of training started to get to me, and I was mentally done. Once we hit mile 10, we started counting down saying things like “it’s just a 5k left”, and that seemed to help.

We made it to the turn that kills my IT band every time, and Bobby wanted a picture with our green army man friend.

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Once we were on this new road headed to EPCOT, I knew we were getting close and didn’t even want to stop for water, I was just ready to be done. It was also about this time I told Bobby I was SO GLAD we weren’t doing Dopey again this time! I may have cried if I had to run a full the next day.

We made it up the last bridge, and down into EPCOT where I saw my favorite sign….”run like Steve Harvey is trying to give your medal to Miss Colombia”. I died yall, love it.

We made it around the EPCOT ball, and were finally in the home stretch! This last part is always hard because I get excited I’m “so close”, but really have more to run that I think, and I try to kick harder way too soon and I die out. Whoops. I heard the choir singing, and knew we were REALLY close.

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Wwweeee! Finsih line in view! We made it!

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Our official time was 2:25:07. Not bad with the stops, humidity, the timer starting before we were running, and (totally my fault..) lack of training. I still have a long way to go, but the goal for this one was to enjoy it and have fun, and I’m glad we didn’t take it too seriously.

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I got to cheer runners on as they approached the finish which is one of my favorite things to do ever. I also had a little chat with Mr. Galloway, and got to see part of my favorite announcer team.

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All in all a successful race and a successful day. We got a lift back to the resort from a friend, and showered and our car arrived to take us to the cruise…where we promptly fell asleep in the back seat! (See, I told you it would catch up to me!) Another great runDisney race weekend was over, another shiny medal to add to my collection, and many many more memories to hold on to forever.

QOTD: Has humidity every changed your race goals? Favorite costume you saw from marathon weekend?